Learning opportunities

15th March 2018

News, Student news, Alumni news

What makes us human? What can we learn about the ancient world through old coins? And what do skeletons teach us? 

Year 9 and 10 school students took part in lively academic taster sessions during one of Wadham’s regular Aspiration Days this term.  Year 9 school students took part in lively academic taster sessions during one of Wadham’s regular aspiration days this term.

More than 30 students from Stantonbury Campus in Milton Keynes and Lea Manor High School in Luton met and chatted with current students as they toured Wadham before going on to discover some of the wealth of materials available to Oxford students at the University of Oxford Natural History Museum.  Access Assistant, Dr Catherine Seed, led an interactive session about university and what students can be doing now to support their path to higher education.

“After visits to Wadham there are a lot more students who want to go on to university”, commented Lousie Tutton, Assistant Dean for Year 10 at Lea Manor. “These are students that could easily get overlooked. They are so clever but they do not know how to go about going to university, choosing the right course and finding the place that will suit them best. University could save some children and this is such a great opportunity for them.”

Lea Manor High School is one of nine Luton schools involved in Wadham’s Luton Project. This innovative pre-16 programme supports students over a two year period in Years 10 and 11, offering academic study sessions in Luton in addition to trips to Wadham to meet the students, attend academic workshops and get a taste of Oxford life.

Commenting on the programme Louise added: “We select students for the Luton Project based on available data and the potential of the students to go on to university. Twenty students from Lea Manor were invited to the launch of the programme this year and they then have to decide whether they want to apply. Taking part in the Luton Project is a commitment as they stay after school on Wednesdays from 4-5.30pm. But students really enjoy the academic sessions - they find it a very different and inspirational way to learn.”

For Lewis, 14, from Lea Manor, who likes Computer Science, this Aspiration Day was a first trip to Oxford or any university and he had no real expectations before he came. “It would be good to apply here and I would certainly go to Oxford if I was offered a place,” he said.

Jack, 15, added, “I like that it is old on the outside and modern on the inside.”  

Other comments from Lea Manor student participants were:
“Oxford is much more relaxed than I thought.”
“It was really interesting to learn how the students live and what their accommodation is like.”
“The tour guides were very good; honest on what uni life is like. They were also very friendly. It made me understand uni life in general.”

Students from Stantonbury Campus were equally enthusiastic:
“Seeing an idea of what the future could potentially hold is inspirational and motivational. I aspire to go to uni and I have high ambitions.”
“The students that took us around, Agnes, Andrew and Katie, were really nice and helped us understand life here at Wadham, so thank you! Thank you for teaching us Classics and overall, thank you everyone for making us feel welcome!”

This was one of seven Aspiration Days taking place at Wadham during Hilary term, in addition to welcoming students on the Wad-Ham programme, IntoUniversity, Brilliant Club, Year 12 Access Days and other inbound and outbound events.