Supporting the UKAT Visit Day

by Lauren Grogan

Lauren is a second year Social Sciences student based on the Medway campus, and second year Student Ambassador.

On Friday 14 September, I took part in the Year 12 UKAT (University of Kent Academies Trust) visit day to the University of Kent’s Medway Campus. This involved approximately 150 students, from both Brompton Academy and Chatham Grammar School for Girls, visiting the University of Kent Medway Campus as part of their introduction to the Sixth Form Progression Programme, which the University is piloting this year.

After an introductory welcome talk, students were split into groups and each assigned to a supporting ambassador. The groups then participated in a self-exploration session, aimed to help them evaluate their own personality types and key values. Within this session, students took part in a self-reflection game, where they either agreed or disagreed with a statement, depending on how well it related to them. For example, a statement may be ‘I procrastinate when completing school work’, where the student would then decide whether the statement applied to them. After the student had finished sorting their cards into ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ piles, a personality profile would be calculated based on the colour of the cards the student had most of. Whilst supporting this session, it was interesting to discuss with students how well they recognised their own weaknesses and their ability to evaluate their own selves.

Following this game, the students each completed the online ‘16 personality test’ which is based on the five aspects of; mind, energy, nature, tactics and identity. It was important to relay to students within the session, that neither the test or the game was intended to propose their fixed personality type or tell them who they ought to be. Instead the session’s objective worked well in helping students reflect on their own strengths as well as factors they could improve on. Feedback from the students suggested that they found the session useful in helping them assess themselves, ready to begin studying for A Levels/BTECS as well as beginning to think about future pathways.

As the supporting ambassador, I then took my group on a Medway Campus Tour. This was a great opportunity to speak to students, who surprisingly already had questions about University, despite only just starting Year 12. The Campus Tour gave them an insight into how a University is structured as well as the different opportunities it can offer.

Towards the end of the day, the students had an inspirational talk by ex-University of Kent student Alex Mclean, who focused on discussing with students the idea of failure and its importance to seek success. The talk proved very effective, students were engaged and keen to ask Alex questions at the end. I felt the talk was very poignant for the students, where it encouraged them to think about their future and implemented the importance of perspective.

Overall, the visit was a success. The day ran smoothly, students were engaged, and the objectives were achieved. The self-exploration session is something I would recommend being used more in future sessions, as it is important for students to understand themselves before making important life decisions. As an Ambassador, I enjoyed the event and felt as if the University of Kent gave the best welcome for the new Year 12 UKAT students.