Year 10 pupils from schools across mid and west Wales will be exploring their post-GCSE options at a three-day residential course held at Aberystwyth University during the Easter break.
The free Options Explorer event takes place from 4-7 April 2018, and will give 80 pupils from ten schools in Ceredigion, Powys, Gwynedd, and Carmarthenshire, the opportunity to attend a series of talks and workshops, take part in activities, and find out about university life.
Hannah Clarke, who is organising the course, has built on the success of the 2017 pilot year, where the feedback from the Year 10 pupils was overwhelmingly positive about their improved knowledge of both the subjects and university life.
“Choosing A-Level and BTEC courses can be particularly tricky when students haven’t got a clear picture of what a subject involves, and planning for Higher Education or other options can be a daunting task.”
“We are offering pupils the chance to try out four subjects from a list of twenty-six this year. They spend half a day on each subject, with staff and postgraduates from academic departments providing hands-on workshops and showing what their subject is all about.”
“The pupils will stay in student accommodation, supervised by our team of Student Leaders, and get involved in sports and social activities, allowing them to get a snapshot of university life.”
Dr Debra Croft, Manager of the University’s Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion said: “The feedback that we have received from schools suggests that Year 10 is the time when many pupils can turn off and start to lose interest. The Options Explorer project is aimed at the young people that are most likely to become disengaged. It is targeted at pupils who do not have a clear plan of how they would like their education to progress, to allow them to make informed decisions about their future.”
The Options Explorer course is organised by the University’s Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion (CWPSI), which works to remove barriers (whether physical, social, cultural or financial) to Higher Education.
CWPSI works in partnership with primary and secondary schools, and FE colleges to develop the academic potential of all children and young people, familiarise pupils with the opportunities offered by Higher Education and to raise the aspirations of children and young people.