New Explore University website launched
10 September 2014
Following a successful pilot year, the newly-named Explore University initiative– which sees primary schools across Shropshire and Staffordshire work with four West Midlands universities - is now officially up and running.
A dedicated website www.explore-university.co.uk has just been launched to provide information for school pupils, teachers and parents involved in the partnership.
Through Explore University (previously known as ‘Primary 2 Higher Education’ or P2HE), pupils will be involved in various activities with their school’s partner university throughout years 5 and 6, with the aim of helping them understand from an early age what university life is like, why they might want to consider higher education, and where it might take them. They will also visit another of the project’s universities during year 5.
The first activity during the P2HE pilot year was the First Steps to University Roadshow. Year 5 pupils from the eight partner primary schools all spent a day on the Harper Adams University campus, in Shropshire, trying activities led by Harper Adams, Keele University, the University of Wolverhampton and Staffordshire University. Then, in June this year, Year 6 pupils attended a summer school at their partner University.
Rachel Brookes, widening participation officer at Harper Adams, said: “The pilot year activities were a huge success for everyone involved and we learnt a lot about how to run the project over the years to follow. We witnessed primary school pupils trying their hand at forensics, animal husbandry, engineering, food production and building chemical structures, opening their eyes to science through fun activities.
“During the summer school, the year six pupils experience more of university life, with lectures, meals in a university dining hall and even an end-of-school disco.
“As we move forward, last year’s year five pupils, now in year 6, will be the first to get the full Explore University experience, with the next summer school building on their previous roadshow days. The partner universities will take turns to host the roadshow each year, giving the school pupils a fuller experience of what different universities offer.”
“A timetable of all of the activities, plus information for teachers and parents is on the website – www.explore-university.co.uk - alongside a range of resources for the children themselves.
“This project is a great example of partnerships that really work. The four universities are working towards a common goal, but the teachers are seeing real benefits from being able to offer their pupils experiences they would not get in an average day at school!”
The schools taking part in Explore University are:
- St Matthew’s C of E Primary, Telford
- Wrockwardine Wood Junior, Telford
- Windmill Primary, Telford
- Woodlands Primary, Telford
- Harpfield Primary Academy, Stoke on Trent
- Burnwood Primary , Stoke on Trent
- Hempstalls Primary, Newcastle Under Lyme
- Flash Ley Community Primary, Stafford