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Off to Oxford I go…

Date Posted: 08/03/2017 | Posted In: Student News

Sam Ruaux age 17 has won a place with the Oxford Pembroke Project.

Over 220 student applied for the prestigious programme, with just over 20 selected.

Sam has attended two of the five seminars and at the Summer School and will be required to argue his interpretation of the text given, to Dr Peter Klaus and defend his essay (see details below).  This fantastic opportunity to engage with subjects, and experience intensive research based learning, will aid Sam with experience and skills in the application process for university.

Raising students’ aspirations and enlightening them so that they can flourish and succeed in their chosen subject is key to this project. With this ambition and enthusiasm students feel confident in applying to the top Russell Group Universities

Project details outlined by Sam

“Firstly, I’d like to thank the College for giving me this opportunity. Without the College I wouldn’t have known about this course and without the encouragement and support of my teachers and various members of staff I likely wouldn’t have had the confidence to even consider applying for this course.

Since I found out that my essay has been accepted I have been looking forward to the study day; it was an early start as I had to get to Manchester Piccadilly Station before 6.45am to catch the coach. We arrived at Oxford sometime around 11:00am and were able to enjoy a quick cup of tea with three rather friendly undergraduates before being ushered into the Pichette Auditorium. We had a short lecture by Doctor Klaus, where he educated us on university learning, source analysis and finally scolded us on our lack of note taking before dismissing us for lunch; I’m glad to say Oxford didn’t disappoint, pheasant was on the menu!

Following lunch, I attended a talk by Dr Cole and then our full introduction into the course by Dr Klaus. We were given a brief introduction to the “Aufklarung”, enlightenment, and romanticism with a particular emphasis on the contrasts between the two movements. Cool rationality verses emotion, objectivity verses subjectivity, materialism verses spiritualism and so on. Following this lecture, we received the veritable tomes which are our course readers and then had a quick tour of Pembroke College before departing for home.

The day was a very fun, positive experience. The staff and undergraduates were welcoming and while my fellow students were originally shy and reluctant to talk, by the end of the day we had got to know each other very well. We’ve even started a group chat on Facebook, the oxford family or Ox-fam for short.

Over the next few months there will be a series of seminars which will eventually culminate in a summer school, the first being on the 14th of February. We start on John Locke and progress into Gibbon, Hume, Paine and finally Smith before beginning to study gothic literature. Once the seminars are finished I’ll be expected to write an essay and defend it against the scrutiny of Dr Klaus et alia; an experience I am looking forward to”