First Campus hosted the Year 9 Residential from the 4th – 6th of July 2018 at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The annual event sees pupils from schools across South East Wales visit the University for a taste of student life and aims to raise their future educational aspirations.
This year’s participants had the choice to study science-focused courses across the First Campus Partnership institutions. Subjects included Biomedical Science, Food Technology, and Sport Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Chemistry at Cardiff University and Engineering at University of South Wales. One of the participants who studied Biomedical Science said;
‘My favourite part was when we had a special cream and shook hands to see how bacteria is passed on’.
As well as an insight to some of the subject areas available at university the participants are able to experience the social aspect of attending university; staying in halls of residence and having to quickly get to know and make friendships with participants from other schools. Popular activities is the student party nights, which include a pub quiz and Karaoke as well as a disco into the evening. Another participant sums up the whole experience as;
‘It was so helpful in helping you realise what you can achieve’
Having a strong partnership with the attending schools is one of the elements that makes the Residential a successful project. Some of the schools have been attending since the first Residential 14 years ago. A teacher, who attended the event, describes the impact of the project on their pupils;
‘it’s been a very motivational experience. Many of my pupils were already thinking about coming to university but had no idea what to expect. This experience has made them realise exactly what university life is like and the variety of courses on offer. I think the opportunity to stay in the student halls has been amazing as the majority of pupils had no idea what to expect!’
We were delighted to welcome the participant’s families, teachers and head teachers to Cardiff Met for the ‘Graduation’, celebrating the achievements of the young people and wishing them all the best in their future endeavours.
The long-term impact of the Residential project was highlighted this year by the educational journey of Matthew Collins, one of the Student Ambassadors working on the project. Matthew attended the Residential when he was a Year 9 pupil at Barry Comprehensive School. He went on the study an undergraduate degree in Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Cardiff School of Sport and graduated in July 2018 year with a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education from Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy. Matthew has now secured a teaching position at Fitzalan High. We wish him every success and know he will inspire many other pupils with their educational journey.