Date Posted: Thursday 27 January 2022
Our Sixth Form students have been receiving offers to study at some of the UK’s top universities. We are delighted to share the news that Olivia (Head Girl), William (Head Boy) and Niamh (Deputy Head Girl) have all received offers to study at the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, respectively, in September.
Olivia has received an offer from Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, to read Theology, Religion & Philosophy of Religion. William’s offer is from Exeter College, University of Oxford, to read History. Niamh has received an offer from Keble College, University of Oxford, to read Theology & Religion. We sat down with Olivia, William and Niamh to hear about their experience of applying, and to see if they had any advice for future applicants.
Why did you choose to come to New Hall?
Having been here in Prep, I re-joined the Senior Divisions after a brief hiatus at another school – I was desperate to return. I loved the community feel and knew that it was the best environment for me to be challenged in my academics, as well as embracing my love for drama in the amazing New Hall productions! – Niamh
From the very first open day, I felt that New Hall was a place where I would certainly be challenged academically. As a keen dramatist and netball player, the incredible co-curricular programme was also a major factor! – Olivia
There has never been, in my time at New Hall, a boring week where I have had nothing to look forward to and this is still very much the case! – William
What made you apply to Oxford/Cambridge?
The Theology course at Cambridge really stood out to me as it was incredibly diverse and unique. Cambridge’s collegiate system and supervision style of undergraduate learning also appealed to me – the very active Drama and Theatre scene was another bonus. – Olivia
I have always wanted to apply to Oxbridge, although I am no longer an aspiring medic as I was in Prep! Oxford offers a unique tutorial system, and I have always believed that this would be a great way to learn and develop your love for a subject. – Niamh
I applied to Oxford because the mode of study is distinctive from any other university, with some of the best resources and libraries in the world and such a long and storied history in that same field, History. – William
What are you looking forward to most about university?
I am excited about being able to meet people equally enamoured with History. I intend to grasp as many opportunities at university as I have during my time here at New Hall. – William
I am really looking forward to delving deeper into a subject I genuinely love, continuing to perform, meeting like-minded people, attending the famous Cambridge May Balls and punting down the river (hopefully without falling into it)! – Olivia
I think university offers an independence completely new to the experience of school life. While it is a little daunting, I’m so excited to move to a different area, having lived in Essex my whole life, and meet people who attend from across the world. – Niamh
How have you found the application process?
Despite the intensity of the process, I always felt relaxed in the hands of the Sixth Form and the Theology Departments. Mr Bray and Miss Webb’s organisation and help with mock interviews and my Personal Statement was second to none – I cannot thank them enough. – Niamh
The Theology department was so supportive; from reading endless drafts of my Personal Statement, to scheduling numerous mock interviews. The application process is challenging, but the guidance from my incredibly committed teachers has been invaluable – I am so grateful. – Olivia
The application process was undeniably strenuous, but I have been fortunate enough to be graced with invaluable support from many people, including the ever-patient History Department tolerating frenetic flurries of eleventh-hour re-writes in the build up to each deadline. – William
What would your advice be to future Oxbridge candidates?
Do not let the prestigious reputation of Oxbridge put you off from applying. The whole process is incredibly rewarding and enriching, whatever the outcome. Believe in yourself: if you truly love your subject and work hard at it, there’s no reason not to apply to Oxbridge! – Olivia
I would advise any potential Oxbridge applicants to go at it with all they have got, brandishing their passion for their subject proudly, and exercising it as often as possible by reading, writing in to competitions, etcetera. On practical note, get your applications ready early! – William
My only advice is to have faith in yourself in the application process. There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Confidence and a smile go a long way! – Niamh