From Year 8 to Uni in six weeks: 90 local school children join UNIClub

Date 20.02.2019

Over 90 local school children, from four schools in Northamptonshire, will spend the next six weeks working with University of Northampton PhD Students, getting a taste of university studies, as part of the UNIClub programme.

The UNIClub programme connects postgraduate students from the University, with Northamptonshire secondary schools, to help prepare keen young learners, from Year 8 and 9, for the world of Higher Education.

As part of the six weeks of sessions, the postgraduate students take their passion for their chosen PhD or MA subject into the classroom to inspire young people. This year, local pupils will look at a diverse range of subjects including Gothic Literature in young adult fiction, digital and social connections, European literature, branding in cyberspace and collage images in painting. The programme partners with schools and academies from across the county, including Northampton Academy, Abbeyfield School, Manor School and the Corby Business Academy.

PhD student, Nour Zantha inspired the pupils with her studies into the use of collage images in painting.  The group of pupils from the Manor School looked at a range of art pieces created using collage techniques, during their visit to the University. Over the next six weeks, these students will look at the impact of colour, texture and materials used to create collages, and the way in which these materials can be combined to create a piece of art, which will then be assessed by Nour.

During their day on campus, pupils from Abbeyfield School began exploring the origins of Gothic Literature with PhD Student, Meriem Lamara. These pupils will spend the next six weeks exploring the genre, covering the origins of gothic folklore, and classic gothic tales, as well as looking at the modern takes on the genre with modern Young Adult tales, like the Twilight series.

Natasha Mycawka, Schools Engagement Lead at the University’s Changemaker Hub, which runs the programme with local schools said: “UNIClub is a fantastic initiative, connecting our PhD students with local schools, it gives our students the opportunity to work on their communication and teaching skills, boosting their employability skills while they study for a PhD. Based on feedback from schools, we know that the pupils benefit from the passion these PhD students bring to the classroom when talking about their chosen subject, and it really does inspire the pupils to get more involved in their learning and realise that going to university is an option for them.”