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The aim of this programme is to ensure that pupils at the more able end of the ability range have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills inside and outside of the classroom, with a view to admission to the top universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Russell & 1994 Group).  This process begins in Year 7 within the classroom and develops into broader extra-curricular provision in Years 12 and 13. The key to success is reading, research and conceptual reflection beyond the syllabus.

Years 9, 10 and 11

All years receive a presentation on the two universities, with the opportunity for questions, in the Spring Term, and will be invited to a talk by a visiting speaker from Oxford. The idea is to sow the seed and to give students the confidence to set Oxbridge as a goal.  Potential Oxbridge candidates in Years 10 and 11 are identified across the subjects and attend open days and study days at Oxbridge in the Summer Term, as a way to inspire them and give them an early taste of the intellectual requirements.  Those interested in Medicine are also invited to a talk by a doctor and, through careers, will start planning suitable work experience.  Most importantly however, pupils are encouraged through their subject teachers to  look at texts,  lectures and other material related to an area of  personal intellectual interest, so that they could answer the question: So, where has your curiosity taken you?

Years 12 and 13

During terms one and two of Year 12, pupils are briefed on the requirements for Oxbridge and Medicine and there are many opportunities for debate and discussion within the academic enrichment programme.  Visiting speakers form an important part of the programme and students are encouraged to attend the Oxford Study Days in March and the Oxford and Cambridge Open Days in July.  Application for the Eton Summer School is also encouraged.  Heads of Department play an important role in identifying and supporting academically the potential candidates, and pupils are given extensive reading lists which they can dip into. 

From June of Year 12 pupils are given support and guidance with their personal statements and help completing the UCAS form to meet the early deadline of October 15th.  A rigorous schedule of admissions test preparation and practice interviews with a variety of interviewers both from Gordon’s and from outside ensure candidates are well prepared for this part of the process. 

Oxbridge Calendar:

Please click here for the key dates for Admissions Tests 2021

Year 10

Summer Term: visit Oxford/Cambridge

Year 11

Spring Term: attend talks at Gordon’s
Summer Term: study days at Oxford

Year 12

Autumn Term: introduction to Oxbridge; debating societies; Oxbridge study and information days at the universities; Reading lists explored independently.

Spring Term:  Visiting speakers; Oxbridge study days continue; Application to Eton Summer School;

Summer Term:  Sessions on personal statement writing; Law Mock Trial

Year 13

Autumn Term: one-to-one help with UCAS; extensive interview preparation, including Wellington College; admissions test preparation; interviews.

And throughout the year: read, read, read!

Additional Resources

Please click here for further information on admissions, personal statements and super-curricular suggestions from Cambridge.
Please click here for Cambridge Wider Reading ideas.
Please click here for Cambridge Interviews Advice.
Please click here for some hints and tips from Oxford.

Is it for me?

Signs that Oxbridge may be right for you:

  •  You enjoy reading beyond the syllabus.
  •  You actively seek out books and articles to read and lectures to watch.
  •  You enjoy activities relating to your subject beyond the classroom.
  •  You are inquisitive about areas of your studies and pursue your curiosity.
  •  You enjoy discussing areas of your studies with teachers and peers.
  •  You are predicted mostly all 8/9s or A/A*s across your subjects

If any of this applies to you, please come to see Mrs Wright (or email to find out more about Oxford and Cambridge and how you could visit the universities and apply.   And, most importantly...what you should be reading!

For  more information you can also visit and