Local high schools get a taste of college life

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Pupils get a tour of the engineering workshop

Approximately 420 pupils from Thurso, Wick and Farr High schools visited North Highland College UHI Thurso campus last week to see what it would be like to study in a range of different subject areas.

The visits were arranged to allow pupils to find out about the learning opportunities available at North Highland College UHI as part of the school senior phase curriculum, learning opportunities which can supplement and compliment school study.

Pupils chose the three subject areas which most interested them and then had the opportunity to find out more about the subjects in a 30 minute taster session with tutors, and in some areas also with students and employers.

The visit was arranged by DSRL secondee Marie Mackay following consultation with the schools to bring the college, schools and employers together.  In the past, three different events, run by three separate organisations aimed at the same pupils were run within a short time frame; this one event replaces all three.  Through Marie’s secondment to North Highland College UHI she has been able to provide a more streamlined approach to the careers advice and support given to pupils in their senior phase at school.

Anne Frew, Assistant Director Learning and Teaching said that college staff really enjoyed meeting so many pupils, and being able to introduce them to the opportunities available at NHC UHI for pupils in the senior phase.  “Many young people are keen to leave the area to study when they finish school, but others would rather stay locally and this was an opportunity to introduce them to the wide range of progression routes, at all levels, available right on the doorstep, many of which could start while pupils are in their senior phase at school.  The schools and college are very grateful to DYW group for their support in providing funding for transport for the pupils without which this would have had to be a much smaller event.”

It is hoped that this will become an annual event between the schools and North Highland College UHI.

Speaking after the event, Thurso High School Guidance Teacher Ewan McElroy said, “The event was superbly organised. Lecturers were very enthusiastic and grasped the attention of pupils throughout the day. Overall it was a fantastic day and hugely worthwhile for pupils to get an insight into college life and what North Highland College UHI has to offer.”