Sam's Blog

Schools Tour Diary #3 – North Cornwall and Devon

10 Mar 2015 | Sam | Schools, Visits away

My next round of visits took me to North Cornwall early in the week, crossing into Devon a little later. I’d like to dedicate this week to the bus services of the South West for getting me between A and B!

Given the distance between a lot of our link area schools and nearby universities, I’m always keen to work with the fantastic teachers and school staff in the region to make sure students get the information they need about universities, courses, post-16 options, student finances and more.

After an overnight stay, I started the week by delivering a morning talk for Year 11 and 12 students at Wadebridge School. We spoke about lots of different things, focusing on choosing appropriate A Level options for all of the Year 11s in the process of applying to sixth forms and colleges. The sneak preview of our resources section also went down very well!

I then went about 30 minutes up the road to Camelford, where I met with a group of Year 10s and 11s at Sir James Smith’s School. Some of their Year 10 students had visited Cambridge last year as part of a residential for Cornish schools (see Autumn Residential Round-up), so it was great to see some familiar faces again. There was a lot of continued enthusiasm for the student Harry Potter Society after I had mentioned it to them in October!

It was beautiful day in Bude!

On Wednesday, I had a jam-packed day full of different assemblies and talks at Budehaven Community School. We started with two short assemblies for Years 10+11 and Year 9, looking at what a university is, how studying at university is different to school, and what they can do next. It was great hearing the discussion about which subjects they currently enjoyed and which ones they were interested in studying further.

After lunch with the Year 11 students taking part in the Oxford Pathways programme, where we dispelled some myths and spoke about Oxford and Cambridge admissions, I delivered a talk for Year 12 students on both universities and how they could go about applying. A similar session took place after-school for parents and students who might be interested in learning more. There were lots of great questions about writing personal statements and financial support such as the Cambridge Bursary Scheme.

My name up in lights (close enough) at Tavistock College.
My name up in lights (well… close enough!) at Tavistock College.

Thursday morning saw a return trip to Holsworthy Community College after a brilliant visit last year. Whilst I was prepared for the enthusiastic Year 9s and 10s who were always keen to offer suggestions and answers during the presentations, I hadn’t prepared myself for the exceptional costumes some of the teachers were wearing for World Book Day!

A couple of bus journeys later and I had arrived into Tavistock ready for an after-school talk at Tavistock College for Year 10s, 12s and their parents. It was lovely to see some of the students who had visited us back in the autumn termĀ (see Autumn Residential Round-up) and hear their new questions. I spoke about applying to universities such as Cambridge, and answered some questions about interviews and what the universities were looking for in their students.

Thanks to all the students and staff at the schools I visited during this week. It’s always a pleasure!


I was once a student at Downing, but now I work full-time as the School and College Liaison Officer. I'm responsible for organising our outreach work in the South West and advising students and teachers on all things Cambridge!