A scheme run at Uxbridge College for around 300 pupils from 20 primary schools has won a London-wide award.

The Aspire scheme, which was run at the College in Park Road, Uxbridge and gave primary school children a chance to try out a variety of activities, was a winner in the London Education Partnership Awards 2009.

Aspire was chosen for a Cross-organisational Partnership and Impact Award, sponsored by the Mayor of London.

Aspire is dedicated to raising expectations and changing attitudes to education, in particular encouraging children and young people to consider taking higher education courses.

The two-day programme ran in 2007 and 2008 and will also take place this year. Last year each child took part in nine workshops including sport, health, media, music, engineering, art and British Sign Language.

Aspire was funded by London West Aimhigher and involved a range of partners including Hillingdon Improvement Partnership and Aimhigher, the University of Westminster, Thames Valley University, Brunel University and 20 schools in Hillingdon borough. In total over a 100 staff from the partnership were involved.

The awards ceremony was held at The Painted Hall, Old Naval College, Greenwich on 9 June and attended by representatives from all the partner organisations.

Kiran Rami, Head of Guidance & Information Service at Uxbridge College, said: Aspire is about making sure all the children see education as being fun and something which will help them aim high. Uxbridge College not only provides a stepping stone into work and university, but has a thriving higher education - degree standard - section all of its own in the shape of HNCs, HNDs and Foundation Degrees. Research by Aimhigher, which funded the Aspire programme, showed that young people decide about higher education before Year 7 - so this scheme targeting Year 6 pupils is timed just right."


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