Eyes on the Prize
On 24 January 2019, Year 9 students attended the annual “Eyes on the Prize” trip to Anglia Ruskin University. January is an important month for Year 9, as this is the time when GCSE options have to be considered and choices made about the courses that they would like to follow in Years 10 and 11 for their GCSEs.
To help our students gain an insight into where GCSE courses can take them and widen aspirations, Year 9 spent a morning at Anglia Ruskin University getting a taste for university life and exploring the qualifications needed and the career opportunities that can open up when you go to university.
The day started with the students boarding three double decker buses to make the short trip to the Anglia Ruskin Campus, Chelmsford. When we arrived, we were met by student ambassadors (students who are currently studying at ARU) who guided us to the 450 seat lecture theatre for the first talk of the day that focussed on all the different pathways that GCSE courses can take you.
After the talk, the year group were split into groups and attended three further sessions, a careers fair, a tour of the campus and a talk from a recent graduate about life at university.
At the careers fair, the students had the opportunity to talk to a number of different universities about the diverse array of courses that are available such as finance, animal behaviour, engineering, sport and exercise science and paramedic science to name but a few. There were experts on hand to discuss with our students the qualifications that are needed to access courses and the future career opportunities these courses could lead to. It was excellent to see so many of our students actively engaging in discussion about future pathways and come away with new ideas about where their current studies might take them.
For the next session, Year 9 students were guided in small groups by a current university student around the campus getting a feel for what it would be like to study at a university and see many of the facilities available. Highlights of the tour were the four-story library, the students’ union, the halls of residence and a tour of the nursing teaching facilities where they had the opportunity to observe future nurses being trained and the high tech life size dummies that are used to simulate a wide range of medical conditions. The tour was also an excellent opportunity to ask questions to current students about what life is like at university and get a feel for whether this is something that they might like to explore in the future.
The final session took place back in a lecture theatre where a recent graduate guided our students through her time at university. This was an excellent opportunity for our students to gain a real insight into what university life is like, both from an academic and social viewpoint.
It was brilliant to see our students so attentive and thoughtful, considering where their GCSE choices may take them in the future and returning with many questions about future study to find the answer to.
Mr J Senior
Assistant Headteacher – KS3