Accelerate Your Future – Year 9 Summer School

If you’re looking for a fun challenge this summer whilst experiencing a university campus, join us at our free Summer School!

Together with other Year 9 students from across Essex, you’ll be designing a brand new ride or attraction for Thorpe Park in a challenge designed by The Inspirational Learning Group.

Not only that, but you’ll be staying at the University of Essex, Colchester campus, for 3 days and 2 nights, finding out about what it’s like to be a university student and enjoying life on campus.

Learn new skills, make new friends and experience university life!


Challenge brief

Design a brand new ride or attraction for Thorpe Park where the queue line is an integral part of the ride experience. You can choose any theme for your new ride or attraction, but it must provide visitors with a ‘feel good fun’ adventure that they have never experienced before!

Complete the application form – click here!

What will we do?

Tuesday 26 July – Day one

  • Relax and get to know your team mates whilst taking part in games night and enjoying some pizza!

Wednesday 27 July – Day two

  • Create the ride of your dreams in the Thorpe Park Challenge
  • Show off your culinary skills (or learn!) with your flatmates at cook night
  • Sit back and relax at movie night (snacks included!)

Thursday 28 July – Day three

  • Put the finishing touches to your ride in the Thorpe Park Challenge
  • Find out what it takes to succeed in a high-energy workshop with a motivational speaker
  • Discover everything you need to know about going to university
  • Show off your Thorpe Park creation to your parents/carers at the celebration event

What will I learn?

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Organisation skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Independent living skills
  • What it’s like to be a university student!

What you need to know

  • Summer School is free for everyone!
  • Parents/carers will need to drop off and pick up at the University of Essex, Colchester campus
  • All food and drink is included (please notify us of any food allergies etc on the application form)
  • Deadline to apply is Thursday 30 June

Where will we stay?

You will stay in university accommodation along with student ambassadors from the University of Essex and supervised by Make Happen staff (all staff have enhanced DBS checks and are trained in safeguarding).

Everyone will have their own private room and bathroom within a flat with shared kitchen facilities.

How to apply

  1. Complete the application form – click here!
  2. Look out for an email from us to let you know whether or not you have a place.
  3. If you have a place, your parent/carer(s) will be asked to complete a consent form.

Places are limited and priority will be given to students:

  • Currently in care, or have experience of being in care at some point in their lifetime
  • From a military family (service children)
  • With special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Who live in a Uni Connect ward or Low Participation Neighbourhood (measured by postcode)