We are very proud of the way in which we prepare our students for entry to the most competitive universities. We send more students to study at Oxford and Cambridge than any other state-funded non-selective school or college. In 2020, 54 of our students received offers from Oxford or Cambridge.
Our Oxbridge Preparation Programme
Our programme includes a wide range of challenging activities to help prepare L6 students for their application including the opportunity to apply for a place on the HE+ scheme. Many students choose to attend extension classes in their subject whilst others undertake activities as varied as practical archaeology, the whipworm project or quantum mechanics for beginners. In addition, our careers service circulates information on a wide range of external opportunities such as master classes, summer schools and work experience.
Additional reading and research opportunities
Subject areas highlight additional reading possibilities on their intranets and in their course materials. Furthermore, we offer all our students the opportunity to undertake an Extended Project Qualification. The EPQ is excellent preparation for an application to a competitive university since it gives students the opportunity to build research skills and to gain expertise in a particular topic area.
UCAS application support
Each student has a dedicated personal tutor trained to support them through the UCAS application process. Our knowledgeable careers service offers further support including providing information about various outreach schemes and widening participation initiatives. The Oxbridge Tutor offers a series of group sessions each term to help students prepare a high quality application.
Entrance test preparation
The Oxbridge Tutor circulates relevant information to students and offers opportunities for interactive online practice of entrance test skills. Group sessions offer an opportunity to build the critical thinking skills required for success in the most widely used entrance tests. Extension classes run by subjects often include further opportunities for entrance test preparation.
Being able to speak confidently under pressure is of great importance at interview. Our Oxbridge Tutor uses a range of techniques to build this skill. Groups of students can undertake mini-presentations, subject one another to devil’s advocate experiences or undergo a viva voce on a topic of their choosing. At college level, opportunities to practice interview skills include our debating society, our LAMDA public speaking classes and the presentation element of the EPQ.
Our Successful Students
PSC is an inclusive college ensuring equal opportunities for all our students. Our successful students come from a wide range of backgrounds and some have overcome significant challenges. For example, this year’s 54 Oxbridge offer holders include those with family responsibilities, those who have attended 11-16 schools requiring improvement and those who are the first in their family to attend university.