Youngsters sign up for ‘Newington University’

A taste of university at Newington primary school

Young learners have taken up a university challenge at Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate.

Children from all age groups signed up to the school’s own Newington University for a series of diverse and fascinating courses that they had chosen.

They made their selections from a prospectus that was drawn up with teachers pitching the courses they planned to deliver during a week of broad lessons.

The subjects on offer included marine biology, fitness instruction, gardening, conservation, art and the work of illustrators, estate agents, travel agents, photography, dance, paramedics and fashion design.

Pupils were split into Key Stage 1 and 2 groups and within that the age ranges were mixed – so children from the ages 4 to 7 years old, and those from 7 to 11 years old worked together.

Children also had the chance to explore craft and haberdashery, dentistry, creating large murals, construction and building a structure from wooden pallets, learning how to handle creatures like snakes and geckos, plus a range of beauty treatments including manicures, pedicures and hair care and styling.

Teacher Dani Jamieson co-ordinated the Newington University 2019. She said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for all of our children and it gives them a real insight into the possibilities that lay ahead in the world of university and eventually the world of work.

“They show versatility as they work alongside new children and new adults and they learn many new skills. We offer a range of vocational courses – they learn about the knowledge, skills and attitude required in order to thrive in that career.”

Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said the university week raises aspirations for children and encourages them to look to university as their next stepping stone when they leave secondary education.

He said: “The courses are so popular and our children have the chance to determine what subjects they are interested in – just like they will when move on to higher education.

“The university week also encourages their development of working together in different age groups, co-operation and collaboration, and it is a great boost for their self-confidence too.

“Our staff work very hard to create and deliver a strong suit of courses that are challenging and fun and which demand our pupils to explore learning pathways they may not have encountered which is excellent for their educational development.”