18 Mar My first day as a Sutton scholar
My First Day as a Sutton Scholar…
Blog written by Alesha, Year 8 Young Reporter.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside a university? I did until I got the opportunity to go to Warwick University as a Sutton Scholar. An opportunity to meet new people from all over the West Midlands for a launch event hosted by the Warwick Sutton Scholars Team.
On the 18th of January 2020 (Yes a Saturday!) a group of five Year 8 students from Whitley Academy had our first day as Sutton Scholars to explore what would be entailed for our two -year journey at Warwick University.
9:30 am – the year 8 scholars arrived from across the West Midlands to meet up for the launch event. It was a frosty, cold morning and everyone couldn’t wait to get started.
After a quick refreshment break and registration in the open space of the modern Oculus building, we headed upstairs to a large lecture theatre with red as dominating colour. It was spacious enough for our whole school to sit in. Around us were our parents and our teachers.
The day started with some short ice- breaking activity by Maria Kehr- the Sutton Scholars Co-ordinator of the project in which parents stood up as groups of similar length of travelling time to Warwick University. We were amazed to find out that there were families whose journeys took more than an hour to get to the University.
We were then taken onto a short introduction of what the agenda of the day would entail including some taster lectures of some subjects and a tour of the University’s Main Campus for our parents and us all.
Did you know that the Sutton Scholars Programme has worked with 5 leading universities since 2013 and 3340 students have taken part in the programme until now?
Maria also explained some outcomes of the project and how the programme could help us in the future including developing our confidence, team building ability and skills to help us on our academic journey later on in life. She also told us a few soft skills for life such as: resilience, communication and meeting deadlines, to name but a few.
Soon we were divided into different groups with students from various schools who would be our new friends and work with us to complete projects for the 2 year programme. We then joined our Sutton mentors and went into different rooms . These mentors will be working with us for the 2 year programme.
There were 12 groups of the brand new Sutton scholars.
As for our group, we played a few games and shared facts about us to our fellow students. One of the games was to think of the weirdest common thing between you and your team. One of the teams chose eating grass! This was just one of the fun activities planned for the morning!
Soon after we met up for a snack with our parents and teachers, ready for the tour of the main campus. We couldn’t wait!
When we stepped outside, the sun was out and the frosty morning had turned into a warm winter early afternoon.
First we went out to see the nearby shops on the university campus which are available to the public and the students. One of them was named Rootes where hot and cold meals and snacks were served . Soon we were taken to the Student Union to see community events on offer for students.
There was even a bank and a pharmacy!
We then headed out again to view the dormitories available for students , especially first year students. It was just like a little village with shops, houses and of course residents! Students got to stay at the Campus for their first year, before moving into their own places nearby explained one of the university student mentors. Can you imagine leaving home to live somewhere completely different? Another mentor explained to us that you soon got used to it while you adjust yourself to a new living environment with your fellow students.
Our next stop was the Library which opened for the students 24/7. I’m sure there are students who stay in the Library very late into the nights to write their assignments or even their dissertations! So sure☺ The Library was really spacious and there was even a library cafe. Can you believe it has a million books?
After a quick look around we headed back out towards some of the partnering business buildings where there were beautiful fountains outside.
Soon it was time to head back for a few more activities. Our team got a taster lecture of Film and TV. We learnt about the London 2012 Olympics and watched a short clip about the UK. The next activity focused around identifying things very typically British. A few of our correct answers were: the East Enders television theme, the Royal Family, the London Eye, Westminster and the British countryside ( of course ). Finally we were briefed all about how lessons would work in University and the difference between a sophomore and a lecture and that the auditorium we were in, in the morning was actually a lecture hall!
After the fun lesson we walked back to the Oculus lecture hall for a goodbye from Maria and a few key dates for our next meetings. I can’t wait to meet my mentors and new friends again…
Thank you for reading this blog and don’t forget all the hard work you put in will always be rewarded, even if it’s just the small things. There are always opportunities out there for you, you just need to find them.