High-flying Ormiston students get tips from Cambridge University scholars

High-achieving students from Ormiston Venture Academy in Norwich have visited Cambridge University to get an insight into life there.

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The trip is part of Ormiston Venture’s involvement in the Sutton Scholars programme through which the academy is giving its high-achieving students the opportunity to access attainment-raising and enrichment activities delivered in partnership with elite universities including Cambridge.

The programme works to inspire and encourage students to reach their full potential and gain the skills needed to help them win places at top universities.

On their trip, students visited Pembroke College in Cambridge where they had the chance to attend interactive lectures and workshops led by PhD students, were given advice on how to take notes in lectures, discussed a wide variety of essential university skills and attended a thought provoking lecture on the portrayal of gender through comics.

They were then set tasks in preparation for their next visit and workshops. The programme will culminate in a two-day residential stay at Cambridge University during which students will complete a research project on visual media. The projects will be exhibited in a gallery at the Academy during a celebration evening for parents, staff and students.

Ormiston Venture Academy’s sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), is working to widen all Ormiston students’ access to leading universities through initiatives such as the Sutton Scholars programme.

OAT is the first academy trust to partner Oxbridge colleges and employ an Access Champion, dedicated to supporting students to navigate the university application process. This year a record number of OAT students won places at top universities with a 200% increase in students going on to study at Oxbridge and medical schools.

Simon Gilbert-Barnham, Principal at Ormiston Venture Academy, said: “At Venture, in common with all academies within the OAT family, we are committed to ensuring that all students, no matter what their background, have the opportunity to access top universities.

“We are delighted to offer fantastic opportunities like the Sutton Scholars programme which help to give students the skills need to go on and succeed and to inspire them to reach their full potential.”

Ormiston Venture Academy Assistant Principal Ian McInally said: “The maturity and skills the students demonstrated on the day were phenomenal; this is such a fantastic opportunity for these students, and really opens their eyes to what university life at Cambridge could be like. We are ever so proud of the students and the work they have put into their projects already.”