On Monday, eleven Beckfoot Thornton Students set off at 7am for a 3 night residential at Worcester College (one of Oxford Universities many colleges).
The College was amazingly beautiful. The old stone buildings mixed with newer, purpose built lecture rooms and the gardens that surrounded them just looked magnificent.
We went for lunch in the dining hall, a high ceilinged room with large wooden tables and benches …..reminiscent of Hogwarts dining room!
After lunch, we went to the auditorium to have a welcome lecture before having a tour of the grounds. Jack was our under-graduate volunteer that showed us round. He was from Barnsley and really down to earth.
In the afternoon we were told how Oxford University really want to encourage more students like Jack to come. They’re not interested in posh or rich, but clever and determined students! This message was repeated and reinforced over the next 3 days and our students started to realise that Oxford and other universities are not for other people, but for everyone.
Over the next 3 days we received academic lectures and workshops around the theme “are robots human?” and even got to meet the first robot artist, Ai da (after she had finished doing a press conference!).
The lectures and workshops gave students the chance to experience university life, as did the halls of residence that we stayed in. Whilst there, we also got to go into Oxford on a tour, play ‘capture the flag’ and football in the park and visit the Museum of Natural History.
Arriving back at school on Thursday evening, it’s fair to say the students had had an amazing experience and they now realise opportunities are open to all….. as long as you are willing to put effort and hard work into making them happen.