We reached the first anniversary of our partnership with The Access Project. I was accompanied by Professor Lindsay Turnbull, our Tutor for Access, earlier this month on a visit to Darwen Vale High School to commemorate this milestone.
Lindsay and I were joined by students from Darwen Vale High School who have been enrolled on the programme this year. We engaged in round-table discussions with them, finding out what they have enjoyed about the year, and what they would like to learn about Oxford next. It was reassuring to hear that students have found the tutoring aspect of the programme very beneficial, with some students across our partner schools improving by two grades in their tutored subject. We also got to hear some of their university aspirations, and I was impressed with the level of maturity that the students showed when discussing options for their future. I could really sense that they were beginning to expand their horizons, considering university as a genuine option that they could see themselves pursuing, which many of them said they hadn’t considered before.
Students have found the tutoring aspect of the programme very beneficial, with some students across our partner schools improving by two grades in their tutored subject.
We also met with key members of The Access Project staff, including Sam, the University Access Officer working in Darwen Vale School. Sam knows the students very well now and has supported them through their post-GCSE choices and examinations. It’s lovely to see TAP fully embedded into the culture of the school.
We were fortunate to hear a keynote speech from Sir Rod Aldridge, Patron of Aldridge Education, the Multi-Academy Trust of which Darwen Vale is a part. Sir Rod gave a truly inspiring speech, detailing his path from a working-class family to a world-leading entrepreneur. The students asked Sir Rod some insightful and thought-provoking questions, showing their confidence and consideration skills, no doubt built through a year working with The Access Project.
Keep checking our Access and Outreach blog to find out more about our partnership with The Access Project.
Lauren Shields, outgoing Schools Liaison, Outreach and Recruitment Officer