Oxbridge offers hit 27

Dated: 4 February 2021

Despite Covid, lockdown, classroom closures and exam chaos, Woodhouse students have continued to strive and carve out their chosen career paths successfully. For many, that has meant applying to some of the most elite universities in the world, and this year, our students have secured no less than 27 Oxbridge offers - and there may be more to come.
 
Principal John Rubinstein said " It seems that we are heading for a record number of Woodhouse students progressing to Oxford and Cambridge. This speaks volumes of the commitment, hard work and talent of our students in the most challenging of times. We also have record numbers of offers from other top universities. Woodhouse students do well wherever they go and we are proud of all of them."
 
 
Candace
 
Candace came to Woodhouse from Highlands School and applied to Oxford during her gap year after her exams. She will be heading to St Catherine's to study Human Sciences.
 
"Immediately I was drawn to the course because of its interdisciplinary nature. From looking at the world from a biological lense when studying modules such as; Genetics and evolution and then being able to link this to wider societal issues as you study about cultures and the environment. It's a truly fascinating course!
 
As a result of its interdisciplinary nature, I am not too sure what I want to be as of yet, however I am sure that through the course I will soon discover what I would potentially like to have a career in.
 
I am delighted about my offer. I desired to study the course in the unique way that it is offered in Oxford, so this is a great opportunity and a true gift. My family had seen all the hard work that I had put into the application process, so I would say that mixed in with their joy, there was also a sense of relief (and parental pride). For us all this was a true journey of faith.
 
As a gap year student there were a few hurdles that I had to face. As I am also currently interning, I had to learn how to balance my time effectively. So time-management was key. Additionally, I had to do interview practice outside the context of the college environment, so it was at times difficult to stay focussed and persevere. However, in the end we got there!
 
I had loved my experience at Woodhouse; from the overall environment, to the support that I had received and friends that I made. My teachers had always appreciated my drive and motivation to work and in turn had supported that, giving me the guidance that I needed to excel, whilst believing in my ability. Being at Woodhouse was a truly unforgettable experience, it's a blessing to have attended the college."
 
 
Aland (and friends)
 
Aland came to Woodhouse from North Bridge House Senior School and has an offer to study Experimental Psychology at Oxford, Christ Church.
 
"I’m looking forward to working as a clinical psychologist with a long term goal of becoming a professor to teach and research at the pinnacle of the field.
 
Obviously I’m absolutely ecstatic, I will be the first person in my family to get into University (and a very prestigious one at that!). My family comes from Kurdistan where the education isn’t great and academic success is not expected, getting an offer from Oxford feels as though I have broken a class barrier of sorts.
 
I came to the UK half-way through year 10 and did not have much time to adjust to a new life and school curriculum. During my GCSE exams my family were homeless as we could not afford rent. We stayed at an overcrowded flat with my uncle until a couple months into sixth form. When we finally moved out, the pandemic struck and I was stuck at home with no internet, unable to access any online learning for a couple months.
 
Despite all the obstacles that came with the pandemic, my teachers were very understanding of my circumstances and did everything they could to support my application. Additionally, many of the Woodhouse staff were constantly in touch with me and worked very hard to facilitate my learning, especially the safeguarding team who were a tremendous help when it came to the mental health of both myself and my family’s.
 
Although a classroom environment is irreplaceable and every student has been affected by COVID-19 differently, Woodhouse has been working very hard to ensure all students are still receiving the high quality education we would have in school. Most notably, our teachers have been doing everything they can to make up for the obstacles that come with online learning, working overtime to ensure all of the students are caught up with the content. I feel very confident knowing I can contact my teachers at anytime if I need help with anything.
 
Woodhouse is the first school I’ve felt welcomed as more than just a student, and where the teachers are more than just a person who stands at the front of the class and feeds you information for an hour. You can have a discussion and talk to your teachers about anything, there is definitely more trust between the students and teachers and you have a lot more independence in your learning. I’m saddened our time here has been cut short by COVID-19 but I am fulfilled by the experience nonetheless."
 
 
 
Sophie
 
Sophie came to Woodhouse from Parliament Hill School and has an offer to study Mathematics at Newnham College Cambridge.
 
"It’s a really interesting course and has a lot of different choices and modules. Plus, the lecturers are some of the best in their specialty, which is really intriguing!
 
I’m really pleased with getting an offer. Woodhouse helped me prepare for the interview by doing a mock interview. It helped me know what sort of questionsI might be asked, and made me feel much less nervous for the real one.
 
COVID-19 has impacted my learning quite a bit, however Woodhouse has been great this term at doing online lessons at the same time as we would have had lessons in college. This is also really helpful for structuring my day which can be hard in lockdown.
 
Woodhouse means a lot to me, particularly the people I’ve met whilst here. As everyone is new, we were encouraged to meet and talk to people, especially in the first week of year 12 when there weren’t any year 13s and you could easily just talk to anyone. The welcoming and friendly atmosphere of the college is really prominent, and has helped me make some amazing friends."
 
 
Preena
 
Preena came to Woodhouse from Ashmole Academy and has an offer from Cambridge to study Natural Sciences.
 
"Natural Sciences is appealing to me due to the broad nature of the course, especially as I’m still not 100% sure what career I want to follow. The course is very flexible and allows me to select the modules that interest me so I can specialise later on.
 
It took a while for the news to sink in, to be honest! An Oxbridge offer always seemed like something unreachable, but I proved that wrong! As far as I am aware, I am the first female in my family to get an offer.
 
Writing my personal statement and preparing for the admissions assessment and interviews was a gruelling process, especially when balancing 4 A level subjects alongside. I found the admissions test the most difficult stage as I had to learn quite a lot of new content on my own, and the assessment is designed to stretch us outside our comfort zone.
 
Woodhouse has been fantastic during the whole application process: teachers were more than happy to help me improve my personal statement, go through challenging questions from past papers (for the admissions assessment), and provide mock interviews. They were also extremely accommodating for my interviews - I had connection issues from home, but luckily Woodhouse provided a quiet room in college for me to do my interviews.
 
Over the last year everyone has had to adapt to online learning and stay motivated even without their teachers and classmates around them. I’m grateful for the fact I have a good study space at home with suitable technology to access virtual lessons, so my learning has not been affected too severely. Methods I have developed to stay on top of my work are writing to-do lists, asking for help when I need it, and sticking to a routine.
 
Woodhouse has adapted really well to the new situation, and teachers are always finding ways to make lessons engaging whilst providing the best support they can.
 
I’m so glad I decided to move to Woodhouse for A levels. The independent learning environment has been a perfect stepping stone between school and university. I have definitely learnt the importance of managing time effectively, taking responsibility of my own learning, and not being afraid to ask questions! For example, Woodhouse runs voluntary subject tutorial sessions anyone can attend for extra help.
 
I have also been exposed to a range of amazing opportunities such as the Spanish trip to Valencia, as well as extracurricular sporting activities, including Zumba, gymnastics and trampolining, but pre-COVID-19 of course!"  
 
 
 
 
Iman
 
Iman came to Woodhouse from St Anne's Catholic High School for Girls and has an offer to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge.
 
"I was largely drawn to this subject due to how fundamental psychology is as a catalyst for social change, and the course at Cambridge allows you to take papers in related topics, like anthropology, which I find really exciting. I'm not so sure of my future path yet but at the moment I quite like the idea of going into academic psychology, being able to create and answer my own research questions sounds like a great career.
 
To get an offer to study at Cambridge was like a dream come true for me. I really didnt expect it so I felt very overwhelmed and excited.
 
I think it's fair to say if I hadn't come to Woodhouse College, my chance of getting into Cambridge would be significantly smaller. A large proportion of this would be due to the exclusive opportunities that coming to Woodhouse gave me, like taking part in Christ Church horizons. Furthermore, the ability to have a constant source about opportunities related to Oxbridge, throughout year 12, meant that I was well aware of what the application process was like and how hard I would have to work throughout year 12 and 13 to have a chance of getting in. It also meant I understood what types of things I should be doing to increase my chances of being offered a place.
 
COVID-19 has certainly made it more difficult to learn and taken away the ability of being in class and able to discuss topics with my classmates. But Woodhouse has certainly adapted well to it, they constantly make use of student suggestions in order to improve the way we learn online and all of my teachers ensure we ( the students ) have a say in how our lessons go. They have also tried to replicate the experience of being in a classroom as much as possible.
 
Despite my time spent physically in Woodhouse being quite minimal I have learnt a lot from attending this college that I'm incredibly grateful for: independence, learning to manage my own workload with a social life I believe has prepared me for university in a way that a school sixth form would not do as successfully; being exposed to so many people from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds has made me far more open minded; the commitment of the teachers here to their subject and being able to teach a topic in the most understandable way possible is extraordinary and I'm very grateful for this.
 
But I'm most grateful for the friendships I've created at Woodhouse."
 
 
 
 
Aduke
 
Aduke came to Woodhouse from Winchmore School and has an offer to study English at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
 
"I chose this degree because literature makes me happy - I know it is a simple answer but that is the truth. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do in the future – but I think that is normal. I find it odd that a lot of people expect you to know what you want to do with the rest of your life from a young age. I’m only 18 - not a girl, not yet a woman. So, I’m still figuring things out.
 
Naturally, I am delighted and grateful to God for rewarding my hard work. I am very proud of myself and so are my family. They aren’t necessarily proud of me because I got into Cambridge - I think it is more so the fact that I worked very hard to get to where I want to be. They’ve always taught me to figure out what I want and work hard for it, no matter what it is - A levels, an apprenticeship etc.
 
I’m not the first person in my family to go to university - both of my parents have quite a few degrees. But this achievement is still very important to my family - especially my grandma. My grandparents are a part of the Windrush generation - arriving from Jamaica and Trinidad to work in England and then provide for the rest of the family in the Caribbean was not easy. Indeed, a degree from a UK university, let alone a degree from Cambridge, seemed unattainable. So, to say the least - my family are very proud of me.
 
I did come across one individual that advised me to look at ‘more realistic’ options because Cambridge was not a place for ‘somebody like me’. I do not need to talk too tough on that. There is always going to be somebody that doubts you - just make sure that ‘somebody’ is not you. On the whole, a lot of my teachers at Woodhouse were so supportive and facilitating of my application. My English teacher - Mr Dore - has invariably been positive and enthusiastic throughout my A level journey. The Principal, Mr Rubinstein, actually encouraged me to apply - he was very favourable and constructive. I am grateful for all of the teachers’ support.
 
Woodhouse is resourceful and diligent when it comes to UCAS, and especially Oxbridge. They are focused and keen to lubricate students’ UCAS journeys. They considerably supported me.
 
COVID-19 has been a weird one. Many families have been tragically affected by deaths and other dark things. I think the COVID climate can also be hard if you are a student - concentration and resilience can easily fluctuate for a lot of us. Honestly, it has not been easy for me - it has been quite hard. But I’ve found coping mechanisms and routines that work for me.
 
What does Woodhouse mean to me? If I talk too tough, I'm in trouble but I have learnt a lot here, not just academically. You meet such a diverse group of people at Woodhouse - not only in terms of race, gender and background but also diverse-thinkers. It has been refreshing to be around like-minded individuals who you can have an intellectual discourse with. Not to mention the lovely friends I’ve made here - one love!"
 
 
 
The 27 of our students with oxbridge offers, and the dozens more were also helped to apply, came from a range of schools across north London.
 
Of those with an offer, there were two from our partner school The Archer Academy and also students from:
 
The Compton School
Copthall School
Ashmole Academy
Broomfield School
Winchmore School
Acland Burghley School
Greig City Academy
Parliament Hill School
Park View
Duke's Aldridge Academy
Hornsey School for Girls
William Ellis School
Enfield Grammar School
Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls
Mill Hill County High School
North Bridge House Senior School
Highlands School
St Michael's Catholic Grammar School
Christ's College Finchley
Highbury Fields School
St Anne's Catholic High School for Girls


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