01/03/2013, by CLAS

Taster and revision sessions for schools

Aristotle once said, ‘For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.’  In March, CLAS are launching a set of mini taster days for Y11 and Y12 pupils in local schools. We kicked off with a Mini Languages taster on 27 February, giving pupils the opportunity to experience life as a German or Spanish student for a day.  This included the chance to attend a lecture, have lunch in the Student Union and learn a language from scratch.

A second languages taster day, this time focussing on French and Russian, is running on 14 March.  Included in this is a campus tour and a Serbian language taster session as well as lectures on ‘Contemporary France’ and ‘Reading and Writing: The Russian Tradition’. Even if pupils do not currently study Russian, this taster day is very accessible as many students arrive at UoN to undertake a Russian and Slavonic Studies degree as beginners in the language.

In March we are also delighted to be delivering taster days in Media and Communications and also in American Studies. These days provide local young people with the opportunity to get to grips with what may be less familiar areas of study and start to make the connections with their current curriculum. Sessions such as ‘John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War’, delivered by Dr Thomas Tunstall Alcock, will appeal to pupils studying History, while the more technology-savvy will be interested in the ‘Communication and Technology’ workshop delivered by our Comms expert, Dr Eva Giraud.

CLAS are also keen to support modern foreign languages revision which teachers will currently be doing with their classes ahead of summer examinations and, to this end, we are delivering three days of intensive study sessions in French, German and Spanish. Whole days are dedicated to revision for AS and A2 pupils, while GCSE pupils have half a day per language to revise grammar, vocabulary and brush up on exam techniques.

Events such as these are very popular and have a positive impact on pupils’ engagement with and interest in these subjects when they return to the classroom. Previous events have elicited such feedback as:

‘It has showcased other aspects of learning languages at further education that I didn’t know existed.’

‘It’s mainly made me interested in going to university, which before I wasn’t as keen on. I know I‘d really like to study abroad now.’

‘It has helped me decide which language I want to take for A-level and inspired me to study a language in my free time.’

Further details are available from the CLAS Widening Participation webpages, or from our Widening Participation and Outreach officer, Tara Webster-Deakin.

Posted in Outreach