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The University of Southampton
Schools and colleges

Learn with US Outreach Pre-16

Activity overview

In Years 6, 7 & 8, students will take part in university visits and taster sessions to raise their aspirations and awareness of higher education. From Year 9, students will be chosen to continue on the Learn with US programme to take part in; masterclasses, group projects and transitional workshops, building up to a Graduation from the Learn with US programme in Year 11.

In addition to events for students, we offer support for teachers, parents and guardians. We understand it is important to provide this advice and guidance to enable the Learn with US programme to be embedded within the school or college, and additional support can be offered in the classroom and at home.

Additional support is available for care leavers and disabled students.

What we offer for different year groups:

Year 6 - Introduction to university

STEM Carousel Day

Schools will be invited to send their Year 6 classes to attend a range of workshop/demonstrations, held on campus by PHD students or academics from at least 4 STEM related subjects. The participants will also hear about University life in general.

Transition support from Year 6 to Year 7

Schools will be offered support during the transition period from Year 6 to secondary school. This will take the form of presentations and workshops based around decision making, aspiration raising activities and general information, advice and guidance.

Books and Stories Scheme

Schools will be offered targeted literacy support for their Year 6 students as part of a project with Bournemouth University.

Young carers’ holiday activities

Young carers will be invited onto campus during school holidays to take part in aspiration raising activities

University visits

Whenever possible, on request, we will offer individual visits to Year 6 classes who are studying a specific project and would benefit from some input from the University of Southampton.

Year 7 - Exploring university

University visit

A half day university visit and an introduction to the differences between school, college and university, while exploring the university campus and working with our student ambassadors.

In-school workshop

An interactive workshop, aimed at raising awareness of higher education by looking at who goes to university and what studying at university looks like.

Year 8 - What is university like?

University visit

A one day visit with a carousel of subject taster sessions, for academically gifted students. The taster day offers a range of sessions from different subject areas, to provide a range of new and exciting experiences, and assist students in making their GCSE option choices.

In-school workshop

An interactive workshop focusing on the routes into a career using the ‘Career Game’. This session explores career pathways and study options post 16 and 18.

Year 9 - Careers

University visit

A one day visit during which academically gifted students will explore their own career aspirations and gain a better understanding of the pathways to higher education. At this important transitional point in their education, students will learn about the importance of their GCSE and post 16 choices through interactive sessions on careers and entrepreneurship, subject masterclasses and the chance to deliver a presentation on essential transferable skills – competing with other schools to win the day’s competition.

In-school workshop

An interactive workshop exploring student’s aspirations for the future, looking at the benefits of studying for a degree and the types of careers a degree can lead to.

Year 10 - Research skills

Depending on geographical location, schools will be able to take part in one of the following university visits:

The Year 10 Challenge

A two-day multidisciplinary research project, carried out at the university. Students will be presented with an exciting research theme and a university mentor to take part in this intensive research project, which aims to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of research at university. Students will have to present their research portfolio, poster and oral presentation to a panel of expert judges made up of research and academic staff from the university. Parents will also be invited to see their children’s work and have a talk from university staff on supporting their child’s progression to further and higher education.

The Year 10 Choices Conference

A one day multidisciplinary visit to the university. Academically gifted students (15 students) will take part in a conference exploring change and choices. Current university students will share their stories about their own pathways to university and will support students in thinking about their own next steps. Students will take part in a range of subject taster sessions, as well as workshops on student finance, employability and making informed choices.

In-school workshop

An interactive workshop focusing on the different types of courses on offer at university and discussing how to choose the best course. This session reinforces the flexibility of a degree by looking at the different careers students could enter. Students will develop their research skills by using the university prospectus.

Year 11 - Next steps

University visit days

Up to 20 gifted and talented students can visit the campus during the Autumn Term to find out more about university. This half day visit includes finding out about options after Year 11, working and talking with current students, a tour of campus and an hour taster session. Taking place in the Autumn Term, these events and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to our Learn with US partners. For all other campus visit requests, please see our ‘Why HE’ bookings page, including school criteria.

As a partner school, your travel to the University is covered under the terms of our service level agreement.

Upon booking, you will firstly receive a confirmation email followed by your event pack at least six weeks prior to your visit. If you need further information, please email with the title ‘Year 11 Learn with US visit day’.

Parents Higher Education Advice Evening

This event is aimed at the parents/guardians of current Year 11 students to help them support their son or daughter if they are considering university. The evening is designed to provide up-to-date information on topics such as choosing a course, employability and student finance. It will give an overview of the application timeline through college and beyond and will be applicable no matter what university the student applies to.

In-school workshops


This interactive workshop looks at applying to college, the importance of extra-curricular activities and the transition from school to further and higher education. Students will produce an action plan enabling them to think carefully about their next steps after school.

Standing out from the Crowd

This interactive workshop focuses on student’s next steps after school. It looks at the UCAS application and personal statement process. We want to highlight the types of additional activities students will need to get involved with during Years 11 and 12 to help enhance their UCAS application.

Year 11 - Parents evening

This free event is aimed at parents of Year 11 students to inform them about the process involved with applying to university. During the evening we will be giving an overview of the benefits of Higher Education in general, how to choose a course, the application process as well as Student Finance and what help is available.  Although this event is intended for parents/ guardians, students are more than welcome to attend. However, due to limited places being available, the event booking is limited to 3 places per booking and will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

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