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On Saturday 12 November, Highgate’s Community and Partnerships department relaunched its Chrysalis Accelerator Programme for the first time since covid-19 social distancing. The Accelerator programme works with our partner Virtual Schools to support children who have a social worker, including those in care.

This tailored programme is for children in Y7-12 from the boroughs of Camden, Haringey, Islington, and for the first time Waltham Forest. Accelerator takes place across eight Saturday sessions between November 2022 and May 2023. The project aims to build a culture of high aspiration and self-confidence, as well as narrowing the gap in educational attainment between children in care and their peers. It also endeavours to raise their awareness of higher education and prepare them for the world of work.

Chanel Noel, Highgate Community Partnerships Director, said: “This Accelerator programme for children who are care experienced and those with a social worker, centres creativity and development through robotics, technology, literacy, arts, and outdoor education. It also covers mindfulness and wellbeing, higher education, all whilst nurturing a sense of community between a group of young people who will benefit most from this additional focus and support. Many of our best programmes had to pause due to social distancing and the Covid-19 pandemic and we are most pleased that the Accelerator programme is making its’ highly anticipated return in 2022.”

Over the course of a year, pupils will cover topics such as robotics, creative writing, art, architecture, mindfulness, conservation, and the development of life and soft skills like first aid, orienteering, and the development of confidence. Young people will also join two bespoke university visits to the prestigious institutions of SOAS and King’s.