Summer Aspirations and Access Course
Caterham School has been working with Warlingham School to devise a course to raise aspirations amongst students who are ‘1st generation’ university, and from backgrounds that may present barriers social mobility. The schools collaborated to run a three day course involving inspirational sessions from a lawyer, a financial journalist, and a screen writer, all of whom have benefitted from persistence and career changes. These sessions were complemented with activities to raise aspirations and self-belief more directly – conducted by 2 -3 Degrees, teamwork and leadership tasks, and specific UCAS advice and application support. A session lead bu the London Interdisciplinary School and a session on urban planning were designed to inspire towards higher level study and education.
The course was designed to raise awareness of the increased choice and opportunity that comes with qualifiactions, different career paths and the possibility of changing course at any stage of a working life. Alongside this: practical UCAS support and inspirational sessions to promote the potential joy of higher level academic study.
A recent ASCL survey of teachers found that 57% identify ‘low aspirations’ as the most difficult challenge.
the course built on the delivery of the United Access program at Caterham - adapting for a local school context.
The course has run for 24 students, identified by Warlingham School.
Qualitative feedback was positive with the range of sessions appealing to the diverse student group.
participants commented -
With 2-3 degrees - "I learnt how to present myself better- eg body language, built more confidence from activities"
"I delveloped self motivation , celebrate the small wins"
100% of the participants rated the sessions 8+ (out of 10)
'I found the sessions inspirational, especially the lawyers panel, and I am thinking about my UCAS application more seriously'
'I feel calm about the application now. Hearing how people have changed career and how their persistence has paid off, has made me much more cofident about going ahead with my university application.'
A pilot course was run in the summer of 2021 fir 12 L6 students identified by Warlingham School, and the seconf course ran with a similar number in July 2022.