From anxiety to feeling overwhelmed, leaving home for the first time – whether to start a job
or to embark upon life at university – can be daunting.

For students at Park Academy in Hillingdon this all important step has been made easier
with the help of life lessons. 

Year 13 pupils have been taught how to budget, the importance of household chores, and
they have all mastered one basic recipe. A member of Brunel University’s widening access
team also popped in to familiarise students with tenancy agreements.  


Vanya Harris, Careers Lead at the Park View Road school, told the Hillingdon Times: ‘’The sessions focused on different aspects of leaving home or living independently. There were modules on what to do and what not to do when renting a university property or one owned by a landlord; how to successfully view properties and make sure they’re issued with real contracts. 

‘’Another session focused on finance and budgeting and how students should make the
most of their money and how to get through your university years without getting into debt
and how to pay bills. Then we did a session on home cooking and discussed convenience
foods and how unhealthy and expensive they can be. They also all made a plant-based
sausage, tomato and chilli pasta dish.’’

The students were also given workbooks and exercises to complete. Following the positive
feedback to the sessions, Ms Harris said all Year 12 students would have them slotted into
their summer term timetables.  

Ms Harris said: ‘’Once you start talking to young people you realise that we are preparing
them for the world with qualifications but not equipping them with the skills to leave home
and it’s important they are taught how to do this.’’