Oxbridge Support

At Nonsuch, we offer a comprehensive programme of Oxbridge preparation and support throughout the school in order to help students to foster an attitude of intellectual curiosity and academic inquisitiveness from a young age. While interviews for places at Oxbridge and Cambridge do not take place until December in Year 13, interviewers are always looking for a genuine love of subject and confidence in academic risk-taking, which develops over time.

KS3 Oxbridge Programme

Students in Year 7-9 are given the opportunity to attend a lunchtime ‘Oxplore Club’, where they meet with both other students from their year group and Sixth Form helpers to discuss big intellectual problems such as ‘should we trust the history books?’ and ‘do we make our own luck?’ In this club, students are introduced to challenging academic material and are prompted to use this material in developing their own ideas.

KS4 Oxbridge Programme

In Year 10 and 11, the Oxbridge programme becomes more focused on helping students to make choices that will enable them to make applications to competitive universities. We therefore invite students to attend a ‘Subject Matters Workshop’ led by a schools’ liaison officer from one of the Oxbridge colleges, in which students are supported in beginning to make decisions about A Levels, university courses and career options. Year 11 students and parents are also invited to attend the annual ‘Aspiring to Oxbridge’ Information Evening. At this event, students and parents are introduced to the Oxbridge application process. As well as these events, Year 11 students are also given the opportunity to engage in an intellectual curiosity workshop with Year 13 Oxbridge offer holders.

KS5 Oxbridge Programme and Application Support

Students are given lots of Oxbridge support in the Sixth Form, starting in Year 12 with information on the admissions process and seeing students through to the point of confirming places in the Summer of Year 13. Oxbridge related opportunities in the Sixth Form include:

  • Regular information emails from the Oxbridge Coordinator, informing students about opportunities to take part in essay competitions, summer schools, taster days and mentoring schemes.
  • The annual ‘Aspiring to Oxbridge’ Information Evening for Year 11 and 12 students and parents, led by a visiting speaker from Cambridge.
  • A Year 12 conference held in Epsom in March, jointly hosted by Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
  • Trips to the university open days in the Summer term of Year 12.
  • An overnight ‘Pathways to Success’ conference held at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, for four selected students.
  • One-to-one meetings in the Summer term of Year 12 with the Director of Sixth Form or the Oxbridge Coordinator to discuss applications and gain personalised feedback on personal statements.
  • Workshops led by previous Nonsuch students who are currently studying at either Oxford or Cambridge.
  • Intellectual curiosity workshops led both by Oxbridge alumni known to the school and members of staff at Nonsuch. These workshops help students to develop divergent thinking skills required for Oxbridge interviews.
  • Advice on preparing for the Oxbridge Admissions Assessments such as HAT, ELAT and TSA.
  • A one-to-one mock interview and personalised feedback a few weeks prior to the interview at Oxford or Cambridge.
  • Numerous ‘drop-in’ opportunities with the Oxbridge Coordinator.
  • Support after conditional offers from Oxford and Cambridge have been made in order to help students to meet the conditions of their offers.

If you have any questions about the Oxbridge programme or Oxbridge admissions in general then please do get in touch with Mrs Walker, the Oxbridge Coordinator, via the school office.