Student aspirations have been further raised following a visit to Oxford University, where they were able to sample lectures and campus life there.
It was an early start for some of the students and staff of St John Bosco as they embarked on a journey south to Oxford, where they met up with Miss Hopkins: a former member of the English department, friend of the school and Oxford graduate.
Miss Hopkins was delighted to be able to show staff and students around Oxford where she studied for her degree in English. We were able to enjoy an open topped bus tour of the city, learning about the fascinating history and culture of the city. At the Pitt River museum we saw a fantastic collection of artefacts from around the world including shrunken heads from South America and Dinosaur bones from the Jurassic age. We ended the day with a meal at a local Italian restaurant before returning back to our hotel to ride out the impending storm and prepare for the following day at the University.
We awoke to a clear morning following a stormy night. With a hearty breakfast inside of us, we made our way to University College: the oldest college in Oxford. There we were met by Jane: our guide for the day, who did a super job in explaining the customs, history and traditions of the university.
Most importantly, Jane explained what Oxford tutors are looking for in the admission process. We were also interested to find out what makes Oxford and Cambridge distinctive from other universities in the world. This was followed by a question and answer session where Jane dispelled some of the myths surrounding the admissions process, giving our students more confidence in applying. We were then invited to join current undergraduate students and tutors for lunch in the formal dining hall. This provided further opportunity to find out what life is like at Oxford university.
After Lunch we were given a guided tour of the college and grounds. Highlights included the college library and the famous statue of Shelley. Next, we visited another of the Oxford Colleges; St Peter's, where our guide Laila, a second year Theology and Philosophy student gave us further insight into some of the weird and wonderful clubs and societies that are available. These included surfing, rowing, underwater hockey and quidditch to name but a few. It was interesting for the students to experience the contrast between the two colleges, emphasising the distinctive nature of the different colleges that form Oxford University.
Following the all important photo opportunities, we ended our visit to Oxford and the university with a trip to Miss Hopkins’ favourite ice cream parlour before setting off for home.
This is the first of many such trips, giving students an insight into higher education enabling them to make informed choices and raising aspirations. Miss Murphy is already researching and planning a trip to Cambridge later on in the year.
Students enjoyed this opportunity, especially those in year twelve already considering applications to Oxbridge for 2015.
This trip has given me a new perspective on applying to Oxbridge and is something I will now consider.Anitta Chacko Student
The unique teaching methods of Oxbridge appeal to me and the traditions in the college make it a unique place to study.Rachel Bailey Student
After speaking to a university representative, I am reassured about the application process.Harriet Frear Student
Our visit to Oxford highlighted how accessible the university is to all students regardless of their backgrounds.Laura Morris Student
Our visit to Oxford made let me experience university life not just read about it.Jessica Mackin Student
At first I was sceptical because I thought I would be stereotyped but after the visit I am now considering applying.Sarah Gilligan Student
It was really relevant speaking to current student, they gave us a real insight.Rosie Schofield Student
It was nice to see the students weren't that different from me.Chloe English Student
I felt like Oxford was somewhere I could fit in.Jessica Troy Student
This trip has allowed me to really think about my future.Caitlin Price Student
This has been a fantastic and valuable opportunity. At St John Bosco we pride ourselves on giving our students the best opportunities and encouraging them to be the best they can be. Visiting Oxford has raised their aspirations and allowed them to realise their potential as successful women of the twenty first century.Miss Murphy Head of Sixth Form