John Leggott College are celebrating record numbers of students with high aspirations of applying to Oxford and Cambridge, becoming Medics, Dentists and Vets as well as progressing on to universities classified within the prestigious Russell Group. In addition, students are inspired to become the next cohort of teachers, lawyers, accountants and police officers as well as actors, musicians and dancers.    

In order to support our future professionals, we have bespoke support packages, which comes under the umbrella title of A*spire.   A*spire is a unique and enabling programme which cohesively runs concurrently with students’ main academic and vocational courses.       

Nicola Altoft, Learner Pathway Officer and A*spire Champion reported “The Aspiring Oxbridge programme is open to all students who have the desire and drive to attend the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge.    Our individually tailored support programme ensures that students are equipped with the best advice to produce excellent applications, which allows them to be selected for interview and further assessment. This year it has been a pleasure to see the cohort grow in terms of students, who all have great ambition for success; I feel privileged to be a part of their journey.”  

Former Wilberforce Sixth Form College Principal and History teacher, David Cooper, has been employed in the specific role of A*spire and Oxbridge Specialist to work with Oxford and Cambridge applicants, using his years of educational experience and Oxbridge contacts as well as working with organisations such as the Sutton Trust.   David said “it is a pleasure to work with such talented and inspirational young people to help them progress on to the next step in their exciting, personal, academic and career pathway.  Oxford and Cambridge offer a world class education, and the competition for places is intense.  The support programme which we offer at John Leggott is intended to ensure that our students have both the skills and the confidence to apply and compete as equals.” 

A*spire helps students reach beyond their potential with subject-specific support. For students who want to go into performing arts, A*spire Conservatoires offers personalised coaching and for talented biologists, A*spire Veterinary facilitates work experience opportunities. Subject specialist leaders help students look at careers and routes that have special requirements through the variety of programmes that are geared around a particular career route.  

Area Lead for English, David Green, mentored one of the successful Oxbridge applicants for Oxford’s English Language & Literature undergraduate course this year.  “I enjoy working with students who clearly have talent and the need to develop the belief and confidence that they are worthy of applying to these prestigious universities.  I have worked with my colleagues to provide several mock interviews, assess entry examination responses and ensure that our students are well equipped to be successful.” 

After a fantastic welcome event for our first year A*spire students and parents earlier this month, our support for the learners’ progression goals begins with JLC hosting the yearly Oxbridge Conference on Monday, 25 April 2022, which will bring together all the applicants from the three ACT (Advanced Colleges Trust) colleges in the area:  Franklin College in Grimsby, Wilberforce College in Hull as well as JLC’s own cohort.   Students will be mentored by Learner Pathway professionals and subject specialist staff.     

James Needham benefited from last year’s conference: “My dream is to become an Aerospace Engineer; I’d like to go to Cambridge University to study Engineering and then specialise in my final year. The welcome event was really helpful especially for my parents to find out more about the support I receive and application process.”  

This year we are delighted to continue our success with students progressing on to Oxford. “A*spire is about the individual. It is about making the right choice for your career and learning, with the freedom to explore your options. JLC’s tailored careers support in the extra-curricular A*spire programme helps students to realise their potential and excel in their next steps,” says Chloe, successful Oxford applicant.   

Principal and CEO Leon Riley says “our specialist tutoring and support staff are dedicated to ensuring that the future generation of professionals realise their full potential and dreams.   I look forward to seeing them return to JLC in the future to share their success with our future cohort of professionals.” 

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