As students wait to hear back from universities with offers for study this autumn, five students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull have already heard and are celebrating offers from Oxbridge.
Four current students and one ex-student have been successful in their applications to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge this year. Former Light Hall School students Kyaice Hendricks and Becky Fowler, as well as ex-Wheelers Lane Technology College student Ben Furey have offers from Oxford, while ex-Lode Heath School student Nick Delaney has an offer from Cambridge.
For Kyaice and Becky the offers are to study English at Mansfield College, Oxford. Kyaice is currently studying A levels in English Language, English Literature, History and Mathematics, while Becky is studying English Literature, History and Psychology at A level.
Kyaice Hendricks explains why she chose to apply to Oxford and what challenges she faced:
“I was looking to study at the best university for English, but also the best university for me, and Oxford ticked all of those boxes. Before I made my decision to apply I went to two open days and spoke to tutors and students, and felt that I would be able to thrive in the environment. Another factor that helped me make my decision was talking to an English Tutor from Oxford who came to a college event. She explained the application process and what life at Oxford was like – it all really appealed to me, and the fact that Oxford is an excellent university was a bonus. The biggest challenge with the application was balancing it with my other college work. I think it is really easy to get distracted by the process and devote all of your time to preparing for the admissions test or interview, forgetting that a-levels are still taking place.”
Becky Fowler explains her motivation in making an Oxbridge application:
“I have always wanted to study at Oxford, as it is a beautiful city and renowned university, being rated the top for English Literature. Oxford also has the Bodleian Library, which has a copy of every book ever published! I also find the Oxbridge method of teaching interesting; being taught in tutorials (consists of a couple of students with the tutor) that allow more personal discussion with the tutor. I thought it was worth attempting (an application) since all universities cost the same now anyway, so it was worth going for the best!”
For Ben Furey, who is currently studying A levels in Economics, Spanish, Mathematics and Further Maths, a place at St Peter’s College, Oxford is the aim. He hopes to take up a place on their Philosophy, Politics & Economics course.
He explains the challenge of the application process, saying:
“The interview process, being unique in many ways, was the part that felt the least comfortable. I found that relaxing and enjoying the experience helped greatly to prepare for the interviews, which were challenging but not overwhelming. I received extra UCAS application help from both my Academic Coach and Assistant Principal and the advice of both was extremely helpful when crafting my personal statement. Prior to my test, I was directed to a member of staff with a greater knowledge of the subject area and I spoke to another teacher about the possible topics or questions that might come up, helping to prepare me for question style and thinking processes. The help that I received was useful. Granted some turned out to have no relevance to the questions I was then asked, but it helped me to feel ready, which is just as important.”
Nick Delaney is hoping to study Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Churchill College, Cambridge. He is currently studying German, Law and Russian at A level.
He has the following advice for students thinking about making an Oxbridge application in the future:
“When it comes to the interview, try to enjoy it! If you’re passionate about the subject you’re applying for, show it! If you’ve been chosen for interview, it shows they believe you may thrive at the university, so show them that you’re passionate and eager to learn. Don’t worry too much about wrong answers. I got some interview questions quite wrong, but by asking questions yourself and discussing the answers you give, you can show off what you do know. And above all, good luck!”
This advice is echoed by Becky Fowler, who says:
“Definitely give it a go and stay positive, you’re as good as anyone else entering, whether they’re from private or grammar school or not. Also, make sure you don’t do it alone, and ask for help from your teachers, family and friends for support.”
As well as this gifted quartet, a former student is also heading for Oxbridge. Roma Rana, left the College last summer with all A and A* grades and has an unconditional offer to study History at Mansfield College, Oxford.
College Principal Martin Sullivan offers his congratulations to these students.
“This is fantastic news and I congratulate all five students on these exciting offers of study. I also say well done to all the students who made an Oxbridge application, whether they were successful or not. It is a daunting challenge, in which students put themselves up against not only the best students in the UK, but from abroad too. Everyone who attempts it gains valuable life experience, which will stand them in good stead for the future. For these five successful students, we wish them the best of luck in achieving the grades needed to take up their offers.”
The College has a great track record for supporting students to get Oxbridge places. Last year, all nine students with offers took up their places and since 2010, 37 students have progressed to Oxford and Cambridge.
8 February 2017