Importantly, the journey is not solely Sixth Form focused. Students with high academic potential are approached as early as Year 10 and are offered the opportunity to visit an Oxbridge college, with the school's Oxbridge Co-Ordinator. This forms part of the Borough of Merton's initiative to raise awareness of Oxbridge, particularly within social groups who would not normally consider such a life pathway. Ursuline High School maintains strong links with Newham College, Cambridge and Merton College, Oxford.
In the Sixth Form, Year 12 students are approached to apply for the course after the completion of a half-term's study. They must complete a rigorous application form and pass an interview to assess their academic potential and also their intellectual vigour and voracity for learning. Once this has been completed, students are selected to join the course in the February of their university application year. During the programme, they are given three interviews with the Oxbridge Co-Ordinator, and outside subject experts, which they can then reflect on and use to build their capacity before being invited for interview at their selected college (usually during the following November or December).
The essence of the course is to encourage students to move their focus from single-minded determination to achieve high grades in their exams to a more general thirst for learning and intellectual challenge. This is developed via a curriculum encompassing various aspects of Critical Thinking and Philosophy, while simultaneously drawing on both the arts and sciences for topical debate and discussion. The study of ethics is a key focus, as is the formation of argument and the ancient skills of oral rhetoric. All this is designed to prepare students for the challenge that is the modern Oxbridge interview.
Students on the course are also helped with the preparation for various Oxbridge ancillary examinations and are tasked with research topics and essay writing for a wide variety of purposes. Ursuline High School prepares the most able to achieve their rightful goal: a place at Oxford or Cambridge.
Do you consistently achieve A/A* grades in your school work?
Do you have predicted A/A* grades for A Level?
Do you have a record of high achievement in public examinations?
Are you conscientious in your work?
Are you the sort of person who reads widely outside of your syllabuses?
Can you form and articulate argument with your peers and those older than yourself?
Can you convey your arguments in writing at a high level?
Do you have a passion for learning?
|2018||Cambridge||Psychological and Behavioral Science|
|2015||Cambridge||Human, Social and Political Science|
|2013||Oxford||Law with French Law|
|2013||Cambridge||English Language & Literature|
|2011||Cambridge||Archaeology and Anthropology|
|2010||Cambridge||Archaeology & Anthropology|