Students at The Ripley Academy have been shown what the future could hold for them with a trip to Oxford University and an inspirational talk about apprenticeships.
Students from years ten and 11 visited Oxford University where they toured the campus and visited Corpus Christi College.
They also met staff and current university students and took part in a question and answer session.
Chris Endacott, assistant principal at The Ripley Academy, led the trip to Oxford.
He said: “It was a great opportunity for some of our students to see what university has to offer and that it is a possibility for anyone from any background, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Oxford University.
“I hope our students came away feeling inspired and with more knowledge about university life to help them make an informed decision about their future when the time comes.”
Chelsea Waldron, 14, said the trip was extremely valuable.
She said: “I thought it was really interesting to find out about all of the different kinds of subjects you can study at university. Also I didn’t realise that there were so many different colleges at Oxford and how spread out it was across the city.
“It was an amazing experience. We went to the library there and I couldn’t believe how many books there were. I would like to be a paramedic or criminologist and I would like to go to university. This visit showed me that you can be from any background and still go to university.”
Cameron Houseman, 14, said: “I’ve never been anywhere like that before and I thought it was really interesting.”
As well as learning about life at university, students also heard about the alternative option of an apprenticeship.
Joanne Clements, from Chesterfield College, talked to year nine students about what an apprenticeship is, how it works and the different levels of apprenticeships that are available.
She said: “At this age the students perhaps don’t know too much about apprenticeships so the idea of me coming in to talk to them was to prepare them for the future and if they want to leave school at 16 then an apprenticeship might be an option for them. An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for some students as they can earn while they learn and a lot of them don’t realise this.”
Ben Payne, 14, said: “An apprenticeship is definitely something I would consider and it was interesting to find out more about them.”