This week at Citywise, we are proud to say that Bridge to College is back in action on site and that we have just finished our first week of phase two in the programme. Now, what is Bridge to College you may ask? Bridge to College was originally the brainchild of one John Lawlor, who you may or may not know as the Chief Scout of Ireland. It started in Oriel House, which is a part of Trinity College, and was a tool used to provide students with a look into some of the activities, skills and confidence needed when progressing to third level education.
The programme ran successfully for some 10 years in the same location, constantly growing in the number of schools involved in it, until eventually they wanted to reach some more schools that were not focused only within the City Center limits. To do this, they needed premises in an ideal location and so Citywise became involved, and it was agreed to trial a week and see what the responses were. Lo and behold, here we stand now!
Bridge has been running in Citywise for the last two and a half years, and even though lockdown struck, it still managed to run throughout online. Since last September we have been strictly in person to give the students the best experience they can take away from here. There have been a few changes made over the years with staff, but as of now, those who stand behind the running of the programme are Warren, Ciaran, Liam, and Cian. Warren and Cian are from the Trinity side of things, and Ciaran and Liam are Citywise staff.
There are fifteen schools involved in the Bridge to College programme at Citywise and in our first week that we just ran these included TCS, Firhouse, Mount Seskin, and St Mark’s. These students got involved in several activities throughout the week which all make use of collaboration, socialisation, and technology. This is done through breaking down the 32 students into groups of 16 and then dividing again into groups of four, so that everyone is with someone from a different school. The tasks they had to work on together included the likes of Taskmaster Day, in which they needed to complete eight different tasks to the best of their team’s abilities, and record and present their footage for the rest of the groups to see.
The programme is run over a course of four days and each day is designated to a specific end goal that the students need to work together to achieve. This ranges from things like solving riddles in their groups, to creating podcasts and infographics on topics that are of interest to them. The students are Transition Year students, so the programme does not disrupt their school schedules too much and allows them to explore more things outside of formal education.
So, we hope that you are now well informed on the Bridge to College programme and its work in Citywise. With the continued support and enthusiasm of the students and schools involved, we can only hope that it will continue growing to allow more schools to take part and expand the things that we can do with the programme.