Catalyst is a sustained contact model that provides pupils with tailored support at multiple points in their school career, as well as an opportunity to visit Oxford. Using a ‘hub model’ for each event, the schools take turns to host pupils from the other schools in the network. 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 partnership.

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 programme consists of four key points of contact:

Point 1 for Year 8 pupils: Outreach staff visit a hub school to run interactive workshops. These will introduce topics such as university, the college and student life.

Point 2 for Year 10 pupils: Outreach staff visit a hub school and provide more specific workshops on picking A-levels and exploring careers.

Point 3 for Year 10 pupils: Later in Year 10 students have a second point of contact but this time at the College. Students get to experience college life, meet current students, eat in our Dining Hall, and experience an Oxford tutorial or taster lecture with an academic tutor.

Point 4 for Year 12 pupils: Tailored support is given for applications to university, including workshops on personal statements and interviews.

Catalyst: Lewisham


Catalyst: Lewisham is the first hub in the Catalyst Programme and is a partnership between the College and eight schools in Lewisham:

    • Addey & Stanhope School
    • Bonas Pastor Catholic School
    • Colfe’s School
    • Conisborough College
    • Deptford Green Academy
    • Prendergast School
    • Prendergast Vale School
    • Prendergast Ladywell School

Quotes from pupils on the programme:

“It was fun and enjoyable with sessions teaching what life at University would be like”

“Hearing current students’ stories was good. I enjoyed the activities”

“It was very educational and insightful”

Catalyst: Haringey


Catalyst: Haringey is the second hub in the Catalyst Programme and is a partnership between the College and five schools in Haringey:

    • Duke’s Academy
    • Gladesmore Community School
    • Kelmscott School
    • London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
    • Woodside High School

Catalyst: Cymru



Catalyst: Cymru is the College’s first hub outside London. Launched in 2021, it encompasses 4 schools across the South Wales Valleys:

    • Ysgol Gwynllyw
    • Ysgol Cwm Rhymmni
    • Ysgol Gwent Is-Coed
    • Ysgol Llangynwyd


Catalyst: Teesside


Catalyst: Teesside is the newest  hub in the Catalyst Programme and is a partnership between the College and the following schools in Teesside:

    • Dyke House Academy
    • Grangefield Academy
    • North Shore Academy
    • Manor Academy
    • The English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College
    • Our Lady’s Stockton
    • St Michael’s Catholic Academy


For more information about how to join the Catalyst Programme and become a hub school, please contact

Catalyst Teachers’ Conference

Each year the College hosts a teachers’ conference. Teachers from all the hub schools are invited to attend the conference at the College. The conference explores topics such advising students on course choice, super-curricular support and guidance on the Oxford admissions process. The conference is not just aimed at sixth form teachers but provides information for teachers of all year groups. There is also plenty of time for the teachers to get to know other teachers in their networks to share ideas and best practice as well as an opportunity to meet academics and current undergraduates to hear their experiences.

Quote from teacher at conference in 2019:

“The university is much more welcoming than I thought it would be and seems to have a genuine desire to become much more inclusive.”


Meet The Team