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Y12 Summer Series: Kai @ UNIQ

Our Year 12s have taken part in a number of activities over the summer holidays, from work experience and internships, to residentials and summer schools. Our Year 12 summer series will provide a taste of some of the enriching activities our sixth formers have taken part in over the summer break.

Kai (12 Sirleaf) just returned from a week long summer school at Oxford University with UNIQ. Students attended lectures, seminars and practicals (taught by some of Oxford’s top academics). The summer school is designed to test a student’s ability and to challenge their understanding of a subject. The week is an intense experience of non-stop academic studies in the day, mixed with key social experiences in the evening.

On his return to London we asked Kai about his experiences.

How did you sign up to the summer school?

Kai: “The process to get in had some parts similar to the Oxford Admissions Process, where you needed to be predicted to do well in the chosen subject, as well as have generally good GCSEs to go alongside a well-written personal statement. I chose to do English at the summer school, which I wanted to study at university at the beginning of the year (that changed by the time I went to the summer school).”

What activities did you participate in at UNIQ?

Kai: The summer school gave me a taste of Oxford life, from a ‘formal’ (three course meal with waiter service) on the first day, to ‘tutorial’ style lessons, where you are in a class of 2 or 3 with really focused teaching. I had to write an essay and because I got to choose the question I made it something I was interested in. Once I wrote the essay it was marked by a PhD graduate who lectures at the University, who gave me detailed feedback in the tutorial. He happened to know a lot about linguistics, which is what I want to study.

How will this experience benefit you in the year ahead?

Kai: “Not only will this experience enrich my personal statement for applications but will also help me generally in terms of my essay style and how I write, especially useful when doing three subjects for A2 that often require essays! As I am aiming to get into Oxford too, I think the experience was something that showed me whether I’d like the environment, and I learned it was very different to what I had expected, which I liked (diversity was something I was worried about, so I was surprised to learn of how diverse the community at Oxford is).”

Did you enjoy the experience?

Kai: “The summer at the end of Year 12 is the most important summer you will have. It allows you to catch up on things you didn’t understand at AS, allows you to gain work experience or volunteering in the things you want to study, and do other things to boost your personal statement, so I am glad I did not waste it.”

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