Exploration Day at St John’s College, Oxford

Posted on: 21/11/2018

On 14 November 24 students from Years 10 and 11 had the privilege of attending an Exploration Day at St John’s College, Oxford to learn more about studying at University of Oxford and to inspire them in their academic aspirations. 

The day started with a quiz about Oxford, followed by a presentation on the university, its collegiate system, courses and opportunities.  After this the students had a question and answer session with two current Oxford undergraduates about their experience of studying at Oxford.  Our students asked some searching questions such as “How were you able to decide what course you wanted to study at university” and “How did you prepare for your interview at Oxford and did it help?”.

The critical thinking seminar that followed, was a chance for students to discuss in groups how to tackle the type of tough questions they might be faced with at an Oxford interview, such as “What is the difference between history and the past?”, “Why do cats eyes glow in the dark?” and “Would it matter if tigers became extinct?”  Our students really excelled themselves and came up with some strong and eloquent arguments. 

The students were then treated to a tasty lunch in the dining hall of St John’s College, alongside existing students.  With its long oak dining tables and chairs and portraits of past College presidents, students must have felt they had been whisked away to Hogwarts.

Following lunch students were given a tour of St John’s College, including its beautiful quadrants, chapel and gardens.  Students were then given a talk by a very enthusiastic museum curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, which is the University’s Museum of Art and Anthropology.  Half a million artefacts are on display from all over the world, ranging from make-shift weaponry, musical instruments and shrunken heads!  Our students really enjoyed handling some of the objects and exploring the museum to find out more about the objects they had been given. 

After such an enjoyable and inspiring day, it was time to return home by minibus – a big thank you to Mr Murrell and Ms Cullum for driving the minibuses. Many of the students said at the end of the day how interesting the visit had been and how it had really encouraged them to apply to Oxford University in the future.

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