St John's College Oxford
Twilight Sessions and a Summer School at St John's

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 public health situation, St John’s College events are now suspended until further notice. We will provide updated details here if and when the situation changes, but for now it should be assumed that no events will be going ahead unless explicitly stated otherwise. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time, and if you have any questions, please get in touch using the options below.

The Year 12 Inspire Programme is now taking place virtually via Inspire Digital.

The St John’s Inspire Programme is a series of events, visits, workshops and online contact for students in years 9 to 13. We want to encourage students with exceptional promise to aim high, to stretch themselves academically, and to be confident in making well-founded applications to a top university like Oxford.

The Year 12 programme is open to open to students at all non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges in the London Boroughs of Ealing and Harrow. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Try taster sessions in a range of subjects with top academics, exploring academic subjects in a deeper way with people who share a passion for the subject
  • Gain confidence in their academic abilities; talking about their subject & making applications to competitive universities
  • Meet current students and recent graduates to talk about what university is really like, and to find out about the range of careers available after university
  • Spend time in Oxford to try out university life
  • Get reliable information and advice about university admissions, gaining the tools to make informed choices and submit strong applications to competitive courses & universities

The Year 12 programme consists of a series of five Twilight Sessions throughout the year at schools and sixth form colleges in Ealing and Harrow. Sessions include a combination of academic taster talks by scholars from Oxford or other leading universities, and expert guidance on skills development and how to make an effective and competitive application to university. Students can apply to be part of either the Arts & Humanities strand or the Science & Maths strand of the programme.

You will also have the chance to apply for a residential Summer School at St John’s College, Oxford, where participants will continue to build skills and academic confidence, as well as to experience what life is like for an Oxford student. As a preview of what to expect, you can find last year’s Summer School timetable here, and you can take a look at the research posters submitted by last year’s programme participants here.

Humanities Strand:

  • Session 1: Tuesday 25 February (Ealing)
  • Session 2: Thursday 26 March (Harrow) – CANCELLED
  • Session 3: Thursday 30 April (Harrow) – CANCELLED
  • Session 4: Tuesday 16 June (Ealing) – CANCELLED
  • Session 5: Thursday 9 July (Harrow) – CANCELLED
  • Summer School: Monday 3 August – Friday 7 August (St John’s College, Oxford) – CANCELLED

STEM Strand (Ealing):

  • Session 1: Tuesday 25 February
  • Session 2: Tuesday 24 March – CANCELLED
  • Session 3: Tuesday 28 April – CANCELLED
  • Session 4: Tuesday 16 June – CANCELLED
  • Session 5: Tuesday 7 July – CANCELLED
  • Summer School: Monday 3 August – Friday 7 August (St John’s College, Oxford) – CANCELLED

STEM Strand (Harrow):

  • Session 1: Thursday 27 February
  • Session 2: Thursday 26 March – CANCELLED
  • Session 3: Thursday 30 April – CANCELLED
  • Session 4: Thursday 18 June – CANCELLED
  • Session 5: Thursday 9 July – CANCELLED
  • Summer School: Monday 3 August – Friday 7 August (St John’s College, Oxford) – CANCELLED

Twilight sessions will take place after school on each date, at a venue within each borough which will be communicated to programme participants over email.

" Honestly it helped me consolidate the decision on my wavering beliefs on wanting to attend university. The idea of conducting my own research definitely was a deciding factor. " Year 12 pupil, Twilight Session, Ealing
Zara Hussain.jpg Year 12 Summer School, 2019

Do I need to meet particular criteria to join?

The programme is open to students at all non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges in the London Boroughs of Ealing and Harrow.

Selection is based on both academic merit (using a combination of GCSE performance, a personal statement, completion of a short written task, and a teacher reference) and a number of contextual factors, including:

  • if the applicant is from a low socio-economic status background and/or from an area with low progression to higher education
  • if the applicant is in receipt of free school meals and/or is in the care of a local authority

Please note that an unsuccessful application to the Inspire Programme is not a reflection of an applicant’s likelihood of being successful in an application for undergraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Do I have to pay?

No, all the events and resources are free to qualifying participants.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to visit St John’s to see for yourself what we are able to offer to our undergraduate students, so if it would be difficult for you to afford travel to Oxford, we may be able to help with a contribution towards your travel expenses. The support available will depend on the distance travelled, based on the shortest route between your home postcode and St John’s College; for more information on our Travel Awards click here.

How can I apply?

You can download the application form here.

To apply for a place on the St John’s Inspire Programme for Year 12, students will need to:

  • Complete the details requested in Section 1 of the application form;
  • Ask their parent/guardian to complete Section 3;
  • Return the form to their teacher, who will need to complete Section 2. 

Applications for the 2019-20 programme are now closed.