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 pupils 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.
Our Year 12 Inspire Programme is now entering its third year, and this year we are delighted to be expanding our programme beyond London. The programme is now open to pupils at all non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges in the Oxford for South East group, as well as all of the St John’s Link Local Authority regions: the London Boroughs of Ealing and Harrow; Brighton and Hove; East and West Sussex, and Southampton. Pupils will have the opportunity to:
- Try virtual 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
- Enter competitions related to the academic taster sessions, for the chance to win Amazon vouchers
- Gain confidence in their academic abilities; talking about their subject & making applications to competitive universities
- Chat to current students to talk about what university is really like, and to find out about the range of careers available after university
- Get reliable information and advice about university admissions, gaining the tools to make informed choices and submit strong applications to competitive courses & universities
- Develop lifetime skills such as managing finances, cooking a simple recipe, and prioritising mental health
The Year 12 programme consists of a series of online Twilight Sessions throughout the year. 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.
Pupils will also have the chance to apply for a virtual Summer School at St John’s College, Oxford, where pupils will continue to build skills and academic confidence. As a preview of what to expect, you can find last year’s virtual Summer School timetables for STEM and Arts & Humanities, and you can take a look at the research posters submitted by pupils on last year’s programme here. Pupils can apply to be part of either the Arts & Humanities strand or the Science & Maths (STEM) strand of the programme.
How can I apply?
Applications to this year's Year 12 Inspire Programme have now closed. For more information on our Year 12 Inspire Programme, please visit Inspire Digital.
Keen to come to a virtual event at St John's but unable to attend effectively from home?
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to attend our virtual events, meet our tutors and students and have the chance to ask them your questions. If you are attending a virtual College event from your home working space we may be able to help by providing items to support effective digital working. There are a range of digital support items available, and the item(s) you receive will depend on your personal requirements to work effectively from home. Click here to find out more about our Digital Assistance Awards, including eligibility and how to apply.
- Session 1: Tuesday 23rd March (Arts & Humanities) or Thursday 25th March (STEM)
- Article Edition: Tuesday 6th April (Arts & Humanities and STEM)
- Session 2: Wednesday 28th April (Arts & Humanities) or Thursday 29th April (STEM)
- Session 3: Wednesday 19th May (Arts & Humanities) or Thursday 20th May (STEM)
- Session 4: Tuesday 8th June (Arts & Humanities) or Thursday 10th June (STEM)
- Session 5: Tuesday 22nd June (Arts & Humanities) or Thursday 24th June (STEM)
- Summer School: Monday 2nd August – Friday 6th August (Arts & Humanities and STEM)
Twilight sessions will take place after school hours on each date, from 5 – 7pm. The article edition will be emailed to pupils, with no live session. Please note that pupils are only expected to attend either the STEM or Arts & Humanities sessions, depending on which stream they apply for.
Do I need to meet particular criteria to join?
The programme is open to pupils at all non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges in the Oxford for South East group, as well as all of the St John’s Link Local Authority regions: the London Boroughs of Ealing and Harrow; Brighton and Hove; East and West Sussex, and Southampton.
Selection is based on both academic merit (using a combination of GCSE performance and a brief personal statement) and a number of contextual factors, including:
- if the pupil is from a low socio-economic status background and/or from an area with low progression to higher education
- if the pupil is in receipt of free school meals and/or is in the care of a local authority
Please note that our courses are often oversubscribed, and therefore an unsuccessful application to the Inspire Programme is not necessarily a reflection of a pupil’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 pupils. All events are hosted online, so there are no associated travel costs.
" 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
Although no in-person events are possible due to the ongoing Covid-19 public health situation, St John's College will be releasing a range of remote events over the coming months. We are delighted to be able to offer the Year 12 Inspire Programme in an online format for 2020-2021.