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Bringing Higher Education to life

Our work with secondary schools

Our Schools Liaison programme of activity has been designed with you and your students in mind. Through a series of activities, including campus visits, workshops (on and off-campus), presentations and intensive projects, we hope to bring the excitement of higher education to life to your students, encouraging them to consider university as an option for their future.

Each year we put together an exciting programme of activity for your students - at the bottom of this page is an outline of what is happening in 2019-2020.

Who we work with

While we will help any teachers to inspire their students to consider university, we focus a significant amount of our outreach activity on students from under-represented groups in HE. This includes young people living in low participation neighbourhoods, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, young people in care and students with special educational needs. We provide an extended programme of outreach activities for young people from these groups.

This Fair Access programme is designed for schools and colleges where there are above-average numbers of students from disadvantaged groups . However, we are happy to assess a group from a non-target school to determine what support we can offer.

Fair Access projects

We run a number of projects and events to support our Fair Access work in schools and colleges.These include our student mentoring scheme, for example, as well as Summer Breaks.

Books & Stories: Autumn 2019

This ten-week group reading intervention aims to increase attainment in reading, whilst improving confidence and self esteem. The programme is delivered by trained student ambassadors on a weekly basis and combines guided reading with interactive activities. Previous participants have included reluctant readers, those who lack confidence and self-esteem or have limited opportunities to read at home.

Robotics Workshop: Year 8 (all year)

This two-hour interactive workshop offers Year 8 pupils an opportunity to explore programming software. Using communication and problem-solving skills, participants will build, adapt and programme a remote-controlled robot to navigate challenges and obstacles.

Forensics Workshop: Year 9 (all year)

Our two-hour interactive session offers Year 9 pupils an opportunity to explore a crime scene and use a combination of analytical skills and teamwork to study fingerprint, handwriting, footprint and blood splatter samples. Students will gain an insight into forensic science and investigation while learning about the variety of roles that are available.

Product Design Workshop: Year 7 (all year)

Coming soon! This exciting new workshop aims to educate and inspire Year 7 pupils about the possibilities of Product and Industrial Design. Sessions allow participants to develop creative, technical and practical skills while testing and evaluating their own models and prototypes.

Subject and Industry Taster Events: Years 9+ (all year)

We have joined forces with Dorset Young Chamber to deliver the ‘Introduction to….’ Careers programme for pupils in Year 9+ and their parents/carers. Events run throughout the academic year and attendees will hear from a range of speakers about the academic routes to success as well as talks from business people working in the industry about their job roles and career paths.

Mentoring: Year 10 (spring 2020)

This 10-week programme offers groups of Year 10 pupils an opportunity to work with student ambassadors to explore their pathway through education and into employment. Participants will develop new skills and learn to apply them in various ways, including writing applications, preparing for interviews and presentations. The weekly sessions build confidence and consider ways to manage finances, progression and wellbeing. Please note the scheme is available to eligible students within 10 miles of the university and culminates in a celebration event on campus.

GCSE revision: Year 11 (spring term 2020)

During the Easter and May half term holidays in 2020, our GCSE Maths and English Language Revision Days focus on preparing Year 11 pupils for examinations. The events are designed to support those working at grade 3 or 4 but aiming for grade 5 and develop independent study skills, increase confidence and reduce anxiety.

Campus visits: Year 9 (spring and summer term)

Our on-campus visits are designed to give Year 9 pupils a taste of university life and increase their familiarity with the HE environment. Visits can be tailored to meet your needs but typically include opportunities to hear from our student ambassadors, participate in a campus tour, learn about university finance and take part in academic taster sessions. Please note that campus visits are subject to eligibility and availability - please get in contact to discuss this with the team.

Choices Performance: Years 7 and 8 (summer term)

Our theatre in education performance, delivered by Enact Solutions, is relevant to Year 7 or 8 cohorts in the academic year before they choose their key stage four options. The performance and subsequent Q&A session will inspire young people to reflect on their skills and interests, and make informed choices about their future. 

Summer Residentials: Years 10 and 11 (summer term)

Our annual summer residentials offer Year 10 and 11 students an opportunity to become honorary BU students and gain insight into a range of academic and social activities while staying on campus in our halls of residence. The programme allows participants to develop their familiarity with the HE environment while preparing for their future.