Our first Primary FOCUS Week at IntoUniversity Leeds East

by Heather Laws

Primary FOCUS is an integral part of IntoUniversity. The week is packed full of exciting educational activities. It gives students the chance to immerse themselves in a chosen topic, learn about university and to reflect and develop their aspirations for the future.

We experienced our first Primary FOCUS Week across four London centres in September 2014 when we were still training with IntoUniversity. It was a fantastic experience for all of us at the Leeds East Centre and we couldn’t wait to run our first week up in the North. The preparation was done, the trips were organised and all we needed were our first class of Year 6 students.

During the week 12-16th January, we worked with a class of 28 Year 6 students from Little London Community Primary School. Their chosen topic for the week was Journalism and Photography. We started the week on Monday with four exciting carousels on camera angles, newspaper headlines, editing and reporting. The students showed excellent teamwork, listening and enthusiasm from the start and were a fantastic group to work with for the whole week. 

On Tuesday the Year 6 students got the exciting opportunity to work with a lecturer and three of her students from the University of Leeds who were studying Broadcast Journalism. They had great fun learning how to use television cameras and perfecting the art of interviewing someone live. 

The University Tree workshop on Wednesday was a chance for students to explore what they want to do at university. The prospectuses came out and students researched courses from aeronautical engineering to zoology. It was wonderful to hear about the students’ aspirations and goals for the future when they presented their ideas to the class. 

Our destination on Thursday was the Bradford National Media Museum. Students learnt about different types of cameras and got the chance to explore a unique photography exhibition by Joan Fontcuberta. Our visit to the University of Leeds on Friday was a chance for the Year 6 students to get a tour of the University with our fantastic student hosts from the University of Leeds and get a real feel of what going to university is like. The graduation ceremony on Friday was the perfect opportunity for students to celebrate their successes of the week and show their classmates, staff and parents what they had learnt through four excellent and creative presentations.

The week provided an exciting insight into different careers and gave students an opportunity to learn more about university life. They graduated from the University of Leeds on Friday surrounded by proud parents and staff. 

The FOCUS Week helped these 28 students to be proud of their achievements and explore their aspirations for the future.

“I feel proud and happy.” Year 6 Parent

“The best thing was when we did the posters because we worked as team and it was fun. I have learnt that you should be more prepared in the future and I have learnt that you should think about what you are going to be.” Ash, Year 6.

This blog post was written by Heather Laws. Heather joined IntoUniversity in August 2014 as an Education Worker on the IntoUniversity graduate scheme. Heather is responbsible for Secondary FOCUS at our Leeds East centre. 

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