On Thursday 3 April, over forty students from Churchill, Backwell, Broadoak, Worle, Gordano, and Weston College took the journey from North Somerset to Cambridge. They stayed at Trinity Hall, one of the University of Cambridge’s older and more picturesque colleges, to get a first hand experience of life at Oxbridge and to find out how the application process works.
The first day was an opportunity to explore the college and surrounding town, as well as get to know everyone else on the visit. Students took part in a treasure hunt and learnt about the rich history of the university. Highlights included the bar where Crick and Watson had a celebratory drink after figuring out the structure of DNA and Trinity College’s statue of Henry the VIII, which is bizarrely holding a chair leg instead of a sceptre!
On the Thursday afternoon Dr Andrew Murray delivered a lecture about life in extreme environments. As well as being entertaining and informative, the lecture provided students with a taste of learning the Cambridge way. Anyone who came with ideas about university lecturers being old, boring and preferring dusty library books to a bit of adventure had their misconceptions well and truly blown out of the water!
On the Friday the students woke up to a full English breakfast. They attended talks that covered a wide range of important topics for those considering Oxbridge. The most important message was that Oxbridge is for anyone with the academic potential to succeed there; it does not make selections based on background or social class. Students had a chance to meet current under graduates, who took time out from revising to give their perspective on university life. There was also an opportunity to visit Robinson College and the university library.
As in previous years feedback from students and teachers was extremely positive, with everyone leaving feeling informed and inspired. One student explained:
‘We learnt what to expect when you apply to Oxford/Cambridge which was very useful and inspiring, as it makes it seem like something you could actually do. This trip has given me confidence to go to Cambridge and work hard to achieve the grades.’
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