Three students from DSFC joined another thirty –five top academic students from across Norfolk to attend a three day residential visit to Christchurch College, Oxford this week culminating with the Oxford Open Day on Wednesday.
The three day pilot event included presentations on applying to Oxford, the admissions process and the academic structure as well as giving students an opportunity to observe and take part in mock interviews. They were accompanied through-out their time by enthusiastic student ambassadors who were able to dispel many myths and preconceptions as well as answering all their questions about life at an Oxford college.
Students got to stay in various types of student accommodation (for some reason DSFC students found themselves in the very fancy third year accommodation) as well as eating in the grand hall (of Harry Potter fame!) and checking out the student ‘Entz’ (or entertainments to you and I). Evening events included a general knowledge quiz for both current and aspiring students and I’m proud to say that our three students won!
The visit culminated in students being able to plan their own itinerary through the Oxford Open Day on Wednesday where they could visit teaching faculties, attend lectures and stroll around as many of the 30 colleges as they could manage.
Teachers and students were delighted to be told by Stephanie that her and her two very experienced colleagues were hugely impressed by the intelligence and confidence displayed by the Norfolk students and were very much hoping to see many of them put in applications in October.
This was a pilot project this year but its success has guaranteed a date in next years’ calendar especially given the enthusiastic feedback received from students whose comments included:
‘Beautiful city to spend three days in. Christchurch College provided fantastic service and facilities as well as supplying a great insight into student life at Oxford. A big thankyou to Christchurch College and the Norfolk Higher Education Scheme for giving us this opportunity and I strongly recommend the residential to future prospective students.’ Tom Partridge
And some advice from John Gibson: Get to see as many colleges as you can – even spending five minutes wandering around the quad will let you know how the place makes you feel – your gut reaction is usually the best thing to go by for choosing one.
Phyllis O’Grady one of the Lead teachers on Norfolk Higher Education Scheme said: ‘We know that Norfolk has a great many very bright, top academic students but they often either don’t see themselves as potential ‘Oxbridge’ candidates or don’t consider Oxford due to the distance – this visit has shown them what a fantastic place Oxford is and that is genuinely wants young students exactly like them. Many thanks to Christchurch College and we have every intention of ensuring that many more students get the opportunity to visit Oxford in the coming years.’
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