Outreach news archive

Outreach news 2014/2015

PPE workshop

Will Jones (Junior Research Fellow in the Social Sciences) gave a PPE workshop at Ludlow CE School.

28 May 2015

Awards for teachers nominated by Balliol students

Two Balliol students nominated teachers who received one of the 12 Inspirational Teachers Awards given by Oxford University as part of a scheme designed to recognise excellent teachers from state schools and colleges.

Joshua Lynbeck, a first-year History undergraduate, nominated David Perkins of Duffryn High School, Newport. Josh explains why in this video:

Holly Harrison-Mullane, a first-year PPE undergraduate, nominated Alison Boardman of Hornsey School for Girls, London. Holly explains why in this video:

20 May 2015

Balliol hosts Teach First ‘No Limits’ Easter School

We were delighted to host the Teach First ‘No Limits’ Easter School this year. This four-day residential event is the centrepiece of the Futures programme, which works with year 12 students who are currently under-represented at the top universities in the country, including those who are eligible for free school meals or whose parents have not attended university. The Easter School encourages students to push their limits both academically and socially, challenging their preconceptions of what they can and should achieve with regards to University progression. This was the first time it had been run at Oxford University.

Seventy students from London, Wales and the West Midlands spent the days in subject sessions, working with academics and Teach First teachers, ambassadors and employees to explore the subject they are considering for university, and in the evenings they took part in workshops and activities to increase their confidence and knowledge around university applications and careers. They also attended a formal Hall celebration dinner.

 TeachFirst Easter School students

Harris Academy Peckham visit

Twelve year-12 students from Harris Academy Peckham visited Balliol on 28 November 2014. They described their session with Kate Kettle, Outreach Officer, on ‘how to apply to university’ as ‘fantastic’ and put some photos of the day on their website.

Outreach news 2013/2014

Visiting year 12 girls

Haberdasher's Aske image

We enjoyed welcoming this group of year 12 students, who came to Balliol from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools for Girls in Hertfordshire for an information session. The event included a talk on applying to Oxford, a tour with Sam Bumby, one of our JCR Access and Admissions reps, and lunch in Hall.

13 June 2014

Women in Science event

Balliol hosted a Women in Science event in liaison with Talent 2030 and the Market Bosworth School in Leicestershire.

Twenty-five students in years 8 and 9 came to Balliol for a two-day residential visit. Whilst in Oxford the group made a site visit to Eurocopter and met engineers who shared their expertise, as well as touring the Mathematical Institute and attending a talk from a PhD student in Physics.

The group also met Kate Kettle, David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer, who offered some advice on preparing for university.

If you would like to arrange a similar visit for your school group, please get in touch at outreach@balliol.ox.ac.uk.

3 January 2014

Balliol Lower School imageVisitors from Balliol Lower School

In the year when Balliol College is celebrating its 750th anniversary, it was a pleasure to receive a visit from Balliol Lower School, who this year are celebrating their own special milestone: their 60th anniversary. To mark this, pupils from years 3, 4 and 5 came earlier this month to see the College. They enjoyed a tour, lunch in Hall and wearing gowns to help them imagine being undergraduates. Kylie Story, head teacher at Balliol Lower School, said: ‘We hope that our young pupils will use this experience to enhance their learning and give them, and their peers, high aspirations for the future.’

5 November 2013

Visit by Cleeve School, Gloucestershire

We were delighted to welcome a group from Cleve School, Gloucestershire, who visited us for an information session. One of them described the day: ‘We were in awe; the place was just as we imagined. First we had a talk about the entrance process, the college, subject choices, and university life. That was followed by a short tour around the college: there was pristine grass surrounded by towering beautiful buildings and a chapel. Next we had lunch in the dining hall, this hall was exactly what you would imagine if you thought of Oxford, breathtaking … Overall we had a very good day, learning a lot and getting some reassurance on the entrance process and university life.’

15 October 2013

Balliol appears on Newsnight

Balliol was featured (with other Oxford colleges) on BBC2’s Newsnight on 9 October in a piece about admissions to Oxford University. The piece included Dr Sophie Marnette, Tutor for Undergraduate Admissions, explaining the admissions process to prospective students, as well as interviews with Kate Kettle, David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer, and second-year undergraduates Rose Hadshar and Rebecca Fynn. You can see it on the BBC iPlayer, about 12.55 minutes into the programme.

10 October 2013

Outreach news 2012/2013

Visit by Presdales

Presdales visit imageBalliol was delighted to receive a visit from 170 female year 10 students from Presdales School in Ware, Hertfordshire, who came to see the College and hear from Kate Kettle (David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer) what studying at Balliol is like and learn about the admissions process. 

19 June 2013

Now on Twitter

You can now keep in touch with us by following us on Twitter:

15 May 2013

Marlborough visitOn 8 May 2013 we were delighted to welcome a group of year 9 and year 10 students from Marlborough Science Academy in St Albans for an information event here at Balliol.

The morning session was led by Kate Kettle, the David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer, and included a talk on higher education generally and Oxford University specifically. Of the visit Kate says, ‘The aim of this event was to inspire these able students to consider an application to a selective university, including Oxford; to supply them with good, quality information about the process; and to offer advice on what they can do now to prepare for their futures.’

The students were offered the chance to meet one of Balliol’s Student Ambassadors and ask any questions they had about university, Oxford or Balliol, before taking a tour of the College, including the Hall, Library and JCR (Junior Common Room). They then enjoyed the opportunity to join other students and staff in the Great Hall for lunch. Afterwards they wrote:

‘I thought that our trip to Oxford University was very useful and informative. Our trip gave us an insight to what university life is like. It also gave us an idea of what grades at GCSE and A-level we need to achieve to get into such a great university such as Oxford.’ Tiffany Duran

‘Today was helpful as I collected a variety of information that’ll be very useful in the future. I’ve learnt about the Russell Group and the fantastic opportunities that come with going to a great university.’ Abbie Sullivan

‘The Oxford trip was a very interesting and eye-opening experience. Not only has it thoroughly informed me of university, it has left me feeling quite excited about the prospect of going. Hearing from the students gave me a lot of important information concerning the application process. One thing in particular that I was surprised about was the importance of your A-level subject choices.’ Harry Parker

‘The Oxford University trip to Balliol College was extremely interesting and informative. We received a huge range of information about the courses available, the application process and student life in general. Hearing about the importance of A-level choices was especially useful and I was also very interested to hear how important GCSE grades are. I am interested in doing either Maths or Philosophy, Politics and Economics and it was interesting to hear which politicians had been to Oxford.’ Thomas Wernham

‘I found my trip to Oxford University interesting, fun and very informative. It was great to find out about the … courses they offer as well as the common rooms, bars and … clubs and societies in Balliol College. I learnt that not only are your GCSE and A level grades important, but so are your choices. It is also good to have A levels that link to each other.  I would love to go to Oxford, Cambridge or a university abroad to study Additional Maths, Physics or Oriental Studies.’ Sahera Walker

‘I thought the Oxford trip was a really helpful trip because you got to see life at University. We were given a really good presentation about the college and what to look out for when applying for your University. I learnt a lot of new things that I didn’t know before about Oxford and the perfect way to apply for the University. I would like to take a degree in Law. I thought the college was really good and a nice friendly environment. I liked the look of the library and the Great Hall. Overall I think I would like to go to Oxford because of the courses and the great opportunities they have to offer.’ Megan Devereux

Read more about what the students of Marlborough Science Academy thought of their visit to Balliol College.

8 May 2013

The Pathways Programme

Balliol was delighted to work in collaboration with several other Oxford colleges to host a Pathways event in College. Pathways is a series of free events for students in years 10-13 at targeted state schools in the UK. These events provide information and advice to students who have the potential to achieve Oxford’s entry requirements. The programme is distinctive in the way it includes tailored projects for each year group. It is a collaboration between Oxford’s undergraduate colleges, which work together to coordinate and run the events.

Further information about all Pathways events can be found on here. If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the Pathways Coordinators.

23 April 2013

Half-term tours

open day imageRegular tours of Balliol College led by Kate Kettle, David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer, operated over half-term. These guided tours were aimed at prospective applicants, and offered insight into the admissions process and life as a student at Balliol. If you are a prospective applicant, and missed these tours, you can arrange to meet Kate and tour Balliol at a convenient time by emailing her at outreach@balliol.ox.a.c.uk

March 2013

Visit by Target Oxbridge

Balliol welcomed a group of school students from Target Oxbridge, who came to learn about how to choose a subject and college as well as the application process. Target Oxbridge is a free programme that aims to help black students and students of mixed race with black heritage, in years 11, 12 and 13, increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. One of the students, Fope Jegede, wrote about her visit:

‘To say that the day trip to Oxford was a great one would simply be an understatement. Surrounded by the city’s dreaming spires and fascinating history, I returned to London with increased inspiration, aspiration and motivation: I was inspired by the intellectuals I met, aspiring to attend one of the amazing colleges we visited and motivated to put in the hard work to get there.

‘The first stop was the old and equally beautiful college of Balliol. Stepping into it was like stepping into another world; the ancient architecture and accepting atmosphere was stunning. The talk on student life at Oxford University and the advice on the application process was incredibly useful and delivered with great insight. To top it off, having lunch in Balliol’s hall was a lovely contrast to the typical school canteen setting so many of us were used to and so made lunch a memorable and unique experience for all.’

February 2013

Hertfordshire Open Afternoon

Hertfordshire open day imageOver 200 students and teachers from fourteen Hertfordshire secondary schools attended our annual Open Afternoon. The event was designed to give prospective year 12 applicants a taste of what studying at Oxford might be like, in an informal and friendly setting. Led by Kate Kettle, David Freeman Outreach and Student Support Officer, the afternoon included a talk on Oxford University and the collegiate system, and a further group session on the application process, including interviews. There were also eleven subject-specific sessions on a range of topics, including ‘Hispanic Cinema’, ‘The Human Genome’ and ‘Voting Theory’, to name a few. We hope to hold a similar event in 2014.

29 January 2013