PUPILS from a Keighley school have been engaged in a series of events designed to boost their future aspirations.

University Academy Keighley (UAK) has taken the essence of its motto, "Aspire, Accomplish and Achieve", to give its students opportunities to sharpen their focus on options for when they leave school.

A cohort of students from years nine and 10 are involved in a programme with Queens’ College, Cambridge University, aimed specifically at widening participation with the Russell Group of top universities.

A UAK spokesman said: "Our pupils have been involved in workshops exploring many aspects of university and higher education from the academic to the practical, such as living away from home and student finance.

"Sessions have involved Skype conversations with current university students for an insider’s view of university life.

"The programme will support students throughout their GCSE and post-16 journey, as they begin selecting which universities and courses they want to apply for.

"In addition, all our students in year 10 have received one-to-one interview coaching.

"These interviews were arranged through the Ahead Partnership, and saw our students undergo mock interviews with employers from a range of backgrounds including digital media, architecture, recruitment, education and the armed forces.

"The interviews were a chance for students to develop their transferable skills, and helped them understand the importance of interpersonal skills and communication for the world of work.

"Each employer provided students with feedback to help them improve and equip them with a better understanding of what it takes to gain employment."

UAK’s Aspirations Programme this academic year has enabled its pupils to access an "experience day" at the school's sponsor – University of Bradford.

So far years seven, nine and 11 from UAK have taken part in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) activities at the Bradford campus, with years eight and 10 due to participate during the summer term.

The school spokesman added: "The programme has had a particular focus on girls' aspirations with activities aimed at female students.

"This term our year nine girls have been working with volunteers from the employment sector and the National Literacy Trust on a project called ‘Words for Work’.

"It aims to develop written and verbal communication skills for the world of work.

"Also, to celebrate International Women’s Day, UAK girls from years seven to 10 were given a careers aspiration presentation from Helen Illman, of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

"This highlighted the skills and roles available to girls in the region’s three key sectors – Digital, Manufacturing and Engineering.

"Our girls in year eight were invited to do a day’s work experience with academy staff, covering areas such as events and facilities, pastoral and community, science technician, administration and academy leadership.

"The girls were asked to review the job beforehand to say what their perception of the job was, then evaluate their day and see if they were correct with their perceptions."