19 of the 24 students participating in this year’s programme enjoyed a two day residential course at Wadham College – the culmination of their studies throughout the year.
Taking part in a variety of activities, from academic to social, the students had the opportunity to spend time with Wadham undergraduates, explore Oxford and get a feel for student life.
Throughout the year, these high achieving 17/18 year olds from ten schools in Newham and Tower Hamlets have taken part in tutorials in Russian/English Literature, Islamic Studies, French Literature, Medieval History, History, Classics, Classical Archaeology, Philosophy, Egyptology and Mathematics around the umbrella theme of ‘Civilisation and Barbarism’.
A highlight of this year’s residential programme was a visit to the Bodleian library to view primary research materials including original manuscripts, books and maps written and produced by the colonisers of various countries.
Organiser of the Wad-HAM programme, Wadham’s Outreach and Access Officer Hugh Munro, commented: “During the sessions at NewVIc, the pupils have been working at a very high standard with many of the tutors commenting that the students were demonstrating the skills Oxford looks for in interviews, so it was great to see them continue to thrive during their time at the College.”
“The programme has helped show them that Oxford is a place they should be seriously considering and it has been wonderful to see their confidence grow over the course of the residential and see how the visit challenged some of the negative perceptions they might have had before coming,” he added.
The students also received support on making applications to Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities to help ensure that they find the right course and the right university to continue their academic journeys.
Students are selected for the programme according to academic attainment in the context of widening participation ‘flags’ (for example, having no parental history of higher education, being eligible for free school meals and living in areas of low participation in higher education).
The scheme is free of charge to all participants and schools and aims to help prepare the students for writing strong applications to the most competitive universities.