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15/12/17

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Year 6 helping children in Reception to make reindeer Christmas cards. https://t.co/wvyDN17mK2

14/12/17

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Fundraising for Peru with some homemade items by our students https://t.co/mWID5kwKlY

14/12/17

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It’s our amazing breakfast reading morning tomorrow from 7:30am. Come and read and have a free breakfast on us 📖🍳🥓 https://t.co/NCdjTnYIl1

14/12/17

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The Music Winter Concert was enjoyed by all. Thank you to all who attended. https://t.co/3KjQdEw35o

13/12/17

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. is looking for a Head of . Find out more and apply at https://t.co/occQ0mazyk https://t.co/0NbqCNPLe2

13/12/17

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Winter Wonderland Christmas Concert, Thurs 14 Dec, 6.30pm. Fantastic performances by our primary, secondary and sixth form students. Everyone welcome! Huge thanks to everyone whose worked so hard to make this happen. Details https://t.co/Q3KhA3aPon https://t.co/4VNZ3invPE

13/12/17

Read about outstanding success in from south London champions ... https://t.co/tcFc2N9Pbd

11/12/17

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Take a look at how teaching school alliance is developing leaders and driving school improvement https://t.co/WqTvNiE9KL https://t.co/oVZ33gWH79

11/12/17

Listen: on on banning in school https://t.co/5oMC2eut3a

11/12/17

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Today is the day! Come along to in tonight from 4:30pm to find out why you should https://t.co/a8W1VhIwYV

11/12/17

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Events taking place at Harris City Academy Crystal Palace this week. https://t.co/J0yySwOtqJ

11/12/17

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We're ready for you! Come and ask us about how to and get your to start your new career today! https://t.co/Guxm9Bd9mv https://t.co/OhUEBwZmh2

11/12/17

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.SaveTheDate: End of term is 20 December and students will break up from 12.40pm. https://t.co/N2qbgmKqqV

11/12/17

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Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 15th December 2017. £1 donation in aid of our local homeless charity. School appropriate clothing please. https://t.co/U6aHFcXe1d

11/12/17

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11/12/17

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Our year 11 geographers conducting their field work regardless of the weather https://t.co/UgLtkvxT4c

11/12/17

Great rewards well done 7R1! https://t.co/kyQdcyECzO

11/12/17

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With the beach inaccessible- year 11 Geo students adapted their beach gradient profiles by applying them snow covered fields. https://t.co/FVuoBvnpes

11/12/17

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Word of the week is oblivious. Don't forget to use the word of the week during your lessons and work to be in for a chance to win the prize! https://t.co/UDUCxPWUGK

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Posted on: May 6th 2015Harris Experience News

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Harris 6th Form Alumni Return to Speak About Learning and Life at Top Russell Group Universities

Inducted onto the programme in the Harris Upper Norwood Hall in October, our HEA Year 12s returned to the same venue on the 9th of December to hear from five Harris 6th Form alumni now studying at Cambridge, UCL, Exeter and King’s College.

Curated and delivered by Future First (who are helping us gather and mobilise the vast number of Harris 6th Formers now at top universities and employers across the UK), this event was arranged to give our new Year 12 cohort a wealth of insight and advice on how to choose, successfully apply for and, thereafter, thrive at a Russell Group university – from peers a few years ahead on the journey.

The session began with each of the assembled HEA alumni – Michelle Sebele (Medicine, King’s College London); Hannah Meah (English Literature, UCL); Sophie D’Souza (Psychology, University of Cambridge); Sarah Akinsola (Drama, Exeter University); & Fatima Hussein (Education Studies, UCL) – introducing themselves to the group and giving a brief summary of their academic journey from where their audience was sitting to where they were at university, before focussing on the first topic for discussion: ‘which factors did you base your university choices on’.

Our Year 12s heard how a wide-range of factors influenced their peers’ choices: location (whilst some wanted to escape to a totally different part of the UK; others preferred a short tube journey from a regenerative Sunday roast or cuppa); size of town (London’s night-life and 24/7 pulse trumping the sleepier rhythms of the likes of Durham and Cambridge for half the group); and societies on offer (with UCL tipping the scales for Hannah due to its film society’s eminent alumnus; Christopher Nolan, director of Dark Knight and Inception). Yet, whilst contrasting motivations informed these extra-curricular and practical factors, consensus centred on the importance of picking universities that offered strong academic reputations, courses which fired their particular curiosities and a name that caught the eyes of employers. ‘Russell Group universities, in other words’ declared our host from Future First, Amy Finch – the knowing but reserved hum which received this revelation indicating a tag our HEA Year 12s were familiar with but not that knowledgeable about, yet.

Amy, consequently, asked the group to discuss their expectations and preconceptions of Russell Group universities (including Oxbridge) in small groups, which they then posed to the alumni. A variety of questions on what sort of students they shared their courses with; how much time did they have spare to pursue extra-curricular interests; and how hard was life on a student budget were then levelled at the panel.

Sophie’s experience at Cambridge proved particularly intriguing for the audience and she was quick to affirm its meritocracy – ‘it isn’t impossible to get into or study at, you just need to love your subject and work hard’ – and more than happy to bust a few myths: whilst not as socially mixed as other city-based Russell Groups Cambridge’s student body ‘reflects a broad and growing range of social backgrounds and ethnicities’, she remarked. All on the panel seconded Sophie’s third point on the need to combine hard-work in class with a healthy range of super-curricular reading to meet the grade-requirements and broader intellectual appetite top universities wish for in their applicants – a convenient segue-way into the final topic of discussion for the day: ‘Getting In’.

The concluding slide of the presentation featured a calendar outlining the students’ key preparation targets were for the rest of Year 12: research universities and visit them in-person during Open Days; begin building up and recording super-curricular experiences in their preferred subject area; draw and reflect upon these in their personal statements over the summer holidays. All of which were underlined as crucial preparatory steps to ensure they hit the ground running in Year 13, with Oxbridge and Medicine application deadlines in mid-October and final UCAS submissions for other courses and universities at the beginning of January.

Our wonderful alumni then left the stage to a huge round of applause (and a few follow up 1-to-1 questions) before students proceeded to register their preferred subject areas with the HEA team; thus ensuring relevant super-curricular opportunities can now reach their inboxes into the new year.

As a final task for the day, the students grouped themselves by their preferred subjects and crafted a short response to a question designed to introduce them to the sort of knowledge-base and on-the-spot reasoning skills coveted by top Russell Group universities. The quality of the ensuing presentations bringing an encouraging close to an eye-opening and insight-rich afternoon for all involved.  

If you would like to keep up-to-date with all ongoing Harris Experience Advanced happenings, you can find us on twitter as well: https://twitter.com/HFexperience

Click here to read a recent article on the Harris Experience Advanced and the Harris Experience in The Times.

And click here to read The Times’ editorial about our programme. 

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