On 3rd February, Friesland students made the annual trip to our link college at Oxford University, Corpus Christi. Ten year 11 students and four year 12 students were accompanied by Mrs Pitman and Mr Puddy on a richly informative and inspiring day. On arrival we were greeted by our host, Brendan Shepherd, who is an admissions tutor at the college and a history graduate from Cambridge! With a firm foot in both camps, he was perfectly placed to provide a fantastic insight to life at Oxbridge.
Amongst Brendan’s recommendations for our students :
Pursue your own ambitions rather than those of others.
Select a subject that you are absolutely passionate about.
Don’t believe or be put off by the stereotypes of an Oxford student.
Don’t believe that it is more expensive to study at Oxford than other universities.
Don’t think that it is harder to be at Oxford than anywhere else.
Students will be assisted in learning how to live more independently, including negotiating the challenges of washing machines and cookers!
Brendan emphasised that universities in general provide a very supportive environment and that there is a university to suit every taste! Speaking of taste, lunch in a 500 year old dining hall, with freshly cooked food, was another highlight of the day. In fact we were honoured to be sat at the top table, which is usually reserved for very important people and special guests…they clearly respected who they were dealing with then!
We were treated to a tour of the beautiful Corpus Christi grounds and facilities, including an ancient library that Mr Puddy and at least two students really did not want to leave. Our undergraduate tour guides told tales of pelicans and tortoise races (you will need to ask our students about that), and spoke inspirationally about the opportunities available at Oxford and the tutorial system which facilitates such stimulating learning. They also spoke of the quirky rituals, formal dinners and cellar bar which appeared to grab the attention of some of our students!
Oxford is the second oldest university in the world. Do you know which is the oldest? Indeed, Cambridge evolved as an offshoot of Oxford, after no doubt an academic and intellectual difference of opinion!
Returning to the very modern world, we were hosted by the Computer Science Department after lunch, where our students were challenged by Linde Weste, a Dutch acrobat with a maths degree, to grapple with the delights of quantum computing. Mr Puddy and Mrs Pitman admitted defeat fairly early in the piece but Tom Sutton in particular found this inspiring. Indeed our more talented mathematicians and philosophers were also intrigued by a thought provoking presentation which was pitched at a sophisticated level.
This was followed by a presentation from Helena Webb, a social scientist working with computer scientists, on a project entitled ‘Digital Wildfire’, which is exploring and deepening an understanding of how the speed of harmful content on social media affects society. It was very beneficial for our students to see the links between different subjects and how a research led university like Oxford is always exploring issues which have an impact on the ‘real world ‘. Our students contributed superbly to what was a more interactive session. It also linked with the national “Safer Internet Day”, which is of course an area that concerns us all.
We also found time to sample the delights of Oxford’s architecture and listening to our students, it seems that they were all impressed with what the home of Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour has to offer.
Feedback on the day from our students:
“I feel that the pelican really sums up Corpus Christi College. The visit was amazing, as it gave me great insight to further education”.
“A perfect home for further study; the surroundings are perfect for any subject and the library is beautifully preserved “.
“ The trip gave me a real insight as to how university life works “.
“Not bad “.
“They have nice pies “.
“My eyes have been opened to the huge range of opportunities and the process behind them “.
“ It really helped me to visualise university prospects, putting everything into perspective”.
Students who attended the trip wish to thank Mrs Pitman for organising the trip and John for coping with an erratic sat nav!
Joseph Futter, Lucie Gordon Burgess, Matthew Gray, Harri Horsfall, Abbey Marvin, Hannah Murray, Liam Negus ,Matthew Osbiston, George Richards, Abigail Sims, Tom Sutton, Lydia Taylor, Nathaniel Weerasooriya,Matthew White.