Access Programme: 'Choose Your Subject' event
OxFizz’s annual ‘Choose Your Subject’ event is designed to help students decide what degree course they would like to study, and get them excited about the possibilities top universities have to offer.
What is the ‘Choose Your Subject’ event?
For some Year 12 students, the university application process is daunting. Many have questions that a Google search won’t answer. How do university applications, particularly those to Oxford and Cambridge, actually work? What is it like to attend a top university? And how are sixth formers supposed to choose one subject to study for 3 (or more!) years?
OxFizz’s annual ‘Choose Your Subject Day’ event, run last Saturday at King Solomon Academy, is designed to answer these burning questions, help students decide what degree course they would like to study, and get them excited about the possibilities top universities have to offer.
How does the event work?
The event runs like an open day, with students cycling around 4 – 6 subject taster sessions run by 22 expert volunteers with personal experience of what it is like to choose, apply for and study subjects at Oxford and Cambridge.
This year, 150 Year 12 students attended talks in a broad range of subjects; from Biochemistry to Theology, PPE to Medicine, Classics to Aerospace Engineering.
As well as giving students a taste of how their A Level subjects might be developed at university, this day also introduced students to less well-known subjects they may not have encountered before, some of which are unique unique to Oxford and Cambridge. For example, students were excited to learn more about Land Economy, Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic and the different strands of Natural Sciences.
These sessions engaged students in academic discussions on all sorts of issues – genetic diseases, archaeological gravesites and what it means to be free, to name only a few.
Did the event go well?
We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive student feedback ‘Choose Your Subject Day’ received, with 99% of attendees agreeing that the event was a good use of their time.
Many students praised the volunteers for their engaging talks, with one reflecting that ‘the passion they held for their subject was clear & impactful’. Another student complimented the ‘friendliness of organisers and students.’
Perhaps our favourite reflection on the day came from a student who said the event ‘opened [her] eyes to all the possibilities [she] can have’.
What was it like to volunteer?
Our volunteers were also very positive about their experience of the day.
One volunteer reflected that ‘It felt like I was making a positive impact, and the students were […] enthusiastic and engaging.’ Another volunteer enjoyed ‘introducing students to a subject they may not have heard of and seeing their enthusiasm for it.’
And, of course, we were pleased to hear that ‘The OxFizz team were really friendly as always!’
Will there be more events like this?
This ‘Choose Your Subject Day’ event forms one part of OxFizz’s wider access scheme that runs throughout the year. Our aim is to support students throughout the application process, from these early stages through to interview season in December.
Last year we provided 1609 hours of support to sixth form students – triple that of previous years. In 2019, our aim is double that number again, providing over 3000 hours of support to talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Last Saturday was just the beginning!
We’re looking forward to welcoming these students back for 4 more interventions later on this year, the next of which will be our workshop day on Saturday 16th March.