News: Hepp in Primary Schools

3rd April 2019

Hepp’s UniHEroes programme introduces Y5 and Y6 pupils to the concept of higher education and higher-level skills, aiming to ignite a spark of interest that will raise aspirations and confidence. Our graduate interns and student ambassadors deliver classroom-based sessions using gamification and activities to keep pupils engaged, reinforce learning and support skills acquisition.

Some people may feel that primary school is too early for young people to be learning about higher education. However, career aspirations can become set in students’ heads at a young age, with them receiving unhelpful or even untrue messages from the media, family or friends that certain choices and pathways are not for them. One research paper has found that there is a “very strong predictive power of early intentions and expectations with regard to future university attendance” (Croll & Attwood, 2013). As early as Y7, many young people have already made up their minds about their progression and learning journeys: “children’s intentions at the age of 11 and 12 should be taken seriously…for some children, these are part of a coherent set of ambitions for the future…results show that early intentions are a good predictor of later participation and are almost as good a predictor as intentions expressed in the final year of compulsory schooling” (Croll, 2009).

As Hepp are currently reviewing our face-to-face primary provision, we’ve been wanting to share our resources more widely for a long time. And now they’re here (search Resources – Year Group – Y5/6)!

Y5 Session 1: What? – introducing pupils to what university is and where it sits within their learning journeys. It goes on to explore pupils’ options including choice of course, career and university.

Y5 Session 2: Why? – exploring the reasons why people may choose to go to university, looking at both the academic side (such as skills acquisition and career progression) as well as the fun side (particularly societies).

Y6 Session: How? – investigating the wide range of university courses available, emphasising the amount of choice in what degree they can do and the range of jobs available to those that have obtained a degree. The session also allows pupils to consider the qualities, skills and qualifications necessary for success in these jobs. We finish by getting pupils to begin to picture themselves following their educational journey to university and beyond, informing them about different progression routes and options.

Please let all your primary feeder schools know that these sessions are available for them to deliver to their pupils!  They’ll need to register for a login, but then they’ll not only have access to the UniHEroes lesson plans, presentations and activities, but also other primary resources created by the University of Sheffield.



Croll, P. (2009). Educational Participation Post‐16: A Longitudinal Analysis Of Intentions And Outcomes. British Journal of Educational Studies, 57(4), 400–416.

Croll, P., & Attwood, G. (2013). Participation In Higher Education: Aspirations, Attainment And Social Background. British Journal of Educational Studies., 61(2), 187–202.

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