Case Study:

Next Steps South West: Articulate Your Way To HE

Workshop: Articulate Your Way To HE

About Them

Next Steps South West (NSSW) is a collaboration of fourteen partner universities and colleges throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. We are funded by the Office for Students (OfS). As part of the Office for Students Uni Connect Programme, we help young people navigate their own personal journey to higher education. Across the region, we deliver events and activities designed to educate and inspire young people aged 13-19 years old, and those that influence them, such as parents and carers. We are one of their core projects.

What We Did

Delivered a new one-day workshop to Next Steps South West target and non-target students in Year 12 in 5 schools and colleges in Cornwall and Devon.

“Articulate Your Way to HE” is an intensive one-day activity offered to Year 12 students to help them reflect on how they present themselves as they move beyond school and college into the world of higher education (HE) and careers. Through a mix of interactive games and discussions, students develop their understanding of how to present themselves in a way that will encourage future success.

The sessions discuss a toolkit of tips and ideas for helping students with their preparation for HE and careers, including:

  • Making a first good impression
  • Using positive body language
  • Speaking confidently and positively about yourself and your abilities
  • Telephone skills
  • Interview skills
  • Linking school achievements to future careers

Students work with a specialist tutor during the day, and develop their understanding of HE through discussions with student ambassadors, who support delivery of the workshop.

Delivery of the one-day workshop was piloted in 2019, building on the success of the Year 9 “Articulate” programme delivered from 2017. Following positive feedback from the five pilot sessions evaluated in this report, the workshop is now available as part of the NSSW 2019 -2021 provision.

The Results

  • 94% of students agreed or strongly agreed that – “As a result of today’s workshop, I understand the presentation skills needed to transition to HE study.”
  • 91% of students felt more confident in the communication skills that will help them transition to HE study.
  • 94% of students felt they developed skills they could use in the future.

The above results indicating that there is potentially a long-term transferable impact for participants on the barrier of soft skills, relating to both their future studies and career plans.

The analysis of data collected in the pre- and post-activity surveys for the Y12 “Articulate Your Way to HE” workshops indicates that these sessions had a positive impact on students who took part, and that the intervention supported participants in addressing the NSSW barriers of soft skills and Socio-economic factors. Overall, student feedback showed that participants had a positive perception of the workshop, with several noting that there was nothing they would like to see more of or know.

What They Said


“The phone activity helped me be more confident when using the phone.”

“Good development of soft skills, presentation and interviews.”

“It was good knowing more about university life and building/improving my communication skills.”

“It was helpful to start thinking about interview Qs and getting out of comfort zone.”

“Captivating through and through.”

“Good knowledge gained on what to expect in an interview.”

“I learnt more about uni life and how to cope.”

“I felt at first it would’ve been uncomfortable with new people but it went amazing and I found it a very safe environment to communicate and be yourself.”

“The information on body language really helped.”

“It was good to learn how to communicate on the telephone in a professional manner.”

“No one was forced to do anything they didn’t want to do. It was relaxed.”

“It was informative and exciting.”


“A massive thank you to you all for organising and providing the one-day Articulacy workshop last week. I have been really impressed by the whole process from booking through to delivery of the workshop. The workshop seems to have been a really positive experience for the students, many of whom appeared very reluctant to take part at the start of the day but left with beaming smiles and a clear sense of achievement at the end! The one or two who didn’t feel able to continue after break were quickly replaced by willing volunteers (word having got around amongst the students about how good the workshop was).”

NSSW In School Coordinator from QE Academy Trust

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