Oxbridge Events

All GSAL students who would like to find out more about applying to Oxbridge should register their interest with Mr Yates or Mr Dodd in school. Students in Year 12 & 13 can request to be added to the Oxbridge emailing list to receive important updates throughout the year.

In addition to the current opportunities advertised here, there are more opportunities and resources available on the dedicated Oxbridge page of The GSAL Journal.

The Academic Extension area on GSAL World aims to help students develop their own interests and think beyond the confines of classroom subjects.

A full Calendar of Academic Extension Events is regularly updated with opportunities throughout the year.

The Lawson Library at GSAL has an excellent Research Zone online, providing easy access to a wide range of learning resources.

The regular news and updates relating to Opportunities and Wider Learning Resources will also strengthen any Oxbridge application.

It is strongly recommended that you follow The GSAL Journal, via email or on Twitter, and pay close attention to specific Oxbridge content.

Mr Yates & Mr Dodd

University of Oxford Newsletter

Updated 24th January 2020

Open Days

Our 2020 Open Days will be taking place on 1 and 2 July and 18 September. Please encourage your students to explore our University, meet current students and staff and find out what it’s like to study with us. In addition to taking part in these University-wide Open Days, some academic departments hold their own open days earlier in the year. These are ideal for students who already know what courses they are interested in, and would like to find out more.

Materials Science: 18 and 19 February, 31 March
Law: 16, 17 and 18 March
Classics: 20 March
Mathematics: 25 April and 2 May
Modern Languages: 2 May
Oriental Studies: 2 May
Geography: 15 June

Oxplore Live

Oxplore’s popular live-stream event is back on 13 February and it’s bigger and better than ever! Host Tom Crawford will be joined by a panel of Oxford academics to debate the Big Question ‘Is knowledge dangerous?’ Students are encouraged to join in with practical demonstrations of ‘dangerous knowledge’ and to put their own questions to the panel for the chance to win prizes. The event is suitable for groups from Years 7-13. Register now for a free weblink and resource pack.

University of Cambridge Newsletter

Updated: 19 May 2020

  Cambridge Open Days logo Cambridge Science Festival at home   Explore some of what the University has to offer through this collection of online resources for students and teachers. These come from across the University of Cambridge and our partner organisations and include a broad range of topics, from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths to Archaeology and Earth sciences. Many of the activities could be suitable as extension work for students, especially students who have had their exams cancelled.    Find out more >  
Image   Online Resources
Religion, Philosophy of Religion and Ethics – A collection of resources for sixth formers studying Religious Studies, Philosophy & Ethics.  
Super-curricular suggestions –  A selection of reading lists and suggested resources for students to independently explore and read around their chosen subject outside of the classroom.  
Peterhouse information for schools – The Schools Liaison team at Peterhouse have created resources for online sessions which pupils can work through at home, at their own pace. They cover topics such as applications to Oxbridge, graduate careers, and ‘university readiness’ skills. Peterhouse are happy to share these resources with any UK state school, please email Amber-Page at slo@pet.cam.ac.uk to enquire.  
SCoPE: Scientists’ Collaborative Project with Educators – Teachers and Gurdon Institute scientists co-created four innovative teaching ‘toolkits’ to use in Biology classrooms across the UK. These toolkits are part of our public engagement programme and their development was funded by Wellcome, therefore they are FREE for teachers to use.
1. The cell explorer – Interactive 3D model allowing students to explore sub-cellular structures and processes in detail. Suitable for: A-level or GCSE
2. Explore epigenetics & the scientific investigator – 3-part toolkit for teaching epigenetics with online activities. Suitable for: A-level
3. Fruit fly dissection – Toolkit for teaching about the size and scale of cells, tissues and organs. Suitable for: GCSE
4. Unlocking genetic editing – Team-based puzzle-solving game for reviewing transcription, translation and the structure of DNA and RNA. This activity also provides a brief introduction to gene editing and the CRISPR-Cas9 technique. Suitable for: A-level  
Image Upcoming Student Events
Downing College Webinars May-August   Faculty of Divinity online open day Available now  Caius Schools Prizes Deadline: 5 June Challenges in Linguistics, Modern and Medieval Languages, History, Natural Sciences and Engineering   Robinson College Essay Prize Deadline: 14 August  

Newnham College (Cambridge) Newsletter

Updated: 3rd March 2020

Newnham College Essay Prizes – deadline approaching The deadline for entries for the Newnham Essay Prizes is 6 March 2020 (except Philosophy, which has a later deadline), so please ensure that all essays and accompanying cover sheets are submitted by this date. All female students currently in Year 12 at a UK school may enter the prizes, which are offered in Biological Sciences, Computer Science, EngineeringHistoryModern and Medieval LanguagesMusic, Philosophy and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, as well as our annual ‘Woolf Essay Prize’ with questions inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. This year, we are also pleased to introduce two new essay prizes in Classics and Maths. Each of the Newnham Essay Prizes has a first prize of £400, a second prize of £200 and a third prize of £100. We welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Each competition has a slightly different word limit, so please consult the questions and information sheet for each of the prizes. All essays must reference sources (including websites consulted) and provide a bibliography. Students may only submit an essay for one subject. Each school may only submit 5 entries per subject.

For questions, cover sheet and hints and tips, please visit our website.  
 Events led by other Cambridge Colleges
1. Sidney Sussex College Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Taster Day – 21 March 2020 Are you interested in physical sciences or chemical engineering? Whether you know exactly which course you want to study at university or if you just want to explore these subjects in a bit more depth, this Taster Day will offer you an insight into what university-level study looks like. Academic sessions and workshops will be delivered by Sidney Sussex academics and graduate students, and as well as attending these sessions you will get to meet current undergraduates who will take you on a tour of Sidney Sussex and show you how colleges work for students. In addition to the subject sessions, the Admissions Director and Schools Liaison Officers will talk to you about making a competitive university application and studying at the University of Cambridge. The taster day will run from 10.00-15.00 and will include a free lunch. The taster day is free to attend (excl. travel) and is just for students. Further information and application form (see ‘taster days’ tab)
2. Downing College Women in STEM Residential for Year 10 and 11 – 5-8 April 2020 Women in STEM is an exciting residential opportunity for women in year 10 and 11 to come and spend four days at Downing College, learning more about Science and the opportunities it can present them in future. Students who attend the residential will be able to take part in subject sessions in either Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Maths, or Computer Science. As part of the residential students will be able to meet current STEM students at Cambridge as well as current professionals who will explain how they have used Science in their roles. The aim of the residential is to provide students with a wider insight into a range of topics and their opportunities in Higher Education. This is a free event for participants and travel support, meals and accommodation will be provided to ensure everyone is able to participate. More information and application form
3. Lucy Cavendish College Women in Engineering Experience Day – 22 April 2020 Lucy Cavendish College are delighted to announce the launch of their first ever ‘Women in Engineering Experience Day’. Year 9 students identifying as female from UK state schools will be able to visit Cambridge and gain an insight into studying Engineering at the UK’s leading university. As the event coincides with Earth Day there will be a focus on themes relating to the environment and sustainability, a topical subject which should fascinate your students. We will start the day at Lucy Cavendish College where students will enjoy a talk on routes into Engineering as well as an engaging lecture relating to the environmental theme. After lunch students will visit the Department of Engineering where they will take part in an exciting hands on workshop  We hope that this event will open up the fascinating world of Engineering to women and inform them about how make the right A level choices should they wish to study this degree in the future.  There is no cost to attend this event and lunch is included. Travel reimbursement is available to attendees who meet certain criteria. If you are travelling as a school group or as an individual, please contact us on outreach@lucy.cam.ac.uk for more information.  How to apply: Please express your interest in attending this event by completing this form.  
University-wide events
1. Cambridge University Engineering Society Access Day – 12 March 2020 Cambridge University Engineering Society are pleased to introduce a new Access Day for Year 12 students interested in Engineering. During this day you will attend lectures and classes taught by Cambridge academics, as well as having opportunities to walk through the historic city centre and enjoy a student-style lunch at Trinity College. You will also get the chance to meet current fellows and undergraduates, and gain a fantastic insight into what it’s like to live and study at Trinity. There will also be sessions on choosing a course, applications and student life. Applications for this event are now open. You can complete the application form here. The deadline to apply for this event is the 4th March 2020.

2. Music Taster Day – 21 March 2020 Our Taster Days are free events that take place on a single day (from 11am to 4pm) in Cambridge and are provided for academically able students from non-fee-paying schools and colleges. The events offer a taste of what life as a Music student at the University of Cambridge would be like. Students will experience the teaching methods used by university academics and gain an insight into the facilities available at the Faculty of Music, whilst meeting students from across the UK. Days may typically include two sample lectures, a tour of a college, and a talk about studying music at Cambridge including a Q and A session with current undergraduates. We can provide travel bursaries and assist with finding accommodation for those travelling long distances. Taster Days website  

3. Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences Designed as Open Days on the road, our conferences bring experienced admissions staff, subject specialists and current students from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to you and your students at venues around the UK.  The events are aimed at Year 12 students (or equivalent) who are studying for their A Levels/IB (or equivalent) and are beginning to consider their options for study beyond sixth form. These full day events provide up to date information about our courses, clearly outline the admissions process and provide students with the opportunity to hear first-hand how our current undergraduate students find life at Oxford and Cambridge. Our aim is for students to leave having explored the breadth of subjects on offer to them, gained a deeper insight into what our courses involve and an understanding of how both universities assess applications.  For 2020, we will once again be hosting a Teachers Programme throughout the morning sessions and encourage teachers and HE advisors to consider attending the conferences alongside students. Student Conferences in action The conferences will cover: Subject specific sessions for many of the courses available at Oxford and Cambridge Applying to Oxford and Cambridge, including Student Life Making a competitive application Student finance and careers Teachers and HE Advisors forum More information and booking forms can be found here.

4. University of Cambridge Subject Masterclasses – more subjects added for Spring 2020 Subject Masterclasses are subject-specific events that offer academically able students in Year 12 (or equivalent) the chance to experience typical undergraduate teaching at the University of Cambridge, and to get a flavour of what it’s like to be a student here. The Masterclasses cover a range of subjects and provide students with an opportunity to explore topics of interest beyond what’s covered within the school curriculum. Each Masterclass includes: two taster lectures delivered by leading academic staff from the University the opportunity to discuss and ask questions an introduction to the Cambridge admissions process the opportunity to hear about life as a Cambridge student from current undergraduates See website for subjects and available dates.