This Wednesday, ten year 10 students were treated to a day of sunshine, student stories, and intellectual stimulation as they participated in a Pathways Taster programme at Oxford University. Hosted by the 14th century Corpus Christi college, our day started with a myth-busting introduction to university life, followed by a tour of the historic city centre by a pair of sparky undergraduates.
Among the sites we passed were the lamp post which inspired C.S. Lewis’ depiction of Narnia, and the carved fawn gargoyles which were the models for Mr. Tumnus. Richard Davenport described the morning as “intriguing”.
We were then shown around Brasenose College, a picturesque medieval college in the shadow of Oxford’s postcard-perfect Bodleian Library. This culminated in a delicious three-course lunch in hall which provided the opportunity for our students to fire questions at their undergraduate hosts.
The final activity of the day was an interactive academic session on the city’s architectural history, which gave an enlightening insight into the Classical movement. Our students handled the tasks set (including translating 18th century historians) with impressive aptitude and a genuine curiosity. According to Mohammed Rohman, it was “an eye-opener, a fascinating taste of architecture as an academic discipline”.
The day was wrapped up with a talk from the Admissions team at Corpus Christi, where students were encouraged to explore their subjects beyond the curriculum and to engage with learning for learning’s sake. A timely message for our students as they enter the exam period.
All in all, a fantastic trip; it is surely just a matter of time before we can add Oxford to the roll call of WWEA leaver’s destinations!