Thirty Six lower sixth students headed to Durham in April to take part in the widening participation day offered by the university. The University of Durham has worked closely with Notre Dame over the last few years, culminating in our students participating in a forum discussion last October. This year, we were offered ten places on the widening participation conference – but Durham were happy to send a free coach when it turned out that thirty-six of our students wanted to attend!
All of the students on the visit are part of Notre Dame’s OCRE (Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Experience) group, an enhancement group which is co-ordinated and delivered by English teachers Kitty Graham and Mark Anderson and Classics teacher Penny Beaumont. Students in the group are offered guidance on application and interview and assistance in developing the research and presentation skills required to obtain a place at a university such as Durham. Visits take place throughout the year; OCRE students will be visiting both Oxford and Cambridge in July.
Activities throughout the day included a presentation by a Durham liaison officer, which covered academic and social concerns as well as what made Durham such a unique place to study, subject-specific mini lectures and an excellent lunch. Two current Durham undergraduates accompanied the group for the entire day and were very helpful in addressing questions and concerns.
The day was a huge success, with all students commenting on how useful they found it. “I thought it was a very informative trip, which enabled me to find out about aspects of the campus which I would have struggled to find out otherwise,” said Notre Dame student Jack Burnett.
The visitors are pictured enjoying their day in Durham.