At St Chad’s College, we believe that living in a diverse and inclusive community is an important aspect of our lifelong learning and education. We want to ensure that able students from all racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds are able to benefit from opportunities at Durham University.
As part of our commitment to Widening Participation in higher education, we are working with a number of schools in the North East and North of England to offer a series of School Visit Days. Each of these days aims to give up to 100 pupils a taste of student life at St Chad’s College at Durham University.
In the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years, we welcomed approximately 260 pupils from eight different schools, including
- Huddersfield New College, Huddersfield
- Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington
- St Christopher’s CE High School, Accrington
- St Thomas More Academy, North Shields
- St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School, West Yorkshire
- The Grangefield Academy, Stockton
- Sacred Heart RC High School, Fenham
- Park View School, Chester-le-Street
The day begins at approximately 10:45am with a Welcome and Introduction from our Principal, Dr Margaret Masson, and our Vice-Principal and Senior Tutor, Dr Eleanor Spencer-Regan. Then, pupils have a chance to meet some of our current students who will introduce themselves, tell the visitors a little about College life, and lead tours of our College buildings and facilities. After a quick packed lunch in our Cassidy Quad, pupils will be taken on an hour-long Durham University Campus Tour by trained Student Ambassadors. The Campus Tour will end at one of our lecture theatres where pupils will engage with between 4-6 academics from around the University through a series of 20 minute long ‘mini lectures’, designed to give pupils an experience of large group teaching in the university setting. The day ends at approximately 3:30pm.
Matthew Moran, currently studying General Engineering at St Chad’s College, visited with his peers from Huddersfield New College in 2018. He says
‘Coming to St Chad’s on the School Visit Day showed me that somewhere like Durham University and St Chad’s existed and that studying there was something I could do. I remember sitting in the Quad in awe of the place but I also remember the homely feeling of the College. The visit allowed me to see the student community at St Chad’s in its daily flow and also how friendly and welcoming the College is. It assured me that St Chad’s and Durham University were open to students from all kinds of backgrounds.’
What our visitors say:
‘The quality of the mini lectures and engaging nature of the lecturing staff involved was such that students loved them! Feedback on the way home was extremely positive. The spread of subjects was good and it did exactly what we wanted in showing our pupils how study at undergraduate level differs from A Level study.’
‘The student guides were excellent and the tour offered a great chance for our students to get an informal chance to get the Durham student perspective.’
‘Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. They liked the tour of St. Chad’s, especially the student facilities like the library and study-bedrooms. All lectures were well received… the lecturers impressed the students greatly and many have asked follow up questions about the topics discussed.’
‘The students involved in the tours were excellent. Pupils really enjoyed learning about the various aspects of university life and the courses available. Many have asked to see the prospectus on returning to school… Pupils have been asking questions about the University and the answers have encouraged them greatly to see Durham University as a viable route for them in the future.’
‘[The day] was exactly what we wanted and the feedback from our students who attended has been nothing but positive. They really enjoyed the day and it has got them thinking seriously about their HE choices and about what Durham University and St Chad’s has to offer them.’
Whilst most of our visitors are in Year 12, we can also offer bespoke School Visit Days for younger year groups. If you and your pupils would be interested in participating in one of our School Visit Days in the 2021-22 academic year please contact Dr Eleanor Spencer-Regan on firstname.lastname@example.org