The NLA and The City Centre Learning programme is coming to the end of its first year of full-time delivery. In January we started with our first pilot sessions at NLA and we finish the year with a complete offer up and running across our two sites.
Since January 2017 we’ve welcomed 1300 pupils from 52 schools in London and the home counties.
We’ve welcomed a huge range of students to our Built Environment Careers workshops and Model talks at The City Centre and at New London Architecture. We’ve engaged pupils in KS3-5 with the most popular year group attending our sessions being year 10. Engaging students with construction careers at this stage means we have a real chance to influence the decisions they make.
The schools that have visited us are 95% London state secondary. We are delighted to be reaching our target audience of state schools in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Camden, Newham and Barking and Dagenham proving we are offering what teachers working with pupils in these boroughs are looking for.
A huge part of this success is down to the fact that our programmes are free, we are proud to have established a series of workshops accessible to all. To coincide with London’s Towns: Shaping the polycentric city we are developing an outreach offer with a new session called ‘What’s Going on in My Borough?’. This complements the sessions that can be booked at our centres introducing pupils to the built environment of their own area.
Our extracurricular workshops for young people complement the schools programme as they allow the teachers we’ve worked with to promote further opportunities for pupils who’ve visited us. Many students who subsequently book our workshops first visit or hear about us through their school. We now have 300 students on our mailing list with 180 of them having attended a course, tour, networking event or workshop over the last year.
Over the last year, as well our special Summer Academy and LFA Pop-Up projects, we’ve run 10 Saturday workshops themed to the whole spectrum of disciplines including structural engineering and landscape architecture. Each workshop has been run with a different NLA member partner including Sir Robert McAlpine, The Landscape Institute and Broadway Malyan.
Many of the young people who attend our courses then go on to enquire about work experience with the companies they have met. So far we’ve had 4 students do placements at AHMM and 3 more apply for placements with Sir Robert McAlpine at Broadgate. We link up all of our volunteers with the students who attend our courses so that they can make follow up enquiries whenever they like. We know that students applying to university have found the experience of our courses useful mentioning us in personal statements and getting advice at our recent portfolio surgery event where we saw several familiar faces from Saturday workshops.
Our programmes would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors which include AHMM and BLP Insurance.
Watch this space for more updates from the Learning team in 2018 as we build on this success with new projects and opportunities for young Londoners to engage with and be inspired by their Built Environment of their city.
By Lettie McKie, Head of Learning