30 Oxbridge offers smash record for Woodhouse College

Dated: 18 February 2019

Woodhouse College have secured a record number of Oxbridge offers this year, with 30 hard working students being offered places at the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
As well as a culture of high achievement (the college recorded its best results in a decade last summer and the second best since its inception, with 70% of grades in the high grade A*-B bracket) students have benefited from a well-structured application support system offered by the college.
Students are encouraged to start the process of engaging with their subject beyond the A level syllabus as soon as possible. This includes joining study groups and meeting with like-minded people to discuss texts and articles or solve problems that go beyond the demands of normal classwork. The college organises and oversee trips, visiting speakers and summer schools as part of a comprehensive programme that mostly focuses on specific subject areas. They bring in admission tutors from Oxford and Cambridge and invite students and parents to come and find out more about the whole process and give them the chance to ask questions. Students also benefit from the colleges extensive network of contacts and staff, who have specialist subject knowledge and give students intensive interview practice, as do their governors.
Principal John Rubinstein said “We are very proud of our students and thrilled that such record numbers have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge, right across the curriculum. Most of the other schools with high Oxbridge success rates are grammar schools or are more highly selective, so we think this is testament to the impact of good teaching and a culture of high aspirations.
We also celebrate the many students who get offers to other competitive universities, for example the large numbers who get offers from Imperial and UCL and other top Russell Group universities, and the many students who get into medicine through our fantastic medicine academy.”
Ervin Metushi, 18 and from Chipping Barnet, came to Woodhouse from Mount Grace School. He has an offer to study medicine at Cambridge University. He said “I was shocked and delighted when I heard I got an offer as it wasn't what I was expecting. Especially since I am the first in the family that has applied to university. It means a lot to me and I am very grateful for receiving an offer. It was a very difficult process especially for medicine as I had to juggle my four A levels with part time work, volunteering and preparing for the BMAT, alongside the UKCAT. However, I am glad I went for it. Oxbridge had always been a goal of mine since I was young. Woodhouse has been so supportive giving plenty of advice and giving suggestions of how best to prepare for all aspects of the Oxbridge application. It was a tough experience, but one which Woodhouse made much simpler. After Cambridge I plan to finish my medical training.”
Anjali Depala, 18 and from North Finchley, came to Woodhouse from The Compton School. She has an offer to study chemistry at Oxford University. She said “Of course, I am very pleased! The application process itself is quite tough. From getting the required predicted grades during the mocks to be eligible to apply, to the entrance exams and overnight interviews, a lot of dedication and hard work needed to be put in from the beginning. It was definitely a long process, but I am pleased that it worked out in the end.
Doing my A levels at Woodhouse has allowed me to become a determined and self-motivated individual. As a college, it gives its students more independence and responsibility than a school sixth form, whilst still giving them the support they need to academically flourish. My teachers always encourage me to stretch my depth of knowledge. I am hoping to read chemistry at Oxford, which is a four-year Master’s degree with the final year being pure research. This keeps my options open for careers after completing the course.”
Daniyah Ahmed, 18 and from West Hendon, came to Woodhouse from Copthall School. She has an offer to study English at Cambridge University. She said “I am really excited about the opportunity, as getting an Oxbridge offer is something I have always thought about. It means a lot to be the first in my family to get an offer and show my younger siblings that Oxbridge is not an unobtainable goal to have, despite the rigorous and seemingly daunting application process.
Apart from ensuring my UCAS application was done by mid-October, I had to sit an additional entry exam for my course, which consisted of a comparative essay of two unseen texts. After this were also required to submit various other application forms including posting passport photos to the university, which came as a surprise, as I thought once UCAS was complete I could relax a bit. The college processing my application also requested copies of two previously marked essays done in class. I’m glad that all the money spent on next day postage was worth it! Finally, in December I had two interviews, and this was the last step before potentially being given an offer. Regardless of the outcome I knew I had enjoyed myself and did the best I could have done, despite the overall stressful application experience.
Being at Woodhouse and surrounded by not just a few, but hundreds of motivated and driven students has made a huge difference to my view of education, as everyone is hard-working, and the attitude is contagious. The number of Oxbridge meetings, talks, trips and mock interviews were all truly invaluable experiences. Looking back, I can’t believe there were times when I considered giving up and not applying or thought I would never be considered. I hope to do a masters and possibly even a PhD someday, either in literature or linguistics. I plan to learn more languages to further improve my communication skills.”
Lily Frances Down, 18 and from Walthamstow, came to Woodhouse from Walthamstow School for Girls. She has an offer to study English at Oxford University. She said “Oxford is definitely my dream university, so I'm thrilled to have received an offer. Every time I go to Oxford, I like it more! Woodhouse has definitely helped me to get into Oxford - one of my English teachers is an Oxford graduate, and having her advice was really helpful. The college as a whole has been incredibly helpful, especially Mr Rubinstein, who was great when I needed advice on my personal statement.
Most of my friends from other colleges did not receive an offer, and I think that the help Woodhouse gave really helped me get in. I wasn't necessarily thinking about applying to Oxbridge when I first started college, but being at Woodhouse meant I wanted to continue being challenged academically like I am here at college - and where better to do that than Oxbridge? I hope to study English as an MA, and possibly pursue a career in academia or writing.”
Jordan Andrew 
Jordan Andrew, 17 and from Bush Hill Park in Enfield, came to Woodhouse from East Barnet School. He has an offer to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge University. He said “I feel absolutely ecstatic and blessed to be provided with such an amazing opportunity. It means so much to me as from year 12 I have dreamt and worked towards obtaining an offer.
I think one of the first great obstacles I had to overcome was myself. I never truly believed I would get to this stage and so crushing my negative thoughts about applying was essential for me to get through the admissions process. Being at Woodhouse has made me realise that no goal or aspiration is far in reach when you work hard. I think the learning environment Woodhouse provides has really allowed me to grow as a person, giving me the drive to tackle goals and aspirations such as getting an offer from Cambridge.
After attending my work experience (which was in a clinical neuroscience research institute) I would love to go in to cognitive development or epilepsy research as from a young age I have been fascinated with both aspects of abnormal human behaviour and development. As a young carer to my brother with special needs, I haven't had an easy childhood. From a young age I had to balance emergency hospital visits and looking after him when no care was available with school work which amounted to me performing quite negatively in my education. However, when I started Year 11, I decided that I was not going to let my personal circumstances affect where I can and cannot go in my life, so I worked as hard as I could to get the best GCSE grades and come to Woodhouse. From Year 12 onwards I realised that if I could achieve high grades with my circumstances at GCSE then I can do what seemed to be impossible for someone like me, apply to Cambridge. This has been my drive up to now and I am so glad that all my hard work haspaid off. The sky is the limit!”
Isaac Healey, 18 and from Dollis Hill, came to Woodhouse from Hampstead School. He has an offer to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He said… “I'm really excited, I've wanted to do PPE at Oxford for a long time. It's nice to have a tangible accomplishment for having done the work to get in. I'm really disorganised so meeting the early application deadline was difficult, the interview was really stressful, and I thought I'd failed after the first one (of three). Woodhouse has made a difference to my aspirations since I went to a politics conference at Trinity College Oxford in March (through Woodhouse). Before that I couldn't decide between studying modern foreign languages or PPE.”

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