Nearly 50 local schoolchildren took part in an Easter School at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
The two-day event, for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), which was run by St Mary’s in conjunction with Aimhigher London South, saw children from Hounslow secondary schools Springwest Academy, Rivers Academy and Reach Academy take part in a series of academic workshops.
The workshop sessions included Acting from Third year Drama student Lucy George, Law from Programme Director Jenny Henry and Lecturer Nabil Rafiq, Nutrition from Lecturer Kyri Shiamtanis, Tourism from Programme Director Peter Smith, Applied Physics from Programme Director Elisabetta Canetta and Creative Design by Senior Lecturer Lee Brooks and Studio Technician Fallon Parker.
The sessions gave the young people an opportunity to develop their understanding of the different subjects and give them the confidence to consider them at higher education level.
The students were also treated to talks from educational guest speakers James Aidoo and David Hodgson and got to design their own university campus, name and motto.
The event was hosted by St Mary’s Widening Participation and Outreach team, who aim to help remove any barriers that might deter a learner from progressing onto higher education and work with groups that are under-represented in higher education.
The students attending felt it was a worthwhile event. Some feedback included, ‘I learned to take every opportunity I am given’, ‘I learned I would like to go to university’ and ‘Before this, I never knew university was an opportunity’.
Widening Participation and Outreach Officer at St Mary’s Katharina Stegmann, said, “As part of our NCOP work with Aimhigher London South, we organised this event for year 9 and 10s. It was a great opportunity for the children from local Hounslow schools to be involved in the programme and experience what university is like.
“Running events like these support our work to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds progress onto university.”