Date Posted... Jan 13th 2017



Senior School

Successful six beat the odds to claim Oxbridge places

Truro School Sixth Form - Oxbridge

There was joy and delight for six Truro School students yesterday after it was revealed that their applications to Oxford and Cambridge Universities had been successful.

With around a one in five chance of acceptance per application, admissions to Oxford and Cambridge are extremely competitive. Despite the stiff competition, the 6 successful students result in a 42% acceptance rate for the school’s Oxbridge applications.

The successful applicants represent over 5% of Truro School’s 117-strong Upper Sixth Form year group.

Piran Venton and Edward Sidebotham have received conditional offers for Cambridge to study Mathematics at Corpus Christi and Languages at Selwyn respectively. Four students received offers from Oxford: Christopher McCabe, to read Earth Sciences (campus to be confirmed); Jasmine Savage, to read History & Economics (campus to be confirmed); Luke Richardson, to read Chemistry at Magdalen; and Alistair Ross, to read Chemistry at St Edmund Hall.

Having gone through the interview process before Christmas, each student’s long wait over the festive period seemed like a blur in the past as they received their good news from the universities.

Edward Sidebotham said:

“I was in a Biology lesson when the letter arrived at home, I’d asked permission to have my phone on as I was waiting to hear and my dad text me the news. It was a massive relief, I had been waiting for so long to find out and I didn’t know if I should have been focusing on other universities as well and making different plans, even though Cambridge was my top choice.”

When asked why Oxford and Cambridge are such sought after universities, Ms Harriet Thompson, Truro School’s Director of Student Progression, said:

“Oxbridge Universities focus heavily on the tutorial method of teaching. Rather than just having all of your teacher-pupil contact time in lectures with hundreds of other students, Oxford and Cambridge students have access to extremely small class sizes, sometimes even one-to-one sessions with the leading professors in the country.”

More Oxbridge success stories to follow?

Over the last few years Truro School have invested in the development of Oxbridge applications and expect to keep performing well above the national acceptance rate average in the future.

Ms Thompson, who was appointed into the new position of Director of Student Progression at Truro School last year, said:

“Having a dedicated member of staff with the time to really focus on Oxbridge applications has been really beneficial.”

Students have been able to attend open days at both Oxford and Cambridge where they were given the chance to speak one-to-one with top professors in their chosen fields of study, as well as having a guest speaker visit the school from Oxford University.

Truro School’s alumni have also played a role in the success with a visit from ex-student and Cambridge University graduate Saffron Jones, who provided first-hand advice and experience on what to expect during the application process, including interview tips.

In addition, Ms Thompson utilised Truro School’s partnership with other local schools as part of the Cornwall Sixth Forms Together group, enabling candidates to partake in simulated interviews by staff in other schools whilst also returning the favour.

Jasmine Savage, who has been accepted into Oxford, commented:

“The mock interviews were great for preparing me for the real interview day.”

Ms Thompson finished by saying:

“I feel so happy for the students who’ve now got the recognition for the amount of work they have put in.”