Despite school closures, lockdowns, and the suspension of face-to-face outreach, the work of the Access & Admissions Office has gone on this year unabated.

The St John's team continues to adapt, ensuring that we remain able to support thousands of young people across a range of virtual programmes and resources. 


We were pleased to welcome candidates for this year's round of virtual admissions interviews in December. Admissions this year looked a little different, taking place entirely by Microsoft Teams, with over 700 remote interviews taking place across 34 subjects. Student ambassadors were also on hand virtually on The Access Platform to chat to candidates and answer questions about courses; accommodation and food; sports, drama and music; student societies and events; and the Junior Common Room.

Shortlisted candidates were emailed decisions on 12th January – congratulations to all who have received an offer to study at St John’s!

Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme

The 325 participants in our Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme in Ealing and Harrow have continued on the programme this year, taking part in virtual classes and competitions in a variety of different subjects. Competitions last term ranged from writing about the dangers of artificial intelligence, to creating works of art conveying emotional responses to volanoes – plus an extended, practical activity over the Christmas break in which participants were invited to create models of a volcano or of a brand new organism – winners to be announced soon! Examples of some of the participants’ prize-winning work can be viewed on the Inspire Digital website.

Prize-winning Inspire work

Virtual classes and competitions on the Pre-GCSE Programme will continue this term, and preparations are underway for some exciting new elements to the programme later this term, so stay tuned!

Inspire Programme for Years 10 & 11

We have been delighted to welcome almost 1,000 pupils, from 141 schools across the UK, onto the Inspire Programme for Years 10 and 11 this year – our largest cohort yet on this course! The theme of this year’s course is ‘Why does evolution matter?’, and over the course of this term four classes will be released on Inspire Digital, exploring the topic from different angles, with challenges, competitions and prizes to be won each month.

The first class, on Biology and Darwinian Evolution, was released on Monday 4th January, with three competitions. The programme will culminate in a virtual summer school taking place in August for all participants, featuring a range of lectures, challenges, and extended activities.

Inspire Programme class introduction

Post-GCSE Inspire Programme

Our Post-GCSE Programme for Years 12 & 13 will launch later this year, culminating in a virtual summer school in August – stay tuned for more details as they are announced!

Digital Resources

In times like these, reliable and easy-to-find digital resources are more important than ever. Our expanded collection of online resources can be viewed on Inspire Digital, where we have dedicated pages for teachers and for students, bringing together free resources and extra-curricular materials across subjects. Check back as more resources are added!