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Children and outreach

Outreach: helping children to achieve their potential

 Helping children - outreach

Your gifts help us to run a variety of outreach activities for local children. We inspire them to enjoy school more through homework clubs, arts projects, and student volunteering programmes. We also run demonstration sessions for different subjects, and invite kids on to campus to see what University is like.

Inspiring kids to reach further

Chemistry outreach with schools

Nick Barker

Chemistry Outreach is the name for our programme with primary and secondary schools, and it’s all about getting children and young people interested in science, building their confidence, allowing them to make informed decisions about their futures.

We host visits to campus and visit schools, running different experiments with different age groups in the teaching laboratories in the Chemistry Department and our visitors receive tuition and guidance from academic staff and graduate students. Within no time at all, we see school pupils from all backgrounds managing to do really technical, complicated things with skill and confidence.

Kids visiting chemistry labsBy the end of a day with us, eight-year-olds tend to be buzzing and covered in food colouring, wanting to take the slime they have made home with them. Fourteen-year-olds try not to look as proud as they feel at having removed caffeine from tea, and older students can see, first hand, that Chemistry is an important subject that makes the world better.

Putting people out of their comfort zones, making them face a really technically challenging task and struggle with it for a while before succeeding is such a healthy experience for anyone. It often leaves people thinking better of themselves and their abilities.

In this context, Chemistry is just a vehicle for something more. Nearly 1200 children worked for a day in our labs last year and I have often been privileged to see some wonderful things: children realising they’re good at science after all, the PhD student who saw a future as a teacher, and teachers who feel reinvigorated and proud. I think it works just as well in both directions: the academic staff members enjoy working with children too and many of them are very good at it indeed.

Small sums of money help us to do one-off, bespoke activities with young people. They can pay for food and drink, so that young people can experience the formality of giving a presentation and eating with "important people" or it can pay for travel so that we can take young scientists to see places and meet people that they would never have even known existed in places they have never seen, such as London, for example.

Your donations help us to bring young people to a truer realisation of their abilities and of the beauty and relevance of science. Thank you for your support.

Your donations help us to bring young people to a truer realisation of their abilities and of the beauty and relevance of science. Thank you!

Nick Barker
Senior Teaching Fellow 

Sparking the imagination

Art for kids

“What can the arts do for children and families? Many things: art stimulates creativity, sparks imaginations and broadens our horizons - all while having a fun time! We're the education officers at Warwick Arts Centre, and because of Warwick donors like you, we are able to offer a fantastic programme of creative learning. We create post-show talks; construct one of the country’s most comprehensive cinema programmes for Into Film (the national schools film week); run weekend Family programmes, school projects, half-term activities, theatre groups, and so much more!

We're ambitious for the kids we work with: we want them to have a challenging, fun time, and a sense of pride in their own achievements.

The best moments are seeing someone flourish in front of you as they achieve something they didn't think they could. Those moments of inspiration can make all the difference in a young life.

Boys dancingAn example of the programmes we offer is 'Boys Dancing', where we help boys and young men to recognise that dance is not just for girls; it’s a great mix of spontaneous physical and mental activity which requires physical strength and gives a great workout. We work with youth across the West Midlands, through their first experiences right to apprenticeships, training and professional practice. It’s all about challenging preconceptions and sparking that moment of self-belief.

Thank you to everyone who makes this and so many other projects possible. Please keep supporting us - it makes all the difference!"

Those moments of inspiration can make all the difference in a young life.

Clare Mitchell and Carly Mee,
Education Outreach Officers,
Warwick Arts Centre

Inspiring under-privileged families

Holiday camps

Kids Camp - Kidz Kamp - mixture of messages and drawings from the kids
“For over 10 years now, volunteers at Warwick have taken a group of about 25 children from a local school on a short holiday camp. This camp is funded by Warwick donors, as the school and parents couldn’t fund it by themselves. It’s offered to every child in year 5 (the 9 and 10 year olds) so that no one is left out, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this is a completely unique opportunity for them.

For most of the children, this is their first time staying away from home – and for some it’s the first time they’ve ever been on holiday at all.

ChildrensThe project has helped over 300 children since it started ten years ago. Back then the holidays were on canal boats; these days we hire youth hostels and run games, crafts, team activities, and visits to local museums and educational attractions. This year the group stayed at YHA National Forest, just outside the village of Moira in Leicestershire, enjoying trips to an outdoor activity centre, the National Space Centre and a local farm, where they got to meet the animals and have a go at feeding them.

I don’t know if you can remember your first trip away from home, or if you ever had a singular moment when you realised that life had more possibilities than you imagined – but our big take-away message to children on these trips is that the world outside their environment is vast and interesting, and that education can offer them a ticket to it.

It’s fantastic to bring history and geography and other subjects to life for them, and it’s only a shame that we can’t do it for more children and for longer.

I would like to thank each and every person who makes these trips possible. You probably don’t know how much of a difference you are making in small ways every day – but you are. Thank you."

You probably don’t know how much of a difference you are making in small ways every day – but you are.

Kate Harper, Manager, Warwick Volunteers

Bringing history to life

More than just a visit to campus

"The Modern Records Centre at Warwick has an amazing range of archive collections which appeal to a huge number of people. One of our new school sessions is called 'Coventry Alive!' It's based on Coventry's history and we get local pupils to come in, look at the documents and research topics like 'Women at work', 'Rebuilding Coventry', and 'Coventry's Response to the H-Bomb'. They are really popular; kids like looking at the original letters and photos and seeing our ‘strong room’, and A-Level students get a special tour and introduction to archiving too.

We don't just give out history lessons: we encourage them to seek evidence and think for themselves. It also helps them to think ahead to higher education and to realise that universities aren't far-off imaginary or frightening places.

It's surprisingly moving to see children get so enthusiastic about the materials and it reminds us too why archives are important: archives hold the past and inform those who will shape the future.

We're grateful for every donation to the Modern Records Centre – your gifts are invaluable, and I would ask you to keep supporting future work here."

We try to help kids realise that Universities aren't far-off imaginary or frightening places.

Helen Ford
Modern Records Centre 

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