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The aim of this programme is to ensure that students at the more able end of the ability range have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills inside and outside the classroom, with a view to admission to the top universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Russell and 1994 Group).  This process begins in Key Stages 3 and 4 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 10 and 11

Both year groups 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.  Most importantly however, students 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?

Please click here to find out more about the Year 10 Oxford Taster Day.

Years 12 and 13

Students are encouraged from the start of Year 12 to engage in the many and varied Academic Enrichment activities at Gordon's including public-speaking, music and other societies which foster intellectual growth.  Visiting speakers form an important part of the programme and from January Oxford and Cambridge offer a wide choice of Study Days for students to gain a taste of the subject and of life at the universities.  Application to the Eton Summer University Preparation Course and to other Oxbridge summer schools is encouraged and support given with the application.  I work closely with Heads of Department who play an important role in identifying and supporting potential candidates through reading and research suggestions.  The programme encourages an enthusiastic and disciplined spirit or inquiry, fuelling students' ambition to tackle academically challenging material.  

From June of Year 12 students 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. 

Additional Resources

Please click here for Cambridge Wider Reading ideas.

Please click here for reading suggestions from Oxford.

Please click here for reading suggestions from Cambridge.

Please click here for advice on interviews.

Please click here for updated information on 2024 admissions.

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