Year 10 Aspiration Day visit to Wadham and Brasenose College, University of Oxford
A group of Year 10 students were involved in a Pathways Programme at Wadham and Brasenose College, University of Oxford on Tuesday 24th April with Mr Uddin and Ms Nightingale.
The Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the colleges of the University of Oxford. The programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students.
Taster Days give academically able Year 10 students a chance to visit Oxford for a taste of what it would be like to study at Oxford. The programme includes an introduction to higher education and student finance, interactive sessions with current students and participation in an academic activity.
Students involved were: Torera Akinmoyede, Kassal Khamis, Tammy Azeez, Elena Gageanu, Ellie Saunders, Siya Dave, Junayna Ahmed, Thanushan Kenkatharan and Bradley Deacon.
The Wadham College Trip Feedback –by Ellie and Siya
On Tuesday, we were given the opportunity to visit Oxford University for a day and learn about what life is like for the students there. This trip was very fun and completely changed the preconceived ideas I had – it was a great experience and challenged a lot of common misconceptions about the university.
Firstly, the location is amazing – the architecture there is incredible and online pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s definitely somewhere you have to actually visit to be able to really appreciate the area. There’s also so much to do and around the site of the university, like exploring all the little shops and markets. I was surprised by how easily available everything is to students and other people in the area – aside from all the individual businesses there; there are also major companies like Sainsbury’s, KFC and Debenhams. I initially thought the area would be very ‘isolated’, but it’s actually quite the opposite of that.
I was also surprised by how modern the actual university itself is. The university is divided up into 38 different colleges – Brasenose College, which is the one we visited, seemed to me like a small city in itself. At first glance, the huge buildings seem like something out of a film, but they actually have quite modern features and their own unique quirks. We got to see one of the rooms that students stay in, and found out that rooms aren’t generally shared – most people get their own room to stay in. There are also a lot of green spaces that get used for various events such as games and performances.
The university offers a huge range of courses, and provides great opportunities to those that study there. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s not as impossible as it seems to actually qualify academically to be a student there – a lot of people think you have to be super smart to even be considered, but that’s actually not true. Another thing that I was surprised to find out is that it’s no more expensive than any other universities; however it does largely increase your chances of a much greater annual income in the future. Studying there also raises the likelihood of people wanting to hire you for a job.
Finally, one of the nicest things that I noticed about the university is that there’s a really great sense of community there – both the tutors and students there are extremely friendly and it’s a very diverse place. There are not only people from all over the country, but also people from all over the world – over 20,000 people from over 150 countries travel to Oxford just so they can study at the university.
I went to Oxford not knowing what to expect, but I was very impressed at how welcoming the place feels. We began the day by meeting other schools in a lecture hall in Wadham College and were given a talk about why Oxford is one of the top universities.
I was surprised at the number of clubs/societies that you could join, there was everything you could think of from clubs for foreign students to a tea and cake society to a Harry Potter club. We were grouped with another school and then a teacher and some of the college’s students took us to Brasenose College, there are 38 colleges altogether in Oxford. Once we were there we were mixed with some Year 10’s from the other school and split into groups, each group assigned with two of the university students. They took us on a tour of their rooms, the church, the lunch hall, the library and the common room where you can play games, watch TV with friends or just relax at the end of the day.
After the tour we went to a lunch hall where on each table some of the university students talked to us about social life and activities, their daily routines, the methods of teaching and transitioning into university life. The three methods of teaching are listening to a lecture with many other students, where a professional in the course talks about a topic that you need to learn; having a session with a tutor alongside one other student, where you can ask any questions about anything you don’t understand and the last method is doing practical work depending on which course you have chosen. For example if you choose a science related subject you will spend time in a lab putting your theory work into practice. All the students mentioned that university life isn’t as stressful as you’d think it is because as well as the work you have to do and lectures you have to attend, you can choose what you want to do in your own time and there are a lot of social activities to choose from. One of the main conversations some of them had with us was about leaving home and learning how to live independently. However they persuaded all of us that it would become easy after a while as you would make friends and help each other settle in together.
After a tour of part of the town, we went back into the hall and were given talks by three students about their courses. The first was zoology where he talked about infections and how to predict the spread of diseases using new technology. The second student talked about geology and the third about Classics and English.
This trip has definitely encouraged me to aim for top universities such as Oxford after seeing that people from all over the country with different kinds of backgrounds can get into the university. It has made me want to study there one day because of how kind everyone is, their teaching quality, the social life and how amazing the city around it is.
Oxford Staff Feedback
“I was very impressed with the Warren School Year 10s during a short handling session on Pottery. They showed excellent intellectual curiosity and imagination, and demonstrated a willingness to think aloud and follow lines of questioning. This bodes well for their future – if they continue to work hard and play an active part in their learning I can see them achieving great things at university and beyond”
Dr Joe Organ
Brasenose College, Oxford University