Year 10 pupils explore their options

07 April 2017

Year 10 pupils from schools across mid and west Wales will be exploring their post-GCSE options at a three-day residential course held at Aberystwyth University during the Easter break.

The free Options Explorer event, which takes place from 19-22 April 2017, will give eighty-six pupils from schools in Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd, the opportunity to attend a series of talks and workshops, take part in activities, and find out about university life.

Dr Debra Croft, Director of the University’s Centre for Widening Participation, Equality and Social Inclusion says: “Feedback that we have received from schools suggests that Year 10 is the time when many pupils can turn off and start to lose interest.  The Options Explorer event is aimed at the young people that are most likely to become disengaged.  It is targeted at pupils who do not have a clear plan of how they would like their education to progress, to allow them to make informed decisions about their future.”

Hannah Clarke, who is organising the course explains: “Choosing A-Level and BTEC courses can be particularly tricky when students haven’t got a clear picture of what a subject involves, and planning for Higher Education or other options can be a daunting task.

“We are offering pupils the chance to try out four subjects from a list of twenty-two.  They spend half a day on each subject, with staff and postgraduates from academic departments providing hands-on workshops and showing what their subject is all about.

“The pupils will stay in student accommodation, supervised by our team of Student Leaders, and get involved in sports and social activities, allowing them to get a snapshot of University life.”

The Options Explorer course is organised by the University’s Centre for Widening Participation, Equality and Social Inclusion (CWPESI), which works to remove barriers (whether physical, social, cultural or financial) to Higher Education.

CWPESI works in partnership with primary and secondary schools, and FE colleges to develop the academic potential of all children and young people, familiarise pupils with the opportunities offered by Higher Education and to raise the aspirations of children and young people.

CWPESI is currently inviting applications to its flagship Summer University from pupils studying towards A-levels or NVQ Level 3. 

This six-week residential programme takes place from 17 July - 25 August 2017.  It is aimed at young people who live or go to school / college in a Welsh Communities First area, or are from a care / care leaver background, or are the first from their family or community to go to university, or range of other widening access criteria. 

The Summer University allows a large group of students to come together for an extended period to study subjects of their own choosing, taught by academics in the Departments, mirroring university life as realistically as possible.

The deadline for applications for this year’s Summer University is 28 April 2017.  For more information, visit the Summer University webpages.