Oxbridge

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The LOCUM Programme

The LOCUM programme is run for all students applying to university for the most competitive courses that require additional preparation and commitment: Law, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and Medical courses. 

All of the Lower Sixth are introduced to Higher Education by the Head of Higher Education, Mr Finch, in November of their first term.  It is JLS’s belief that the sooner students begin to focus on their university studies, the more motivated they will be to set and achieve their goals.

Lower Sixth induction and initial selection

Later in November there is a formal meeting with Mr Ahsan, for those interested in applying to Oxbridge, or to read Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science or Law.  It is made clear that those interested in these types of applications will be expected to participate in the regular additional academic enrichment activities that are offered throughout the Lower Sixth.  This meeting reinforces the need to do more than just be good at A-Level, and what is expected of Oxbridge and Medics and Lawyers.  

Thus, students self-nominate, which is an important commitment to what is a highly competitive and demanding process. 

Discussion groups

There is a series of discussion groups running from November of the Lower Sixth.  These are often broadly faculty-based, but also eclectic in their topics. These sessions are hosted by a member of staff.  There are two primary styles of activity, often operating in consecutive weeks: the host may give the group an article to read or puzzle to solve to provoke discussion; or, one member of the group is be required to research a topic in the intervening week and to lead a discussion.

In addition to these discussion groups, the Oxbridge Co-ordinator will host fortnightly Oxbridge sessions introducing potential candidates to the application process. These sessions will focus on: subject choice, college choice, entrance requirements, advantageous enrichment opportunities, thinking skills, entrance examinations and interview technique.

Discussion groups cease in the Summer Term in advance of AS examinations, to be replaced by subject-specific preparation in the Autumn Term.

 

Subject preparation and preparation for entrance tests

Biomedical Society

For Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth students who are interested in reading Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science or Bioscience degree programmes at University, there is a Biomedical Society run by Miss James. This society meets weekly for a wide range of activities. Activities include:

  • Talks from external speakers from universities and research institutions on Biomedical topics that are linked to and extend upon the concepts studied at A-Level

  • Sessions on making applications to Medical schools from current medical students and school staff

  • Talks on medical and science ethics (e.g. using animals in medical research)

  • Visits to institutions such as the NIMR (National Institute for Medical Research)

  • Student presentations from independent research and wider reading into Biomedicine

  • BMAT and UKCAT advice and practice

  • Preparation and entry for national essay competitions

Medical degrees are among the most competitive in the country and we have a proud record of successful applications and it is an expectation that boys who are interested in making a serious application attend all the events offered.

Oxbridge Entrance Examinations

An increasing number of Oxbridge courses require applicants to sit an entrance examination either in advance of or at interview. Support for subject-specific tests, such as the History Aptitude Test (HAT) and Classics Aptitude Test (CAT), will be provided by teachers from the relevant department. Students can access specifications, past papers and mark schemes from the Admissions Testing Service (http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/) but should speak to Mr Ahsan before starting their preparation.

Other Subjects

JLS has a number of thriving societies which enrich and extend the students throughout their Sixth Form e.g. Politics and Economics Societies.  Students are encouraged to take part in many activities that extend them outside the classroom, such as debating and Model United Nations.  There are also Additional Studies classes run weekly which will provide an opportunity for developing the type of lateral thinking and analytical skills crucial for interview.

In the latter half of the Summer Term candidates need to make sure they have all the work for submission ready and from September of the Upper Sixth, departments provide specific focus and assistance for university requirements.

Interview practice

JLS provides an initial interview for candidates at the end of the Summer Term of the Lower Sixth, to ensure that students have enough time to address any weaknesses identified at this point.  These are followed up by interviews in the Autumn Term to give students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback and to hone their skills.

Miss James, the Biomedical Co-ordinator, arranges an array of interviews for Medical students and Mr Finch, as Head of Higher Education, arranges interviewers for other candidates as required using local resources and willing Old Lyonians.

Individual departments also arrange subject-specific interview exchanges with other schools as part of a mock interview programme for Oxbridge candidates in the Autumn Term.

Post-AS period of Lower Sixth

There is a meeting of the Oxbridge group in mid-June to work on drafts of the Oxbridge information forms, to discuss possible submitted work, and to determine summer reading.  Relevant departmental heads are available to give advice. 

This preparation is supplemented by the Personal Statement presentations and workshop which is provided for all Lower Sixth by Mr Ahsan.