21 November 2016

The half-day gathering at The Curve at Teesside University was part of the 2016 Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science.


As part of the event, the Norham High School pupils presented a piece of social science research they’re busy working on with Teesside University around the newly-changing GCSEs, and which will involve the pupils in everything from planning to publication.


The visit was organised by Teesside University’s Health and Social Care Institute’s Team Alpha (Alcohol and Public Health team), led by Dr Emma Giles and Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, a former Norham High School pupil.


The group even had its own special name – TALeNT – that stands for Team Alpha and Norham Together.


The event also involved exploring social science research through a series of activities including animation, virtual reality games and a giant word search.


Michael, a Year 10 pupil who took part in Norham High School’s presentation, said: “I was able to present to my peers and to university staff, which was a brilliant experience and it has enabled me to begin to think how I might pursue a career at university.”


Abbey, a Year 10 pupil, added: “It’s great to be involved in research and to begin to learn the skills that will help me in my future career and I can already feel that I’m growing in confidence.”


Dr Emma Giles, who successfully bid for and won ESRC funding to run the event said: “I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the Norham pupils and teachers attending the day, in their willingness to learn about social science research and get involved in the events. I was also impressed by their insightful and probing questions of Team Alpha to learn more about what research is and what happens in universities.”


Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor of Alcohol and Public Health who leads Team Alpha said: “As an ex-pupil of Norham High School I was delighted and proud to see pupils visiting us at Teesside University.  I am confident that we will see influential researchers of the future coming from Norham.  I was also very impressed by the pupils themselves as well as the teachers’ commitment to raising aspirations of the young people.”


Sean Harris, Assistant Headteacher at Norham High School, said: “Our joint research project with Team Alpha at Teesside University is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils, and they’ve embraced it wholeheartedly. They’re really applying themselves to the task and have been particularly keen to learn from the Teesside University academics supporting them. It’s a real honour to be asked to be involved in this project, which has really inspired our pupils.”