Posted: Tue 2nd Feb 2016

School children urged to aim high and reach for a place at university

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016

Primary school children from some of the more disadvantaged areas of North Wales have been encouraged to set their sights high and think about studying for a degree. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The North Wales Reaching Wider Partnership held an interactive event at the Stiwt Theatre, Rhos, to introduce 10 and 11 year old pupils from the Wrexham region to different aspects of university life. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Glyndwr University hosted a quiz focusing on university terminology, with Bangor University leading a session about student life and Chester one on academic life. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Reaching Wider partnership aims to increase higher education participation from under-represented groups in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

All six schools which attended the event – Penycae, Brynteg, Hafod-y-Wern, Gwenfro, and Welsh medium schools Ysgol Bodhyfryd and Ysgol Min y Ddol – are located in areas covered by Communities First, a Welsh Government initiative designed to improve living standards and reduce poverty. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rachel Cupit, learning officer for Communities First in Caia Park and Hightown, said: “It’s likely that many of the pupils who attended the day won’t have parents who are graduates so the aim was to give them the opportunity to find out about what life is like in a university and inspire them to think about accessing higher education in future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The pupils got to see how many different options are open to them in terms of staying at home while studying or moving away to experience university life.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The quiz hosted by Glyndwr University introduced pupils to words such as ‘Freshers’, ‘graduation’ and ‘university campuses’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sarah Gaffney, widening access coordinator, said: “Glyndwr University is one of the leading universities in the UK for opening up higher education to those from non-traditional backgrounds. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Events such as this allow us to connect with the next generation of potential students and make them aware of the opportunities available to them in higher education.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last year, the team at Glyndwr was praised for the innovative way it used the Harry Potter series of books to inspire primary school pupils in deprived areas to pursue a higher education. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Its award-winning widening access team visited schools in towns across Denbighshire, including Rhyl and Denbigh, as part of another Communities First project, and used metaphors taken from JK Rowling’s stories – words the youngsters understand and go on to explain – before demonstrating phrases and tools used in and around universities, such as ‘graduation’, ‘degree’ and ‘undergraduate’ – with great success. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sarah said the institution’s emphasis on aspiration, enjoyment and education has appealed to young audiences. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The scheme allowed us to speak to them before they go to secondary school with a view to inspiring them to achieve good grades at GCSE level and in further education,” said Sarah. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The schools are in socially deprived areas, with high unemployment, low incomes and low progression into university and professional jobs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are trying to break down the barriers and preconceptions that the children and their parents may have about higher education.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Photos show pupils from Penycae school tackling the university quiz set by Glyndwr University. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Glyndwr Wrexham University

Former Electrician Completes First Piece Of Commission Artwork

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham AFC Player’s Rhubarb Juice Research Among Highlights Of University Conference

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Book Launched With University Students To Mark Opening Of £250m Wrexham Super-Prison

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham Glyndwr University To Host Three Events For Wrexham Carnival Of Words 2017

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Space Project Takes Off After Sector Conference

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham Named Happiest Place To Live In Wales, Second Happiest In The UK, In New Survey

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council