School sees record number of pupils offered Oxbridge places

Springwood High School students Lucy Henry, Josh Ampomah, , Ezra Nwobodo and Beth Norman

Springwood High School students Lucy Henry, Josh Ampomah, , Ezra Nwobodo and Beth Norman have been offered places at Oxford or Cambridge. - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk school is celebrating after the January round of university place offers saw a record-high number of pupils receive offers from Oxford and Cambridge.

Eleven pupils, the highest number ever from Springwood High School in King's Lynn, made it to the interview stage at the prestigious universities, and now four of those have received offers, two at each university.

Josh Ampomah and Lucy Henry have both been offered places at Keble College, Oxford, to read engineering and biology respectively, while Ezra Nwobodo has on offer from Emmanuel College Cambridge to read mathematics, and Beth Norman hopes to be studying music at Newnham College Cambridge.

Springwood student Ezra Nwobodo has an offer from Emmanuel College Cambridge to read mathematics.

Springwood student Ezra Nwobodo has an offer from Emmanuel College Cambridge to read mathematics. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

"Last year and the year before we sent two students to Oxbridge," said Jamie Warner-Lynn, deputy head of Springwood, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, which runs 11 schools in the borough.

"This year we had 11 interviews, which is unprecedented, resulting in four offers. In the year group below, we have 60 plus students who are interested in Oxbridge Pathways, so the momentum being generated by seeing what other pupils achieve is fantastic.”  

Springwood student Lucy Henry hopes to read biology at Oxford.

Springwood student Lucy Henry hopes to read biology at Oxford. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography


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Lucy, from Hunstanton, who was previously at another of the trust’s schools, Smithdon, before moving to Springwood for her A-levels, said: "Lockdown meant I didn’t manage to visit Oxford to have a look round so I did an open application, for the university in general, rather than a specific college, but Keble is very close to the science buildings so it’s turned out very well."

Her long-term career aspirations are particularly topical. “I’d like to go into research – communicable diseases really interest me,” she said. 

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The students were given extra help to prepare for their applications. 

Springwood Josh Ampomah has both been offered places at Oxford to read engineering and dreams of a job in Formula 1.

Springwood Josh Ampomah has both been offered places at Oxford to read engineering and dreams of a job in Formula 1. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

Josh, from West Lynn, who dreams of an engineering career for a Formula 1 team, said: “As well as my mock interview with the school’s former deputy head, and the head of science, I had an external mock interview with some people at Norfolk County Council.”

Ezra, from Kings Lynn, faces an extra challenge with a separate system of maths entrance exams known as STEP for his place at Cambridge, but said the school’s preparation had been “hugely helpful.”

Springwood student Beth Norman hopes to be studying music at Newnham College Cambridge.

Springwood student Beth Norman hopes to be studying music at Newnham College Cambridge. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

“I just thought I’d give it a go,” said Beth, from Docking. “A while back I was involved in a mentoring scheme with some Cambridge students so I thought maybe I could try and aspire to what they were doing.“  

“I’m hoping this might set me up for a career in music therapy,” she added.

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