Balliol College, part of the University of Oxford, held an Open Day on Friday 21st March for a select number of pupils from Hertfordshire, as part of their drive to encourage applications from the state school sector. We at Bushey Meads were invited to attend this day and myself and Mrs Depper, the Key Stage Four Learning Mentor, took seven pupils to the university to see what they had to offer.
Pupils were provided with an overview of what Oxford has to offer its students and this was delivered in the auspicious surroundings of Balliol’s dining room. The pupils were encouraged to apply there as they were informed that the total of state school pupils was increasing all the time. They were told exactly what they would need to do to start preparing themselves for application, should it be something that they are interested in, and it was a very interesting and engaging talk for all of us.
After refreshments we attended a series of short lectures covering a range of subjects from MFL to Science. These lectures were delivered by students and they were lively and interesting. The students are involved in research associated with the areas they have studied and they were all passionate speakers who have been inspired by their time at university and feel that their lives have been enriched by their time there.
Though, at times, our pupils felt overwhelmed by the grand surroundings they also seemed to enjoy the visit and a particular highlight was the tour by a current undergraduate who knew Bushey Meads and spoke in a really lively and encouraging way about the college and her studies. Hopefully we will hear in the not-too-distant future that at least one of the pupils has decided to apply to Oxbridge and, perhaps, they might apply to Balliol College itself.