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St Mary's Calne Interview Day (Chippenham)

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Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us at our St Mary’s Calne Interview Day, on Saturday 12th October!

On this page you'll find:

  1. What is this event?

  2. Who are OxFizz?

  3. What would I be doing as a volunteer?

  4. Am I what OxFizz is looking for?

  5. Where and when are these events happening?


1. What is this event?

We know admissions interviews are an important part of applications to Oxford and Cambridge.

At this event, our volunteers will be supporting students from St Mary’s Calne School with 1-1 practice admissions interviews. In return, volunteers will fundraise for a charity of their choice.

We do not believe in coaching, nor in helping students rote learn answers to use in their interviews. There is no such a thing as a perfect interview or candidate, and students do best when their answers are genuine and individual.

Instead, this event aims to help students with a realistic experience of admissions interviews, so they feel confident going into the real thing. Just as we would encourage them to practice test questions before an exam, we encourage them to practice answering difficult subject questions before their interview.

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2. Who are OxFizz?

OxFizz is a social enterprise which exists to bridge gaps in the education system, ensuring that all students have fair access to top universities.

We know even when disadvantaged students achieve the same grades as their peers, they are still less likely to win places at top universities. We exist to level the playing field – ensuring students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds can freely access a programme of support to build the knowledge, confidence and skills to make successful applications to top universities.

We do this on a cross-subsidy model, working across the education sector. Where families and schools are fortunate enough to be able to pay for these services we charge a fee. This work in the private education sector allows us to generate profits, and crucially expertise, to make the same services available free of charge to students from much less advantaged backgrounds.


3. What would I be doing as a volunteer?

At this event, you’ll be matched with students who are applying to the subject (or subject area) you studied at university.

You’ll run 1 hour practice interviews with each of these students. These sessions will consist of 30 minutes of challenging questions, and 30 minutes of verbal and written feedback.

Depending on the type of practice interview the student has signed up for, you may be asking them questions on:

  • A piece of subject-specific material - for example, an article on climate change for Geography, a problem-sheet for Maths, a case study for Law, or a research paper for Medicine

  • The students own work as part of their application - for example, asking them probing questions on their personal statement or submitted work, which you’ll see in advance

  • A students CV or job application - to support students with general job interview skills

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4. Am I what OxFizz is looking for?

We’re looking for volunteers who are passionate about supporting the next generation of students build the confidence, skills and knowledge needed for their university applications.

Most of our volunteers are recent graduates from top UK universities - but we’re interested in hearing from anyone who feels like they could help with our university access programme.

We welcome volunteers who studied a full range of university subjects - and we anticipate that they’ll be lots of demand from students for support in Classics, English, and Medicine.

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5. Where and when are these events happening?

St Mary’s Calne School is based in Calne, near Chippenham.

We all travel together via London Paddington. We organise taxi transfers to and from the station in Calne to the school.

Please note that we will cover reasonable travel expenses (let us know if they will exceed £40). Please keep any receipts or evidence of travel to submit on the day.