The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme 2020 – Propaganda, Power Politics, and the Middle East
This year’s Brilliant Club is more topical than ever, addressing the relationship between politics and social media. In fact, on the launch day of the Brilliant Club, the world was waiting to hear the results of the US presidential election – the course content reflected this and helped students to try to make sense of what they were seeing in the Media.
Richmond Sixth Form College has a strong track record of involvement with the Brilliant Club. This year, 12 students are taking part, in sessions taught by a PhD student from Durham University. Students are having weekly Zoom meetings supported by assignments and academic mentoring.
There are many transferable skills from the course: critical analysis, case study analysis, understanding the political-media relationship and academic writing, to name a few. All these skills support students for the next steps in their career journey.
Beth Wray said: “I am enjoying Richmond Sixth Form and the fact that I am doing the Brilliant Club is an added bonus. Writing the essays for the Brilliant Club assignments is really helping with my essay writing subjects at college, I study History and English Literature A-levels.”
James Limer added: “It has been so interesting learning about social media and politics so far.”
Thomas Walsh, the PhD Mentor said: “The standard of the first assignment was very high. I am very pleased with the work submitted by the students in the first week.”
Ms Mannion, Careers Leader said: “The Brilliant Club is such a great way for students to learn and ultimately help them to access higher education. I am so impressed at how students are engaging in online debates on Zoom, which is a skill in itself.”
Ms Johnson, Assistant Head, commented: “This year, of course, is very different. Our students are making the most of this opportunity to extend their learning and challenge themselves whilst at the same time accessing the programme remotely. I am delighted to see that they are engaging with this challenge and committing fully to getting the most out of the experience.”
The programme considers issues such as: How often do you look down at your phone a day? We are all now connected, whether we like it or not, to a massive web of different social media networks, news outlets and other “information” sharing apps. Many believe that this is a brilliant thing. In some ways they are right. We are now connected to a vast amounts of information, which was previously inaccessible.