University College

Which path will you take?

What is it? 

University College is a bespoke weekly careers programme which motivates, challenges, inspires and engages children in discussions about further education and careers with links to businesses, educational institutions and experts. It is an exploration of knowledge and skills for future success with links across the curriculum and with a key focus on holistic development, supporting the embedding of our school values and intentions – Independent, Honest, Tolerant, Responsible, Empathetic, Resilient, Ambitious and Cooperative. Children focus on one career, per half term, and through a project based approach engage in discussions with an expert before exploring the skills needed to succeed in that specific career. Through a series of progressive sessions (One hour per week) children build towards an identified end point to share with other children within the key stage and the expert or business they engaged with in the initial session. It has been developed following a successful pilot using North East Ambition career benchmarks. 

The children learn about a career in one of the seven faculties. These are: Digital; Construction, engineering and manufacturing; Catering and Hospitality; Creative and Design; Health and Science; Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care; Humanities. 


Our aims in delivering University College are that all children will:-

  • Extend possibilities – further increasing their knowledge about careers
  • Experience different places
  • Work with experts
  • Create links with other curriculum areas to deepen the learning experience
  • Be creators
  • Create high quality work to celebrate with the community
  • Present their learning/work/journey to external audiences – developing Oracy
  • Experience project based learning – critiquing work
  • Making links with T-Levels and apprenticeships


A programme of enrichment activities means that pupils can have rewarding experiences including diverse sporting activities, outdoor activities, languages, music and drama that go beyond primary National Curriculum. These meaningful experiences will benefit our pupils greatly, enabling them to discover new talents and learn new skills that they would not otherwise develop. 

Enrichment helps provide children with a rounded, culturally rich education through activities that enhance their learning. It gives children opportunities to try new and varied activities that may not strictly fit into the curriculum, but that develop character, resilience and motivation, and encourage them to pursue wider goals.

It helps to teach life skills that benefit children beyond the classroom, and can develop an appreciation for cultural and community issues, teamwork and social responsibility. Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has also found a link between enrichment and higher attainment in reading and maths.

Ofsted’s inspection framework emphasises the importance of personal development and extending the curriculum beyond academic achievement. It assesses schools on whether they:

  • Help children develop their interests and talents
  • Enable children to develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence
  • Teach children how to keep physically and mentally healthy
  • Prepare them for future success
  • Equip children to be responsible, respectful and active citizens

The premise behind University College is to create possibilities and open children’s minds to different careers. Links will be made to careers and further education through SMSC focus, visits and visitors with links to local businesses, companies and Educational settings. We aim to utilise community context within each strand and we have contact details to create links with different personnel and develop Civic Pride with links to faith and religion. Links will also be made to existing established clubs within the community e.g. Brownies, Scout groups, Dance, Martial Arts, etc. We aim to provide children with as many experiences to visit new places, speak to people beyond school and use equipment they may not encounter within the curriculum. 

How would it look? 

Students alternate between the faculties on a half-term basis. It takes place once a fortnight in the last session of the day on a Friday afternoon for 1 hour. All Recognition assemblies take place on a Monday (helps increase attendance) as do Enrichment activities on a Friday. 

Each term we will have an event which will motivate our students for our University College programme. The programme overview identifies which events will happen. In the first term, students will be asked individually what they would like to be when they are older. This is recorded and a QR code is generated. This is then put into a book which will be added to each year and their journeys are celebrated in Year 6. 

Staff are to work with their year group colleague to plan and deliver a series of sequential enrichment activities. A career progression document is provided  to support progression of skills and knowledge as children continue their career education throughout primary school. The first session will provide an opportunity for students to hear from an expert. We use a range of sources for expert contact, including Primary Futures, our own video resources and our own personal contacts. The discussion with the expert, will then provide a focus of the end point, which will be shared at the end of the half-term block. 

To support the planning and delivery of sessions, including the expert contact, we use Skills Builder. Sequential activities would be planned in the simple planning format , highlighting the aims of the session, the skills being used, resources needed, outline of activities, inspirational people and values. The progression document (Appendix B) provides links to curriculum maps and the PSHE objectives for Aspirations, work and careers, to support progressive knowledge and skills identification. On the overview projects have been identified to support curriculum coverage with a careers focus. These cannot be changed. 

Skills Builder also provides us with assessment tracking of children’s personal development. The overview  identifies when staff would carry out assessments. This can be done on an individual or group basis. All staff receive additional training on how to use Skills Builder. 

We also take part in national events such as National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week, which are identified on the overview.

Photograph & video evidence to be compiled and work produced to celebrate the work that has been produced. We will provide an opportunity for parents & carers to see this work through a job fair which will enable pupils to share their learning and experiences within that faculty and possible future job prospects.