To receive an offer from the prestigious Oxbridge universities is something many students can only dream of yet for a group of local teens, that dream has become a reality.
16 students from the Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), from across multiple specialist subjects, have all been approached by the ‘big two’ as conditional offers were sent out by Oxford and Cambridge University last week.
The ‘super 16’ make up an astonishing eight per cent of the Upper Sixth’s population, and will all now have extra motivation to succeed in their A2 Levels, which begin later this year.
Out of all the students offered places at the two institutions, half were from Oxford whilst the other eight came from their near neighbours, Cambridge.
One student, offered a conditional place at the latter, was Trina Seal who is hoping to study Natural Sciences (Biology) following her time at GSAL.
After visiting the institution last year for a tour of the facilities, the aspiring teenager says she instantly ‘loved’ the place and is now targeting her place amongst the elite.
“On receiving the offer, I was thrilled and slightly in shock as competition for places was very high,” she said.
“The offer has motivated me to continue working hard in all my subjects and attain the necessary grades to meet the conditions of my offer.”
If successful Trina will begin her University education in September and it is the appeal of the natural sciences course which really interests the keen learner.
“The challenge of the natural sciences course really appealed to me, as well as the opportunity of learning from professors at the forefront of their field,” she said.
“In addition, the course allows the study of many different areas of science in depth which results in a wide base of knowledge that will be useful later in life.
She added: “The school (GSAL) has been a massive help in the application process, from reading several drafts of my personal statement to running sessions at lunchtime to help extend knowledge beyond the subject syllabuses.”
This year Oxbridge attracted a record level of applications, with five students chasing each place and for GSAL’s head of student development, Christine Jagger, to see her school so well represented in the offers was amazing.
She said: “In the face of such stiff competition our students should be extremely proud that they have come through this tough selection process.
“While we work closely with senior students to guide them through those all-important decisions about the courses and institutions that will be right for them, it is their own hard work and determination that ultimately impresses the admissions tutors.”
The seven other students conditionally accepted by Cambridge University include Elinor Clapson, Jacob Gibbs, Christopher Schofield, Vandan Parmar, Jennifer Shaw, Yasmin Khan and Yash Singh.
Heading to Oxford, subject to this summer’s exam results, will be Harry Martin, Isobel Rose, Elliot Pawley, Joe Ball, Georgina Mordue, Sam Harman, and head boys Jack Harrison and Matthew Li.