We welcomed Oxford University for a day of interactive and informative sessions on Wednesday 29 January. Three sessions took place throughout the day for our students, Year 10 students from Harrow Way Community School and finishing up with some extra training and insight for our staff.

To start the day off, Luke from St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, gave students a talk to get them thinking about why they want to go to university and the points to consider when choosing a university. A big emphasis was placed on what makes Oxford and Cambridge University distinct from other universities and what they look for in an applicant. The talk finished up with top tips for applicants and how Oxbridge decide on applications.

Year 10 students from Harrow Way Community School spent the afternoon discussing their future goals and aspirations. They found out more about how choices made now affect future decisions and how they can stand out from the rest with subject-related extra-curricular activities.

The final session of the day was for our staff. This talk was full of useful information and advice to help the lecturers provide the best learning and support to their students through the application process and how it varies between courses. The main emphasis was on encouraging students to apply to top universities.

Luke, the Student Recruitment Manager at St Edmund Hall, said: “It was great to visit Andover College and speak to such a mature, engaged group of students who were clearly so enthusiastic about going to a top university. The students from Harrow Way were a pleasure to work with and seemed really positive about the prospects of university, I hope they aim high in the future!”

Carol Allen, Head of Careers at Andover College, said: “We were so pleased to welcome Luke back to the college. All his presentations were informative and engaging. The loudest message was that Oxford is working hard to be inclusive. They do not base their admission decision solely on grades – they will look at the student as a whole person, and will take into consideration challenges that a student may have faced, whether that be a disruption to their education or personal circumstances. He certainly inspired our students.”

Lawrie Carter, Year 10 Leader at Harrow Way Community School, said: “I thought it was a fantastic talk which was very informative and interactive for our students. Out pupils left feeling a real buzz of excitement about the opportunities that are out there for them in the future. This was a worthwhile experience which raised aspirations and I look forward to attending any events at Andover College in the future.

Feedback from the students who took part in the day was that the session was informative and helped the students realise what was possible in their future!

We believes that programmes like this help students prepare for a bright future and let them know that anything is possible.