Lancaster University

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Young 'graduates' from Oldham Go 4 It! at Lancaster University

07/18/2008 10:35:25

A group of eight looked-after children from Oldham have had a taste of life at university this week, complete with gowns and mortar boards! As graduation week got underway at Lancaster University for this year’s successful graduates, the 10 and 11 year olds attended the ‘Go 4 it!’ summer school to get a flavour of what university could offer them in the future.

They took part in a collage-making activity to create medieval monsters, designed computer games, learned about rocket science and found out about university life from the summer school mascot, Professor Fluffy. They also enjoyed games at the sports centre and confidence-building activities. As the summer school was residential, they found out what it was like to live in student halls of residence and did trails and quizzes to help them find their way round the campus.

The summer school, which took place from 15 to 17 July, was run by the Department of Continuing Education at Lancaster University and was the culmination of a year-long project called Go 4 It!, funded by the Virtual School in Oldham. The Year 6 children have been taking part in activities throughout the academic year to help them with their transition to secondary school in September.

Wendy Harris, Widening Participation Manager at Lancaster University, said: "The emphasis of the event was on fun, and the children really enjoyed dressing up in mini-graduation gowns to receive their awards at a celebration at the end of the week, especially as they saw university graduates doing the ‘real thing’ at the same time! It is well recognised that however bright they are, looked-after young people are less likely than others to stay in education after school. This was a wonderful opportunity for this group of young people to get a feel for what life is like at a campus university, and we hope it will inspire them to think about going into higher education in the future."

The Department of Continuing Education at Lancaster University offers a range of Widening Participation summer schools for young people who may not continue into post-16 education because of social, family or educational disadvantage. The summer schools encourage the young people to aim high, and provide them with a range of practical information about studying and living at University. For further details of these activities, contact the department on 01524 592623/4 or check the website