At St Robert’s we aim to provide an environment that enables all of our students to reach their full potential. We have high expectations of everyone in our school and seek to nurture and develop their individual abilities and talents through in-class differentiation and the provision of enrichment opportunities including clubs, competitions and educational visits.

Durham University Raising Aspirations Mentoring Scheme

Students in Year 10 and 12 are paired with a personal mentor, a current undergraduate student from Hatfield College, Durham University. In the autumn term they visit the college to meet their mentor, tour the university campus and attend a lecture of their choice. They meet with their mentor in school a further five times during the year; sessions are planned to meet the needs of each individual and focus on topics such as extended writing, revision and applying to university. We also host the Durham University Raising Aspirations Conference in the spring term which is attended by able students from our school and the local area and is designed to give students an insight into university life and guidance on writing a personal statement.

Academic Mentoring

Student progress is regularly monitored in Y11 and those at risk of underachievement receive a staff mentor. Mentoring sessions take place weekly.

Oxbridge Programme

Students in Year 12 and 13 are encouraged to be aspirational in their choice of university courses and destinations. The aim is to extend students’ thinking, make them aware of the rich diversity of intellectual challenges in academic work and inspire them to apply to study at Oxford or Cambridge University or another Russell Group institution. Students are guided to use and discuss information and the big questions through the Oxplore website. This gives students the opportunity to think about questions that link across subjects and aim to get them to justify and defend their own viewpoints.

Students will be supported in their application for the Oxnet study programme. This is an intensive academic course, ‘The Ordered Universe’, which branches off from an international research project spanning the Humanities and STEM, involving the Universities of Oxford, Durham, and several others. This extra-curricular course for Year 12 pupils will give students a chance to engage with academics conducting world-leading research, culminating in an Easter residential and a week-long residential Summer School at the University of Oxford. Students will develop analytical skills that will assist them with future study.

Students can also aim for the UNIQ Spring/Summer schools to give them a taste of the Oxford undergraduate student experience. They will live in an Oxford college for a week, attend lectures and seminars in their chosen subject area, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process.

Students receive individual support to help with their Oxbridge applications, from the all-important personal statement to mock interviews with members of staff. These help our students to write a more impressive UCAS application and increase their chances of success

BBC – iWonder
TED Talks
Open University – OpenLearn
UCL – Lunch Hour Lectures
BBC – Moral Maze
Google – Mars Atlas
Google – Moon Atlas