Sofia Hesketh, Jake Magarry, Lucy Crocker and Amaya Holman
Sofia Hesketh, Jake Magarry, Lucy Crocker and Amaya Holman

Five students celebrate Oxbridge success

9 February 2016

The University of Cambridge could be home to five students currently studying at Harrogate Grammar School.

This talented group of Sixth Formers have all received offers from the university to study there in September 2016 depending on results.

Thomas Adams received an offer to study Philosophy at Homerton College

  • Lucy Crocker received an offer to study Natural Sciences at Fitzwilliam College
  • Sofia Hesketh received an offer to study Human, Social and Political Sciences at Gonville and Caius College
  • Amaya Holman received an offer to study English at Homerton College
  • Jake Magarry has received an offer to study Mathematics at Gonville and Caius College



Thomas Adams, who hopes to read Philosophy at Homerton College said:

This is a dream come true and I am grateful to the teachers and support that I have received in the Sixth Form.


Headteacher, Richard Sheriff, said:

Harrogate Grammar School is a non-selective state school and the Sixth Form is open to all with 40 courses on offer. We pride ourselves in offering students support and guidance to enable each individual to achieve their potential.

For some students this will mean applying for a place at Oxford or Cambridge because these universities provide the right learning environment for them.

For these students we owe it to them, as a state comprehensive, to do all we can to make their aspiration a reality and allow them to compete with the students from the independent and selective sectors.

Great teaching and expert guidance that they receive at Harrogate Grammar School means they really can compete for places at the UK’s prestigious universities and know that we have a track record of successful applications. Oxbridge is only one route are most academic students take, increasingly we are seeing students opting to study at a range of other Russell Group universities including or applying for the highly competitive world of medicine.

Our ambition is to make sure every Sixth Form student, who wants to, gains access to the university and course that suits them and their aspirations, whether that be in Mastricht or Manchester.

Harrogate Grammar School recently hosted an Oxbridge Conference for schools in the Red Kite Alliance helping students prepare for their interview. This, combined with visits to a range of colleges, debating opportunities and application advice has hopefully given students a competitive advantage in their applications.

One visit to St. Johns College, University of Cambridge, organized by Linacre Institute was of particular benefit. 14 students were hosted for the weekend so they could experience student accommodation and catering as well as having an opportunity to look round Cambridge itself and see other colleges.

The main purpose of the weekend was for the students to have mock interviews and receive detailed feedback over the course of the two days. A wide range of subjects were represented from Maths and English to Philosophy, Geography and Medicine. Over the course of the weekend all the students received three interviews, with the objective being to improve each time. Thanks to the hard work of the students and the supportive atmosphere created by the staff from the Linacre Institute, the students made excellent progress.

Head of Sixth Form, Neil Renton, said:

We are incredibly proud of our students and their achievements. This is testament to the hard work and determination of students, their families and teachers over many years.

In a year group of 241 students, with an application to offer rate of 8% above the national average for comprehensive schools, this represents a significant achievement.


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