Taste of university for West Walton pupils

Taste of university for West Walton pupils
Students particularly enjoyed the 'mystery box' activity

West Norfolk students enjoyed a taste of post-school life during a trip to the University of East Anglia.

The Year 9 group from Marshland High School visited the university as the culmination of a Skills Ship programme designed to prepare them for working life.

“They engaged in exciting activities throughout the day, preparing their skills for future careers,” explained Daniel Hudson, English Teacher and Second of Character and Culture at Marshland, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“Some of the highlights included participating in a mock trial, with Marshland students taking on the roles of magistrates, defendants and lawyers.

“They also interrogated CVs, deciding who they would select for interviews and why. Perhaps one of the most interesting was seeing students showcase their selling ability for a variety of random objects.”

Participant Daniel Rust said: “It really opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there. The activities also helped develop my confidence in a range of skills.”

WEB UEA One of the Skills Discovery workshops involved students creating their own university

A second visit to UEA saw Year 9 students take part in a series of Skills Discovery workshops, which challenged them to create their own university, covering everything from name and building layout, down to the graphic design styles best representing their vision.

“One aspect that the students creatively thrived in was actually building their own physical representation of a lecture theatre using a random assortment of resources in a ‘mystery box’,” continued Mr Hudson. “One group even had a selection of bamboo, table tennis balls and a hessian cloth.

UEA 1 Students enjoyed using their creativity to build a representation of a lecture theatre

“The students got thoroughly involved in the process, and, during the final presentation, did themselves proud in engaging the panel of judges as well as the other schools present.”

“I really enjoyed the creativity of the mystery box, as well as building new skills in graphic design when creating our university name,” said Riley-Jake McCoo.

Marshland’s Year 7 pupils were also given a sneak preview of university life, when they visited UEA as part of the Future Stars Programme, which aims to encourage school students to consider higher education.

“Students were physically active throughout the visit, learning a new and fun sport in the form of pickle ball and braving the climbing wall,” said Maisie Chandler, who is Pastoral Lead for Year 7 at the school. “Some of the students were so skilled that they made it right to the summit.

“The student ambassadors were always on hand to cater to the students’ needs and answer the barrage of inquisitive questions that the Year 7s had,” she added. “They led a campus tour and showed the Year 7s around, and they were even able to see the dorms and student rooms to get a first hand experience of life on campus.

“It was a really positive experience for the students to be able to see university life in a fun and engaging way.”

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