Pupils from a middle school have been finding out what university education looks like first hand.
Year 8 students aged 12 to 13 from Newnham Middle School took an active part in Universities Week by visiting university campuses, discussing university with their teachers, who told of their own experiences and hearing the views of visiting professors, lecturers and current university students.
As a highlight a group of girls visited the female only Newnham College Cambridge, with whom the school shares a name. Newnham College is for women only and part of the University of Cambridge.Its former graduates include such famous names as Emma Thompson,
Germaine Greer, Dianne Abbott and Clare Balding.
Pupils also visited the University of Bedfordshire campus, just down the road, where they spent a day as under-graduates.
The whole week was an unqualified success and gave the students an insight into what university life might be like.
Ruth Wilkes, head teacher of Newnham Middle School, said: “Universities’ Week was inspirational. We planned the week as part of our development of a high-quality, aspirational and academic secondary curriculum. It gave our pupils a chance to perceive
themselves as future graduates and to learn about numerous possibilities for further study in sciences, languages, the arts and many others.
“The visit to Newnham College, Cambridge was a personal highlight for me. We also had fun with some of our teachers’ own graduation photos and university locations and even had two members of staff wearing their cap and gown for the day. Thanks to the University of Bedfordshire our pupils also had the chance to look the part as graduates in their red caps and gowns and we really enjoyed talks from visiting professors, lecturers and students.”
One year 8 student, Lizzie Lowe, said: “It was really exciting to see what university life looks like and has certainly made me want to go.
“I loved Cambridge which was really beautiful but realise a lot of hard work needs to be done in the meantime. It has given me a goal, though.”