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June 7, 2019

Y10 Gateways trip

Election success for Fearns pupils on Gateway project

THE magnificent seven from Fearns showed they knew how to plan and deliver a campaign.

Pupils from the school make regular trips to Manchester University as part of the Gateway Project, a scheme aimed at giving them a taste of what university life is like.

The seven Year 10 students were on their last trip of the year and they got to meet more mature students who had taken a gap year, or maybe worked for a few years while they decided what to study and so were in their 20s.

Against strong opposition from another four other teams from all over Manchester,who each brought 12 students, the pupils from Fearns were challenged to create a campaign, elect a creative team, a lobbyist and a spokesman.

Delta Eaton had previously been on an enterprise challenge with Burnley Football Club where her team came up with ways to boost female attendance at football matches - and they won through to the regional final.

She said: “This time we had to come up with a campaign to try to get our spokesman elected and the past experience I had with the football club helped. I was confident we would do well because we had strong candidates.”

A creative team of Delta, Shelley Newell and Chloe Shepherd,all 15, designed a colourful eye catching poster to promote their group’s lobbyist Harvey Wademan and spokesman Kalumn Ridgway.

They then presented in front of around 50 fellow students,and their campaign was picked as the best.

Having first visited the university in Year 7, when the size of the campus appeared scary to the new high school students, their return in Year 10 was all about making sure that university was something they realised was attainable.

Delta added: “In Year 7 I didn’t think I wanted to go to university, but now I am thinking about it.”

Careers Co-ordinator Mrs Bollard-Wilkes said: “The task was all about democracy, the Students’ Union and they had to write a manifesto. It was a great experience for the pupils and it was all about raising awareness for the pupils.

“This time they also learnt about budgeting and the mature students explained that although going to university seems expensive there are bursaries and there is funding support and you can get better jobs.

“It made them realise that anyone can go to university and if they are uncertain at the moment they can always do something else and then return to university at a later stage.

“This was the best Gateway trip I had been on and the group engaged so well with everyone.”