Oriel Welcomes Walsall Schools

  • Oriel College
6 November, 2017

On Friday 3rd November, Oriel welcomed high-achieving Year 11 students from four comprehensive schools in Walsall for a day of exploring Oxford and experiencing some of the opportunities that a top university can offer.

The event was organised in partnership with Newnham College, Cambridge, who host a linked event for Year 10s from the same area.

On the day, 40 students received guidance from Oriel's Outreach Officer India Collins-Davies and Sophie Parry, Schools Liaison Officer at Newnham College on: studying effectively for GCSE examinations; choosing A-Level subjects; and boosting future university applications with super-curricular activities. Students also took part in a Q&A session with four of Oriel’s current undergraduate student ambassadors, who answered questions on everything from interviews to career options.

After lunch in Hall, the students took part in subject sessions run by Oriel postgraduate students, designed to give a challenging and inspiring insight into the tutorial system. Students opted for one of the six subject areas on offer, and introductory level tutorials were conducted on topics including the poetry of Baudelaire and Shakespeare; endocrinology; physics and its use in weather forecasting; and how the work of Plato can be applied to modern politics. Every student also received a free book in their subject area to keep, and to use as a starting point for exploring their interests outside of the GCSE syllabi.

The participating students (and teachers) enjoyed their visit and left feeling better equipped to aim high and make informed decisions about their futures. One student commented that “Oxford seems more reachable for me now”.

Oriel and Newnham are planning to continue this collaborative programme in the future, involving more schools and additional year groups. The schools involved will also be welcome to request further visits to or from Oriel in the future as part of our general Outreach & Schools Liaison programme. The college also plans to implement similar “hub” programmes for high achieving students at comprehensive schools in our other UK link areas.

The participating schools for this event were: The Streetly Academy, Barr Beacon School, Walsall Academy, and West-Walsall E-Act Academy.

Any questions regarding Outreach at Oriel should be directed to our Outreach Officer India Collins-Davies (outreach@oriel.ox.ac.uk). India is eager to work with any state school from our link authorities (Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond-upon-Thames, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton & Worcestershire), with particular priority given to comprehensive schools.