Raising Aspirations – Y6 visit Lancaster University

On Friday 8th January, Y6 spent a day a Lancaster University to learn all about campus life.

It was a great visit and gave the children a real insight into what it is like to spend a few years at university. We were met on arrival by a group of students who double as learning ambassadors. They took the children into a lecture theatre for some warm up activities.
The children had some great guesses as to the courses the ambassadors were taking (ranging from cookery to building) and when they told them, the children were non the wiser ‘what’s sociology? What’s business studies etc? The children then had to guess where the ambassadors were from based on a simple sentence or two from each (Sophie who liked pizza was not from Italy and Leanne who lived where people called you duck, was not from Turkey!)

We then broke into smaller groups and went into seminar rooms to learn a bit more about this level of education. The children found out all about lectures, seminars, professors, halls of residence, freshers weeks, graduation and lots more.

Whilst in the library one of the children noticed a student at one of the computers on facebook. ‘Shouldn’t he be studying Mr Shepherd? I don’t think they should be in here updating their facebook!’

The tour of the campus gave the children an idea of how huge the site is. ‘Is it bigger than Blackpool?’ Someone asked me. ‘It’s like a town- it’s got everything, and the cinema is only a pound!’

The children couldn’t get over the size of the campus with its shops, offices, restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers, launderettes, cinemas, clubs and library (the size of a large department store!) They found out about all sorts of courses you could take, trips and field study opportunities and sports facilities that are being built for the future.

One of the ambassadors was kind enough to let us all see her flat in the halls of residence. She had a bedsit style room- very smart, and a shared kitchen. One the the children thought it was like big brother! The rooms were like hotel rooms and had really fast internet connection. All the children thought it looked like a great place to live.

The visit was something we have been keen to introduce to our Y6 programme for some time. We wanted our children to experience something they can aspire to. Something many of their parents didn’t experience and something that for many was beyond their wildest dreams.

They realised that university is an attainable goal, that it offers a range of exciting opportunities and that it isn’t just the domain of the rich and highly intelligent. One of our pupils said he had always thought university was for really clever people who came from wealthy families. He said after the visit that he realised that it was ‘for normal people, like me!’

The visit was about showing the children what is possible if they work hard. It was also an opportunity to debunk the myths surrounding university. Many don’t visit colleges till they are about to apply, or even after in some cases. We wanted our children to have the chance now, to give them something to think about and a future to aspire to.

It was a great visit and a real insight into what it is like to spend a few years at university. We were met on arrival by a group of students who double as learning ambassadors. They took the children into a lecture theatre for some warm up activities. The children had some great guesses as to the courses the ambassadors were taking (ranging from cookery to building) and when they told them the children were non the wiser ‘what’s sociology? What’s business studies etc? The children then had to guess where the ambassadors were from based on a simple sentence or two from each (Sophie who liked pizza was not from Italy and Leanne who lived where people called you duck, was not from Turkey!)

We then broke into smaller groups and went into seminar rooms to learn a bit more about this level of education. The children found out all about lectures, seminars, professors, halls of residence, freshers weeks and lots more.

Whilst in the library one of the children noticed a student at one of the computers on facebook. ‘Shouldn’t he be studying Mr Shepherd? I don’t think they should be in here updating their facebook!’

The tour of the campus gave us all an idea of how huge the site is. ‘Is it bigger than Blackpool?’ Someone asked me. ‘It’s like a town- it’s got everything, and the cinema is only a pound!’

The campus has shops, offices, restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers, launderettes, cinemas, clubs and a library the size of a large department store! We found out about all sorts of courses you could do, trips and field study opportunities and sports facilities that are being built for the future.

One of the ambassadors was kind enough to let us all see her flat in the halls of residence. She had a bedsit style room- very smart, and a shared kitchen. One the the children thought it was like big brother. The rooms were like hotel rooms and had really fast internet connection. All the children thought it looked like a great place to live.

The visit was something we have been keen to introduce to our Y6 programme for some time. We wanted our children to experience something they can aspire to. Something many of their parents didn’t experience and something that for many was beyond their wildest dreams.

They realised that university is an attainable goal, that it offers a range of exciting opportunities and that it isn’t just the domain of the rich and highly intelligent. One of our pupils said he had always thought university was for really clever people who came from wealthy families. He said after the visit that he realised that it was ‘for normal people, like me!’

The visit was about showing the children what is possible if they work hard. It was also an opportunity to debunk the myths surrounding university. Many don’t visit colleges till they are about to apply, or even after in some cases. We wanted our children to have the chance visit now, to give them something to think about and a future to aspire to.

Below are the results of a questionnaire the children took both at the beginning and end of the visit, the results are quite revealing!

Hawes Side Primary School   Campus Visit to Lancaster University, Friday 8th January 2010

Pre & Post Questionnaire

“What does the word University mean to you?”

Pre Post
Learn/Learning (x31) Fun (x23)
Work/Working (x18) Education (x22)
Fun (x14) Learning (x12)
Education (x13) Exciting (x9)
Jobs/Get a good job (x6) Work (x8)
Big/Large/Huge place (x4) Cool (x7)
Coursework (x4) Shops/Shopping (x6)
Studying (x4) Hard work (x5)
World (x3) Life (x4)
Exciting/Excitement (x3) Big/Huge/Massive (x4)
Further Education (x2) Good (x4)
Thinking (x2) Friendship/Making friends (x4)
Big School (x2) Study/Studying (x4)
Experience (x2) Jobs/Very good jobs (x3)
Life/Live (x2) Friendly (x3)
Lecture (x2) Campus (x3)
Hard/Hard work (x2) Graduate (x2)
Meeting new people (x2) Expensive (x2)
Lunch (x2) Room (x2)
Children (x2) Socialising (x2)
GCSE’s (x2) Freedom (x2)
Sleeping (x2) World (x2)
Help you Lecture
Smart Future
Intelligence Fancy
Good SAT’s papers Trust
Living with people Training
Practice Homely
Training Joyful
Big kids New
Exercise Dorms
School Dancing
Great Modern
Challenges Hard to describe
Teaching Good lessons
Future Happy
Pre (Continued) Post (Continued)
Knowing what to do in your job Fantastic
Classes Knowledgeable
A world of learning Intelligence
World Fun learning
Universal Achieving good learning
Enjoy Housemates
Good Education Entertaining
Cool Relaxed
Exams
Active Staff
20 & over
Dormitories
Learning place
Parties
Painting
Get degrees

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About smichael920

Headteacher of a large primary school in North West England. Helping me to blur the distinction between work and home, I am also father of five, covering most phases of education thus giving me the lowdown from within and without. Education is about enjoying today and preparing for tomorrow. This can't be done using the tools of the past. View all posts by smichael920

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