Free resource helps school children dream bigger dreams

A new website of free resources to help teachers raise aspirations of primary school children has been launched today (Friday 4 November 2011) with the help of the Lord Mayor, Councillor Dr Sylvia Dunkley.

The Lord Mayor visited Windmill Hill Primary School alongside to launch the new free resource with the help of the teachers and children.

The website, which schools can access free of charge on registration, has been developed by local primary school teachers and the University of Sheffield to support work undertaken in schools on raising aspirations.

Deborah Fowler, Head of Outreach and UK / EU Recruitment at the University of Sheffield, said: "A number of recent reports on outreach work undertaken by universities suggest that we need to raise aspirations before young people start secondary school. If we leave it until Year 8 or 9 it may be too late for some children who have very little contact with universities through friends or family."

The online resources, which encourage young people to think positively about their future learning, are intended to support a number of topics including personal, health and social education and citizenship. The resources include printable activities, interactive games, links to other useful web pages and each theme has a page of additional ideas for teachers.

The resources include Campus Quest, a game that sets challenges based around an interactive map of the University's campus. Children can also picture themselves graduating from university using the graduation photo tool, where they can upload a photo of themselves and insert it into a graduation portrait.

Deborah continued: "They can be used very flexibly, dipped into or worked through in sections. For example, you could use the Campus Quest to link to work on maps and the Graduation Photo template to reward achievement at the end of a unit of work."

James Blackburn, 11, said: "I liked how much you could do on the website, all the posters and pictures are really cool. I want to go to university and study criminology, then be a policeman. If I went to university I'd join all the sports clubs."

Rob Tate, Assistant Head at Windmill Hill School, who was involved in developing the website, said: "I regularly see ten and eleven year olds who are bright and enthusiastic learners but who know very little about university because none of their family went. We produced these resources to help spark children's imagination and support teachers across the region who, every day, help young people to aim high and realise their dreams."

Lord Mayor, Councillor Dr Sylvia Dunkley, said: "We all need to work together to help our region's children achieve their dreams. Children in South Yorkshire are bright, talented and full of potential – this website will really help teachers to convey the fantastic possibilities that education can provide."

Notes for Editors:
If you are a local school interested in accessing the Dream Bigger Dreams free resources for schools, please email
outreach@sheffield.ac.uk or ring
Alison McKenzie, Strategic Educational Partnerships Co-ordinator on 0114 222 9878

To find out more about the University of Sheffield's work with schools visit:
Outreach and Access

For further information please contact: Amy Stone, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2221046 or email
a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk