More than 140 students from across Devon were brought together at a conference, designed to inspire them in their choices for the future.
The group, who were all aged 14-16, were selected to attend the Ted Wragg Trust Aspire Conference for their academic potential.
The event, which was organised and hosted by West Exe School, was free for students of the Ted Wragg Trust. It consisted of talks from inspirational speakers and workshops from world renowned universities and leading post-16 providers.
The exciting day was an opportunity for the students to explore future options available to them, get a taster of what it would be like to study at a world leading university, and meet like-minded peers from different schools.
Moira Marder, Chief Executive Officer of the Ted Wragg Trust said, “I felt really privileged to be asked to open the Aspire Conference; it is exactly what our young people need to inspire and enthuse them as they think about options for the next stage of their education and then future careers.”
There were talks from professionals across a wide range of fields, including architecture, medicine and sports physiology; in addition, there were opportunities to speak to different universities and further education providers. In the afternoon, each student had the opportunity to attend two one-hour workshops from providers, including Exeter College Reach Academy; Exeter Maths School; The Maynard School; Exeter School; the University of Oxford, Social Sciences Division; the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter Law School; and the University of Plymouth Medical and Dental School.
Ved Jan Kumar, a student from St James, said: “The Cambridge workshop really gave me a sense of what life is like there; it has always been a university that I’ve wanted to go to, so this was really helpful.”
Molly Rice, from Queen Elizabeth’s School, on the higher education talk she attended, said: “I liked it because it felt friendly, interesting and informative.”
Adil Macfarlane, from St James School, attended the further education workshop and said: “I enjoyed the different visualisation of the maths problem, comparing it to noughts and crosses, really interesting!”
Mia Evans, KS4 Reach Coordinator at West Exe School, who helped to organise the event, said: “The team here have worked really hard to make sure this day was a success. We’re thrilled that students have found the day helpful, informative and inspirational in preparing them for the next stages of their lives. We’d like to say a massive thank you to all involved in the conference, especially our speakers and workshop providers.”