Thursday 08th February, 2024

Oxford and Cambridge Success

Celebrations are underway at Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form college as 12 talented students from across Teesside prepare for Oxford and Cambridge University this September.

This has been their most successful year to date with a tremendous increase from Stockton Sixth Form college. This is not only due to the students’ hard work and determination but also the support and encouragement of staff assisting them in the rigorous application process.

Vice Principal, Olivia Wytcherley, said “Helping students to prepare for and make a successful application to Oxford and Cambridge requires commitment and hard work from both our students and staff. During the college application and enrolment process we will discuss the possibility of making an Oxbridge application and will provide initial guidance to students of activities they may like to undertake to prepare for this.

Once at the college, students will attend sessions with our careers team and advisers from both universities to gain further insight into the application process and what makes a strong applicant. We encourage our students to take part in academic competitions, visits of interest, summer schools and subject specific masterclasses to broaden their understanding of their chosen subject beyond the curriculum, with many students also seeking out their own additional opportunities to do this. During the application process, students benefit from help with personal statements and admissions tests as well as a practice academic tutorial/supervision if they wish; our teachers are very generous with their time in helping students prepare.

Although it is a tricky logistical proposition to manage multiple online interviews during the 2/3-week period, it is lovely to hear about how the interviews went and how much they enjoyed taking part even though they may be challenging at times. The hardest part, for us at college, is the wait to find out the decisions at the beginning of January”.

Jack, who is going on to study Law, said “Receiving an offer from Oxford is a significant achievement and a goal I’ve aspired to achieve since secondary school. Although this achievement wasn’t easy, it was most certainly worth the effort, and I am very excited to study there after the summer. My tutor made sure that I had all of the support I needed, helping massively in every stage of the application process, to ensure that I had the best chance of success.”

Another student, Jake, who is going to be studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics said, “It’s quite surreal and surprising to be honest – it’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone, but personally I’m proper chuffed that there is starting to be more opportunities like this for people from the North East”.

Principal, Asma Shaffi said, “We are celebrating a historic moment at Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College. By far this is the best outcome that our staff and students have yielded by securing twelve places at Oxbridge. The students’ tenaciousness and in-depth subject knowledge provided a strong foundation to get through a complex selection process.

We have quite a strong legacy in sending students to the most prestigious universities to read sciences, maths, engineering, classics, languages, law and social sciences. Our students are the most effective representatives and role models to influence the way the North East and Teesside is viewed by the whole country and their input in shaping its direction. Our staff quietly work away in the background in raising and sustaining high expectations across all sections of the community. I am indebted to the parents and local schools for sowing the seeds of high aspirations and hope from a very early age.”

Huge congratulations to all our students on this amazing achievement.