Engaging School Children and Raising Aspirations

Project Lead

Tracy Miller, Lecturer – Department of Marketing and Tourism

Project Team

Ruchi Aggarwal, Director of Business Development

Project Details

1. Primary School Activity

Click to view Year 6 Brand Advert 1 hour Workshop Resource

To engage 30 year6 pupils with an activity lasting 1 hour. These were pupils with lower aspirations, the aim was to inspire them to see their potential for HE. I devised a workshop on Advertising, incorporating:

  • explanation of what advertising is
  • examples of advertising which we explored and discussed
  • activity briefing
  • split into groups and given a Brand (chocolate bar/sweets – each team= different brand)
  • instructions that they are now the marketing team for x brand, and have to create a TV advertisement (in 30minutes)
  • provision of a filming room, with camera and operator

All watched the 20-30second adverts and received positive feedback.

2. Secondary School Workshop

Click to view Year 10 Brand Advert 3 hour Workshop Resource

Half-day workshop with 75 year 10 pupils, with objective to give taste of Marketing and lecture/seminar experience.

I adapted the successful Primary Schools activity, building in more complexity and detail to challenge the year 10’s, incorporating:

  • a mini-lecture on Advertising theory & practice
  • examples and discussion on role and impact of advertising
  • discussion and detail on important factors to be considered when planning advertising
  • same basic activity as above – brand given for which they need to create new advertising, but included more guidance on researching the brand positioning and previous advertising.


Impact & Success

Very successful!!

1. Primary School

Feedback from University’s schools liaison team was that the session worked very well; they were impressed with the activity, the engagement generated and the fun the children had whilst also learning.

Feedback from teachers was that it was engaging and impactful for pupils and teachers alike. A ‘hands up if ... ‘ poll at the end saw a marked increase in the number of pupils who said University was now of interest to them and would consider HE.

Activity was incorporated into other school activity days on-site, and adopted for delivery in Primary Schools, delivering more successful engagement.

2. Secondary School

A success at teaching the year 10’s something new whilst engaging and entertaining them.

Built further positive links with the school.

Feedback from Deputy Head:

Could I please send you a huge thank you for yesterday’s workshop you carried out with our Year 10 students. The feedback I have received from the students has been hugely positive. They had a great experience and learnt a lot about marketing and advertising and really enjoyed the whole thing. I also have to say how much myself and my colleagues also enjoyed it and we wouldn’t hesitate to ask you back again in the future”.

The Primary School activity was so successful and impactful that it was incorporated into other school activity days on-site, and ultimately adopted for delivery in Primary Schools by our Schools Engagement Champion, delivering many more successes at engaging pupils. It has also been expanded into a longer 2 week challenge for year 6’s, first trialled at Winterton Primary School. The school have given overwhelmingly positive feedback on this activity .

This inspired the further development of the idea and implementation for year 10’s at Secondary School, again receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback, and building further positive links with a local school.

Ultimately, this project has provided ideas and inspiration for the Schools Engagement Champion to use and expand, and to help build even stronger relations with local schools. It has also facilitated the improvement in aspirations for children in our local schools through the link/practice of theoretical and practical teaching . We are now being invited back for partnerships with these schools and this can only be of benefit and impact in the longer-term.

Next Steps

Continue to be used as a resource for engaging school-aged children (can be further adapted for other year groups).