Last week the Department of Sociology welcomed around 40 Year 12/13 pupils from local schools to spend a day at the department and gain a taste of university life.
The event was organised by the department’s Widening Participation and Outreach leads, Dr Teodora Todorova and Dr Andre Celtel, along with much-appreciated support from our excellent team of student ambassadors.
Following a lively lecture on Participatory Action Research (PAR) by Teo, the pupils worked in small groups to identity an area in their own schools or communities where PAR might be effectively employed. Some very interesting and important research areas where identified (e.g. mental health support, greater community inclusion) and all the groups grappled well with the potential methodological, practical and ethical issues involved in their proposed research.
Following lunch, the pupils were given a tour of campus, before enjoying a Q&A session with our student ambassadors. The day concluded with a lively debate on the Sociology of Education expertly hosted by members of the Warwick Debating Society.
The Department of Sociology has a long history of seeking to widen and promote access. Traditionally, it has played a leading role in the University in establishing and providing courses and modules accessible to non‐traditional students, and, via our 2+2 link, we continue to be active in supporting the Centre for Lifelong Learning, including working with teachers and lecturers from satellite FE colleges.
We also continue to be very active in our outreach programmes to local schools, through a mixture of school visits, one-off ‘Sociofest’ days, and a mentoring scheme and A Level student conference we host at Warwick. In fact, several of our new undergraduates this year have attended one or other of these projects in recent years – and, who knows, perhaps a couple from last week’s event will join us next year!