Mentoring for Offer Holders

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new mentoring scheme for our offer holders! Click here to find out more.

Virtual Open Days

We were delighted to host our first ever Virtual Open Days on 1-2 July 2020. Find out how you can still access the Virtual Open Day here!

Support for offer holders

Our tutors have put together some voluntary reading and other work so that offer holders have a chance to get a flavour of their subject before beginning their course.

Year 9 Class 3: Competition results

Congratulations to the winners of our third set of competitions on the Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme! Take a look at the winning entries here…

Year 9 Class 2: Competition results

Congratulations to the winners of our second set of competitions in the Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme! Click here to see their fantastic work.

Algebraic reasoning

Applying algebraic reasoning to solve numerical problems in a real life situation is a key concept in mathematics… Practice your algebraic reasoning with these questions, perfect for GCSE students.

St John’s Library opens virtually

The St John’s College Library team have put together a series of activities that allow you to engage with the St John’s collections in new and exciting ways…

Hydroelectric power

How do we harness the potential energy of water? These questions are suitable for GCSE and A-Level students.

Dr Harry’s Questions

Dr Harry’s Questions are a mixture of Physics-oriented questions, puzzles and brainteasers designed to challenge anyone and everyone interested in studying Physics.

Competition 3.2 Results: Reading the runes

St John’s French Tutor Marie Elven set our Year 11 course a tricky rune-decoding task: click here to check your work and to see how other pupils enrolled on the course puzzled it out!

Inspire team coordinates two pairs of Aspiration Days

As part of our Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme, currently running in 24 non-selective state schools in Ealing and Harrow, our Access & Outreach team have recently coordinated two full-day Aspiration Days per borough running on weekends, allowing pupils enrolled on the programme to get creative and explore new subjects in depth.

Competition 2.2 Results: What’s the price on your head?

St John’s Economics tutor Dr Kate Doornik set our Year 11 course one of the more challenging competitions this year. Through Dr Doornik’s article What’s the price on your head?, pupils explored the difficulty of putting a monetary value on saving lives, and in their competition responses, pupils grappled with this challenge themselves. This series…

Competition 2.4 Results: Scaling Analysis

St John’s College Maths tutor Prof Stuart White set our Year 11 course a few challenging questions on scaling analysis as part of Class 2. Click here to see the answers!

Competition 2.1 Results

We received so many excellent entries for Competition 2.1: Volcanoes & mass extinction! This question asked pupils enrolled on our Year 11 course to think about the similarities and differences between the current mass extinction event we are living through and previous mass extinctions through history, especially considering the effect of volcanic activity. The essays…

A new and improved home for access on the St John’s website

St John’s is proud of its commitment to recruiting the best students possible, regardless of background. Our Access and Outreach Officers, tutors and wonderful student ambassadors work with schools and colleges to encourage and support students considering applying to Oxford—and now you can see more of this work than ever before on our new and improved pages on the St John’s College website!

Inspire Year 11: Class 3

How time has flown—it’s already time for the final class in this year’s Inspire course for Year 11! Last time we considered the role volcanoes played in the demise of the dinosaurs, learned about geographical records left by volcanic eruptions and much more. Today we turn from the science of volcanoes to the creative works…

Reading the runes

In Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, a volcano in Iceland proves to be the way to enter the depths of the Earth… but how do the protagonists of this story figure this out from a complex encoded text? Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) tells the story…

Announcing Access Travel Awards

Keen to come to an event at St John’s but unable to afford the travel costs? We’re excited to launch a new travel award for attendees at St John’s access events.

Exciting developments in the Inspire Programme during Michaelmas 2019

Michaelmas Term has been an exciting and busy time in the Access & Outreach Office at St John’s! In addition to launching our very own Twitter account and growing our Instagram presence, our Inspire programme has grown bigger and better than ever this term.  Pre-GCSE Inspire Programme Our innovative pre-GCSE Inspire Programme launched in October…

Competition 1.3 Results

The final competition in Class 1 of the Year 11 course asked about the importance of dating volcanic eruptions, and the significance of tephrachronology in this process. We received some really fascinating entries in response to this question, many of which also address the applicability of these concepts to our current climate. You can read…

Competition 1.2 Results

We received so many excellent entries for Competition 1.2: The role of the historian! It has been an absolute delight reading through the entries; many of these essays raise very important issues and it was quite a challenge to choose just two winning entries. You can read the top ten entries below. Competitition 1.2: The…

Competition 1.1 Results

Thank you very much to everyone who submitted an entry to Competition 1.1: Trade in Rome! Below you can read the winning entries, as selected by Georgy Kantor, author of the competition questions. You can find him on Twitter here, and you can read about more of his research on his blog as well. 1st…

Inspire Year 11: Class 2 materials released

After digging through Roman trade documents, dinner party wares and petrified library scrolls in Class 1 of our Year 11 Inspire course in early January, we’re now excited to release Class 2! This time we will consider the role volcanoes played in the demise of the dinosaurs. We’ll learn about the geographical records that volcanic…

Determining the size of a volcanic eruption using only maths

If I told you that to determine the size of a volcanic eruption all you needed were three important measurements, you’d most likely think I’d lost the plot. Well, there’s a little more to it – aka some amazingly simple maths, but that is exactly how it’s done. Suppose you were given the daunting task…

Year 12 Study Day applications are open!

Applications are open for our upcoming Study Days! Study Days at St John’s offer high-achieving Year 12 students at non-selective state schools an opportunity to experience higher level study in their chosen subject.

We have a new Twitter account!

Agnes the Access Lamb is coming to a Twitter near ewe… We’re excited to announce that we have a brand new Access & Outreach Twitter account! Follow us for updates on study days, open days, school visits and the Inspire Programme, as well as opportunities in the wider world of Oxford: You can also still…

Inspire Year 11: Class 1 materials released

We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season and New Year’s! Today we are excited to release the first class materials for our Year 11 Inspire Programme. This year we’re considering the question “What is the power of a volcano?” In this class we learn how to engage with primary sources and historical materials in…

Year 11: Introduction to the course

We are delighted to welcome 578 pupils onto the St John’s Inspire Programme for Year 11! Click the link below for an introduction to the course. Over the next few months we will be sending you class materials via email from, so please make sure you add this address to your email contacts so…

Inspire Year 11 Launch

St John’s is excited to launch the Year 11 Inspire Programme for 2019-20! Find out more about the programme and how to sign up here.

Degree Day – 14th September 2019

Below is a selection of photos from the Degree Day held at St John’s on 14th September 2019. Congratulations to all of our students who graduated at this ceremony – and welcome to our alumni community! If you would like a photo or photos removed from this gallery, please contact Please provide the identification…

Year 12 & 13 Theology Study Day

This October, St John’s is holding a Theology Study Day for KS5 students and their teachers on Saturday 5th October. The Study Day is open to all UK students currently studying in Year 12 or 13 (or equivalent). Study days give pupils a taste of what it is like to live and study as an…

Year 12 Research Project Posters

As part of their Summer School at St John’s, Year 12 pupils spent a day completing an audio-visual research project. The task: to create a poster and short video on one of three questions. What is the value of social media? Should cars be banned from the city centre? What is the best way of…

Year 11 Research Project Posters

On the second day of their Summer School at St John’s, our Year 11 participants had a day devoted to an audio-visual research project! The aim of the day was to produce a poster and a video dealing with one of the questions below: What is the value of social media? Should cars be banned…