9 August 2017

[Photo: Rob Judges]

This summer, 11 Ashton Sixth Form College students joined a cohort of 100 participants from across the UK, India and the US at ‘Access Week’, an annual five-day residential at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Students were divided across 4 summer schools: Humanities, Theology and Religious Studies, Science, and the 'Ordered Universe' (an interdisciplinary strand focused on the writings of a medieval theologian and scientist). In each, they were set a question by a postgraduate tutor, with a week to research, understand and present their response as either an essay or a conference-style poster. Through this process, students were guided by an undergraduate mentor and had access to Oxford’s facilities including the world-famous Bodleian Libraries.

[Photo: Rob Judges]

Around their research projects, students had a busy timetable simulating ‘a week in the life of an Oxford undergraduate’, comprising lectures, seminars, social activities, and the annual Joseph Owen Formal Dinner.

The week was enlivened by the presence of the Ordered Universe, an AHRC-funded interdisciplinary research project examining the writings of Bishop Grosseteste. Inspired by this approach, students were actively encouraged to explore topics and attend talks beyond their disciplinary field. Alongside, Alexandra Carr, artist-in-residence, created a site-specific installation in the Damon Wells chapel drawing on themes of light and colour which students could drop in to discuss and watch being created over the course of the week.

Stevie Watson, Realising Aspirations Co-ordinator said,

We were exceptionally proud of the way the students rose to Access Week’s considerable intellectual challenges. On the final day, the students’ hard work was recognised in a formal prize-giving ceremony, and we were delighted that two of our students received awards: Joseph Jones, awarded the Exhibitioner prize for the Ordered Universe summer school, and Ramin Sharafudin, who received a special mention for outstanding work in Theology and Religious Studies.

Access Week is an annual activity offered through OxNet, access work led by Oxford and university partners and delivered through regional hubs.

You can read more about OxNet, and Ashton Sixth Form College’s role as an OxNet hub, at: http://www.ox-net.org/

[Photo: Rob Judges]

Tags: oxford pembroke north oxbridge trips realising aspirations Pembroke College