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Brighter Futures with Wembley High Technology College at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

On the 26th June Future Foundations kick-started two back-to-back programmes for Year 8 students at the outstanding Wembley High Technology College. Over 100 students took part in the Bright Futures programmes at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, which has now run annually for 5 years!

In addition to building the confidence and leadership skills of the young people attending, the programme was designed to give a taster of university life and allow the students to consider their passions and what they would like for their own future. What with it being close to the end of the summer term, we also had the objective of making the most of being in Cambridge and having LOTS of fun.

The programme was course directed by Alex Bustamante, with operations support from Amy Mander.  Our Future Foundations coaches were Ella Simms, Michael Fox, Owen Bailey and Shane Franklin.

The objectives of the Leadership day were to:

  • Enable students to discover what university life could be like.
  • Encourage students to take personal responsibility for their futures; to be proactive in their approach to their studies and identify the future benefits of doing so.
  • Help the students to understand what it means to be a leader.
  • Communicate the importance of leadership and the future leadership needs for society.
  • Foster the belief that with gifts/talents comes a responsibility to use them for the better of others.
  • Open students’ minds to goal setting and equip them with time management skills.

Both programmes consisted of the students getting into teams they hadn’t worked with before, and it was a pleasure to see these students come together so quickly.

As well as enjoying experiential leadership tasks, the teams were put to the test of discovering Cambridge through a series of challenges and quiz questions. They also had the chance to raise their voices in the Big Debate session which led to some fantastic discussions around technology and how we come to care for one another in communities.

Teams reflected on their journey throughout the programme and the residential students had a chance to practice their newly learned presentation skills at the end of their stay with us. The young people commented on how enthusiastic and supportive their coaches were and the positive impact this had on their confidence in such a short space of time. The coaches were impressed with how far the students stretched themselves, straying far from their comfort zones and demonstrated valuable learning.

On top of brilliant students and passionate staff from both the school and Future Foundations, Fitzwilliam College really set the scene and many students spoke about their aspirations to study there one day.

Here are key statistics and personal quotes from the feedback given by the young people on programme

I feel more able to bring their ideas to life


I feel more confident than at the beginning of the programme


I feel they are more likely to take personal responsibility for their future


It was a pleasure to work with such engaged students who remained bright-spirited even when the weather turned against us on the Cambridge Challenge. These students excelled at setting goals for the future and we are pleased that each young person took on a 30 Day Challenge, which is now a tradition for Future Foundations programmes. Each 30 Day Challenge is set using the S.M.A.R.T. model and often reflect how we need to be in order to achieve our bigger goals. This can be anything from drinking enough water and getting enough sleep to starting a new practice such as yoga or creative writing. Anyone can take part in the ‘FF 30 Day Challenge’ and can be supported by our app which is available and free to use here.

It was amazing, I want to come back!


It was the best experience of my life, everyone was taught how to be brave and confident. It was the best!


I didn’t like it… I LOVED it


It helped me to understand what life is like at University”


I loved my experience as it was so much fun and I learned so much about teamwork and leadership


If you want your students to take part in a programme like this (a whopping 95% of students at Wembley High Technology College would recommend this programme to their friends!) get in touch with Future Foundations now