Summer Schools Show Pupils The Way Into University
As a University of Hertfordshire first, the institution has helped school pupils raise their aspirations of entering higher education by running two Summer Schools.
Ran by the Outreach and Widening Participation department, the Summer Schools called ‘Love Herts’ welcomed one hundred year 10 and year 12 students from twelve different secondary schools where they were identified to having a low progression into higher education.
An insight into higher education
The chosen schools were former Hertfordshire schools of the Aimhigher project, a government initiative across England established to encourage school and college learners to enter higher education. The project stopped in July 2011 but the Outreach and Widening Participation department is continuing to support these schools through talks, workshops, mentoring, campus visits and extra events such as the Summer Schools.
Dr. Emma Greening, Head of Outreach and Widening Participation, said: “The Outreach and Widening Participation department is continuing to support these school pupils through talks, workshops, mentoring, campus visits and extra events such as the Summer Schools. The Schools were an excellent opportunity for both sets of pupils where they were given an insight into higher education and shown that going to university was within reach. For the Year 12 pupils specifically, help was at hand with their impending university applications.”
Fifty year 10 pupils attended the first of the Summer Schools on July 4-6. They experienced the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and were engaged with many activities. These included lectures giving advice and tasters, a UCAS fair, a trip to the London Eye and a theatre showing of Billy Elliot, a disco and participation in an education drama performance that was performed to parents.
The second Summer School saw fifty year 12 pupils attend on July 17-19, where they received specialist guidance on making university choices and help on completing their UCAS applications. This was completed through an array of lectures varying from confidence building, personal statements and course searching to student finance and interview skills. Pupils benefitted from a panel of student ambassadors sharing their experiences of university applications and were treated to tobogganing, bowling and a theatre trip to We Will Rock You.
All of the twenty-two schools in Hertfordshire, which were helped by Aimhigher, were invited to submit student applications for the Summer Schools.