Three Ralph Thoresby students became amongst the first in the county to be accepted to participate in the innovative ‘Supported Progression’ scheme at Durham University.  

Jamil Khwarazmi (Physics), Una Widger (Music) and Niamh Mitchell (Maths) have beaten off hundreds of competitors to work with top academics at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Their confirmation letters acknowledged that this had been the toughest year in the scheme’s history and hundreds of students had failed to gain a place on this competitive programme.  

The scheme provides the successful applicants the chance to enjoy two all-expenses-paid residential events at the university. All students will have access to a bursary of £250 to allow them to engage with the experience more fully and will receive guidance and support from a dedicated team of undergraduates across the university’s two campuses.  



 The centrepiece of the trip is a five night summer school at which students will be set a challenging academic assignment. Working alongside top academics, they will use research to present an academic report, present to the faculty and showcase the impressive talents they have developed whilst at Ralph Thoresby Sixth Form.  

Students who pass the rigorous academic appraisal at the summer event will be made a reduced grade offer to the university and will be provided with a bursary worth a staggering £5,500 for each year they spend at Durham. 

Assistant Headteacher, Stewart McGill, has commented, ‘What stands out about this opportunity is the fact that students will really grasp what a university lifestyle is really like. We expect all students to take the opportunity with two hands and participate in the opportunity fully.  

‘For many students, the cost of moving away from home is a real barrier. Ralph Thoresby Sixth Form’s pastoral team is working tirelessly to ensure every student can truly realise their potential.’