Oxford, Cambridge and Medicine – Bullers Wood support programme What are the institutions looking for? The Oxbridge selection process The Bullers Wood support programme Bullers Wood Sixth Form Gifted and Talented Philosophy • • • • Identify suitable students Raise awareness of opportunities for high achievers Encourage students to be aspirational and aim high Challenge misconceptions about Oxford and Cambridge • Provide assistance to allow students to maximise their potential in terms of their Higher Education future • Provide as much individual attention as possible Bullers Wood KS5 Gifted and Talented Philosophy “……I just wanted to say thank you for everything; for your support with Oxbridge - I never thought two years ago this would be (let's not tempt fate too much) potentially my future, I hadn't even considered Oxford when I started Bullers. I'd just like to say, thank you so much for opening doors for me.” (Stephanie Back, 2010-12, offered a conditional place to read Spanish at St Anne’s College, Oxford) Key School Focal points • Mr Weeks Oxbridge and Medicine Co-ordinator Head of Year 12 • Mr Leonard Key Stage 5 Academic Progress Co-ordinator • Ms Bellis Director 6th Form • Ms Van Teutem Assistant Head Teacher (i/c Gifted and Talented) Bullers Wood Oxbridge History • 2008: – 2 offers • 2009: – 1 offer • 2010: – 2 offers • 2011: – O offers • 2012: – 3 offers Every year 1 or 2 students gain paces on Medicine (or related) courses What are Cambridge after? Cambridge (Murray Edwards College) Admissions Tutor: “Students need to be excited by intellectual complexity and uncertainty. This is key and arguably more important than exam results” Advice to students: • Academic ability and potential • Motivation and independence of mind • Enthusiasm and commitment What are Oxford after? Oxford Admissions department: “your subject becomes your hobby” Suitability for tutorial system: – – – – – Ability in and passion for their subject Enquiring / questioning mindset Analytical / logical thinking style Proven track record at GCSE Self motivated & reads outside the classroom (Not about personality type / confidence and not looking for ‘all-rounders’) Oxbridge Selection process 1. GCSE – Average applicant to Oxford has 6.2 A*s (Classics 7.81 to Computer science 4.43) “if GCSEs poor, but AS results show promise…..” , “continual improvement” Oxbridge Selection process 2. AS level grades – The Cambridge ‘supplementary application questionnaire’ (inc. UMS scores) 3. A2 predicted grades Oxbridge Selection process 4. UCAS Personal statement – – – – – 5. 6. 7. 8. Super-curricular activities (Extra-curricular activities) Work experience Associated skills ENTHUSIASM UCAS reference Aptitude / assessment tests for most subjects Written work Interviews (minimum 2) (On average 4 hours time spent per candidate with no interview. 8 hours if interview) Interviews • Cambridge and Oxford interviews similar • Approx 3 candidates per place interviewed at Oxford (more at Cam) • Structured but informal based upon tutorial / supervision approach • Questions become more challenging (but not ‘trick questions’) • Questions based on resource prompt and involve problem solving • In interviews must demonstrate: – enthusiasm, genuine interest, clarity of thought, analytical ability, intellectual flexibility – Wider reading A2 Entrance Requirements • Oxford – AAA for most Humanities or Social Science courses (unlikely that this will change to A* over next couple of years) – A*AA for most Science based subjects – A*A*A for most Mathematics courses • Cambridge – Standard Offer of A*AA – “Some flexibility” • Medicine – Minimum AAA (Often A*AA) Identification of ‘Potential’ Here, students identified and tracked on basis of: • Analysis of GCSE results, ALIS targets and AS first modules (if applicable) • Analysis of the Key stage 3 / 4 gifted and talented tracking • Dialogue with Heads of Department and subject teachers (November of Year 12) • Self selection and subsequent discussion with teachers • Evidence of INDEPENDENT LEARNERS The group of students is fluid. Students opt out and others opt in (September in Year 13) due to student review of their future or unexpected AS results. Raise Awareness • • • • Assemblies / presentations / meetings Alumnus talk Higher Education evening at Bullers Wood Oxbridge information evening at ‘linked’ local school • Regular one to one discussions regarding College and course choice with 6th form team • Participation in events provided by external agencies…… Raise Awareness Annual • Oxford and Cambridge conference (Epsom, 2012) • Summer Schools • London University Taster Days • Pathways to Success Conference Adhoc events • PiXL conference • Subject specific study days at either Oxford or Cambridge Written Application preparation • External advice: – PiXL Conference – Epsom conference – Summer schools – Personal statement workshop provided by the “Life Skills Company” • Internal UCAS supervision: – Initial draft with form tutors – Regular meetings with Mr Weeks to perfect the personal statement Assessment Test Advice • • • • Experienced teachers assist Practice Tests provided Specialist BMAT / UKCAT assistance Booked through school (eg LNAT) or taken at time of interview Interview Preparation • Discussion workshops – Developing the confidence to impress academically via verbal communication • Provide advice – Demonstrate ability to think critically – Demonstrate deep understanding beyond AS level (students should ensure that AS material is revised well) • Practice: – – – – – – Training given by Mansfield College Admissions Co-ordinator Mock interviews with Admissions Tutor from Imperial College ‘Swaps’ with Townley Grammar Senior Leadership interviews at Bullers Wood Subject specific interviews at Bullers Wood Parental assistance….. Medicine preparation • Same as Oxbridge assistance • Specialise subject teacher assistance • External speakers – Work experience guidance – BMAT and UKCAT advice • Work experience advice (internally) Bullers Wood Sixth Form Gifted and Talented support programme 2011-13 (Approximate timeline for the programme for the current Year 12, as illustration) Year 12 Nov: - Identification of potential Feb: - Increase awareness (Alumnus talk, Oxbridge conference) - Summer school applications March: - Higher Education and Careers evening at Bullers Wood April: - Oxbridge evening at local school July: - Pathways to Success Conference (Murray Edwards, Cambridge) - Discussion workshops - UCAS personal statement workshop - Departments and college open days - Discussion meeting about preparation over the summer Year 13 Sep: - Interview assistance from Mansfield College Admissions Co-ordinator - UCAS personal statement assistance - Subject specific preparation led by subject teachers Oct: - General interview preparation given by Bullers Wood - Mock interviews (SLT, Imperial College Tutor, subject specialists) Dec: - Collation of feedback about the interview and student preparation How can parents help? • Encourage completion of “super-curricular” activities • Listen to talks about academic issues • Conduct practice interviews • Offer mock interviews for other students (Act as chauffeur for open days etc) ANY QUESTIONS?