Participation Programme

Programmes for the 2021-2022 academic year

Information and sign-up details for the Virtual School's participation programmes for the 2021-2022 academic year (up to the Easter holidays) is available through the following link:

What is the aim of the programme?

The Virtual School Participation Programme offers programmes in social, cultural, sporting and leisure activities to promote achievement for children and young people growing up in care.

There is an emphasis on:

  • participation and motivation
  • engagement in positive leisure activities
  • opportunities to build self-esteem, self-advocacy and social skills
  • targeting literacy, numeracy and ICT skills
  • cultural visits and experiences

We believe that engaging vulnerable young people in positive activities and offering safe and trusted adults for the young people to talk to, encourages a belief in their ability to succeed. The wide range of activities offered gives our children in care a chance to experience enjoyment and success. The Virtual School Participation Programme can offer some children their first real experience of feeling motivated and, therefore, provide a route to achievement.

Where possible, we seek to link the activities that young people participate in to opportunities to gain awards and recognition, ranging from Arts Awards and Student Leadership experiences to Royal Yachting Association qualifications.

The programme also offers bespoke further education visits for year 9 and 10 students and higher education visits for year 11 and 12 students to local universities, giving young people an insight into life and study at University.

What type of activities can young people take part in?

Activities in the past have included:

  • animation
  • creative digital media
  • drama
  • film-making
  • ICT
  • Maths is Fun workshops
  • match day activities at Northampton Town Football Club and Saints Rugby Football
  • sailing, where students gained RYA level 1 and 2 qualifications
  • varied outdoor education activities
  • radio workshops
  • sports related learning
  • team building activities
  • theatre visits, positive activity days to London and residentials

Feedback from young people



"I have grown more confident, learnt things whilst doing the course like games video editing and physical activities. I have made friends and now realise that there are a lot of people in care and it's nice to meet them and understand each other. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to take part."

"It has been good fun and I have learnt a lot and it has built my confidence talking to different people and also to people in care, it is nice to speak to people who have been through similar problems. Thank you for having me at the group."

"Attending the programme gave me more confidence in speaking to new people."

"Shooting, directing and learning how to edit the videos was awesome."

"It is highly supportive and helped with exam planning and you feel like less of an outsider. I thoroughly enjoyed it all."

"I enjoyed the visit to University and learning how to write a CV."

"Windsurfing and paddle boarding were amazing."

How does a young person sign up for the programme?

If you require more information or would like to sign a young person up for a programme, please contact us at: