A recent school visit

Friday 19 May 2023

As part of its outreach programme, Balliol regularly welcomes school groups to the College. A recent visit, from Ursuline High School, Wimbledon, gave us an opportunity to welcome back an alumna too: Polly Harrison (Balliol 1994), who is Director of Extended Learning/Oxbridge 6th Form Curriculum at the school. Polly kindly sent this description of their visit:

Group of pupils standing on steps with Bodleian Library and Sheldonian Theatre in background
By the gates to the Bodleian Library.

We took the Year 12s on the Oxbridge Programme to visit Balliol College, Oxford, and had a great time. The students had a talk from the Outreach Assistant, Jack Robinson, about life at Oxford and advice on their university applications, which was very helpful. Then we enjoyed lunch in Balliol Hall and the aspiring biomedics met Mr Barathan’s uncle, who is a biochemist and Admissions Tutor at Trinity College. After lunch we had a talk from a tutor in the Earth Sciences Department, who explained volcanoes and earthquakes and led the students in an experiment and a quiz, which was really fun. We ended the visit with a tour of Oxford in the May sunshine — a perfect end to the day! As the Year 12s are starting to decide on their university options and prepare their applications, it was a very timely visit. Here is what some of the Year 12s had to say about it:

Outside the Radcliffe Camera.
  • My favourite part was the taster interactive lecture, exploring different compositions of volcanoes.’
  • I loved having lunch with a biochemist — his passion and knowledge helped further reassure me in my pursuit of biochemistry.’
  • The tour of Oxford was beautiful with the fun Harry Potter and Narnia trivia bonus!’
  • We were given a full overview of the application process and teaching styles by Jack, who was attentive and helped open our minds to what a future at Oxford could hold.’

We are delighted that the group enjoyed their day and we thank them for allowing us to share some of their photos.

If you are interested in bringing a school group to Balliol, please see our school visits page.

If you would like to support Balliol’s Outreach work, please make your gift to Outreach today.