Year 9

Our work aims to support the development of aspirations and educational attainment amongst students from under-represented and disadvantaged groups. To participate in our activities, students should be in state schools/colleges and meet one or more of our targeting and eligibility criteria.

We are currently offering a range of On-Campus, In-School and Virtual activity. Keep an eye out for our annual Family Futures event too!

Targeting and eligibility criteria

Surrey Stars

Surrey Stars is an in-school and extra-curricular programme for your free school meal students. Take part in a number of workshops and activity days that embed our Aspirations Programme within your school timetable.

Surrey Stars is an embedded programme of aspirations workshops and extra-curricular events from the University of Surrey. Your students can take part in a selection on in-school activity in addition to being invited to attend exclusive summer holiday programmes.

Surrey Stars is available to students eligible for free schools meals in Years 7, 8 and 9. All students participating on the programme will receive a welcome pack in addition to invitation to extra-curricular activities.

To register for Surrey Stars, nominating teachers can contact for further information.

Aspirations Programme

Our Aspirations Programme offers teachers to build your own workshop that is tailored for your class' engagement and development. There are five themes, from which you can select multiple 30-minute topics that best suit your aims. 

The five themes include;

  • Higher Education
  • Education Pathways
  • Careers and Employability 
  • Developing Skills
  • Wellbeing

These one or two hour sessions are perfect for off-curriculum or drop-down days. These sessions can also be delivered virtually through Google Classrooms, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Recommended packages for your Year Group are also available. 

To request our Aspirations Programme please contact us at

The Higher Education sessions we can deliver include;

  • Higher Education myth-busting
  • Introduction to university
  • Design a university
  • Life at university
  • Student finance
  • Accommodation
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Support at university
  • Student life

Education Pathway sessions we can deliver include;

  • Post 16 routes
  • Post 18 routes
  • Choosing your options
  • Goal mapping
  • Apprenticeships
  • How to make decisions
  • Next steps after school

Careers and Employability sessions we can deliver include;

  • Careers routes and your career pathway
  • Understand Labour Market Information
  • Explore Careers - An introduction to
    • Health and Medicine
    • STEM
    • Creative Industries
    • Digital
  • Interview skills
  • Presenting yourself
  • Preparing for work experience

Developing Skills sessions we can deliver include;

  • Revision
  • Preparing for exams
  • Budgeting
  • Time management
  • Being your own ambassador

Wellbeing sessions we can deliver include;

  • Dealing with exam stress
  • Resilience and wellbeing
  • Mindfulness

In-School Subject Workshops

Our in-school subject workshops offer your class a hands-on, curriculum linked one hour session. Your students will hear from WPO Staff as well as our current University of Surrey Student Ambassadors.

Our in-school activity has been designed to be delivered safely within your classroom. We will discuss arrangements with you following your booking request to ensure that our sessions complement your timetable and environment. For further details about how our workshops remain Covid secure, please read our policy below. 

To request any of our in-school subject activities complete the online booking form here.

Session Outline | Students will learn about how different species adapt to survive in their environment and be challenged to think about how humans might evolve in the future. There may also be a chance to speak with subject specific Student Ambassadors virtually to talk about evolution in action, specifically the issue of antibiotic resistance prevalent in society today.

Key Outcomes | Students will be able to apply their prior knowledge of evolution by natural selection to the human species and consider what our evolution may look like in the future. Students will develop their presentation skills as they feedback their ideas to the rest of the group, supporting their ideas with evidence about how our environment is changing and how this may impact on how we adapt as a species.

Gatsby Benchmarks | Meets benchmarks 4 and 7.

How to Book | To request this in-school activity complete the online booking form here

Session Outline | In this workshop, students will discover the fundamentals of product design and marketing. They will become budding entrepreneurs by creating their own innovative product and pitching it to the rest of the class!

Key Outcomes | Students will understand some of the basics of business and design and will develop their problem-solving, analytical and presentation skills.

Gatsby Benchmarks | Meets benchmarks 4 and 7.

How to Book | To request this in-school activity complete the online booking form here

Session Outline | How can we use the arts to express thoughts and feelings? Students will experience the powerful impact of spoken word poetry, writing and performing their own personal pieces to help them speak out about important topics in an expressive way. (A longer 2-hour version of this workshop will be offered to coincide with national observance dates including Black History Month and Pride).

Key Outcomes | Students will develop their creative writing and performance skills., in addition to learning how poetry can be used in activism.

Gatsby Benchmarks | Meets benchmarks 4 and 7.

How to Book | To request this in-school activity complete the online booking form here

Session Outline | Blending science with engineering, pupils will be introduced to artificial intelligence and will be challenged to consider its current status and future potential. They will discuss the law and ethics behind artificial intelligence machines and will form their own arguments and present them to the rest of the class.

Key Outcomes | Students will develop their understanding of artificial intelligence and practice their problem-solving and presentation skills.

Gatsby Benchmarks | Meets benchmarks 4 and 7. 

How to Book | To request this in-school activity complete the online booking form here

Well designed and brilliantly conducted throughout the day

Teacher feedback