Our Programmes

First Star 2U

Our Online and residential programme – newly launched and open to year 9 students across the country 

First Star St Mary's

Launched in 2017 – our pilot cohort has graduated and 50% were awarded places in higher education 

First Star Winchester

Launched in 2021 – we have some spaces in year 10 so do take the opportunity to join us 

First Star Staffordshire

Our newest potential partner 

Help us get this programme up and running in 2022



Help us launch at Staffordshire by sponsoring a scholar 

First Star 2U at Sussex

Our partner and hosts for First 2U residential

First Star USA

Launched in 2011 – with 15 programmes now 

How does First Star work?

The central team

Do visit the meet the team page
We are delighted to have expanded our team as we partner with more universities and launch our First Star 2U central programme

Programmes at University Partners

First Star partners with universities to offer the programme. Each university partner engages to deliver one four programme for a cohort of up to 30 scholars - further cohorts may be recruited. Each unviersity appoints a director who works closely with the First Star central team and their own colleagues at the unviersity to deliver the programme - the programme is based on our curriculum model / Diploma programmes

Our curriculum model

this part of the page is under development

Our Diplomas

this part of the page is under development

Our campus model

This model is the mainstay of our provision - our partner universities establish First Star programmes using their local community networks, recruiting tutors and working with local charities and organisations to deliver the programme.
Years 1 and 2 see the cohort on campus for 4 weeks during each summer then in years 3 and 4 this becomes 3 weeks each summer. In addition every month for the four year programme, scholars return to the campus for Saturday sessions

Our Online model - First Star 2U

Our newest programme - building on our experiences during the pandemic and offering scholars from across the country the opportunity to join First Star. Offering online sessions that are - sometimes academic - always life orientated - that are creative and fun - that fill gaps in learning - that are tailored to the individual and cohort. Each year the cohort comes together at a university campus for a week to develop that sense of belonging and continue their learning together.

Funding / fundraising

- Our First Star central staff fundraise for First Star 2U and core costs while also working with colleagues at each university partner to raise funds for each cohort /programme.
- Universities will develop their fundraising profile, engaging with trusts and foundations to support their First Star cohort with funds directly coming to and reported on by the university.
- First Star also engages with trusts and foundations, sponsors and donors on behalf of our unviersity partners - this may include submitting funding requests to support the programme at one of our partner institutions. Such funds are ring fenced for that particular partner.

Funding hints

Sponsor a scholar - First Star 2U

Sponsor a Scholar – each year the First Star 2U programme costs £3866 per scholar – this secures staff, tutors, life skill coaches, our annual summer residential and the excursions, activities and challenges that lead to the Diploma in Learning, Development and Social Engagement.  This diploma empowers scholars through personal. academic. creative, physical and social challenge. If you donate £2900 plus gift aid you can support a scholar throughout their whole year’s programme (1 year of 4 year programme). 

Sponsor a scholar - at our newest campus programme

Sponsor a Scholar at Staffordshire First Star – programme costs secure staff, tutors, life skill coaches, our annual 4 week summer residential and the excursions, activities and challenges that lead to the Diplomas in Learning, Development and Social Engagement that empowers scholars through personal, academic, creative, physical and social challenge. 

If you donate £5625 plus gift aid you can support a scholar throughout a whole year’s programme (1 year of 4 year programme). We never exclude anyone because they don’t have the funds or support to attend – we find ways to fund and support them. 

Sponsor a scholar scheme 

You can sponsor a scholar from the FS2U programme or a campus programme near you.  ALL sponsorship is anonymous

In keeping with safeguarding, child protection and data protection legislation and policy, all our scholars details remain anonymous. Regular updates on the cohort’s progress will be available and anonymised data regarding GCSE and post 16 outcomes is reported.  Anonymised case studies are prepared annually. Once scholars graduate and become Guardian Scholars they can choose to include their name in information.  

Scholar sponsors are invited to become First Star Ambassadors and are invited to First Star events including our annual lecture.