Thirteen Year 12 students from Wath Comprehensive and Longley Park Sixth Form College recently enjoyed a four day Built Environment Summer School funded by HeppSY+ (Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire Plus). The summer school, which was designed by Bee Gan from Sheffield Hallam University’s Built Environment Department, involved a number of different activities delivered by HeppSY+, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, as well as businesses from the construction sector.
HeppSY+ is part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) and aims to support young people identified as most at risk of missing out on Higher Education. The programme builds on the existing work of the Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP) involving Sheffield’s two universities.
The summer camp aimed to provide students interested in the built environment with the opportunity to learn about their options after sixth form or college. The four-day experience involved a number of sessions in the style of university lectures and tutorials, including: an introduction to degree apprenticeships; a lecture on project management; extreme environmentalism; blast protection; real estate and design. Students also took part in a tour of the site of Sheffield’s new city centre retail quarter, a tour of both university campuses, a model bridge building session and a number of Q&A panels. Throughout the week the students worked on a case study based on the Sheffield Retail Quarter development, looking at how various industry professionals work together on large-scale building projects.
The summer school culminated with students presenting their projects to a panel of industry experts, many of whom commented on how impressed they were with the quality of presentations. Students were then presented with awards for their hard work and efforts.
Additionally, each evening students enjoyed evening social activities, including a walking tour of Sheffield’s iconic city centre buildings, meals together and a film and quiz evening, allowing them to experience a taste of university social life.
Mike Garnock Jones, Director of HeppSY+ said: “This is a unique opportunity for students from across the South Yorkshire region to gain an insight into the various career opportunities within the construction and built environment industries. Taking part in interactive workshops and presenting to leading employers will provide students with an invaluable experience to include on their university application forms next year and help them make an informed choice”.
Seetal Jassal, Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator at the University of Sheffield, said: “The summer school has been a really fantastic example of how two universities can come together to benefit young people in South Yorkshire and beyond and to support them in making an informed decision about their higher education”.