Horsham students offered Oxford and Cambridge university places
A group of pupils from a Horsham school are celebrating offers from Oxford and Cambridge universities.
The nine students at Christ’s Hospital are from a range of backgrounds, including students the school has supported through its bursary scheme.
Headteacher Simon Reid said: “It is very impressive to see our pupils enjoying Oxbridge success.
“In an important sense, this is a victory for all pupils here.
“It also proves how transformative the power of education can be when, regardless of background, children are in an environment that frees them to like their learning.”
Unlike other independent schools, 87 per cent of the school’s intake come from state schools.
The school usually sees 98 per cent of pupils going on to university, but nine Oxbridge offers in a relatively small year group of 129 pupils is a more unusual achievement.
Martha Sharp, from Seaford, East Sussex, has been offered a place at Oxford University to read German and beginner’s Arabic.
She said of the application process: “I had to take a few language aptitude tests first and once I had passed them, I was invited for interview.
“I stayed in Oxford for a full week as I ended up having five interviews.”
Juliet Webber, from Horsham, is ‘extremely excited’ to have been offered a place at Oxford to read English language and literature.
Juliet wrote and published a fantasy novel at the age of 15, which may have helped her application stand out from the crowd.
The school provided a thorough support programme to help students with their applications, which included how to select the right college, understanding the grades needed for an offer and effective interview technique.
The students also visited other Sussex schools to complete a mock interview.
Will Richards, head of sixth form, said: “As a school, we are immensely proud of the achievements of our sixth form students.
“These offers of places at Oxford and Cambridge are thoroughly deserved by our students, due to the combination of their academic ability, their determination to do well and the drive they have shown in developing both their subject knowledge and their wider leadership roles during their time at Christ’s Hospital.
“We recently launched our Oxbridge Support programme with our current year 12 students.
“We are hoping for similar success with our 2021 cohort so we wish them well with this challenge.”