The Theory

Attainment and Learning

The increased emphasis on developing Widening Participation interventions that set out to raise attainment means that a consideration of knowledge and the school curriculum is essential. Engagement through the school curriculum with what Young (2008) describes as ‘powerful knowledge’ is critical for academic success but more problematic for students from non-professional backgrounds (Hayton, 2018). Widening Participation outreach activities can explore how broader fields of knowledge, often cutting across school subject boundaries, relate to the school curriculum and future careers. The NERUPI aims and objectives provide a sound basis for designing and evaluating subject-based interventions.

The active learning terms encompassed in the aims, objectives and learning outcomes of the NERUPI framework are designed to promote ‘critical pedagogies’ (Moore, 2012; Burke et al., 2017). These foster an interactive approach to learning and value the experiences participants bring to an intervention (Clegg, 2011). This is particularly important in the delivery of Widening Participation outreach activities, which actively set out to engage ‘contingent choosers’ from underrepresented groups in a culturally challenging environment.

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