Blatch Oxbridge Success

Thursday, 01 February 2018

Here at Blatch we were thrilled to receive an email from BHASVIC last week informing us that five of our former students have been offered places to study at either Oxford or Cambridge Universities.

Three of our former students have secured offers from Oxford: Maya Frampton for Classics and English at Regent’s Park College, Siam Rahman for Chemistry at Trinity College and Iona Watters for Philosophy, Politics and Ethics at Mansfield College. Another two have received offers from Cambridge: Louis Davies for Mathematics at St John’s College and Rebecca Phillips for Medicine at King’s College.

The deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge is much earlier than the deadline for other universities and closed on 15th October 2017. In 2016 Oxford received over 19,000 applications for only 3,200 places, and Cambridge received over 16,000 applicants for roughly 4,000 places so to have five of our former students receive offers is an extremely proud moment for everyone at Blatchington Mill.

Pictured above: Iona's letter of acceptance to Oxford's Mansfield College.

Not only did our former students have to complete a UCAS application, but as Maya explains, they also had to jump through a lot of other hoops in order to be offered a place; ‘I began practising for my admissions tests that would be on the 2nd November (I sat both an English Literature Aptitude Test, and a Classics Language Aptitude Test), a few days after that I sent in two essays I wrote for my A Level subjects, and at the end of the month I received an invitation to interview, going up to Oxford for three days in early December for six interviews in all.’

Iona also had an intensive interview experience at Oxford and said, ‘The interviews lived up to their reputation of being rigorous and challenging; I found my philosophy interview particularly gruelling. The questions were not what I expected and were mainly in the abstract, without many opportunities to apply any prior knowledge.  One of the more fun questions was: ‘if you had to destroy all of Shakespeare’s works or the moon, which would you choose?’’.

Pictured above: A photo that Iona took on a visit to Oxford University, and a photo of Maya and some friends at the Oxford Botanical Gardens.

In terms of giving advice to our current students, both Rebecca and Maya stress that it is important to be passionate about what you want to study. Rebecca’s course takes a lengthy six years to complete ‘so it’s a long time doing something you don’t love’, and she encourages current students to ‘start thinking about work experience now’ so that they can be sure about what they want do. Maya would encourage any aspiring university applicants currently studying at Blatch to be proactive about exploring their options and to ‘read, roam and research’ around different subjects. She believes that ‘becoming an independent learner early on will definitely make the process of application for any university so much easier.’ Iona’s advice to anyone considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge is ‘to just go for it – you have nothing to lose in applying!’

We were delighted to receive some lovely comments from our former pupils and Rebecca, who decided that she wanted to be a doctor while studying here, said, ‘I’m so grateful to Blatch for igniting and developing my love of science, so thank you’. Rebecca’s parents were also very complimentary about Blatch and shared, ‘we talk about Blatch still with real fondness; it’s a school that encouraged, supported and inspired both our children and we will always be grateful for that’.

We’d like to wish Maya, Siam, Iona, Rebecca, Louis and of course, the rest of our former students the best of luck with their upcoming exams and applications to university; we’re confident that they will excel in this next stage of their lives.