University summer school pilot to inspire young learners
Year 11 pupils from across Wales are taking part in the first of a series of residential summer schools as part of the Seren Foundation programme.
The summer school, taking place at Aberystwyth University, is delivering a 3-day workshop on climate literacy, and how the arts and humanities and sciences can be used to respond to the climate agenda
Participants are attending talks by climate experts, and taking part in themed creative learning sessions, such as art workshops, yoga and film-making sessions.
The Seren programme is piloting collaboration with Welsh universities over the next three years and is available to state educated learners in Years 8 to 13 across Wales.
There are two levels to the programme: Seren Foundation, which is for those in Years 8 to 11, and Seren Academy for those in Years 12 and 13.
Organisers say the programme supports the brightest students – as identified by their schools and colleges, regardless of their background – to aspire, apply and achieve success at top universities.
Those who are registered for the programme are provided with guidance, support and opportunities to build their confidence and nurture the skills required to apply for top universities.
The initiative is funded by the Welsh Government as part of its Cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru to expand the current summer school partnerships and set up new pilots in Welsh institutions.
Pro-Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Prof. Anwen Jones said: “Aberystwyth University is delighted to offer the first in this innovative series of summer schools that will establish an inspiring pathway towards the future for all Seren learners.
“This year we will be grappling with one of the most unsettling of contemporary global challenges, climate change.
“We will do this in a unique way that bridges the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences, giving Seren learners the chance to include their own voices in this debate.”
Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “I’m committed to ensuring we support all our learners, regardless of their background, and Seren is such a fantastic programme which offers our brightest students experiences that enrich and stimulate their learning.
“Opportunities such as this summer school help to widen the horizons of our learners and provide them with interesting and challenging experiences to help prepare them for further learning.
“I’m keen to see how we can build on this pilot and expand the offer in partnership with more universities in Wales, and beyond, to increase the opportunities for our Seren learners.”
Designated Member Sian Gwenllian said: “We want to ensure that opportunities through the Seren programme support learners from the most disadvantaged backgrounds to have positive opportunities which support them to progress and thrive at university.
“It is of utmost importance that we learn from these pilots and continue to expand opportunities to more learners in the future, with opportunities across Wales.”
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I remember my taster for an arts foundation course in Connah’s Quay College over half a century ago, everyone wore civies, used first names and the teachers refrained from the use of violence against their pupils, I was shocked believe me. Then the grants committee produced the most slanderous letter from my headmaster and normal service was resumed…I eventually graduated from Aber with my Hanes Cymru BA some 35 years later no thanks to that apology for a high school I spent 5 years at…so enjoy the few days in a different world that will soon be yours kids…