GHWY Collaborative Taster Day at Leeds College of Building 

The Southbank campus at Leeds College of Building played host to a Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) Collaborative Taster Day on Friday, 5 May. The event was aimed at the under-represented group of White Working-Class Boys, with the intention of increasing their awareness of Higher Education (HE), while raising aspiration through providing them with new and exciting opportunities within a college setting. 

43 Year 9 students from four secondary schools – De Lacy Academy, Leeds East Academy, Cockburn School, and Immanuel College – arrived at Southbank 1 ready to explore courses and careers relating to Health and Social Care, Creative Arts, and Construction.  

After an introduction to GHWY’s aims and objectives from Outreach Officer Will France (Leeds College of Building), staff and students from the four schools made the short walk across to Southbank 2 where they engaged in a carousel of activities.  

A talk on Health and Social Care careers from the University of Bradford’s Raizana Razeen was followed by an interactive session on Game Design from Leeds Beckett University’s Lewis Jones. The carousel was wrapped up by Leeds College of Building’s Fabrizio Sanna, who delivered a practical session using Autodesk Revit basic modelling to allow the students to understand the role of CAD in the Construction Industry. Each session offered the students the chance to learn more about the practicalities of courses related to each of the three sectors, as well as the routes into those courses. 

Leeds College of Building lecturer Ruth Brown then gave a talk on the difference between Further and Higher Education, as well as information regarding careers in the construction industry. This was really useful and provided the students in attendance with some invaluable advice about the future pathways available to them.  

Following that, educational theatre group 2engage performed a fantastic routine centred around dispelling the myths about HE. This was engaging and relatable, and offered an honest view on the benefits and drawbacks of university, and how best to approach the tough decisions young people face when deciding on their futures.  

The day was rounded off with a Q&A session with four student ambassadors from Leeds Beckett University. Coming from vastly different academic backgrounds, the ambassadors were a credit to their institution and honestly answered the questions posed by the Year 9 visitors. They provided great insight into the student experience, as well as the rich and varied array of options offered within HE. 

The students in attendance applied themselves to each activity, with many of them showing a real interest in the courses offered by the college, even requesting to be let into the workshops and use equipment! The collaborative working across the GHWY partnership led to another successful event, and particular credit must go to those involved in the running of each session, as well as the members of Leeds College of Building staff whose hard work behind the scenes allowed the day to run smoothly. 


Will France, GHWY Outreach Officer & Progression Officer, Leeds College of Building