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Updates from the Partnership Development Office about forthcoming outreach opportunities
Partner and KMPF Schools Bulletin
05 January 2021

Updates

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the first edition of the University of Kent Schools' Outreach bulletin of 2021. This edition of the bulletin comes following yesterday's announcement of a national lockdown and the closure of schools for this academic term and we, as a team, fully appreciate the impact this has on the schools we work in partnership with. We are working hard to ensure that our programmes complement remote learning within schools and offer the opportunity of additional support to your students and we will continue to provide accessible online and remote programmes during this time. Therefore below you will find details of our upcoming Undergraduate Virtual Open Day and another chance to attend our virtual information evening 'Is University Right For You?'. There are also details of our virtual Student Finance presentation with Q&A and the opportunity to meet our ambassadors, and further information about the new GES Degree Level Apprenticeship programme. For our KaMCOP-eligible schools there is an update to the Kent Succeed programme, for year 12s considering university who are unsure if it is right for them and finally details of the support available for students undertaking an EPQ project this academic year. All booking details and links can be found below but as always we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can contact a member of the team at outreach@kent.ac.uk.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with your school through 2021, providing support to your students through times which continue to challenge us all.


Best wishes,
Natasha, Jamie, Nicola, Francesca and Beth

Events and Activities

Undergraduate Virtual Open Day

Wednesday 06 January 2021 from 16:00-19:00

The University of Kent will be hosting an undergraduate open day to give students an opportunity to explore the facilities that Kent has to offer in a virtual capacity. There will be information on the following:

  • Chat to current students and lecturers
  • Get information on fees, funding and finance
  • Listen to a presentation about your course
  • Virtually explore the Templeman and Drill Hall Libraries and discover how their staff and facilities will help you through your studies
  • Virtually check out Kent's high quality academic buildings and specialist facilities
  • Take a tour around our accommodation; there's something for everyone

Students will need to sign up to this event individually so please share the link (in title) with any student who may be interested in attending. 

Is University Right For You?

Thursday 07 January 2021 from 16:00-17:30

We will be running another information evening on Thursday 07 January that will cover what it's like to study at University, the options open to students and what it will cost. This session (run via Zoom) is open to all students in Year 13 in schools or on Level 3 second year courses in colleges and their parents/guardians. There will also be an opportunity to hear from staff and current students as well as ask questions. As students will need to book onto this event individually, please share the registration form (linked in the title) with any Year 13 students/parents or Level 3 second year students/parents who may be interested in attending. 

Student Finance Live Presentation and Q+A

Thursday 19 January 2021 from 17:00-18:00

This live Finance Presentation with included Q+A covers the financial support available for higher education students. It directs students to further information, including how to apply for student loans and university bursaries and scholarships. There is also an opportunity to ask any finance-related questions and to speak to current University of Kent students. Students and their parents/guardians are welcome to attend this twilight session. As students will need to book onto this event individually, please share the registration form (linked in the title) with any who may be interested in attending.

The Succeed Programme (KaMCOP)

Updated Deadline: Monday 8 February 2021

The Succeed Programme (KaMCOP) is designed to get students thinking about what they might do when they leave school and whether university could be the right pathway for them. Students will explore the opportunities and challenges offered by Higher Education in a safe and inclusive environment, with the support of friendly and knowledgeable university staff and student ambassadors. The programme consists of four Saturdays and one three-night residential based on the University of Kent Canterbury campus. Each Saturday explores a different theme to take students through the key stages of deciding whether university is right for them and will take place in the format of online workshops on Zoom, and self-guided activities using Moodle. We encourage any Year 12 students within our Kent and Medway Collaborative Outreach Programme schools, who are interested, to apply (more information linked in the title). However, should the programme be oversubscribed, priority will be given to students who meet at least one of the specified criteria listed on the link above. There will also be the option to book promotional talks to advertise this to students who may benefit from taking part in this programme. If you would like to book one of these talks or to find out further information about Succeed, please email outreach@kent.ac.uk.

Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses (Year 9)

Held at 11:00-12:30 on Saturday 30 January, 13 February and 6 March 2021

The Royal Institution Online Mathematics Masterclasses are a series of workshops which are led by experts from academia and education who are lecturers at the University of Kent; they will be speaking on topics related to their research. They offer students in-depth investigations of topics in mathematics combining theory with interactive exploration. We will open their eyes to the world of maths and hope to inspire them to continue their engagement with the subject.

Teachers can nominate students who are in Year 9 in 2020/21 and are judged to have interest in the classes. We aim to challenge students who are well-motivated and curious about Mathematics and may well be inspired to carry on studying Mathematics beyond GCSE. We are keen to reach students for whom other opportunities may not be readily available. Students are required to join all three classes in a series. To request a teacher nomination form, please contact CEMSOutreach@kent.ac.uk.

Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses (Year 12 + 13)

Various times on Saturday 6 February, Saturday 27 February and Saturday 13 March 2021

Ever wondered how data science is used to fight disease? Or how the billion dollar algorithm behind Google works? Or whether pure mathematics and physics are as different as they seem? The Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclass programme opens young people's eyes to the diversity of mathematics. Throughout the Masterclass series, students will meet a range of speakers, giving insight into possible STEM careers. To find out more information about this opportunity, please follow the link in the title. Maths teachers can nominate interested students by emailing CEMSOutreach@kent.ac.uk.

GES Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship

The GES Degree Level Apprenticeship Programme creates new routes to careers in the Civil Service for young people. The Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship gives students the opportunity to work in a central government department or agency on some of the most important social, environmental and economic issues our country faces - whilst studying for a degree in economics at the University of Kent. To find out more information about this opportunity, please follow the link (in title) and share with any students who may be interested.

Online Literacy Support for Year 7 and 8

 

We are pleased to be able to offer a range of online English support for year 7 and 8 students. These include:

Online Reading Support - This activity connects student ambassadors with small groups of students (approx. 3) to read aloud together and to discuss reading content. This will take place via Zoom and a member of school staff must be present. This is suitable for students at all levels whose reading is below their expected level, but is not suitable for students with specific or substantial SEN needs. This intervention works best over a sustained period, such as 30 minutes or one hour weekly for at least six weeks.

Virtual Quest Project - This project takes students through the stages of creating a great narrative through the lens of a classic Quest story. It builds concrete writing skills, while encouraging playfulness and a love of story to ignite a passion for writing and reading. At the end of the project students will have completed their own story, and the best stories will be published on our 'Quest' blog. The resources are split into six 30 minute segments that can be delivered over a sustained period or condensed into a single morning or day. This is suitable for students working at all levels, though teacher support is required, especially for students working at the lowest levels or those with SEN needs.

Online Games Club - This is a series of playful interactive activities designed to improve year 7 and 8 students' confidence reading and speaking in front of others. This can be run for up to 10 students and will run regularly for up to six 1 hour sessions. The club will take place via Zoom and a member of school staff must be present. The activity is particularly suitable for students whose confidence engaging in class does not match their individual attainment, or those with high prior attainment whose literacy levels fall below their targets. It has also been shown to effectively support EAL students to build their speaking skills, as well as benefit students who experience anxiety about engagement in class.

If you are interested in finding out more information about any of the activities listed above, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk.

GCSE English Curriculum Support for Year 9, 10 and 11

 

We are pleased to be able to offer GCSE English support for year 9, 10 and 11 students. These include:

GCSE English Digital Campus - This online resource contains mini-lectures, tips and activities prepared by University of Kent lecturers and writers to support students preparing for their GCSE exams in English Language and Literature. There are three topic areas covered: Literature context (currently for students studying A Christmas Carol, but context for other texts could be prepared with prior discussion), Analysing Unseen Texts and Writing Creatively from a Visual prompt. Students can chose one topic, for an intervention lasting around 1 hour, or work through all three, for an intervention lasting around 3 hours. The resources are aimed at mid to high attainers, to stretch their understanding and support development of key skills. 

GCSE English - A Christmas Carol Context Workshops - This series of pre-prepared workshops is designed by University of Kent researchers for teachers to use with their students while studying A Christmas Carol. The workshops consist of recorded mini-lectures and related tasks, created to help students understand the historical and literary context of the story and of Dickens himself, with insights from our experts. It is suitable for mid to high attainers while studying the text for the first time, or as a revision tool. 

If you are interested in finding out more information about any of the activities listed above, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk.

Year 7/8 Da Vinci Challenges

The Da Vinci Challenges are the University of Kent’s virtual outreach provision for year 7 and 8 students. They are a set of three connected, interdisciplinary challenges designed to deepen students’ understanding of science and art, and the way that different subject areas interact. Moving through observation and biological drawing, design and engineering, and marketing - the three challenges ask students to look at the world around them through different subject lenses and to step into the shoes of a university researcher to create something new and exciting. By participating in The Da Vinci Challenges, students will build their creative and critical thinking skills, communications skills, confidence and, if applicable, teamwork skills. They will be introduced to The University of Kent as a partner, and to the diversity of higher education through our student ambassadors. The challenges have a competitive structure and winning entries can be published on our blog and social media. This activity is suitable for all prior attainment ranges. If you are interested in booking this event, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk. 

Year 9 University Life

This virtual one hour workshop is designed to answer the 'Who? What? Where? When? How?' questions about university. Participants are encouraged to reflect on possible reasons for going to university, what they could study at university, where they might live, and how studying at university differs from being at school. They will hear from Ambassadors about their experiences, and get to follow students on their journeys through the start of university life. The session is available now for bookings. If you are interested in booking this event, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk.

Virtual Debating Club

We are pleased to announce our six week introduction to debating course for year 9 and 10 students, and year 12 and 13 students. This short course, delivered by Student Ambassadors (current University students) and staff, will provide students with the opportunity to develop essential skills such as critical thinking, communication and creativity though fun and engaging debating activities. They will be practising their debating skills by learning how to construct strong arguments, and applying them in structured debates. Students don't have to be a confident speaker, or have very strong opinions; the only thing they will need is to be willing to learn and participate! The sessions will run through the Zoom platform. Please email outreach@kent.ac.uk if you have students who would be interested in signing up to this multi-school club.

Year 10 University Experience

Please get in touch if you are interested in the self-guided year 10 university experience. Students will have the opportunity to go on video tours of the campus, guided by current university students, as well as sample mini-lectures from University of Kent postgraduate students. They are thinking about life after COVID-19 and we'd like to challenge your students to do the same, and will be publishing the best responses on our Outreach blog. What do they think the world will be like after the pandemic? What do they hope will change? Please email outreach@kent.ac.uk to express interest or book this experience.

Year 9/10 Mind the Gap 

This online session will give students the opportunity to asses their progress and identify skills gaps following a period of time away from the classroom. Participating students will be encouraged to investigate the challenges, opportunities and personal attributes necessary to motivate self-directed study and will be introduced to a range of strategies to support the development of independent study skills. If you are interested in booking this, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk.

Sixth Form Foundations: Skills for Success

This self-guided activity is aimed at students entering year 12 and focuses on helping them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the challenges of sixth form learning. Taught over six sessions, this programme covers aspects such as motivation, organisation, time management, reflection and independent learning. Our intention is to help students understand their own goals and aspirations, and how their sixth form studies can help them to achieve them. If you are interested in booking this, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk.

EPQ Support (KaMCOP)

The University of Kent has a long history of supporting local students with their EPQ projects, drawing on our expertise as a research university and our experience of training new researchers. Now a team of Kent PhD students with a wealth of experience supporting EPQ students have put together an online resource to share their knowledge and help to develop the research skills crucial to an EPQ. The materials are designed to support and enrich the activities led by teaching staff in school, and can be used in a variety of ways. Presented in six sections, to follow the six major aspects of an EPQ project, we will cover the following areas: creating a research question, conducting a literature review, developing a methodology, collecting data, and evaluating your project. This support can include a visit to one of our University Libraries once wider circumstances allow. If you are interested in booking this event, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk. 

Year 12 Research Skills

This programme of research skills support is aimed at year 12 students. The programme will provide bitesize videos and tasks, accessible online, covering key areas such as referencing, constructing an argument, how to use academic sources, how to create a research tool and how to access an academic library. We feel this would work best with subject specific cohorts (e.g. History students preparing for their coursework). The content has been designed in order to support students who are beginning to conduct research for coursework and projects. If you are interested in booking this or have a specific cohort in mind, please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk. 

'Where Next' Sixth Form Talks

Our online 'Where Next' programme is now available to schools. The programme, aimed at year 12 students, consists of four sections: 'what do I want to do with my future', 'what do I want to do at university', 'how do I apply to university' and 'how do I afford university'. The talks have been pre-recorded by university staff and can be used in a self-guided capacity or played in the classroom. Please contact outreach@kent.ac.uk if you are interested in booking this activity.

To find out more about the University’s outreach provision, please call 01227 824149 or contact us using one of the methods below.
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