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Oxbridge 2020 (2)

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HugoSpritz Sat 31-Aug-19 10:20:01

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OP’s posts: |
Ironoaks Sat 31-Aug-19 10:32:57

Thank you for starting the new thread HugoSpritz

Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 10:50:12

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KingscoteStaff Sat 31-Aug-19 14:23:41

Nicely done Hugo.

sandybayley Sat 31-Aug-19 17:33:23

Checking in @HugoSpritz - thanks for mustering us all.

hobbema Sat 31-Aug-19 18:11:36

Thanks @HugoSpritz! We’re on thread 2 and its not even September!! I know @Zanda isnt coming back but just re the ocr 94% grade boundary thing in Eng Lit... 10% plus achieved that.. not so different from previous years.

Cleopatrai Sat 31-Aug-19 19:05:40

Just placemarking on this thread

Hoghgyni Sat 31-Aug-19 19:23:24

Thanks Hugo.

Quair Sat 31-Aug-19 19:36:21

Itsnearly2020 in your school, don't the students make their own decisions too? Who gets the final say?

Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 20:05:43

Of course they all make their own choices about where they’re applying, though they do tend to end up in clusters at certain universities.
Oxbridge seems to be considered slightly differently, and the students are strongly advised to listen to school’s recommendation about whether an application is likely to be successful or not. We’re obviously only just coming up to that decision point now, but advice from year 13 and older parents is to trust the school. Tbh it’s a lovely feeling to be able to have complete trust that a school completely gets your child, knows their strengths and needs, and will give useful advice.

Sostenueto Sat 31-Aug-19 20:17:44

Thanks hugo for new threadflowers

Indicative Sat 31-Aug-19 20:21:46

Whereas asvice from Oxbridge colleges is that it is the individual pupil's decision where to apply and that they would discourage schools from.being the gatekeepers! It isn't up to the school but the colleges who they wantto admit . At our school some potential shoe-ins didn't get offers this year whereas some the school thought may be worth a punt got offers.

I think many Oxbridge Admissions Tutors would have something to say about this.

Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 20:31:41

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MrsNorth Sat 31-Aug-19 20:48:44

I have been a long time lurker and have found the last couple of years' Oxbridge threads interesting and intimidating in equal measure.
I get the impression that a significant number of posters are based in London and the south east at fairly high profile independent and state schools and bandy about scarily high numbers of A* grades which may put off some prospective applicants and their parents.

As I am now at the end of this process I thought I would add my anecdotal two penn'orth:
I have two children who have successfully applied to Cambridge within the last couple of years.
The scientist DC applied with 8A stars at GCSE, though did have all A star predictions at A level from a grammar school. They had friends who applied with a higher number of A stars at GCSE who did not get in. My DC did not play any instrument, nor do D of E, nor was a prefect or any other worthy pursuit but they were very keen on their subject and frankly appeared very bright (though not that hard working!) from an early age.
My other DC is also about to start at Cambridge this year. They applied for an arts subject with less than stellar GCSEs ('only' 6 top grade GCSEs) and, again, had friends with 10+ top grade GCSEs who applied unsuccessfully for similar courses. DC2 was at a small independent school (not in London or the south east) Again, they were not a high achiever in any extra-curricular activity though they do have a particular interest they hope to continue at uni. They are very keen on their subject.
My advice to prospective applicants would be to give it a go if you are passionate about your subject and think a course at Oxford/ Cambridge is for you. Don't get hung up on needing all 8/9s or grade 8 in violin or let anyone else say you aren't suitable- leave it to the admissions tutors to make that call.
Good luck for next year!

Indicative Sat 31-Aug-19 21:01:40

When I say taking a punt it may still be a pupil with A*/A gcse profiles and A*A*A predictions or A*AA Ie they meet Oxford's entry requirements but they just aren't only A* everything. I am not talking about an AAB student who if they got those grades hasn't a hope. The Oxbridge stats show that they take people with those grades i mentioned above. If your school only supports those with A* at everything they are doing other very capable pupils a real disservice. I assume they don't block them from applying or write lukewarm references if a pupil at that level said "you know what I think I would like to try anyway".

As regards the "trust the school" advice - sometimes that isn't wise. I am sure your school is fine but remember the school that taught the completely wrong English novel etc. Schools aren't always the font of all knowledge which is why I would recommend reading the Oxbridge websites really carefully and tapping into threads like these. You find out all sorts eg. The 14 x A* gsce and 4 x A* A level who didn't get and Oxbridge or a Durham offer and the one with less good gcses but who scored well in the aptitude tests and A level predictions who did. Sometimes there appears to be no rhyme nor reason as to how decisions are made as to who gets offers. I think you said your school is selective. This would suggest that were your middling/lower ability kids at other state schools they may be that school's shining stars being encouraged to go for it. It would just be such a pity for a pupil at some point to regret not going for it and never knowing, whereas if they go for it but don't succeed in getting an Oxford offer they are still likely to get offers from excellent unis but never have that pang of "what if".

If your DS has already spent time at Wadham and enjoyed his time there that is as good a reason as any to apply there. I assume that he already knows he may end up being offered elsewhere anyway. DS started looking at stats etc but has decided to put down one he liked (it has a decent football team)! He would happy just to get an offer !

His school is also selective and we had 51 places last year (haven't heard this year's number yet) so I am happy with their philosophy that if you want to try for it they will support the application.

HugoSpritz Sat 31-Aug-19 21:14:23

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OP’s posts: |
Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 21:22:32

I can’t imagine they’d stop anyone applying, tbh I don’t know that would pan out as I’ve not heard of anyone not agreeing with school. But there’s always a first! I’m happy they have the students best interests at heart and sounds like you’re happy with how your school does it too.

He loved his 6 weeks there and it’s easy for him to be wedded to it because of his experience. But yes he’s mindful that other colleges are also excellent for his subject so he’s ready to be open about it.

Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 21:28:05

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Quair Sat 31-Aug-19 21:43:36

Itsnearly2020, have you spoken to many of your school's year 13 parents about their children's experiences? You seen very sure of what happens to everyone else, but you son has no experience of year 13....

Itsnearly2020 Sat 31-Aug-19 21:48:23

@Quair yes lots, it’s a very small school. Why are you so sceptical?

Quair Sat 31-Aug-19 21:53:58

I'm just struggling to picture the circumstances where you'd get to know parents from the year above so well that you would know the detail of their children's experiences through their UCAS application, including those in the majority who didn't get Oxbridge places. Maybe you've known them all for years and they confide in you when they are disappointed?

PantTwizzler Sat 31-Aug-19 21:55:30

I think it’s very hard to generalise. My DC’s school rigidly predicts 1 grade above summer mocks. For DD this was A* A* A; her offer was AAA which she achieved, having not really worked very hard. However, good enough is good enough!

Hoghgyni Sat 31-Aug-19 21:55:40

I was intrigued by the 6 weeks at Wadham & looked it up. I'm sure your DS will have a headstart on his PS after that. I can only name 1 or 2 others from DD's school who are applying, despite there being many more and I haven't discussed DD's plans with anyone really outside of our family. Surely the school doesn't publish a list of who is worthy to apply and who isn't! How do you know who is "approved"?

Dr273 Sat 31-Aug-19 21:57:19

@MrsNorth - clearest understanding I've seen.

This is not America. Oxbridge give no stuffs about extracurriculars. It's about how you think and problem solve in your subject. That's it.

I could go into more detail...

I am an Oxford graduate and provide mock interviews.

Hoghgyni Sat 31-Aug-19 22:09:27

Our non selective state school says they get about 30-40% offer rate out of all applications, but the students self-select. They're bright enough to realise that they won't get in with BBB as predicted grades, but the school let's them decide if the degree course and university is for them. They may prod students to avoid certain colleges if they are applying somewhere with a poor admissions record for (say) blind LGBT BAME Corbyn supporting applicants, or they think it would be a poor fit.

I would be seriously unimpressed if a school which my DD had been attending for less than a year felt they were in the position to make a key decision about her future over-riding her own choice. I'm sure a lot more apply from your school than are willing to discuss it in public.

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