Rydal Penrhos pupils receive Oxbridge boost with admissions seminars from Cambridge staff
March 11, 2023

As part of Rydal Penrhos’ strategy to support pupils onto the best higher education and work destinations, a number of initiatives are taking place to boost pupils’ Oxbridge prospects, including a series of recent online seminars.

Aiming high is a core part of being a Rydal Penrhos pupil. As a school, we look to ensure that children and young people always feel that their dreams for later life are not only encouraged, but supported by a broad and precise programme that can help bring those dreams to fruition.

Couple this with a widely felt appreciation across the school that any quality education must prepare pupils for the challenges of 21st century life, and it is no surprise that Rydal Penrhos sets its gaze much further than GCSE or A-Level examinations alone.

Preparations for higher education, and the application processes involved, are at the core of the Rydal Penrhos curriculum. This is true both within the timetable – our older pupils have regular lessons set aside to meet our UCAS and Careers Advisor, Mr Farnell – and outside lesson time during extracurricular sessions.

An example of the latter being put to good use was seen this week. A number of pupils from Years 10 to 12 attended online seminars organised by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, with the aim of improving their chances of a successful Cambridge application.

Gleaning crucial wisdom from some leading members of the Corpus Christi Admissions team, Rydal Penrhos pupils took part in four seminars, namely: An Introduction to Cambridge Admissions; Making Competitive Applications; Deconstructing a Cambridge Interview – Humanities; and Deconstructing a Cambridge Interview – STEM.

The two interview deconstruction seminars were a particularly valuable resource, as pupils got to understand on a granular level the factors involved in success or failure in a Law or Engineering interview, respectively.

These seminars represent the latest examples of how Rydal Penrhos is preparing potential Oxford or Cambridge (Oxbridge) applicants. This is all the more important when one considers the notoriously difficult and competitive process that is involved in securing a place at one of the UK’s most prestigious universities.

Several Year 12 pupils, who have until autumn this year to submit their Oxbridge applications via UCAS, are attending master class sessions online organised by various colleges from Oxford and Cambridge. As part of these sessions, potential applicants learn more specific details that are directly relevant to their desired area of study.

Over the coming week, six exceptional Year 12 academics will attend the North West Schools’ Cambridge conference at Haydock Park, where they will have the opportunity to listen to Cambridge tutors representing a variety of academic fields.

Beyond online seminars and in-person events, at Rydal Penrhos all pupils are encouraged to take part in continuous super curricular learning (i.e. study futher what they have already learnt in their lessons at school). This is true not just of our older pupils approaching exams, but all our children and young people.

After Easter, Mr Farnell will begin the KS3 Young Oxbridge course, which will cover philosophical issues beyond the curriculum, encouraging pupils to read more widely and think about issues they may not have encountered yet in their studies.

With this new scheme set to orientate younger pupils towards the potential of Oxbridge study, and their older peers already benefitting from an extensive supper curricular program, Rydal Penrhos pupils can rest assured that they have every resource available to decide their future for themselves and make their dream university destination a reality.