Students Staff

16 June 2009

University challenge for youngsters

Colchester Campus

More than 100 pupils from 17 primary schools in Tendring will be 'graduating' from the University of Essex next week.

Complete with mini academic caps and gowns, the special graduation ceremony marks the end of a unique project aimed at encouraging the youngsters to think about their future and introduce them to the idea of higher education.

The University, together with AimHigher and Coast-ED, has been working with the Gifted and Talented pupils aged 10 and 11 in Year 6.

The University’s Widening Participation Officer, Lucy Watson, has led the scheme. She said: ‘As the children prepare to move to the next phase of their education, we wanted to inform them about what comes after secondary school in a fun and exciting way. University may be a few years away yet, but we are trying to familiarise the children with higher education and demonstrate how the choices they make during their school years will influence their future direction.

'This is the second year we have been involved in this scheme and it has been a great success with even more schools involved this year.’

The pupils have taken part in three sessions over the past 12 months, including a range of taster sessions, covering subjects from art and drama to business and sports science. All activities were specifically tailored to suit the youngsters and current Essex students got involved, talking to the pupils about their studies and helping to organise activities.

The special graduation ceremony takes place on the Colchester Campus on Wednesday 17 June. Wearing mini academic caps and gowns, the pupil's will be presented with a certificate marking their participation on the project.

You are invited to send along a photographer/crew to the graduation at 2.30pm on Wednesday 17 June. Please contact the University of Essex Communications Office is you would like to attend, telephone 01206 872807, e-mail The schools that have participated in the University Challenge project are:

Springmeadow Primary School
Alton Park Primary School
Great Clacton Primary
Ravenscroft Primary
Holland Haven Primary
Chase Lane Primary School
Holland Park Primary
Cann Hall Primary
All Saints Primary
Harwich Community Primary
Frobisher Primary School
Mayflower Primary School
St Clares Primary
St Osyth C of E
Walton on the Naze Primary
Two Village Primary
St Josephs RC Primary


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