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Oxbridge Success Celebrated at Hereford Sixth Form College

Posted on 23rd February 2024

Once again, Hereford Sixth Form College’s students continue to compete with some of the best independent schools in the country for places at Oxford and Cambridge. 21 students at Hereford Sixth Form College have offers for Oxford and Cambridge, which represents 38% of those who applied, against a national average of around 15%.  

This success is due to the College’s ‘Reach’ programme, which supports 250 bright and highly aspirational students to consider all their post sixth form choices. Reach lessons are from January of year 1, with one hour per week in taught classes to form a community of the most able. These lessons give students 15 sessions to learn about top universities, but also degree apprenticeship options. At the end of Reach, students can make an informed choice about which options suit them best. Vicky Orsmond, Multi Academy Trust Social Mobility and Student Progression Coordinator, says that ‘my favourite thing is when students know the routes and teaching that will suit them best. Oxford and Cambridge are amazing universities, and our students know they compete with the best of the best, but it is also wonderful our students know that there are lots of world class options out there, and the alumni network to support them’. 

Students have been hugely successful in STEM areas, with a full spate of the sciences, from Natural Sciences to Engineering, Maths, Veterinary Medicine and Medicine. This doesn’t take away from the breadth of subjects in Humanities, however, with two students with offers for PPE, others in Law, Classics, History, English, Geography and Theology. Emmanuelle has an offer to study Modern and Foreign Languages and said: “The Reach Programme gave me an invaluable insight into the Oxbridge application process. My teachers at College supported me every step of the way, from writing my personal statement to preparing for interviews.” Her tutor, Ms Celie Bone stated that: “I am extremely proud of Emmanuelle’s achievements in securing an Oxbridge offer. She is a highly committed individual who has gained recognition which she thoroughly deserves.” 

Dawid, an elite athlete, came to College having already taught himself A Level Maths during secondary school. He has enjoyed the academic rigour of further maths, and the College’s extra classes in advanced mathematics. Holding an offer for Maths from Churchill College, Cambridge, he says: “The teachers at College helped me by being very passionate about what they do.” 

Students at Hereford Sixth Form continue to benefit from a huge alumni network. Former students offer their hints and tips on topics as varied as studying Architecture at Bath, to the interview process at Imperial, Warwick and others. Another growing support network is those who are doing degree apprenticeships, such as alumni with IBM and Airbus. When prepping for his PPE interview, Tom said of his mock interview that “My mock interview with Geraldine, who did PPE, was extremely useful and was invaluable in getting an offer. Talking out loud about a source turned out to be very accurate and prepared me for the actual content of the interview. It also was extremely useful for making me consider how I presented myself and the language I should use, especially with working on doing it online." 

Another alum, Cory, now at Oxford studying Economics and Management, did Teams sessions weekly to support the students going through the TSA admissions test.  Asked why he offered so much time to help those now at Sixth Form, he replied that: “After the help and guidance I received from Hereford with my application to Oxford, I decided to try and assist future students with the application process. It was very enjoyable to see the group progress even in the short time frame between the sessions I held, and I look forward to hopefully doing this in years to come.” 

Additionally, alum Bonnie offered students prep for the Science admissions tests, and said that “I know first-hand how scary and overwhelming it is going through the whole application process... and then interviews. When I was applying, any advice I could get was appreciated; hearing other people's experiences helped me know what sort of things to expect and how to go about preparing. I was happy to share my experience and give some advice to other people going through the same thing!” 

Hereford Sixth Form Principal, Catherine Brearey, said that “It is fantastic that the Reach programme continues to support all our highly aspirational students, from Oxbridge to other universities, and degree apprenticeships. With increasing competition, our Careers department continues to offer outstanding provision. Students who can make those informed choices are so successful, and their offers are well deserved.”  

The following students have been offered places at The University of Cambridge: 

Dawid B  

Imogen C (formerly St Mary’s High School) 

Lily D (formerly Haberdashers’ Monmouth School) 

Zoe F (formerly Kingstone High School) 

Max G (formerly Earl Mortimer High School) 

Jack M (formerly King Henry VIII Comprehensive School) 

Ellen M (formerly Haberdashers’ Monmouth School) 

Rain P M (formerly Weobley High School) 

Suzanna P  

Freya P (formerly Gwernyfed High School) 

Aisling R (formerly Earl Mortmer High School) 


The following students have been offered places at The University of Oxford: 

Emmanuelle A (formerly St Albans RC High School) 

Jade B (formerly Church Stretton School) 

Abi C (formerly Kingstone High School) 

Harry C (formerly Wigmore High School)  

Alice D (formerly St Mary’s High School) 

Aeowyn J (formerly Weobley High School) 

Thomas K (formerly St Mary’s High School) 

Anwyn R (formerly Whitecross High School)  

Daisy W  

Sunaina R (formerly Hereford Cathedral)