Christ Church Horizons

Christ Church Horizons is a programme of sustained contact and academic enrichment offered to pupils in Year 12 from target state schools and colleges in our London link area, Barnet.

Aims

Through the Horizons programme we would like to broaden the pupils’ academic experience, to enable them to explore beyond the school curriculum, and to support them in developing the skills they will be needing both to make strong university applications, and later, at university. We want to encourage pupils to have the confidence to aim high and hope to dispel myths about higher education and Oxford. As such, the aims of the programme fall into three main categories, which are in line with the goals for access and outreach set out in the Oxford Evaluation Framework:

 

1.        Improving confidence and skills related to university study

2.       Developing practical skills to improve confidence and performance in various admissions stages

3.       Developing realistic attitudes about Oxford 

 

 

What we are offering

A series of academic workshops, study skills, and information, advice and guidance sessions are offered after school, in Barnet.
The academic workshops are given by Oxford tutors, junior research fellows and graduates, and aim to give pupils a taste of the teaching and research that take place at the University of Oxford.

The workshops cover a wide range of academic subjects, from Oriental Studies to Astrophysics, Human Geography or Economics. Through their interactive format, the workshops encourage reflection, flexibility of thought, scientific reasoning and critical thinking.

The academic workshops are complemented by sessions offering information, advice, and guidance about studying at university and developing study skills. Topics include:

•    How to explore beyond the school curriculum
•    Finance at university
•    Essay writing
•    Personal statements
•    How to give a presentation

At the end of the programme participants are invited for a 'graduation day' in Christ Church, where they attend taster lectures, discuss their subjects in subject-specific groups, and meet current undergraduates and tutors. 

What we are not offering

While we hope that the workshops will demystify studying at Oxford and will encourage pupils to consider applying to Oxford and to other Russell Group universities, the programme should not be mistaken for ‘coaching’ or providing a fast track to Oxford, nor does it offer support with school work or school exam preparation.

Feedback from participants

'Before I came on the programme I thought that Oxford was way out of my reach but the programme made me rethink. Now I am seriously considering to apply to Oxford University and I just want to thank you for that. Horizons programme did not only expand my understanding of different subjects but helped me understand more about university and the application process. It was a pleasure to be part of this course and I hope it would be continued throughout the years.'

'I believe these sessions are a really good idea as it gives a chance to those who have limited knowledge about universities to really understand the process.'

'Thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of the Horizons programme! It was a very insightful programme which enabled me to learn about new things that I had not thought of before and build my confidence in contributing ideas in front of peers that I did not know very well. The graduation day was a lovely experience and it also further encouraged my decision to apply to Oxford University.'

'All the tutors were so friendly and welcoming. It wasn't a pressured environment and I don't think people were judgmental. Each session was genuinely interesting and thought provoking and the day at Christ Church was the perfect insight into life at Oxford Uni.' 

'I loved getting to meet the teachers and other students. I really enjoyed the activities we had to take part in. For example, the quiz and also guessing the types of clubs that there are in Oxford. I learned quite a few facts from the quiz and was quite impressed, and the amount of odd clubs in Oxford really made me recognise what an accepting place Oxford is, and its diversity in personalities also.'

'The teachers were extremely bubbly and cheerful, and that really made me feel at ease and also want to take part in the sessions more.'

For more information

For further information on the Horizons programme please contact Dr Ana Hastoy, our Schools Liaison Officer, at ana.hastoy@chch.ox.ac.uk

Applications for 2018 have now closed, but you are welcome to download a sample programme from the top right of this page, as well as the report for Christ Church Horizons 2018.