University of Cambridge Residential

After only two days back at school post-Christmas holidays, 40 year ten students from the Wakefield NCOP schools spent two days and one night at the University of Cambridge last week. Accompanied by Higher Education Progression Officers from each school, the students from Airedale Academy, Castleford Academy, St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School and Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy explored two of the university’s 29 colleges and took part in workshops about student life, choosing the right level 3 courses and a debating session. The visitors ate their meals in the spectacular hall within Selwyn College; many students remarked ‘it’s just like in Harry Potter!’. Two college libraries were visited which the students and staff found particularly interesting; the students were amazed at the selection of books on offer to students at the university and one remarked that she ‘would never leave the library’ if she were to study there. On the evening of the first day students were taken bowling in the centre of Cambridge and we found out that the Progression Officer at Hemsworth has quite the talent for bowling!

On the second day the group were taken around Gonville and Caius college where physicist Professor Stephen Hawking is a fellow, unfortunately we didn’t see him but we did have a look at his office. We heard about the various ‘gates’ within the college, one of which students must not pass through until the day they have graduated. One student commented that the buildings at the university are ‘astonishing’ after we had visited the beautiful Gonville and Caius library. Students also had free time to look around Cambridge where some of them purchased fudge from the famous fudge shop.

Feedback from students about the residential was very positive and suggested that this trip has really given the students food for thought when it comes to considering Higher Education as an option.

A selection of the students’ comments:

“It’s not all about the work, you can still be sociable and enjoy societies”

“I’ve really enjoyed myself”

“It felt good as I’ve never thought about it until now”

“I found out a lot of information about student life”

“We got to be independent and learn a lot about uni life”

“The trip helped me figure out some things… such as preferences for living”

“I really enjoyed the experience and it has showed me sides of a university I didn’t know existed. I would recommend this to other students.”

“I liked meeting new people ”

“I thought the trip was very helpful and informative”

“A great experience, once in a lifetime!”