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Children from primary schools all over Hillingdon Borough took part in an exciting range of activities designed to boost their interest in further and higher education.

The 300 Year 6 pupils attending the Aspire 2008 event at Uxbridge College visited the College's motor vehicle workshops, were taught music composition skills, and learned about film-making in the media suite. Other activities included first aid workshops, fitness testing, decorating t-shirts, and designing the perfect school. The finale was a dramatic 'Mad Science' show which included rocket launches, as well as performances of rap poetry and songs in sign language.

The children, aged 10 and 11 years, from 21 primary schools attended the two-day event at the College's Uxbridge campus in Park Road on 3-4 June. Workshops were run by staff and students from Uxbridge College, which has a second campus in Hayes, and from Thames Valley, Westminster and Brunel universities.

Mark Nettle, Director of Student Services at Uxbridge College, said: "Aspire 2008 provided a great opportunity for children not only to learn some vital skills, meet others and have some fun, but also to raise their aspirations for the future. The earlier children and young people start to feel that staying on after school leaving age is a real option, the more likely they are to do it - and we hope this has sown the seeds. We were delighted to host the event for the second year. Uxbridge College was recently judged to be 'Outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors, the highest possible grade, so we were delighted to open our doors to the students of the future."

Aspire 2008 was funded by Aimhigher, a government body set up to encourage young people to continue their studies at colleges and universities after school-leaving age. Uxbridge College runs a range of HE courses - which are equivalent to one or more years of study at University - and also works with its students to help them progress to university. HE courses at Uxbridge College include Business Management, Care Management, Computing and IT, Engineering, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, Teacher Training and Travel and Tourism.

Schools taking part in the event were: Bourne Primary; BWI CE Primary; St Swithun Wells; Hillingdon Primary; Glebe Primary; Ryefield Primary; Dr Tripletts CE Primary; Wood End Park Primary; Cranford Park Primary; William Byrd Primary; Yeading Junior; Hayes Park Primary; Charville Primary; Grange Park Junior; Belmore Primary; Brookside Primary; Longmead Primary; Cherry Lane Primary; St Andrews CE Primary; Whitehall Junior; Sacred Heart Primary.


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