Citizens of the future gain life skills at Brunel


Thousands of Year 6 schoolchildren from across the London Borough of Hillingdon are learning invaluable life skills this month at Brunel University London as part of the Junior Citizen scheme.

The annual event, a partnership led by London Fire Brigade (Hillingdon), is being held at Brunel for the first time – with the stimulating learning environment of the university’s new STEAM Learning Centre, Inspire, being used to full effect.

3,790 children from 56 Hillingdon schools are each learning bitesize lessons in eight engaging scenarios, ranging from staying safe on public transport to how to react to a fire at home.

For the last 20 years, Junior Citizen has been helping children get more savvy in the months leading up to the move to secondary school.

“Hopefully, the children will realise that it is a big world out there, but there are ways to say safe – if they think and they follow instructions,” said Theresa Tausch, a teacher from Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, attending with a group of her students.

“When the children get to see what can happen, they go back and tell their parents, and it’s a knock-on effect. So everybody stays a little safer.”

Staff from all the partner services take part in the training – Transport for London, The London Borough of Hillingdon, The London Borough of Hillingdon School Nursing Service, The Royal National Lifeboat Institute and The Metropolitan Police (Hillingdon Division) – together with teaching staff from Hillingdon Life Education.

Inspire is a new cutting-edge teaching and learning facility that inspires and engages children from Key Stages 1 to 5 in science, technology, engineering, the arts, maths and medicine (STEAM) – areas in which the UK economy is crying out for more talent. It uses Brunel’s research and expertise as inspiration to deliver curriculum-linked and industry-relevant learning experiences.

Staff and students from Brunel and beyond are all working to make Junior Citizen run smoothly, with placement students from Buckinghamshire New University supporting the scheme alongside Brunel Volunteers.

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