Oxbridge Support

At Nonsuch, we offer a comprehensive Oxbridge programme in the Sixth Form to support students through the Oxbridge application process. In the Spring term of each year, we welcome Dr Jonathan Padley from Churchill College, Cambridge, who talks to potential Oxbridge applicants and their parents about applying to Oxford and Cambridge. Year 12 students are then invited to a regional Oxbridge Conference at the end of the Spring term, where they can engage in specific subject sessions and gain more detailed knowledge of how to prepare for an application in their chosen subject.

There are lots of opportunities in the summer term for Year 12 students considering applying to Oxbridge. The school organises two trips to Cambridge University, a day trip and an overnight trip. Both trips give students the chance to talk to current students and Directors of Studies in their chosen subject area. Students are also invited to a workshop session with Nonsuch alumni who are currently studying at Oxford or Cambridge. Additionally, all students making an Oxbridge application have a one-to-one meeting with either the Director of Sixth Form or the Oxbridge Coordinator to discuss their application and get personalised feedback on their personal statements.

In the Autumn term, the focus then moves to preparing Year 13s for interviews, which take place in late November or early December. Students engage in a number of intellectual curiosity workshops, led by both members of staff at the school and visiting Oxbridge alumni. These workshops help students to develop the divergent thinking skills required for Oxbridge interviews. All applicants are also given a mock interview and personal feedback during November.

Oxbridge work at Nonsuch is not exclusively focused on Sixth Form students in the process of application; we believe that it is essential to adopt an attitude of intellectual curiosity and academic risk-taking throughout the school. We therefore run workshops for all Key Stages, ranging from KS3 intellectual challenge sessions, which encourage students to take risks and think through how to approach inquiry style questions in steps, to ‘subject matters’ sessions for Year 11 students, which helps them to make sensible A Level choices for competitive universities.