Students ‘hop’ to Oxford

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in News | No Comments

Saltash.net community school and the Saltash Gateway Community Interest Company combined to give Gifted and Talented students a taste of Oxford University, as part of a ‘pathway options day’.

The students, all high-ability students in Year 11, travelled on the ‘Saltash Hopper’ community bus driven by volunteers Colin Brown and Graham Stone, and were accompanied by teachers Adam Killeya and James Edwards.

At Oxford, students had the chance to listen to sample lectures on topics as diverse as linguistics, international relations and lasers – learning why some people say ‘class’ differently, why peace is tricky, and why a laser can be as hot as the sun. They also had the chance to meet with current Oxford students, and to find out more about what Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities look for in potential students.

Students also got a chance to see something of the city of Oxford, including Christ Church Hall (used as Hogwarts’ dining hall in the ‘Harry Potter films’) , the Sheldonian Theatre, and the spot where three bishops were burned for heresy in 1555-56 (outside Mr. Killeya’s old college of Balliol, but a few years before he studied there).

Mr Killeya, who led the trip, said, “Not every student will want to apply to Oxford and Cambridge and that’s fine. What we wanted to ensure is that those students who have the ability don’t decide not to try simply because they don’t feel they know enough about it; we want to support aspirations and to encourage them to consider it as an option, as something they could do if they wanted to.”

Mr. Edwards added, “We really appreciate the help of the Saltash Hopper team in getting us there and back in a day, which made the trip possible.”

Year 11 student Clara Oldfield said, “It was a really interesting day because we got to find out more about Oxford and to chat to some of the students about what it’s actually like there. I found the mini lectures that we chose and went to very interesting.”