Oxford and Cambridge

As one of the Top 100 Schools nationally, Eltham College has a long tradition of sending students to study at these world-class academic institutions.

Aims

  • To identify and encourage candidates with Oxbridge potential
  • To provide up-to-date information and advise on courses offered
  • To explain the differences between Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the style of teaching offered
  • To provide guidance for parents at the Lower Sixth Higher Education Evening
  • To guide our applicants throughout the process

Philosophy

An Oxbridge candidate is not something a school can manufacture. We do not seek to persuade our Sixth Formers to follow a course at a University which may not be right for them. The tutors at Oxford and Cambridge are world experts in their fields and they are not interested in over-prepared students who lack a genuine interest in study. However, we do look to challenge our most academic students, to encourage intellectual independence and flexibity and once they reach the Sixth Form, we offer the following programme:

September (Lower Sixth/Upper Sixth)

An evening for students led by a panel of Old Elthamians currently studying at Oxbridge or who are recent graduates. This is followed by a question-and-answer session and tutorial style meetings in small, subject-based groups.

September (Upper Sixth)

Individual interviews with pupils to review AS results, university, course and College choice. Advice on personal statements.

September-November (Upper Sixth)

Separate Oxbridge sessions as part of the Liberal Studies programme. This may include departmental sessions to consider aspects of the subject which are not part of the A level curriculum. There will be some preparation for the Thinking Skills Assessment tests which some courses require.

October (Upper Sixth)

All Oxbridge subject references are approved by the Oxbridge Co-ordinator in collaboration with the Headmaster. Students send sample school work as part of their applications for many subjects.

November (Upper Sixth)

At the start of the month, students sit exam papers in various subjects. Mock interviews for all applicants at the end of the month.

December

Upper Sixth share their post-interview experiences with possible Lower Sixth applicants.

February (Lower Sixth)

Talk to students about Oxford and Cambridge. This will include some statistical input from Mr M Stickings which highlights the extremely competitive nature of the courses. Students apply for Open Days.

April (Lower Sixth)

Higher Education Evening for parents and students; includes a talk on Oxbridge.

June (Lower Sixth)

The final day of the Lower Sixth post AS level study leave is the Oxbridge Day. This begins with students sitting Oxbridge entrance papers in their chosen subjects, followed by a series of talks and workshops with an Old Elthamian from Oxbridge. Initial discussions of personal statements and academic summer projects.

June/July (Lower Sixth)

Students attend Open Days in Cambridge and Oxford. This is the peak season for departmental and College Open Days, although they are sometimes offered at other times of the year. Students provide written feedback on their Open Day experiences.

This above programme runs in conjunction with the enrichment offered by the individual academic departments. We may vary our work from year to year. We often receive information directly from the Universities inviting students to apply for study days, essay competitions and other academic events. Students are encouraged to participate in these. Other courses are offered, for example residential study weeks at Villiers Park. In addition to the above, we host an advice evening every March for local schools in the state sector. Admissions Tutors from both Oxford and Cambridge talk to teachers and students about the institutions and their courses.

The Eltham College Oxbridge programme also includes work with our Old Elthamians. Every year a dinner for staff and students is held in one of the two universities to bring together Oxbridge students with members of the Eltham College staff past and present.