(c) John Cairns 

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to develop their potential.

In the last academic year at IUNK (2012-2013), 293 students attended Academic Support, 1185 were involved in various parts of the FOCUS Programme and 156 students had an IntoUniversity mentor or took part in our Buddy Days. Overall, we worked with 1276 unique students across the programme.

Academic Support
Primary and secondary students can visit our centre for Academic Support, where they will receive after-school help with homework, coursework, literacy and numeracy from our trained tutors. We also offer one-to-one support with GCSE, AS Level and degree options, coursework, revision, exam techniques, UCAS forms, interview techniques and gap years.

The school curriculum is broken up into disparate units that give little sense of the university experience of concentrated passionate learning in a particular area. The FOCUS programme offers young people a learning experience that aims to immerse them in a single topic or subject area. It includes primary school weeks and days during term time; secondary school workshops and Holiday Focus activities, weekends away and after-school Careers-in-FOCUS. All FOCUS provision concludes with a graduation ceremony with certificates and a celebration of the young people’s work.

Children and young people also visit the Centre daily during the summer holidays, to make carnival costumes and experience a range of creative workshops in preparation for the Notting Hill Carnival Procession.

Students on the IntoUniversity scheme may have the opportunity to join our Mentoring Programme. They are paired with undergraduates from the University of London who provide help with schoolwork, social and inter-personal skills, and confidence-building. The scheme provides young people with role models who have already made it into university, who encourage them to think about their future and raise their aspirations.

We’ve recently launched a new Corporate Mentoring Scheme which provides young people in year 13 with a mentor who is a graduate and is working in a high-powered career. The support continues throughout university, so that young people from our target groups (who are more likely to drop out than their peers) feel encouraged to continue with their study.

We also run a Buddy Scheme, which offers the benefits of the mentoring programme to a broader range of young people but on a smaller scale. Groups of secondary students work with university student volunteers to engage in hands-on activities from a specific discipline (past Buddy Days have focused on the topics of Science, Medicine, Law and Engineering).

Leadership in FOCUS
Young people often carry very negative ideas about themselves and their future potential. We provide leadership and personal development training that challenges negative self-perceptions among young people and encourages them to think expansively about the future and to take responsibility for their own goals.

Family Learning
This is an interactive course that aims to introduce parents to new skills and activities with their child, as well as to encourage them to help their child with learning in their spare time.

The expansion of IntoUniversity
The vast growth and success of our pilot IntoUniversity programme resulted in the expansion programme and the creation of IntoUniversity as a charity in its own right. Find out more here about our sister charity, IntoUniversity.

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