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Meet the boys with offers from Oxford and Cambridge

January 26th, 2016

oxbridge

Twelve talented pupils from Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have been offered the life-changing opportunity to study at Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Focus and determination have paid off for eight boys from Monmouth School and four girls from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, who are stepping up their revision to secure conditional offers from the world-renowned institutions.

The clever cohort have received offers to read subjects as varied as computer science, classics, chemistry, medicine and psychology. We asked the boys how they were feeling about the exciting news.


Q&A with Monmouth School’s Oxbridge candidates


Zac, 17, has an offer from Oxford to study medicine at Keble.

zacQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. I received my offer over the phone and then by letter the next day. Trying to speak sensibly to the tutor over the phone after he told me I had an offer was the hardest thing! Getting an offer from Oxford was in many ways acknowledgement of how hard I’ve worked and it means now that there’s a very real goal to work for; this is something that makes a big difference after working towards so many hypothetical interviews/offers. Knowing now that if I work hard enough I’ll have the opportunity to study medicine to the highest level with world leading academics is something I’m still trying to get my head around.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. Biology, chemistry and history

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. The best thing I suppose teachers did was to encourage me to read around medicine and really have a good knowledge base from which I could answer in the interview.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. I think the idea of being taught by world leading professionals is the most exciting. Tutorials are something I’m particularly looking forward to. Knowing that you’re going to be pushed to the limit of your intellectual ability and then go even further is a daunting prospect but one I am eagerly looking forward to. Living within a college and having all the quirks of an Oxford education is another thing I’m excited to experience.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. One of the best things about studying medicine is that your options are really very open as to what you specialise in. It’s impossible to say now, but in 8 or 10 years from now I hope I’ve chosen a field I’m passionate about and enjoy working in. After all if you enjoy your work, then it really isn’t work anymore.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. I guess I’ll do everything I can. The incentive is so big that it would be foolish not to.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. I’ll miss the safety of knowing that no matter what’s troubling you there’ll always be a teacher or a friend that knows you and can help you. And of course I’ll miss the banter and jokes that we share with the teachers!


Rory, 17, has an offer from Oxford to study classics with a choral scholarship at Queen’s

roryQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. Receiving my offer was primarily a relief; I had invested a great deal of time and work into the application. However, I was also deeply disappointed for those who were not going to be joining me. It is, after all, something of a lottery.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. Latin, classical Greek, mathematics and further mathematics

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. I am enormously indebted to certain individuals who have presided over my education, both at Monmouth School and The Grange – Agincourt is also deserving of some credit. In particular, the classics department has facilitated my academic development in such a way that must surely be a very rare opportunity, if not a unique one. I have been immensely fortunate in this and shall be eternally grateful. Further thanks are owed to Director of Music, David Lawson, whose instruction enabled me to attain the additional accolade of a choral scholarship.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. The foremost attractions of studying at Oxford seem to be the people, the prestige and the pubs.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. My plans for the future remain deliberately undefined.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. I am most fortunate in that my offer is 3 As, one of which I already have sufficient marks in maths to attain. Nevertheless, I shall be striving for 4 A*s on a point of pride.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. Being as ready to leave Monmouth as I am, I doubt whether I shall know what I miss most about it for some years. It would not surprise me, though, if it were a certain cluster of classrooms hidden amongst the Day Houses.


Sam, 17, has an offer from Oxford to study maths at Brasenose

samQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. I was (as you can imagine) immensely pleased. It was all a 50/50 chance the entire way through for me, and as such I wasn’t feeling much pressure; that was until my girlfriend rang me to say that she’d received an offer from Oxford when I still hadn’t heard – then the pressure started to mount.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. Maths, further maths, physics and chemistry

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. I’m extremely grateful to my teachers for allowing me the time to focus on my application, and especially my tutor Dr Evans, who gave me all the previous MAT entry papers for my course and went through them with me, without which I am certain I wouldn’t have got in.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. Mostly the independence, but also the likelihood that I’ll have fewer things to organise/do as a student at Oxford and so should be able to spend a bit more time doing the things I enjoy (such as rowing, though I don’t think I have quite the stature to make the Blues team).

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. I haven’t really considered much of my life/work beyond university, but I’d certainly hope to put my maths knowledge to good use in the world.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. I’ll put in some good miles on my work over the study-leave period – it’d certainly be a shame to get the offer, but not make the grades!

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. I imagine after a week of university, I’ll be missing both a fully functioning liver and what is currently a moderately care-free lifestyle.


Dan, 17, has an offer from Oxford to study chemistry at Exeter

danjonesQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. Delighted that the hard work and painstaking interviews had paid off and relieved that the nervous wait was finally over. It also made me realise, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to actually obtain the grades.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. Maths, further maths, chemistry, Latin

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. Putting on additional ‘Stretch and Challenge’ sessions to encourage thinking above and beyond the syllabus, or applying A level knowledge to more extended and unusual questions. Also the multiple talks and guest speakers gave us an insight into the application process and the commitment required to compete for places.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. Working alongside other eager and like-minded students, using the state of the art equipment available and learning from top researchers in their subjects.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. Either take up one of the many jobs provided in the chemical industry, or further my studies and advance onto a PhD.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. Keep working hard in my subjects across the board and ensure that I don’t let any of the current high standards slip.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. The close and friendly school environment and how the teachers are always on hand to help with and encourage my further studies in their free time.


Harris, 17, has an offer from Cambridge to study history at Robinson

harrisQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. I was taken very much by surprise; I received an email not from the college I’d applied to, but from Robinson College who had picked me from the pool. It was a brief moment but one that I was very nervous for, particularly as I was the last of my peers to hear from Oxford or Cambridge.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. History, physics, maths and an AS level in further maths – an unusual combination for a history applicant

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. Beyond just the great teaching which contributed to my AS level results, the history department gave me plenty of reading, mock interviews and discussions. I also worked closely with Lewis, who applied for history at Oxford. In the end, my interviews were not typical of most at Cambridge, being a different format and style to how applicants are typically assessed. The School did, however, encourage me to think as a Cambridge historian and communicate well in a one-on-one discussion in such a way that worked in any interview situation.

.Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Cambridge?

A. In terms of studying, I am probably most excited about the range of new histories, from all times and places that I may never even have considered before. Of course beyond that, I look forward to rowing, a passion developed at Monmouth, and the wealth of other societies from debating to expeditions, any of which I could end up a part of!

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. As of yet I’m not set on any one particular career path, but hopefully my time at Cambridge will guide me towards the right kind of occupation.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. Lots of revision is my plan. After working so hard for our offers, I know no one wants to risk falling short this June.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. I will probably miss my classes at Monmouth most. Being part of a class that gets on well together, with a teacher that both teaches well and sets a relaxed, humorous class atmosphere can, even during A levels, be enjoyable and maybe something very different from a university experience.


Lewis, 17, has an offer from Oxford to study history at Lincoln

Q. How did you feel when you received your offer?lewis

A. A combination of surprise and relief. In many ways it hasn’t fully sunk in yet.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. History, economics and Latin

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. The history department at Monmouth School played a pivotal role – without the guidance of Dr Harrison and the plethora of mock interview that he laid on for me, this may well not have been possible.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. I’m looking forward to the intellectual autonomy that the Oxford course provides, along with the opportunity to engage with both complex ideas and world leading academics on a regular basis in tutorials.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. I’m currently interested in a career in either law or investment banking.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. I intend to do plenty of practice papers this term and revise well over the Easter holiday.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

 A. I think it will be hard to replicate the School’s august, yet welcoming atmosphere. I will also miss the many friends that I have made here and also the teachers, who have been so helpful and encouraging toward my endeavours; although I hope to stay in touch.


Dan, 18, has an offer from Oxford to study physics at Brasenose

danQ. How did you feel when you received your offer?

A. It was a relief after so long to finally find out, and it still almost feels like it didn’t happen.

Q. Which A levels are you taking?

A. Maths, further maths, physics and chemistry

Q. How do you think MS helped you to secure your offer?

A. One practice interview, that I didn’t do very well in, helped prepare me for the real interviews. We were also given some help on the PAT through group sessions with the other applicants.

.Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Oxford?

A. Making use of the excellent facilities to help realise my dream of perfection, and enjoying the chance to take control of my own life.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

A. I have absolutely no idea what to do after university.

Q. How do you plan to achieve the grades needed to secure your offer?

A. Work to make sure I get the required grades to get in.

Q. What will you miss most about Monmouth?

A. Being able to play sport twice in a week and on the weekend with my friends.


OM Harri, 18, has an unconditional offer from Cambridge to study computer science at Jesus
harri

Q. What are you most looking forward to about studying at Cambridge?

A. The thing I’m most looking forward to is probably meeting people – from speaking to offer holders over social media it’s clear there is going to be an incredibly diverse array of talent next year. It will be slightly odd being the ‘old boy’ though; I’m yet to find another candidate who is post A levels!

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