Catalyst programme launches new hub

St Catherine’s College is pleased to announce the expansion of its flagship outreach programme, Catalyst.

The programme sees staff and students from St Catherine’s working with ‘hubs’ of schools to raise their pupils’ aspirations for higher education. It offers sustained contact, giving school students tailored support at multiple points during their school career. The schools also have the opportunity to visit Oxford (once restrictions allow).

The latest hub to join the programme will be in the London borough of Haringey. These schools are: Duke’s Academy, Gladesmore Community School, Kelmscott School, London Academy of Excellence Tottenham and Woodside High School.

Launched in 2019, Catalyst currently has a hub of eight partner schools in Lewisham. Staff and students from Catz who work on the programme have so far worked with over 300 school students between the ages of 12 and 17.

Dr Jim Thomson (pictured), Catz’s Tutor for Admissions, oversees Catalyst. He said: ‘We are very pleased to welcome our partner schools from Haringey to the Catalyst programme.

‘There will be further expansions of Catalyst in the years ahead and this is an important point in that progression, taking this initiative from a pilot programme into an established outreach model.

‘We are very much looking forward to working with both the students and teachers from Haringey as the partnership continues to grow.’

The programme

The name ‘Catalyst’ was been chosen to convey the positive notion of an increased rate of change: an increase in the rate of applications to top universities, the increased work rate of pupils with the extra drive to secure a place at their preferred university, and ultimately an increased success rate of applicants, are all key aims of this programme.

The schools take turns to host pupils from the other schools in their ‘hub’ for each event. This means the College has a greater impact in terms of the total number of participants, and shares the administrative and logistical strain of organising large scale events with all schools in the ‘hub’ partnership.

The schools in the new Haringey hub will join the programme for their first online event later this week and we look forward to building on this partnership in the future.

You can find more information about Catalyst on the programme webpages.

Picture: students from the Lewisham ‘hub’ on a visit to St Catherine’s (taken before the Covid-19 pandemic).