A number of Year 9 pupils were invited to attend the Future Scholars Award trip to Oxford University on the 1st June. The Future Scholars Award is an initiative set up by a group of Universities known as the Russell Group. They offer taster days to pupils from around the country to gage an idea of what life is like at university.
After travelling to Oxford on the Sunday afternoon, pupils began the Monday morning with an inspirational talk with the Principle of St Anne’s College, Tim Gardam. He spoke about the opportunities available to pupils from all walks of life. He explained that pupils need the desire and motivation to succeed which in turn opens doors to different possibilities.
The day proceeded with a walk through the city to the Classics Faculty where the pupils received a taster session on Archaeology. The pupils were given an ensemble of different archaeology findings and had to come up with a story that linked all the materials together. Pupils from Woodchurch High School mixed with students and staff from other schools and from the College. The stories the children created were imaginative and inventive.
Lunchtime followed in Oriel College with the student advocates. Pupils described the experience as “eating on the set of a Harry Potter movie”. Afterwards the student advocates gave a tour of the College, spending time in the student union, the halls of residence and the gardens. It has a lovely feeling around the place and the environment learning was wonderful.
A walk to the Natural History Museum followed were pupils were given a talk by a local professor on prehistoric animals including the T-Rex and more well known specious that we all know and love. A tour of the building looking at the different collections they have including Life Collections, earth Collections and Archival Collections.
The final walk took all pupils and staff back to St Anne’s College where there was time for a question and answer session with lectures and student advocates. Pupils developed an understanding of different courses they can study, the costing of attending the University and the endless opportunities available to all.
Pupils described the experience as “inspiring”, “brilliant” and “such a different world”.
Woodchurch High School has enrolled in future initiatives with the Russell Group and our pupils will be able to access the same kind of thought provoking experiences.