This latest blog update will take you through the highlights (and there have been a lot!) of our outreach work over the Easter vacation.

In late March, we were delighted to host six different non-selective state schools from the North West for overnight visits. Despite most of our own undergraduate students having vacated their rooms at the end of Hilary Term, the College was still buzzing with activity as we welcomed over 90 students in total, ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old. Our furthest school visited us from Carlisle, a return journey that would not have been possible without the promise of overnight accommodation.

Students benefitted from a range of academic taster sessions across the University; we headed to the Botanic Gardens for an interactive session about plant biodiversity and adaptation, and to the Museum of Natural History for a handling session and chance to explore the vast collections. Being able to stay in our undergraduate accommodation and eat in Hall was also powerful for many of our young visitors, as they were able to imagine themselves living and studying here as future university students.

Building on a successful year of delivery for our partnership with The Access Project, a group of Oxbridge-hopeful students from West Coast Sixth Form were able to visit us at Queen’s for an overnight residential. They gained insight into the admissions process and how to make a competitive application, as well as learning about life as a current Oxford student through tours of Queen’s with our brilliant ambassadors.

Just after the Easter weekend, 26 Year 12 students from all over Lancashire and Cumbria made their way down to Oxford for our annual North West Science Residential. This initiative offers an insight into the breadth of science disciplines available for study at Oxford, and allows participants to understand what being an Oxford science student is really like.

I really enjoyed the residential and am so happy to have been able to experience it. I hope that one day I am an ambassador for this residential!

As part of a jam-packed schedule of academic activities, students worked in teams to tackle a Chemistry ‘Lab Lurker’ puzzle, developing their problem-solving and collaboration skills as well as pushing their subject knowledge beyond the A Level syllabus. We were also able to attend a range of taster sessions, using optical microscopes at the Materials Science department, exploring the labs at the Physics department, and learning about volcanic eruptions with the team at Earth Sciences.

One of the distinctive elements of an Oxford education is the tutorial system; we were pleased that our attendees could experience university-style teaching and learning by attending a subject-specific tutorial with our Queen’s tutors. They were given some preparatory work at the start of the residential to complete in the College library and study spaces, ready to discuss their ideas and questions with their peers in a tutorial at the end of the week.

My favourite activity was the Materials tutorial. Preparing for it was enjoyable and gave an insight into how to go about private study. The tutorial was fun and very interesting.

The medicine tutorial took the trophy because it was mind-boggling, genuine and really stimulating!

A team of wonderful student ambassadors shared their own experiences of studying science at Oxford and life at Queen’s with attendees. There was, of course, time for fun and socialising, too. Our ambassadors led a ‘pub’ quiz, played cards with attendees in the common room, and took everyone on a tour of Oxford with a reward of G&Ds ice cream – a quintessential Oxford student activity!

As Trinity Term is in full swing and exams are underway, we are now looking ahead to the University Open Days at the end of June. For more information about visiting the College as part of the Open Day, please visit this page: