In SouthWest Wales, a ‘Reaching Wider’ scheme was set up as an initiative with the aimof advancing the participation of underrepresented members (target groups), ofthe community in higher education. The scheme collaborates with SwanseaUniversity to provide a variety of educational and aspiration nurturingactivity days for students of all ages6. The Reaching Wider team,over recent years, has collaborated with the Graduate Entry Medical Programmeat Swansea University to provide informative ‘taster’ days for local secondaryschools with the aim of raising awareness of medicine as a future careerthrough the medium of interactive educational sessions.
Thisproject is a product of the on going partnership between the Reaching WiderScheme and the Swansea Graduate Entry Medical Students. As a group, 5 medicalstudent ambassadors created and delivered an informative and educational ‘introductionto medicine’ day for Key Stage 3, Year 7 pupils. The pupils in attendance wereselected from a ‘target school’, which is situated in a community of lowersocio-economic status and has been identified as having significantly low ratesof pupils entering higher education.
This age group, of Year 7 pupils, wereselected to participate in the educational day, as opposed to older students,as it has been advocated by the ‘Who’s in health?’ campaign7 thatearlier involvement of an outreach programme within a students educationprovides better outcomes by improving the likelihood of continuing with highereducation. Furthermore, it was also felt on inspection of the current Key Stage3 curriculum, that the educational day would be suitable for this age group asit would supplement their school curriculum and enrich the students learning toenhance their scientific knowledge8 as well as promoting medicine.