ARK Kings student Harriet at Wadham College, Oxford
ARK Kings student Harriet at Wadham College, Oxford

ARK Kings Academy students recently got to spend a day at Oxford University as guests of Wadham College. Students learnt about the benefits of higher education and came away from the day with greater confidence about their future choices. The visit formed part of ARK Kings Academy’s ongoing commitment to enrichment and high expectations for all.

Upon arriving at Wadham College on Friday 16th May, ARK Kings students were given a special tour of the college by undergraduates, who explained that while life at university offered more freedoms than school students consequently needed self-motivation and discipline to succeed.

An ARK Kings student standing by a statue of Wadham College warden Bowra
An ARK Kings student standing by a statue of Wadham College warden Bowra

UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

In the afternoon, ARK Kings Students listened as college staff explained the benefits higher education can offer them, from a greater choice of jobs and higher pay to the chance to study in-depth a subject which you are really passionate about.

Staff also gave students advice on securing a place at university, covering everything from deciding on a subject to researching which university is right for you. Underpinning all of this was the importance of planning ahead and working hard at every stage of education.

CHANGING ATTITUDES

Group photograph of ARK Kings Academy students at Wadham College, University of Oxford
ARK Kings students take time out for for a group photograph at Wadham College

Prior to going on the trip, many students were uncertain about what Oxford University would be like and what university in general had to offer. Natalie said:

None of my family knew about Oxford University. All we knew was that it was not far from London and there was more than one college.

While students were immediately struck by the beautiful surroundings and history of Wadham College, what impressed them the most were the freedoms and possibilities offered by higher education:

You get to study and it’s very peaceful. For example, earlier on we saw a girl studying outside alone on the grass and she was doing really well.

Students came away from their day in Oxford tired but happy. For many, the visit turned going to university from a vague idea into something concrete, real and worth working hard for. Year 7 student Muhammed spoke for many when he said:

I had never heard of Oxford. I just thought it would be like a school with accommodation next to it. Now I know about university and I think my Mum and Dad would be really proud if I went to Oxford.

 PREPARING STUDENTS FOR A CAREER OF THEIR CHOICE

Looking to the future, ARK Kings Academy will be building on students’ increased interest in higher education in lessons and assemblies, as well as our year-round enrichment programme. By doing so they will meet the academy’s goal of preparing students for further and higher education leading to a career of their own choice.

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