Luton Futures students visit Wadham College

A group of Year 10 Luton Futures students recently enjoyed a day trip to Wadham College, marking the end of the first year of a Wadham-Luton access programme.

Students from Luton Future Partnership schools Cardinal Newman, Challney High School for Girls, Stopsley High School, Putteridge High School and Lea Manor have all taken part in the programme, which aims at widening access to Wadham College, Oxford University. 

Each student has taken part in eight academic taster sessions held fortnightly after school in Luton. These taster sessions covered topic areas that the students were unlikely to have studied before at school, such as Classics, Engineering, Material Science, Politics, Theology, Earth Sciences, Computer Science, and Medieval Literature, in order to introduce them to the range of topics and subjects on offer at university.

During their day at Wadham, each of the school students gave a ten minute presentation on a subject of their choice ranging from Art and Classics, to QR codes and Earth Sciences.

In addition to College tours led by Wadham undergraduates, the school students had the chance to question third year student Sarah Atayero (Psychology) who attended Cardinal Newman School. Sarah shared her experience on subjects as diverse as academic pressure, accommodation and finance. 

Visiting the Ashmolean museum, the school students were also given hands on research experience learning about objects from the Ancient World.   

As a reward for completing this year, each student received a Very Short Introduction book of their choice, which included The Brain, Dreaming, Nuclear Physics, Music, and The Devil. The books were presented to the students by the Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC. 

Explaining how the programme will continue, Access and Outreach Officer Emily Cannon stated: “In order to bridge Year 10 and Year 11, the students will be set a project to complete over the summer based on the book they have chosen. Following that, they will take part in sessions in Luton focusing on A Level choices and study skills and will celebrate the end of the whole scheme with a short residential at Wadham. Once they start Year 12, the students will be encouraged to attend the existing access events, including Wadham’s Year 12 Access Days and talks, as well as open days.”