The Partnership Development Office recently ran the Year 10 Partner Schools Summer School from Tuesday 31 July to Friday 03 August. Over 20 schools from the Kent and Medway area were represented, with 72 year 10 students attending in total. The students resided in Keynes College for the duration of the week which gave them the chance to understand what it is like to live in student accommodation and also took part in a variety of social and academic activities that were designed to reflect the university experience.
The academic sessions were comprised of either Humanities, Social Sciences or Sciences subject tasters dependant on what the student had opted for in their application. Throughout the sessions, students explored areas that are not currently on the school curriculum and were able to present what they had learnt to their peers in a faculty showcase. Alongside this, students engaged with the ‘Your Future, Your Choice’ module that allowed them to consider the decisions they had already made regarding their education, and many found it extremely useful to speak to university ambassadors about their post-16 and post-18 options.
Due to high demand for Summer School places, the Partnership Development Office created a new strand for KaMCOP (Kent and Medway Collaborative Outreach Programme) students to follow in place of the faculty sessions. This strand incorporated a variety of activities that were tailored to the needs of the students based on their application data. Over the week, students participated in the University’s ‘Confidence’ series of workshops that encourage students to recognise the wealth of transferable skills they possess (namely communication, team-working and problem-solving skills) and how they might use these skills more effectively in an academic environment. Students also had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers who spoke about how their journey into Higher Education helped them progress in their careers, experienced taster sessions in Debating, Forensics, and History, and also took part in a Student Finance board game to learn the facts and figures about funding in an exciting and interactive way. The KaMCOP strand concluded on Friday with a session called ‘Your Ideal University’, where students were asked to design and present their own perfect university in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ format, with the winning teams being awarded a prize.
In addition, there were a wide range of social opportunities offered to all students who attended the Summer School which included a chance to try out the sports facilities at the Pavilion, a trip into Canterbury City Centre and other society activities such as Yoga, French and Adventure Gaming.
Feedback from the Summer School was extremely positive, with many students citing the ambassadors as an extremely important part of their journey: ‘they were all so supportive. If you had a problem, you knew that you could go up to them, you knew that they wouldn’t judge you’. Many students also felt that the increased understanding of university life would help them to make a more informed decision about their future.
There was a high demand for the Year 10 Summer School this year and therefore a number of unsuccessful applications. We will be running a one-day event in the Autumn Term to give those applicants the opportunity to visit the campus and explore their higher education options. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.