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Lower Sixth students embark on day of workshops and tours as they explore university life 

Students working together in the Barton Science Centre

Lower Sixth students were ‘off timetable’ on Thursday 6 June in order to take part in a Universities Day.

Those intending to apply for Oxbridge worked with their counterparts at Benenden School. The latter’s STEM students joined Tonbridge boys in the Barton Science Centre for a series of workshops, while boys keen on arts and humanities subjects made the opposite journey and headed to Benenden, where they attended seminars led by staff from both schools.

The STEM day began with informative talks on the Oxbridge application process, followed by undergraduate-level seminars and interactive sessions covering topics that went beyond the A-level curriculum.

Students were guided through complex scientific concepts and encouraged to think critically and creatively, much like they would in a university setting.

Interview preparation was the focus of a further workshop, in which students received invaluable tips from current Oxbridge students. They participated in mock interviews that simulated the rigorous Oxbridge admissions process, helping them to refine their responses and build confidence. 

After a morning of intense learning, the boys and girls lunched together, which provided a perfect opportunity for networking and sharing experiences.

Meanwhile, arts and humanities sessions at Benenden covered a variety of topics, from classical literature and history to modern philosophical debates, providing a taste of the intellectual challenges and discussions typical of Oxbridge tutorials.

Jonathan Dixon, the School’s Deputy Head of Universities & Careers, said: “These events foster an atmosphere of learning and discovery, allowing students to immerse themselves in academic activities tailored to their interests. 

“The expertise and commitment shown by staff from both schools made our Universities Day a resounding success.”

On the same day, around 70 members of Tonbridge’s Lower Sixth travelled to the University of Bath, where they took part in a personalised tour, followed by information sessions on applying to university, student life and student finances.

Ruth Davis, Head of Universities & Careers, who led the Bath visit, said: “It was an inspiring, insightful day for our boys, and they came away with lots of useful information as they plan their next steps after Tonbridge.”

The Universities & Careers Department completed a busy week as it welcomed David Hawkins, founder of The University Guys, to Tonbridge. He hosted informal, one-to-one drop-in sessions for those boys thinking about applying internationally.

“There were lots of good questions asked by students and David was, as always, a font of knowledge regarding higher education,” Mrs Davis added.

Tonbridge and Benenden students are pictured during the Oxbridge STEM day in the Barton Science Centre.


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