Step Up Programme
New College's Step-Up Programme is designed to inspire and support state-school students throughout Years 11, 12 and 13.
It attempts to ensure that students recognise Oxford as a realistic and achievable option for them in the future and makes sure they are fully equipped and supported to make a competitive application.
Crucially, it is a sustained-contact scheme. Students have regular, consistent contact with the College's Outreach Team over three years (two years for students attending a sixth form college).
New College's Step-Up Programme launched in the academic year 2017/18 and is fully funded. Wren Academy is delighted to maintain this partnership with New College, which is only available to 37 schools nationwide.
The Step Up Programme consists of five main steps in partnership with New College, supplemented by weekly enrichment sessions in Year 11 and Year 12.
New College Steps
Students are introduced to Step Up by a member of the New College Outreach Team. This takes the form of a school visit, and a 90 minute talk from our Outreach Officer.
Visiting New College. In the Summer of Year 11, selected Wren students are invited to visit New College for the day. This is one of the highlights of the year for many students, as they are provided with the opportunity to meet current students and have lunch in the grand surrounds of New College’s dining hall.
Application Process. Students in Year 12 are informed about the application process, with a second visit from a New College Outreach Officer.
Personal Statement Support. A third visit provides specialist support to Oxbridge and Early Entry candidates, including advice on personal statements and interview preparation.
Year 13 Students who have been invited to attend Oxbridge interviews are connected to specialists in their given subjects and interview practice is conducted. Wren Academy’s previous successful Oxbridge applicants speak incredibly highly of the value of these sessions.
Step Up Enrichment
To supplement the key new college steps, selected Year 11 students are invited to attend a weekly Step Up Enrichment. The key aim of this enrichment is to encourage and foster academic passion. Students are encouraged to explore their academic passions in greater depth, and are guided on how to articulate these passions, as they would be expected to in an Oxbridge interview.
Higher order critical thinking is also taught, with consideration of a broad range of topics from different A Level subjects, in order to develop students’ curiosity and love of learning.