Uni Connect activities get going again after half term

February 23, 2018

As we enter the second half of the Spring term, we continue to work with target learners in our partner schools in Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

Our programme of activities got underway again this week, following the half term break with several activities taking place across our partner schools. At All Saints Catholic School in Dagenham, Pat O’Toole, from AccessHE member HEI Rose Bruford College, delivered a workshop on presentation, confidence and resilience to a group of Year 11s.

Image of a 'Presentation, confidence and resilience' workshop with Year 11 students; students are stood in a circle with one holding a ball

‘Presentation, confidence and resilience’ workshop with Year 11 students.

The session focussed on the importance of making a good first impression, using your voice to project your words and managing nerves. Special emphasis was placed on the latter as the Year 11s taking part all have GCSE exams coming up in just a few months.

The workshop involved the learners forming a circle around the presenter, who threw a ball in a steady rhythm to each of them in turn. During this the group initially discussed trust and judgement and how long it takes for them to make a decision on whether they like and trust someone. As the discussion moved on, the young people were invited to take over in the middle as the ball thrower by keeping in line with the rhythm and shouting “go” in a commanding voice. During this exercise, Pat drew attention to how the learners presented themselves and moved the discussion on to their thoughts about their upcoming exams and the stresses they are feeling.

AccessHE Uni Connect Schools Officer Kay, who was also present for the workshop, commented that the session was “engaging and fun” and that the learners, many of whom were quite reticent at the start “really came out of their shells and made active contributions towards the end”.

Image of students interacting with exhibition examples of automata.

Students perfecting their crafting, engineering and creative skills during an ‘ensemble automata workshop’ with Rose Bruford College.

Other sessions have also been taking place across our six partner schools this week. Emily Link from London Metropolitan University, delivered a workshop focussing on life after Year 13 for those students who are planning on going to university, which encompassed discussions around money, accommodation and student life.

Stephen Guy, representing Rose Bruford College, presented his ensemble automata workshop to learners in Years 10 and 11. This workshop is aimed at supporting the development of crafting, engineering and creative skills through interaction with the exhibition examples of automata so as to combine visual and artistic ideas with the discipline of engineering. Stephen also shared his own journey into higher level learning. Students evidently enjoyed taking part in this interactive workshop with one saying “this is the best thing I have ever created and I am proud of myself for doing it”.

These are just some examples of the diverse range of activities which AccessHE member HEIs are delivering to target learners as part of our Uni Connect delivery programme. We would like to thank all of the staff from our member HEIs involved in Uni Connect delivery for their support.

In other AccessHE Uni Connect news, Naz Khan, AccessHE Uni Connect Manager, has been out meeting with partner schools this week to discuss our Uni Connect project, plans for the summer term and how we can continue to work best with them as the academic year progresses. We have also welcomed new AccessHE Uni Connect Intern Barbora Breckova who will help support the Uni Connect project over the next few months as we develop some exciting new initiatives with HEIs, partner schools and learners.