During these difficult times our dedicated teams are working around the clock to continue looking after our young people. To facilitate social distancing, our office based support staff will be working from home wherever possible and can be contacted using the numbers on our Contact Us page. We are still reviewing all referrals, offering placements where relevant, and planning for young people to move into our homes where it is safe to do so. Despite the challenges we all face during these testing times, we are committed to supporting you and our young people.
Our pupils have been able to visit the University of Cambridge for a second day of activities designed to help looked-after children enter further and higher education. On Wednesday 19th February three pupils participated in a University Explore Day for 12 - 15 year olds. This was organised by the Realise Project Team at Cambridge and consisted of a day of fun activities and information for aspiring students. It was held at the Student Services Centre led by university Ambassadors who helped to make everyone feel at home. Children learnt about what university life is like and how different it is from school. Students spoke about their experiences of getting into university and what their daily lives are like. Participants were able to ask questions and discuss a variety of issues relevant to them. The highlight of the day was a 'hands on' session with two representatives from the very famous Footlights group at the university (a group whose alumni have included some very eminent actors and actresses over the last few decades, including Ali G, Monty Python, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie). Pupils got into groups and prepared an impromptu comedy sketch which they then performed in front of a small audience. Despite their nerves Oracle pupils rolled up their sleeves and embraced the opportunity for a few minutes of fame! Well done to them!
Stargazing at Robinson College, Cambridge University
Pupils from our Bedford School participated in a half term Stargazing Event organised by the Realise Project for Looked-after Children at the University of Cambridge and Institute of Astronomy. Pupils enjoyed a session of 'Human Bingo' based on What is a University? and a talk about how pupils who are 'care experienced' can be helped throughout their university careers, should they wish to attend after leaving school or college. Really helpful information on grants, bursaries and other packages available to them was also given. An interesting tour of Robinson College followed, which included a visit to the garden, social areas, and the awe-inspiring chapel. The party was treated to a tasty dinner, followed by a visit to the Institute of Astronomy lecture theatre and observatory. A leading researcher in the field, Matt, gave a talk about the solar system, planets and stars and everyone learned some really interesting space facts. The level of questioning from the children was really impressive. We were able to handle a real meteorite which had been whizzing around space and then came the most exciting part of all - viewing galaxies through a million-pound telescope.
A great opportunity for our young people and one which they very much enjoyed!