The final university visit for Year 11 took us to Cambridge University. Liverpool and Lancaster gave us experiences of a city and then a campus setting; Cambridge offers both – at an elite university.
We were treated to a chauffeured punt down the River Cam and a historical tour of the colleges that make up Cambridge University. On a crisp January day, we were relieved that Scudamore Punts were giving us blankets and hot water bottles.
We also took in a tour of the city, seeing some of the centuries-old architecture of the colleges with the modern city built neatly in the gaps. By the time we arrived back at the hostel after tea, students and teachers alike were ready for the sit down after walking seven miles around the city.
Our second day involved a visit to Magdalene College. The morning consisted of a tour around the college buildings provided by two student helpers, both from the North West, who outlined what university life at Cambridge is like, the facilities on offer and the accommodation. After visiting the quirky pet cemetery, the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s house, the Fellows’ Garden and the main hall, we had exhausted our guides with question after question. It was time for lunch!
The afternoon was filled with touring Christ College and St John’s College. The magnificent architecture and facilities certainly turned a few heads, not least the ‘random section’ of St John’s college library with gifts such as a fossilised snake and a papier-mâché mask of William Wilberforce. The day concluded with an informative talk on university funding, which helped to dispel any myths around Cambridge University.
Our adventure ended with Mr Heayns reading an extremely rare first-edition French Revolution book in the last library of our tour…whilst everyone else was waiting so that the long journey home could begin.
Our aim is that the combination of trips to Liverpool, Lancaster and Cambridge have helped open the eyes of our students to the opportunities and possibilities that await them after Ridgeway.