Founding Academy of The Park Academies Trust

LPA visit Oxford University

On Wednesday the 22nd of May, me and some other Year 8’s and Year 9’s went on a school trip to Oxford University to find out about what life is like living on campus and what it takes to be part of the school. The experience was intended to encourage us to pursue further education.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a staff member who worked at Merton College. He gave us a brief tour of the college and then led us to a lecture hall and explained the lifestyle of a student at Oxford and de-bunked any stereotypes that surrounded the school. He also reassured us that Oxford was just as budget-friendly as any other university and gave us details on different options on how to afford to go there. Afterward, he asked us if we had any questions, which I appreciated, as I had my own queries. This was one of the highlights of my day. 

Next, we got directed to go meet a lady who gave us a tour of the local botanical garden. She showed us various plants and greenhouses and talked to us about the history of the garden. Although I questioned the relevance of the tour, I really enjoyed it and thought it was very interesting and a great contribution to the trip.

By the time we got back to Merton, it was time to eat our lunch. They had such a good variety of food and I was so happy to see that I was catered for. The staff was so lovely and the dining hall was stunning. I liked that lunch wasn’t rushed and that we had plenty of time to talk and have a break.

Unfortunately, our tour guide, that was going to show us around the rest of Oxford, had left for personal reasons. It was disappointing but I understand that there was nothing that could be done. However, instead, we walked around Oxford itself and looked at its landmarks and other colleges, which was really fun. We were allowed to go see Mr. Coulson’s old college from the gates, which was interesting to see where he stayed as a student. As we came to the end of the trip, we stopped off at a local souvenir shop and some people bought gifts and ice cream. And then it was time for us to head back to the school.

Overall, the trip was so useful to see what studying at Oxford would be like and the lifestyle I could lead. I also learned important information such as how to apply, and what the courses would include. To improve, I would have loved to talk to some of the undergraduates at Oxford as promised, but I still enjoyed the activities we did and am glad they were included in the trip. I would recommend the trip to anyone and would hope that it would be available for the Year 8’s and Year 9’s next year.

Grace H, year 9