Nobel Prize-winning chemist from Wisbech, Sir Harry Kroto, inspires programme for higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy

PUBLISHED: 12:56 27 September 2017

Sir Harry Kroto was the inspiration for a programme set up to challenge higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Sir Harry Kroto was the inspiration for a programme set up to challenge higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Archant

A Nobel Prize-winning chemist from Wisbech was the inspiration for a programme set up to challenge higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Programme for higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy. Pictured are Kroto students at Thomas Clarkson AcademyProgramme for higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy. Pictured are Kroto students at Thomas Clarkson Academy

A Nobel Prize-winning chemist from Wisbech was the inspiration for a programme set up to challenge higher ability students at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

More than 200 students have been taking part in the Kroto programme, named after Sir Harry Kroto, who was born to refugee parents in Wisbech in 1939.

Sir Harry, who died in April 2016, shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for chemistry for the discovery of fullerenes, also referred to as ‘bucky-balls’.

The academy’s Kroto and Sigma programme offers additional opportunities and challenges for students who either scored well in Key Stage 2 tests for reading and maths, or who have been identified by staff as having higher ability.

Along with trips to the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the Globe Theatre, there have been a number of events and assemblies covering topics including STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), time management and applying for university.

The company Motivational Mind Maps also visited the school and looked at each student’s preferred learning style and what motivates them.

Staff have also been setting extra challenges for the children on the programme, including a grade nine maths challenge.

Liz Taylor, Kroto and Sigma Programme leader, said: “I think the programme has opened the students’ eyes to what they can do.

“They have really embraced the idea of it and there’s definitely been a sense of wanting to be in Kroto.

“Other students have wanted to know how they can get onto the programme and they have worked hard to try to be part of it.”

Kroto student Gvidas Grikietis, who is in Year 11, said: “What’s good about Kroto is the sense of community and that your learning is cared about.

“The programme gives you choices and opportunities. Visiting universities makes it more realistic - I didn’t really know what university life would be like so it’s inspired me even more. It’s shown me if you work hard, you can get there.”

The Kroto programme is one of a number of schemes at the academy which have been set up to support students of all abilities.

A programme for Year 7 students will see staff working with small groups of students who would benefit from extra support.

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