Welcome to my first update as Project Administrator of the St Peter’s Foundation Schools Ambassador Project! Since the middle of March, I have been busy agreeing a title for the project (very important!), its aims and objectives, and developing a specification, including a detailed timeline, risks and issues, and a detailed budget for the project.
The project is designed to provide career personal development for teachers in their subjects by pairing them with an Oxford academic while raising the profile of St Peter’s and the University as a whole. We are looking to get more suitably qualified pupils to apply – not least from students with under-privileged backgrounds. This project builds on the original aim of the college to provide a low-cost Oxford education for promising students of limited means.
St Peter’s will offer academic mentoring from college academics to a different group of around eight teachers each year. We want to enhance the teachers’ subject expertise and knowledge of university admissions. Ambassador Teachers and their Headteachers (or Heads of Sixth Form) will also be invited to Oxford for two events per year, to get to know the college, its facilities, and key staff.
In return we are asking Ambassador Schools to act as advocates for St Peter’s College and the University of Oxford, both within the school and in the local community, building a strong and sustainable relationship between the school and the college, using local press/networks and social media.
We are currently running an application process in order to select an appropriate mix of Ambassador Schools, committed to the project and offering a geographical and subject spread across the schools and teachers. We are hoping to mentor teachers working in a range of subject disciplines – in the humanities, STEM, or the social sciences. We expect to be over-subscribed, but would encourage other interested schools to contact us if they believe they meet the following criteria:
- Few applicants to Oxford over the last decade (less than 15), especially if none or fewer than five have been successful in gaining a place
- Pupils achieving or expected to achieve at least three A grades in their A levels
- Located in an area of considerable social, educational, and economic disadvantage (POLAR3 groups 1 or 2, drawing on ACORN categories 4 or 5 – see http://www.hefce.ac.uk/analysis/yp/POLAR/ and http://acorn.caci.co.uk/infographic for more detail)
- Teachers keen to develop their understanding of a specific aspect of their subject and their knowledge of the Oxford admissions process
If we have no places left for this year we will bear your school in mind for future years.
Look out for more updates during the summer!