Raising Aspirations in Secondary Education (RAISE)

Students enjoying subject taster lecture as part of the RAISE programme

The RAISE programme is a range of fun, interactive lectures, workshops and competitive quizzes for students in Years 7 to 11. They are designed to motivate and inspire students around particular subjects, and in the long term raise achievement at GCSE.

The programme is designed to support secondary school students by raising aspirations and breaking down perceived barriers to higher education. From interactive lectures to big quizzes, the events take place throughout the academic year and are free to attend for schools. Discover more about the different events below to find the perfect one for your students.

Please note that many 2021 events have not yet been announced. Have a look below to get a sense of the sort of events we ran in the past.

Year 7/8 Christmas Science Lectures

The annual Christmas lectures will be taking place this year on 11 December at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Academic colleagues from the University's Department of History and Cultures and School of Medical and Dental Sciences, will be delivering two exciting and educational talks aimed at Year 7 and Year 8 students. These lectures will have a focus on the current international themes of viruses and pandemics.

The Pandemics of Past, Present and Future

Speaker: Dr Shirley Ye, Department of History and Cultures
Timings: 9.30am, 11 December 2020

How long have viruses and pandemics been around for? Is the current pandemic any different from those of the past? In this lecture, Dr Shirley Ye will take you on a tour through history to investigate how human societies have coped with past pandemics, with a special focus on the bubonic plague in Asia in the 19th and early 20th century. Are there any lessons that could have been learnt from history in how we deal with the current pandemic or are we destined to make the same mistakes in the future? What have rulers and governments done in the past that is both good and bad, and are there any similarities to how today’s world leaders have dealt with the covid-pandemic?

What Do Santa And The Coronavirus Have In Common?

Speaker: Charles Cooper, School of Medical and Dental Sciences
Timings: 1.30pm, 11 December 2020

Could Father Christmas be a COVID-19 super spreader? After eating all those mince pies, is Father Christmas in the risk group of developing complications if he catches the virus? If Father Christmas becomes infected because he has not observed social distancing, will we have to cancel Christmas when he goes into quarantine? These and many other questions will be answered in this fun and educational lecture, with a Christmas twist.

This lecture will take you on a journey into the world of the virus, tiny biological entities which can have deadly consequences. What have scientists discovered about this new mutated strain of the SARS virus? How have scientists have discovered how it spreads and developed tests to detect it? We will also investigate what scientists are doing to protect Father Christmas by developing different types of vaccines in order to bring the pandemic to an end so we do not have to cancel Christmas. By the end of this lecture, participants will have a better understanding of what viruses are, the different types of viruses and the diseases they cause including an exploration of the SARS-Cov-2 virus which is at the heart of the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Year 8 Health Big Quiz

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

The 2019-20 programme saw the introduction of the new Y8 Health Big Quiz. The Health Big Quiz is aimed at students who might be interested in careers in the Health Professions. Different rounds will focus on different disciplines within the health professions. The event is designed to get students to understand in more detail the academic requirements and different career opportunities available. There will be rounds focusing on Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physiotherapy etc. Schools can enter up to 4 teams (a maximum of 4 students per team).

Year 9 Physics Big Quiz

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

Schools can enter up to 4 teams (a maximum of 4 students per team). There will be 6 rounds focusing on different areas of the Physics curriculum which will include a specialist round, schools will be informed of the topic in advance. There will be trophies, prizes and medals awarded to the top place teams with spot prize questions throughout the day. 

Year 9 History Big Quiz

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

Schools can enter up to 4 teams (a maximum of 4 students per team). There will be 6 rounds focusing on different areas of the History curriculum which will include a specialist round, schools will be informed of the topic in advance. There will be trophies, prizes and medals awarded to the top place teams with spot prize questions throughout the day. 

Year 10 Biology Big Quiz

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

Schools can enter up to 4 teams (a maximum of 4 students per team). Each round focuses on a different area of the Biology curriculum. There is also a key note lecture and a Specialist round, the topic of which all schools are informed of before the event.

Year 10 Maths Big Quiz

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

4 March 2020, 09:45 - 14:30

Schools can enter up to 4 teams (a maximum of 4 students per team). Each round focuses on a different area of the Mathematics curriculum. There is also a key note lecture and a Specialist round, the topic of which all schools are informed of before the event.

Year 10 Achieve Conference

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

The conference is aimed at reinforcing key messages about the importance of the final year of GCSE’s  and the need to continue to work hard in order to achieve academic potential. Schools can take the decision to bring their students at the end of year 10 or at the beginning of year 11. Schools can book up to 40 places.

Year 11 Achieve Conference

Please note that most event dates for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed but please see last year’s programme below to get a sense of the typical topics and subjects covered.

One day conference aimed at supporting students to realise the importance of Year 11 and how their GCSE grades will impact on their future educational and careers choices. Schools can book up to 40 places.