The Catalyst Programme is the College’s newest outreach initiative aiming to raise pupils’ aspirations regarding higher education. The name ‘Catalyst’ has 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.
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 programme consists of:
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 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.
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.
Catalyst: Lewisham is the first hub in the Catalyst Programme and is a partnership between the College and eight schools in Lewisham:
For more information about how to join the Catalyst Programme and become a hub school, please contact Charlotte Sansome at email@example.com.