Joe Hartley and Kate Smith have produced a short update about what has been happening in the Post-16 Outreach Team over the summer.
‘It’s been quite an exciting time for the Post-16 Discover team of late. Especially for myself (Joe) and Kate, my fellow Outreach Officer. During results week, we observed the many A Level success stories of Year 13 students who were on one of the various pathways that make up the Discover Programme. Ultimately success in accessing university study is down to the hard work of the students who take part and it’s a rewarding part of our roles as Outreach Officers in the Post-16 Team to see so many young people we’ve worked with starting uni and coming to the University of Sheffield. We’ve had another great year helping our Discover Participants’ transition to university-something we’re proud of.
The Post-16 Discover Programme is one of our extensive widening participation opportunities we offer to students who have the ability and desire to go to university. It provides study support and guidance in addition to interactive taster activities and can ignite a real interest in a subject area. Very often it generates a desire to study at the University of Sheffield. The primary aim is to help students in schools and colleges make an informed choice to decide if university is for them and what they’d enjoy studying.
Fast forward a few weeks and it’s time to begin a new cycle of the Discover Programme, which starts with Year 12 recruitment. We’re looking for applications to the six pathways within the programme, three of which are career specific: Discover Law, ADOPT (Dentistry) and SOAMS (Medicine). For students who wish to continue learning about different subjects from a broader area, we have Discover Social Sciences, Discover STEM and Discover Arts & Humanities. Beyond the subject and university experience that we offer, students completing the programme can be given an alternative offer to study at the University of Sheffield if they complete their pathway with us.
Discover can be really rewarding for students regardless of where they choose to study, but one of our challenges during the recruitment period is ensuring our key messages are received by the students we’re targeting. To help with this we’ve been working hard to produce two videos. We want students to understand what the Discover Programme offers and how they can benefit. We channelled our creative sides and produced two animated videos:
‘What If’ thinks about how you might plan your future if you had a crystal ball.
‘Discover Your Future’ is for those interesting in applying to the Discover Programme and helps applicants to decide which pathway they should choose. Using the same characters from the first video, students will explore the different pathways open to them.
We really hope school and college coordinators find the videos useful when promoting the programme. They deliver the key messages quickly and effectively with some humour along the way and we hope the students like them!’