Harris Experience Advanced Autumn Summary

The Harris Experience Advanced (HEA) is a Harris Federation Sixth Form initiative. It is primarily in place to prepare students to make competitive applications to top Russell Group universities as well as medical, dentistry and veterinary science schools.

The programme is aimed at our most academic students who have achieved outstanding grades at GCSE or who prove themselves to be making outstanding academic progress early in Year 12 and maintain this throughout their sixth form life. Please find a summary of our activity over the Autumn term:

Retired astronaut Stephen Oswald’s remark to the Croydon Advertiser that Harris Experience Advanced students were ‘better in terms of the discussion’ than any he’d come across in the UK after fielding their questions on his time in space marks one highlight of a highly enriching, eventful, and event-filled autumn term for all those involved with the programme.

With places at top Russell Group universities in their sights, Year 13s spent much of the term crafting and receiving in-depth assistance on their personal statements, whilst those aiming for Oxford and Cambridge attended a series of supplementary workshops tailored to these institutions’ specific demands; the success of which was reflected in eleven students ultimately receiving invites in December to interview for highly competitive degrees in the natural and social sciences, maths, arts, and humanities. 

Meanwhile, having been inaugurated in September based on their excellent GCSE grades, Year 12 students engaged in a series of events – alongside the lofty heights outlined to STEM specialists by Admiral Oswald, these included a talk on entrepreneurialism with Vivid Drinks’ James Shillcock, and an expert survey of Britain’s legal system from venerable Barrister Fiona Brown – before choosing from a selection of subject-aligned workshops arranged to augment their academic profile and improve their understanding of which degree path might best suit their interests, skills, and career goals. This saw a selection of aspiring medics receive funding to attend an intensive two-day Trauma Medicine Conference at Imperial College; a group of Law-hopefuls fulfil a comprehensive ‘Routes into Law’ workshop with the University of Law; and a day at LSE investigating the impact of the 2008 recession on major European cities for geographers and social scientists.

Complimenting these efforts, the launch of a secure online social learning platform, Learnium, in November introduced an arena for students to pursue this extra-curricular learning in their own time as well; with specialists drawn from Harris teaching staff posting links, videos, and articles for them to broaden their knowledge and engage with cutting edge developments and ideas defining debates in their subject areas beyond the classroom.

Kept up-to-date with wider university run opportunities too, the news of eleven Year 12s securing places on King’s College’s highly popular K+ programme and Cambridge University’s nationally coveted Shadowing Scheme was met with delight. And whilst fingers crossed for our Year 13s returning from their interviews with Oxbridge, freshly penned educational partnerships with King’s College’s Muscle Lab and think-tank The Legatum Institute in late December heralded a Christmas break with much to look forward to in the New Year.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with all Harris Experience Advanced happenings, you can find us on twitter as well: https://twitter.com/HFexperience