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What we do


Student and Parent Ambassadors support all of our recruitment and Widening Participation activity and are an integral part of our work, providing inspiring role models and an authentic insight into being a student or parent of a student.

In addition to the hundreds of students who support large scale recruitment activity such as Open Days, this year we have Student Ambassadors representing all four faculties and nine Parent Ambassadors who have contributed to the work of the Admissions & UK Student Recruitment Team.

Our work also provides Students access to flexible work opportunities, undertaken on campus which can both provide financial support whilst undertaking their studies, as well as giving them an opportunity to develop key employability skills which will be of huge benefit to them post graduation.

Community Engagement

Our work within the community offers the WPO team a unique opportunity to interact with young people and their families outside the school environment. It also enables us to have a different kind of relationship that is not centred on the educational curriculum or school capacity to engage and target students. It also offers an opportunity to engage with parents/carers.

Our target audience is predominately young people (approx. 4-13 years old) and their influencers (parents, carers, grandparents) and our aim is to create positive associations with University from an early age and provide those that influence the young people with some confidence to support them.

Using targeted interventions we engage with this group through interactive activities to raise aspirations and increase awareness of Higher Education and maintain a relationship and association with Sheffield Hallam University.

These include half-term craft activities in Sheffield and ad hoc events in the surrounding areas, inspirational lectures, Children’s University graduation ceremonies and family learning opportunities.

Pre-16 Engagement

The project works with the pre-16 school cohort to raise pupil aspirations and support progression to Higher Education. We deliver high impact targeted activity with pre-16 pupils who have the ability to progress to HE, prioritising work with schools in the South Yorkshire region with widening participation characteristics.

The work we have undertaken in this sector in recent years has meant that our Pre-16 work has won a HELOA Innovation and Best Practice award for this sector leading work.

So whether it’s a bitesize introduction to Higher Education, or being able to survive a zombie apocalypse, we now have a suite of tailored and progressive roadshows, from Years 7 -11, which can be delivered on and off campus, introducing the breadth of opportunities in HE and beyond.

Pre 16 Roadshows

Providing students with an interactive and informative session at their school or college about specific courses and subject areas.

What? Our roadshows aim to demonstrate the range of subjects or career opportunities in a particular course area and give students a flavour of what studying those subjects at university would be like.

Where? Delivered in schools and colleges

Subjects covered? Specific course areas

Find out more about our Pre-16 delivery.

Vulnerable Groups

The objective is to provide additional and targeted support to key vulnerable groups to increase progression to HE. We deliver a variety of activities and work collaboratively with The University of Sheffield and HEPP to achieve this aim.

We also work with regional Local Authorities, Sheffield Young Carers and the Foster Care Association as well as delivering with parents, carers and influencers and ensure that they are included within our activities.

Engagements are longitudinal and progressive, mainly from Year 10 to Year 13 and include ongoing mentoring sessions with small cohorts of students at specific Further Educational institutions. These students are then linked directly into our SHU Progress Scheme.

This project also involves working closely with the Student Access and Funding Support Team at SHU to ensure that we have a joined-up approach that supports transition into becoming a successful student at the University.

SHU Progress

Exclusive events and activities for students who face barriers to their progression into higher education.

What? SHU Progress offers support to specific students, including looked-after children or applicants with extenuating circumstances. This support may include interview preparation workshops and special consideration during the admissions process.

When? Throughout the UCAS application cycle

Visit the SHU Progress website for more information.

You will also be able access the latest information about our SHU Progress and our other work with those from vulnerable groups when our new blog page is launched in the autumn.

Collaborative working - HEPP, HEPPSY+ and NCOP

Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield (individually and together through HEPP - the Higher Education Progression Partnership) undertake outreach activities with schools, colleges and communities across the UK, to support progression and widen participation into higher education.

This is part of our commitment to open opportunities and transform lives, as well as part of government policy to widen participation in higher education, as overseen by the Office for Fair Access. Due to the focus of the government on the destinations of school and college leavers, Universities and other organisations working with schools and colleges are required to provide evidence of how their work can support progression, by tracking the individual students involved.

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) builds on the existing partnership of HEPP to create the NCOP consortium HEPPSY+ (HEPP South Yorkshire plus). This is a collaborative partnership between SHU, UoS, colleges, schools, local authorities and employers within the Sheffield City Region and has specific objectives to deliver targeted outreach activity with young people in year groups 9 - 14. The overarching aim is to increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education by 2020.

Alongside existing activity, the Universities, HEPP and HEPPSY+ will work together to design and deliver targeted activity with young people from disadvantaged home postcodes.

More information is available here.

South Yorkshire 'book clubs'

Sheffield Hallam University’s new ‘Book Club’ is aimed at supporting Yr 5 primary school pupils in South Yorkshire to develop confidence and encourage a love of reading.

Through a combination of a traditional book club and interactive, topic themed activities the pupils are encouraged to read aloud using a variety of different texts, identify and learn new words and discuss a novel including summarising what they have read at home, the characters motivations and predicting what might happen next.

The skills we are focussing on include spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, pace and fluency of reading, writing, group work, presentation, communication and confidence.

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