13 Harrogate students set for Oxbridge

Students from the St John Fisher and St Aidan's Associated Sixth Form who have offers from Oxford or Cambridge for September 2015. (S)

Students from the St John Fisher and St Aidan's Associated Sixth Form who have offers from Oxford or Cambridge for September 2015. (S)

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A bumper crop of 13 students from the St John Fisher and St Aidan’s Associated Sixth Form could be off to Oxford or Cambridge in September 2015.

The sixth form is achieving record numbers, contrary to national statistics that point out a dearth of northern pupils in the very best universities, though this year’s cohort is lower than the 16 pupils with offers last year.

St Aidan’s headteacher John Wood said: “We are a state school, and a comprehensive school with an open intake, and anyone can come into the sixth form irrespective of their abilities and there are pathways for them to go into higher education if they want to do so.

“For a school with that background we are obviously delighted. The students have done very well indeed.

“We don’t think there is any state school in the country, certainly last year, that had the number we had and we are very proud of the students and the staff.”

St John Fisher headteacher Rob Pritchard added: “It is really good news for the associated sixth form but we still have to put a lot of effort in, with visits and making contact with admissions tutors. It doesn’t just happen, you have to actively do it.”

Student Stella Kremer has achieved the rare distinction of being awarded an organ scholarship by University College, Oxford.

She said she isn’t assuming she will get the results she needs (three As), but is hopeful, and if she gets in she would like to take up rowing in addition to her studies in PPE and work with the choir.

Her classmate Clarice Pettit, who could be studying history at Cambridge, said: “I am nervous to get the grades, but this is an extra incentive.

“I find it really exciting that I could be learning from world specialists, the person who wrote the book.”

Beth Chaplow (English Literature, St Peter’s), Stella Kremer (PPE, University), Assesandra Martorana (Geography, Keble), Dominique Simpson (Music, Queen’s), Sam Smith (PPE, Trinity) all have offers from Oxford.

And Hannah Bodey (Natural Science, Trinity), Eloise Dunn (French and Italian, Girton), Robert James (Natural Science, King’s), Kate Laughey (History, Jesus), Matthew Newbould (Natural Science, St John’s), Robert Nicholas (Natural Science, Fitzwilliam), Clarrie Pettit (History, Murray Edwards), Ben Rowe (Mathematics, Emmanuel) all have offers from Cambridge.