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Primary students have a first-class week learning about university

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, visited children from a primary school in his constituency, who were on an IntoUniversity programme. As they prepared for their graduation ceremony at Birkbeck's Stratford campus, the children shared what they had been learning about during the week, and were able to ask him questions about his university experience and work as their MP.

Stephen Timms MP, with primary students learning about journalism careers and university options

On Friday 1 March, Birkbeck hosted an unusual graduation in Stratford, where the 30 graduates were all 10 or 11 years old. The group of Brampton Primary School year six pupils were celebrating the completion of a week-long programme, organised by IntoUniversity, during which they learned about journalism and then visited Birkbeck’s Stratford campus – University Square – to learn more about university life. Parents and teachers were there to see the pupils receive their certificates and experience a graduation ceremony.

MP for East Ham (Brampton Primary’s constituency), Stephen Timms, visited the children at University Square during the final day of activities, as they prepared to graduate, and said: “It was very interesting to hear from the children about the things they’ve learned and thought about this week. Age ten might seem very young to be thinking about university but, in fact, it’s a good idea for children and their parents to start finding out about the opportunities and benefits that university study can bring well in advance. I’d encourage adults and young people to take advantage of the range of events that Birkbeck offers to local people.”

The Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman, said: “We are delighted to have been able to host Brampton Primary pupils and parents and IntoUniversity at University Square. Our students often tell us that Birkbeck has changed their lives – whether they come to us from school, or – as many of our students do – as mature students, who want to give their careers a boost or fulfil a lifelong ambition. We hope that we will be able to welcome back both Brampton Primary pupils and their parents to our courses, public lectures and workshops over the coming years.”

Mariam Issawo Mohammed, age 10 (pictured, left), said: “This week I have enjoyed making posters about Kate Adie for our project. Did you know she was a journalist in different wars? This week has helped me realise that journalism is really important so that we know what is going on in our country. I go to IntoUniversity’s homework club too and I really enjoy socialising with people. The people at homework club really do help and the staff are really kind.”

Find out more about the events Birkbeck runs in Stratford, or visit the campus at the next open evening, on Thursday 21 March, from 4pm-7:30pm.

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