University Challenge

An academic adventure on the Rainford minibus began on as fifteen of the Sixth Form’s brightest students set off for the prestigious universities of Oxford and Cambridge, a journey with the potential to change their lives.

The sun was smiling brightly and the atmosphere was charged with eager excitement as the students gathered on the bus. Though many were unsure of what to expect, good times seemed certain to come as they chatted, laughed and sang along to the radio.

The journey was long but worth it once the students arrived in Oxford, a charming city filled with cobbled pathways and rainbow-coloured houses. Modern shops and cafes were juxtaposed by marvellous medieval architecture, such as the Bodleian Library, which houses a collection of every book ever printed in England. What a delightful treat for aspiring English students!
Oxbridge University Challenge
Their first night in Oxford was spent tranquilly, with a simple but delicious three course meal and spacious accommodation generously provided by Christ Church and Oriel colleges. Both visits involved informative talks by genuine professors at the universities, who are all experts in their fields. Conversing about their passions with people who may one day be their teachers was an incredible opportunity for the students. Michael Brown, who wants to study engineering, said “it was really helpful to learn more about the courses and everyone I spoke to was very friendly and encouraging”.

Opportunities were equally excellent in Cambridge, a city ripe with student life and another appealing mixture of awe-inspiring architecture and everything a modern student needs. A lovely feast at Pizza Hut entertained the students in the evening and strengthened their bond, making Cambridge feel much more welcoming and allowing them to explore all the city had to offer. In both cities, the students were given freedom to roam and explore, something which helped them dive into the plethora of pleasures available in both. Olivia Powell, an aspiring English Literature student, said “it was really great to have a look round both universities and get a taste for what life would be like at both”.oxbridge-2

All three Powell sisters attended the trip and a family reunion with their brother Fergus, an ex-Rainford Sixth Former and current student at Cambridge, made all the students feel much more comfortable at seeing a familiar face. Fergus was kind enough to give the students a tour around Sidney Sussex College, which proved to be incredibly useful and informative. The students found it difficult to decide whether the best part was the tour or the tea and hot chocolate that greeted them in their rooms!
Though many of the students were initially worried about running into royalty or being forced to row along the Thames, by the time they returned to Rainford, all pre-conceived stereotypes had been thrown away. The trip really inspired all the students and they would love to thank the Sixth Form staff for organising it.