Year 12 and Cambridge

Eight of our sixth form students visited Cambridge University earlier this month to experience Masterclasses in Medicine.

Jack, Ned, Ben, Lily, Yasmin, Maria, Lily and Leonie took the trip, organised by Mrs Hemsley and Mrs Littlewood, on Thursday 8th February for an eye opening experience in the world of medicine and what Cambridge could offer them. Mr Burton invited the group to refreshments and a chat about the visit and what they experienced.

Ned said “It was a very long journey to start off with! Once we arrived though it was quite busy and there were a lot of other schools there visiting too – which we didn’t expect. We went straight to the main dining hall which was massive and had refreshments; they hold a lot of formal occasions for Robinson College in there.” Leonie and Lily spoke about the lecture theatre they went to for two talks, one from Eleanor – School Liaison Officer at Robinson College – and one from a Dr Foster (not from Gloucester!) who “spoke in great deal about how the college worked and explained to us why you can’t apply for both Oxford and Cambridge – it was really interesting.” The two girls then got separated as Leonie went to a Physics talk whilst Lily went off to a talk about Biological Sciences – the remainder of the group went on a tour of Robinson College and described it as “breathtakingly beautiful. The graduates and third years were quite grand and it turned out the third years lived within the historic parts of the college, which was fascinating.”

Mr Burton, intrigued by the group’s clear enthusiasm of the trip, asked Jack if it had effected his future aspirations. “Definitely. It’s really motivated me to do well and I realised that you seriously need to excel and make sure you come out on top – the whole experience just gave me a deep understanding of what’s required.” Ned followed up on this and said “It’s clear that you have to work very hard if you want to apply for Cambridge. It was a real eye-opener to be there and realise that you’re standing in the grounds of one of the best universities in the world. The fact that we were almost doing a ‘daily life’ of what an actual Cambridge student would be going through made us all realise how much effort is needed to get there.”

Neil Spurrier, our Chair of Governors, pitched the question “You went to Cambridge yesterday, but what is your preference – Cambridge or Oxford?” to which Maria answered “For me personally it’s Oxford because it’s closer to home, but the quality of teachers at Cambridge was still amazing and their enthusiasm was brilliant. It’s not the environment but about who teaches you.”

Towards the end, the group were involved in a roleplay/case study of a typical Gynaecologist appointment. “They staged an appointment where a woman was giving various symptoms – she was 16 weeks pregnant but also had HIV and records of HIV in her family. It was interesting because it showed you how much information you have to take in during such a short space of time in a consultation. You have to analyse every little detail and keep in mind about so many factors such as the ethnic group – it really made us all feel the pressure as you had to be very quick at analysing all these details and make a quick but right decision.”

Mrs Hemsley said how despite the 40 other people in the lecture, Maria and Yasmin asked a lot of questions. “It would’ve naturally been quite intimidating with all those other people in the room, so it was great that they both spoke out.” Mr Burton thanked the group for coming to speak to him and share their experience, saying “It’s fascinating to hear how it’s opened your horizons – the very best of luck to you all.”