Reach for Excellence Summer School 2017

On the 8th of August, we ran a Dentistry Reach for Excellence Summer School Event to highlight the field of dentistry and what facilities we have to offer.

Reach for Excellence is a two-year programme, providing more than 200 talented students from across the region with an intensive programme of activity aimed at helping them succeed in their studies, with the aim of gaining a place at a leading University. Over the course of the two year period, students have the opportunity to engage with academic taster sessions and workshops delivered by academic schools, giving them an insight into the various courses and careers they could possibly pursue. They also have the opportunity to attend advice sessions and taster lectures, with a highlight being a five day residential summer school here at Leeds, giving them a taste of University life and the social and academic experiences that come with it.

While in many cases, students who take up the opportunity to attend RfE events in Dentistry will already have their minds made up that this is the course they wish to study, some students may still be undecided as to whether this is the right decision for them. Therefore, in addition to being an opportunity for the School to showcase what we have to offer students, it gives them a chance to see the facilities and try their hand at tasks they would undertake as students. The event was coordinated by Christine Smethurst and Carrie van der Zee, with support from Cecilie Osnes, Mick Devlin, Richard and three RfE student hosts (who were also current year 3 dental students).

For the summer school, places on the Dentistry taster were limited to 20 (with 11 in total attending). The session lasted for two hours, and ran as follows:

  • Icebreaker activity (true or false dentally-related Q&A);
  • Overview of the dental school (inc. that we train the whole team under one roof);
  • Summary of the roles of different members of the dental team;
  • Information about admission to Dental Surgery and Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy;
  • Hands-on demonstration in the Simodont lab, first completing a simple 2D block exercise and progressing to a more complex task to remove caries from a cube block;
  • A student-led practical session on the placement of rubber dams in our clinical skills labs

We were given some excellent feedback from those who attended the event, with students commenting that they enjoyed the interactivity and challenging nature of the session, and they relished the opportunity to use the specialised dental equipment within the school.