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Published: 27 August 2014

Counting, climbing, creating – activity day for school children at the University of Surrey

The Department of Widening Participation & Outreach (WPO) at the University of Surrey recently hosted the Year 6 Transition Summer School from Reigate School, aimed at improving team-building, interpersonal and academic skills and to help with the transition from primary to secondary school.

43 prospective Reigate School Year 7 pupils from different primary schools visited the campus and Surrey Sports Park to take part in group activities, ranging from numeracy-linked campus tours - where pupils measured the footsteps and distance from the statue of Alan Turing to the other side of the piazza - to fencing and rock climbing.

As part of a government-funded scheme, secondary schools can bid for funding to run summer school activities over the holidays, for selected pupils moving up from Primary school. The WPO team has collaborated with a number of schools to support the delivery of these activities with schools from the University of Surrey Schools Consortium. It is part of their work to raise the aspirations and attainment of students from groups currently under-represented in higher education.

This day of activities gives children the chance to enhance their literacy and numeracy, confidence and team-building skills. It offers an ideal bridge between primary and secondary school, said Jane de la Rosa, Widening Participation Outreach Co-ordinator at the University of Surrey.

The visit offers younger students the chance to see and experience aspects of university life, for example, through the campus tour and speaking to student ambassadors about their programme of study and career opportunities.

This is the third event of this type that the WPO team has supported this summer - Esher High School students have also visited the campus as part of the programme, and WP Student Ambassadors have helped deliver literacy work with The Beacon School's Transition Summer School.