Last month, Future Foundations ran a series of exciting Higher Education training programmes for over 100 students from Wembley High Technology College. The events were entitled, ‘Bright Futures’ and took place in Cambridge, making full use of the city’s links with academia, historic colleges and beautiful buildings.

For the majority of Wembley students this was their first ever taste of University and the experience was designed to raise aspirations, boost their self confidence and equip students with a toolkit of skills to lead themselves to success over the coming years and reach their full academic potential.

Both programmes were Course Directed by Owen and our Future Foundations coaches were Simone,  Amrit, Elizabeth and Laina, supported by Olivia as Operations Director.

The aims of the Bright Futures programmes were to:

  • Enable students to discover what they can study at university, tuition style and student lifestyle.
  • Encourage students to take personal responsibility for their futures; to be proactive in their approach to their studies and 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 come a responsibility to use them for the better of others
  • Open students’ minds to goal setting and equip them with time management skills

Bright Futures opened on Monday 20th June with a one day programme for 65 students based at Newnham College, an inspiring Higher Education venue set in beautiful grounds. The College was established in 1871 as one of the first women’s colleges and is still a women’s college, and the only undergraduate college with an all-women Fellowship.

Participants would recommend Future Foundations to their friends

95%

Participants feel inspired to achieve their full potential

93%

Participants feel more confident than they did at the beginning of the programme

93%

Participants feel excited and energised about their future

93%

Newnham is one of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge and during term time is home to 370 undergraduates, 285 graduate/postgraduate students, and about 70 academic staff. Over the years Newnham has attracted some of the world’s brightest and most talented young women and some of their prominent alumnae are household names, including Oscar-winning actor Emma Thompson, broadcaster Clare Balding, the Olympic rower Anna Watkins, MP Diane Abbott, Professor Mary Beard, authors Sylvia Plath and and Germaine Greer and ground-breaking scientific stars such as Rosalind Franklin, whose work paved the way for the discovery of DNA, and Nobel prize-winner Dorothy Hodgkin.

Following the one day programme Future Foundations’ staff stayed on in Cambridge to greet the second group of Wembley High Technology College students. This time a group of 40 gifted and talented Year 8 students joined for a two day, one night residential from Tuesday 21st– Wednesday 22nd June. Training moved across town from Newnham to Fitzwilliam College as participants had the opportunity to experience student living, staying in halls of residence, eating meals in the college’s dining facilities and exploring Cambridge in more depth.

I really loved this experience because it has boosted up my confidence and I had a lovely team who supported eachother at any time

This experience was amazing and allowed me to realise that i can do things that I didn’t first think I could

it was amazing, once in a while opportunity. Overall 5 *s!!! I loved it!

It was interactive and fun. It definitely increased my confidence and how I will look at my future

Fitzwilliam College began in 1869 as a non-collegiate institution, providing Cambridge education to undergraduates who were unable to afford membership of a college. Situated a short walk from the city centre, the College’s buildings span an impressive 200 years of architecture and have won numerous international design awards. Fitzwilliam is now home to around 450 undergraduates, 300 graduate students and 90 fellows

The college has a reputation for inclusion and academic excellence, with former pupils of state schools making up 67% of its first year UK undergraduates in 2014.

This is the fifth consecutive year Future Foundations has delivered Bright Futures training  for Key Stage 3 students at Wembley High Technology College and every year our staff observe transformational changes in participants self-confidence and ability to work together and step up to the challenges we present them with. The 2016 programme was no different with students reporting positive shifts in their attitudes towards leadership and goal setting skills with many saying that the experience has given them a level of self-belief they didn’t previously have and the inspiration to work hard to achieve their full potential.

It was a great experience, I learned a lot from this programme and I feel very lucky to be on this trip.

It was amazing as we learned to work together, never give up and be confident.

It was exciting and it allowed us to see our full potential and give us some insight of our future.

The future foundations programme was very beneficial and fun, it was learning something in a very exciting way.

Evidence that Early Intervention Helps to Set Aspirations

New research carried out by UCAS has shown that a student’s university options could be determined from as young as ten, following warnings that the most disadvantaged young people still face too many challenges when applying for higher education.

Data from the largest UCAS student survey of its kind suggests the younger that students decide they’d like to go on to further education, the more likely they are to succeed in acquiring places at top UK universities.

Children who know by ta young age that they’d like to go on to study at university were 2.6 times as likely to end up at the most competitive universities  than those who decide in their late teens, the report showed.

If you are interested in bringing Future Foundations training to your school please contact alice@future-foundations.co.uk to explore how we can help your students to reach their full potential.

 

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