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Schools Liaison & Widening Participation

“After just 8 weeks Girton has made a profound impression….I love the community atmosphere”

Widening participation & outreach

We recognise that there are barriers which deter students from applying to the University of Cambridge, and we believe that outreach and the provision of accurate information is essential to challenging this. At Girton, our Admissions team works to ensure that all prospective applicants, supporters and schools have access to the information they need to make an informed decision about applying to Cambridge.

We welcome contact from all schools and are happy to provide support where we are able, but maintain particularly strong relationships with schools in our College Link Areas (Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton and the London Borough of Camden). For schools in these areas we hope to go back to offering visits to schools and visits to Girton soon. We also work with selected schools in Cambridgeshire through the Connect to Cambridge Scheme.

  • The link areas for all Cambridge colleges can be viewed here.
  • Information regarding events being run across the University can be found here.

Please see below for further information on the outreach and widening participation events and schemes we run at Girton.


 

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Applicant Support Series!

This is a virtual series is for Year 12 students who are aiming for top universities, including (but not limited to) Oxbridge. We will be running a range of webinars and workshops over the coming months. This will include support with Personal Statement Writing, Super-curricular Engagement, and Interview Skills. Alongside our webinars, participants will receive regular communication from us with resources and opportunities to help them make strong university applications in the coming academic year.

We will be running support webinars from now until the October 15th application deadline. The series has already started, but should students wish to sign-up late they can do so here - this will grant them access to recordings of previous sessions, and invitations to any upcoming webinars. 

Please note that this series is only open to students attending state-maintained schools.

Girton’s Humanities Writing Competition is for students in Year 12 (or equivalent) who have an interest in the Humanities. Students submit an essay based on one or more objects selected from the College’s small antiquities museum, the Lawrence Room.

The competition is an opportunity for research and writing beyond the curriculum using one or more of the six objects as your focus. We accept essays or creative responses (such as dramatic monologues or short stories). Up to date information regarding our Humanities writing competition can be found here, and on our social media platforms.

Girton is also one of the first colleges to participate in STEM SMART, a Widening Participation initiative from the University of Cambridge, in association with Isaac Physics.

STEM SMART will provide free complementary teaching and support to UK students at non-fee paying schools who have either experienced educational disadvantage or belong to a group that is statistically less likely to progress to higher education. It is targeted at students who:

  • are considering applying to Engineering or Physical Science (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, earth sciences, materials & science) courses at university
  • and are studying A-levels (or equivalent) in maths and science. 

For further information, please visit the STEM SMART website.

Girton are involved in delivering ClickCambridge. Please note that multiple Colleges are involved in this programme and so you will see information about ClickCambridge on more than one College website. The information remains the same across the Colleges and refers to the same programme. 


Overview

We are excited to announce the launch of ClickCambridge 2021/22! ClickCambridge is an online programme, run collaboratively by a group of Cambridge Colleges, which aims to equip students with the information and skills needed to apply to selective universities. The programme is for UK-domiciled Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab (BPA)/mixed BPA students who are in Year 12 (S5/ Y13 - N.I).

ClickCambridge 2021/22 will build on the success of last year’s pilot programme:

“The best part of ClickCambridge was the ongoing support that was available. It covered everything that I was worried about, especially super-curriculars and personal statements.”

“I was able to ask Cambridge students questions and they really debunked the myth that Cambridge is only for the elite.”

“Everyone was very nice and helpful, it felt like a mini community.”

This year’s programme contains a range of monthly sessions which will address various aspects of university applications and the student experience. There will also be opportunities to develop key study skills and extend subject-specific knowledge. Throughout the programme, both potential applicants and parents/guardians will have plenty of chances to ask questions. This year’s programme is still being developed, based on the feedback from last year’s students. For reference, the 2020-21 programme is below:

2020-21 Programme

October Introduction to ClickCambridge and ‘Supercurriculars’

November Q&A with Current Cambridge Students

December/January Q&A Sessions for Parents

February Study Skills Session

March Subject Taster Sessions with Cambridge Academics

April Small Group Q&As with Current Cambridge Students

May Critical Engagement Scaffolding and Supercurricular Resources

June Personal Statement Workshop

Selection

We would like to support as many students as possible through the programme. However, if the programme is oversubscribed, we will prioritise students who match one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have lived, or are currently living, in local authority care
  • Are attending a UK state school
  • Are eligible, or have been eligible within the past six years, for free school meals 
  • Are a refugee
  • Have caring responsibilities for a family member
  • Live in neighbourhoods with low overall progression rates to higher education
  • Have no parental history of higher education
  • Have a disability

How do I register for the programme?

Registrations for this year's programme are now closed. 

How will the sessions work?

  • Sessions will be held over Zoom, through a mix of webinars and interactive events. 
  • Sessions will take place on weekdays after school and they will be run several times so that as many people as possible can attend. Dates and further information will be made available once your place on the programme is confirmed. 
  • Students are expected to attend as many sessions as possible throughout the year, and to watch recordings for any sessions they are not able to attend live. 

Contact

For any queries about the programme, please contact catherine.walker@pet.cam.ac.uk .

Girton is one of the first colleges participating in the Cambridge Foundation Year - a free and fully-funded one-year residential course designed to offer a stepping stone to Cambridge for those who have experienced educational disadvantage.

Prospective foundation year applicants who wish to find out more are encouraged to attend the Foundation Year team's webinars, information upcoming events with the team can be found here.

Further information can be found on our Cambridge Foundation Year webpage.

Visits to and from Girton  

School group visits are currently running at limited capacity – but do get in touch if you would be interested in bringing your school group to Girton. Please note that we prioritise work with schools in our Link Areas.

Visits to Girton for students in years 9, 10 and 11 focus on raising aspirations and building familiarity with the University of Cambridge. Year 12 visits to Girton focus more closely on preparing students to make applications to highly competitive universities including Cambridge. We can also work to tailor these visits to focus on areas of interest to teachers/students.

In the past we have offered ad hoc visits to schools, which include a range of workshops and assemblies to fit schools’ needs. Our West Midlands schools Roadshows are fantastic opportunities for us to visit multiple schools and talk to students about applying to Higher Education. If you would like us to work with to your students, please do get in touch at access@girton.cam.ac.uk.

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Meet our Schools Liaison Officer

Hi! My name is Isha (pronounced ee-sha) and I'm the Schools Liaison Officer here at Girton!

I'm from Coventry and I recently graduated from Clare College, Cambridge having studied Biological Natural Sciences. As someone who came to Cambridge from a state comprehensive school, I understand some of the challenges students from underrepresented backgrounds face when applying to the University. I want to help students to see Cambridge as a place where anyone can thrive, and as an achievable option for their future. I'm looking forward to working with some of you this year!

Email me with any questions: access@girton.cam.ac.uk
Portrait image of Isha, Schools Liaison Officer, smiling

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