Working in conjunction with the University of Winchester, Harrow Way has given 20 Year 10 students the opportunity to experience life at university. Through a series of workshops and time spent on the campus the Aspire Project Day offers students the opportunity to see first-hand if higher education could be an option for them.

Kevin Peebles, Harrow Way’s careers lead said: “This wasn’t about promoting the University of Winchester or indeed saying university would be the best path for these students. This was an opportunity for students to work on a project and spend time in a higher education environment in order to determine for themselves what it would be like to study and live at a university. With important decisions coming next year we hope the experience will enable these students to make some informed decisions about their futures.”

The Year 10s were tasked with developing a project on sustainability in student life. Working in small groups through a series of workshops they were required to identify a problem around sustainability, their solution to which, they presented to their peers at the end of the session. Mr Peebles explains: “The university structured the day in such a way as to encourage student engagement in the project as well as the university academics and their current students. It also provided our team the opportunity to see these students in a different environment, which formed a useful stepping stone into conversations regarding their motivations and aspirations.”

With information provided about course funding, students were given the whole picture as to what studying and living the university life would entail.

Working with the university forms part of Harrow Way’s wider careers strategy which has been designed to ensure all students have access to a high-quality careers programme, are provided with opportunities for work experience and receive tailored support.