Mr Heayns reports on the latest in our programme of visits for students aspiring to higher education.
In late February, I took a group of fifteen Year 9 students on a visit to Edge Hill as part of our partnership scheme with the university. The aim was to introduce students to aspects of university life.
We began with a general introduction into what a university education involves and how funding works – partly to ensure that potential future applicants aren’t immediately put off the thought of applying by worries about money. The issue of student loans has been in the news a lot recently and is a concern for many young people and their parents. Students were told about how the loan system works and were given three assurances: no money is required up front, some grants are available and extra money is always there to support students, should they need it.
After our talk, three current students at Edge Hill – first-year ‘freshers’ and third years – explained the skills a young person needs to do well at university and how these skills can be practised and developed now. They also helped our students to start thinking about what it is they might want to do in the future and the likely pathways to this role or career. We did a personality test to see what jobs may suit our personality: I came out as a barn owl, presumably because I am a hoot to be around. I am not sorry about making that joke.
Despite the blizzard-like conditions, we ventured on with our campus tour, seeing the range of facilities that Edge Hill has to offer – new lecture theatres, accommodation and a brand new library due to open in September. Although the weather was brutal, we did get to see the Edge Hill ‘beach’, apparently the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the summer sun (and possibly a cruel way to remind us that it was minus six at the time!).
We finished our day with a quiz about the day’s learning. Up against other schools, it was fantastic to see that we held our own and ultimately took home the silverware. Special thanks to Aaron Tennant for the team name – ‘Aspire to HE’!
Overall, this was a fantastic enrichment opportunity for our students – currently in Year 9 – helping them in the process of thinking seriously about life after Ridgeway, about possible future careers and about maximising their potential. There will be further opportunities to experience life at other universities – hopefully not when a beast from the east is pummelling Britain!
Finally, I should like to thank Edge Hill University for hosting us.