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 inspire@sjc.ox.ac.uk, 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 communications@sjc.ox.ac.uk. 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…

Year 11 Summer School Timetable

With a research project, lectures, and chance to explore the city of Oxford, our Year 11 Summer School participants are all set to have a fun and informative few days at St John’s! Find out more about the activities they’ll be taking part in with the timetables below: View the full timetable here.

Year 12 Summer School Timetable

Our Year 12 participants have a packed schedule of workshops, lectures and activities! Discover more about what they’re doing as part of this year’s Summer School by taking a look at the timetables below: View the full timetable here.

Winning Year 12 Research Posters

We received some excellent research posters that were submitted as part of the Inspire Programme Summer Schools! We’ve really enjoyed looking through all of the Year 12 submissions and finding out more about the wide variety of topics they cover – and below we’re pleased to announce the winning posters… WINNER Dhara Doshi RUNNERS UP…

Did volcanoes kill the dinosaurs?

Scroll to the bottom of the page for today’s task! It’s the age-old question – how did the dinosaurs die out? What if volcanic activity was responsible for their extinction? And are we heading for another mass extinction today? Step back 66 million years and try to uncover the answers to these questions and the…

What’s the price on your head?

How much would you spend to save a life? How do you make that decision? It’s much more complicated than you think… Read on to discover the difficult implications of putting a monetary value on saving lives. When Nevado del Ruiz erupted in Colombia in 1985, about 23,000 people died as a result. If you…

What we can learn from the archive of a Pompeian banker family

One result of the eruption of Vesuvius is that we have an excellently preserved snapshot of Roman life in AD 79, meaning historians can build an amazing picture of what life at this time was really like! Discover how even the tiniest of details uncovered by historians can give us a fascinating insight into the…

What is the power of a volcano?

Volcanoes aren’t always about eruptions and the catastrophic natural disasters we often see in the news. Many people live close to volcanoes and face other hardships and issues even aside from the possibility of an eruption – so what is life like for them?  Think for a moment about a volcanic eruption you have studied…

Telling the time with volcanoes

Scroll to the bottom of the page for today’s task! It’s not all gushing lava and pyroclastic flows – sometimes the excitement of volcanoes lasts long after they erupt, in the form of radioactive rocks! Find out how radioactive decay and preserved ash can be used to date volcanic eruptions… Dating volcanic eruptions For geographers…

I came, I saw, I ate fried dormice

What’s the connection between volcanoes and food? Archaeological discoveries (including preserved food remains from thousands of years ago!) can give us an amazing glimpse into the dining rooms of the Roman Empire. Take a look at artefacts from Pompeii and beyond to see if you’d have enjoyed some of the delicacies they were used for……

The power of Vesuvius in the ancient world

Scroll to the bottom of the page for today’s task! The eruption of Vesuvius has led to an interesting combination of destruction and preservation… Although the volcano buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, this means they are very well preserved. But recently they’ve come under threat from more destruction thanks to human activity. So…

Eruptions and transformations: volcanoes in poetry and songs

Scroll to the bottom of the page for today’s task! Volcanoes, plate tectonics and Roman gods – not necessarily your standard subjects for poems or songs… Read on to discover where the word ‘volcano’ comes from, and what volcanoes have come to signify in literature and music – and have a go at writing your…

The power of volcanoes in art

What can volcanoes signify in art? Sometimes the aim is just to show volcanoes informatively, some artists want to explore their cultural significance, whilst on some occasions they’ve even been used symbolically. Volcanoes aren’t always just there to look spectacular – delve into their deeper meanings, and you might never look at them in the…

Year 12 Summer School – Research Posters

We have had a fantastic selection of research posters submitted by students as part of the Inspire Programme Summer Schools. Listed below are all of the Year 12 posters, covering a huge variety of subjects, from Genetics to Graph Theory. All of the posters have been completed to a high standard – very well done…

Quiz: What is the power of a volcano?

So you think you know some things about volcanoes… Now’s your chance to test yourself–take this short quiz to see what you already know about volcanoes! Over the next few months we’ll be releasing articles which will help you learn the answers to any questions you’re not sure about now. Take Our Survey

Successful Open Days at St John’s

We were delighted to welcome over 5000 visitors to St John’s on 3rd and 4th July for the first Open Days of 2019. Prospective students, along with their parents and carers, were taken on tours of the college with our brilliant Student Ambassadors, had the chance to sample lunch in Hall, and also met our…

Evolution, ecology and volcanoes

There are many questions one can ask that link evolution and ecology to volcanoes… Let’s start at a small scale in both space and time. Are plants and animals growing on and near active volcanoes different from those growing elsewhere? Yes, they are! Volcanic soils are rich in certain minerals (though poor in humus), and…

Progress on Access and Admissions

The President of St John’s College, Professor Maggie Snowling, wrote about an exciting Summer term for access and admissions at Oxford: I have had the privilege of chairing the Admissions Committee on behalf of the collegiate University as well as the working group developing major initiatives to enable Oxford to reach the stretching targets required…

St John’s College’s first ever study day in Maths

On Saturday 18th May 2019, we were delighted to welcome 61 Year 12 students from state schools across the UK. The day began with a talk about Oxford admissions given by Alexander Lawrence from the college’s Access and Outreach team. Afterwards, Mathematics tutors Dr David Seifert and Dr Tom Crawford discussed the MAT test, which…