The successful Summer School programme at Plymouth Marjon University has moved online this year. The event has seen around 20 students aged 16-18 taking part in the sessions.
Taking place over four weeks in August, the programme is being delivered by Marjon’s Outreach team. The team offer support to Widening Participation students in local secondary schools.
The focus is on teaching students how to learn. This is a change from the usual format which includes an on-campus university experience. The aim is to equip the students with study skills they can apply to their learning at school, and to give them an experience of university life.
Kari Eilertsen, Marjon Outreach Officer and organiser said: “I’ve seen first hand how big of a difference the Summer School experience has on helping students make decisions about university. When we went into lockdown it became clear that our usual teaching and learning methods weren’t going to work.
“I wanted to make sure that we offered an experience that still helped to support students. They’re at a key moment in their lives and I couldn’t let the Covid-19 pandemic get in the way of their futures.”
Marjon’s Summer School has a specific theme each year. This year’s focuses on Education and Teaching degrees, where lecturers who teach on these courses have delivered virtual sessions.
These have been a mixture of live and pre-recorded, as well as the students being set a final project that incorporates their learning at the end of the programme.
Bethany, an attendee of the online Summer School commented: “I’ve found it hard not being at school during this pandemic, especially without face-to-face contact. The online Summer School has been so helpful, as we’ve had the opportunity to learn from Marjon’s lecturers.
“It can be challenging to understand online and written information about university courses, so having it explained to me and being able to ask questions has been beneficial.
“I want to work with children or be a teacher and the Summer School has given me the opportunity to understand my options better. The online sessions have been a great way to learn about university.”
The Outreach team have also used Student Ambassadors to deliver talks on life at Marjon. These students have been able to tell the Summer School attendees about university and what their course is like, which in turn develops their own skillsets.
Phoebe Holt, 3rd year BEd Primary Education and Student Ambassador said: “I worked last year’s Summer School and the experience was beneficial to the students who attended. When I saw they were moving online I wanted to get involved and try to help students have the same benefit.
“The transition has been good and having the opportunity to access drop ins and pre-recorded sessions has meant that it can fit in better with people’s lives. The fact that the students are able to integrate the experience into their day-to-day lives shows them what it’s like to be at university. That has been so positive.”
Interested in Marjon’s 2021 Summer School? Email firstname.lastname@example.org