“Imagination” is an innovative and exciting collaborative outreach project offering experiential learning opportunities targeted at the “most able but least likely” pupils in relatively isolated communities along the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coasts. The initiative is the brainchild of three National Networks for Collaborative Outreach: University of Hull Federation of Regional Colleges for Engagement (FORCE), the Lincolnshire Outreach Network, and Higher York.
Delivered free of charge, it aims to raise aspiration, attainment, and progression for pupils through:
- developing their self-confidence and capacity to change through their own efforts;
- encouraging creativity and imagination, allowing pupils to share their dreams;
- enhancing pupils’ digital skills using a range of technologies and controlled social media;
- exposing pupils to new experiences and environments, fostering a “can do” attitude.
Using a range of technologies and secure social media, as well as face-to-face sessions, pupils are encouraged to broaden their horizons and develop their skills by looking at ways in which they can actively improve their local community.
Participants complete a set of challenges to produce a piece of physical or digital evidence for each session; task briefings are delivered face-to-face or via podcast. There is regular interaction with the Universities’ Student Ambassadors, and feedback and sharing online. The project is run as a point-scoring game; each task carries points for completion, with rewards, both group and individual, to be presented at the culmination of the project in December 2016.
As well as raising aspiration, the project also covers other curricular requirements, including:
· social, moral, spiritual and cultural development · personal and social development
· employability and career-planning skills · active citizenship
Pupils should have developed greater self-esteem, pride in their own town and the confidence to improve it, and an awareness of the wider world beyond their everyday experience. This will help them have a clearer understanding of what career they might like to pursue, and how they might achieve it. They should also have acquired enhanced ICT, presentation and team-working skill, as well as problem solving.
* As well as being a practical tool for storage of project work, the rucksack was chosen to represent the journey we want our young participants to take, and that by doing so they will broaden their horizons