Young Strathclyder scheme fosters love of learning

Pupils at Dunard Pimary School in Maryhill take part in an engineering session

A new outreach programme launched by the University of Strathclyde is engaging hundreds of pupils across ten Glasgow primary schools.

Under the ‘Young Strathclyder’ pilot, primary seven pupils are receiving in-school visits, while there are campus visits for those in primary six.

The pilot involves 88 student mentors, many who are from widening access backgrounds, who will deliver subject related, fun learning activities to around 850 pupils at Annette Street Primary, Chirnsyde Primary, Cuthbertson Primary, Dunard Primary, Glendale Primary, Oakwood Primary, St Benedict’s Primary, St Patrick’s Primary, St Rosa of Lima Primary and St Timothy’s Primary.

Learning opportunities

Pupils will be rewarded throughout their learner journey and the initiative is designed to raise awareness of higher education, support attainment, and offer learning opportunities for young people.

 The scheme operates during normal class time and an annual Graduation Celebration in the University’s Barony Hall will celebrate the pupils who’ve completed the activities.

This summer pupils can also take part in one-week discipline-specific ‘Accelerate Summer Challenges’ across five to eight different subjects, spanning all four Faculties.  Subjects offered include an introduction to Marketing and Business, where pupils will take part in interactive activities, as well as engineering task to create a ‘nanogel’ and design a new product. Pupils will also be offered an introduction to computer programming and learn what makes a good teacher.

Coordinated by the Access, Equality and Inclusion Service, the strategy aims to involve staff and students from across the Faculties and Professional Services and builds upon the University’s previous primary school programme, the Glasgow Children’s University.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Strathclyde, said: "

As a socially progressive university, Strathclyde is committed to opening up higher education opportunities to everyone with ability, regardless of their circumstances.

Young Strathclyder offers our young people a wonderful opportunity to develop new skills, explore the world around them, and inspire them to consider further study at college or university level and the world of work.

The programme’s launch event saw 22 student mentors deliver fun learning activities to primary seven pupils at Glendale Primary, and a visit to Dunard Primary school followed.

Dr Stephanie McKendry, Deputy Director Student Experience, said: “It was fantastic to see the first events of our new, flagship widening access programme, Young Strathclyder. The children and the mentors worked brilliantly well together and both groups were inspired and enthused. 

Going forward, we hope to make these learning opportunities available to pupils in more schools, to expand provision across the learner journey and to work with a wide range of Faculty and Professional Services and Strathclyde students to design and deliver activities.

A ‘Young Strathclyder’ logo has also been created by two BA Hons Business students, while other Strathclyde Business School students have contributed to business-related learning activities.