On Monday 29th June 2015 Lydia Cullen and Sarah Gwynne travelled with Mrs Eakin to attend the 13th Northern Ireland ‘Experiencing Cambridge’ Summer School organised for AS Level students from the Province.
The Northern Ireland Initiative has been running since 2002 and offers a popular and varied programme of events for academically-able pupils from all backgrounds. The Initiative’s principal aim is to encourage more students from schools and colleges in Northern Ireland to consider applying to Cambridge University.
The objectives of the programme are:
§ to raise aspirations
§ to provide information, advice and support
§ to guide students towards and through their university applications.
Sixty Year 13 pupils from sixteen schools and colleges were divided into three groups, Arts & Humanities, Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences according to subject interest. Working with academics and undergraduates, the pupils participated in a series of subject sessions, to give them an idea of Cambridge-style teaching. The Summer School gave all the pupils a first-hand experience of the standard they would be working at if offered a place at Cambridge, while staying in the accommodation and eating in the Formal Hall gave the pupils a real insight into student life and opened their eyes to the opportunities ahead.
Although the main focus of the Summer School is academic, it was not a case of all work and no play. The pupils had the opportunity to go punting along the River Cam, visit other Cambridge Colleges and participate in a variety of social activities including a table quiz organised by a group of current undergraduates and a tasty picnic lunch in the Master’s Lodge Garden. The teachers and pupils also attended a lecture entitled ‘Forty Years of Chasing Wild Chimpanzees (1972 – 2012)’ given by William McGrew, Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Primatology at the University of Cambridge. Prof McGrew has studied wild chimpanzees for 40 years, across Africa, from Senegal to Tanzania. He ﬁrst met these fascinating creatures at Gombe, at the invitation of Jane Goodall, and was hooked for life.
Dr Michael Sutherland, Admissions Tutor at Corpus Christi said, “It’s great to see so many enthusiastic, bright young people clearly enjoying the opportunity to experience some of the academic and social activities that Cambridge offers it undergraduates”.
Both Lydia and Sarah returned home with an appreciation that Corpus Christi College is making a genuine attempt to publicize the fact that the University is open to all.