Pathways Programme

Set for success

The Ackworth School Oxbridge Programme supports our Sixth Form students with a pathway to some of the most competitive placements at UK universities.

With the top courses becoming increasingly more sought after, it is well known good grades form just one part of a successful application. 

The Oxbridge Pathways Programme is designed to support pupils in their applications to their chosen universities, whether it be a Russell Group university such as Oxford or Cambridge, or any other competitive course.

The extensive two-year programme teaches students the essential skills needed to succeed not just in moving onto their chosen course, but also after graduation. 

What's involved?
  • One-to-one support in preparing for the application, including obtaining relevant work experience and being put in touch with useful contacts within their subject area.
  • One-to-one discussion and feedback on the UCAS personal statement (and Cambridge Supplementary Admissions Questionnaire, if relevant)
  •  Support when booking and preparing for admissions tests.
  •  Interview preparation.
  • Extended Project Qualification programme, allowing students focus on skills required by higher education institutions and explore a topic of their choosing in great detail.
  • Discussions with Oxbridge Admissions Tutors, outlining the application process and tips on a how to submit a successful application.
  •  Monthly seminars delivered by the Oxbridge Coordinator, covering topics such as the application process, super-curricular activities, making a competitive application, how to choose a college, interviews, personal statements, entrance tests, and written work.
  •  Regular group meetings, discussing and debating big questions from all academic areas to improve confidence and public speaking skills.
  • Visits arranged exclusively for Ackworth to the Oxbridge Regional Conference, and to Oxford and/or Cambridge Colleges.
  • Talks from Old Scholars who have attended either Oxford or Cambridge, giving their advice and discussing their experiences.
  •  Direct contact with current students, to gain insight into the student experience.


Helen Batty

Head of Pathways Programme

Helen has a wealth of experience of Oxbridge admissions procedures and processes. Whilst studying for a Biological Sciences degree at Balliol College, University of Oxford, she worked as an interview helper, supporting four rounds of interviewees with administrative and pastoral concerns. Helen also found success as a Junior Common Room (JCR) Admissions Officer, where she campaigned on access and admissions issues, and was responsible for the Balliol College Alternative Prospectus. For all three years as a student, Helen organised Open Days, Conferences, and Tours to various UK regions, giving presentations on the admissions process and student life. 

After graduating, Helen was employed as a Vice-President of the Oxford University Student Union. Helen sat on a large number of university-wide admissions and education committees, and also worked with her equivalent at Cambridge University Student Union on issues affecting both universities. She was one of three members of the Advice Service, specialising in supporting students with concerns and issues with academic aspects of student life. 

Two years in role as a Financial Support Administrator in the Undergraduate Admissions Office saw Helen initially seconded to a project setting up a successful university-wide student registration system and student Information Centre. As part of the Student Fees and Funding team, Helen was responsible for administering scholarships and hardship funds, producing publications on student finance, and giving presentations about the fees and funding aspects of the admissions process to prospective applicants at Oxbridge Conferences around the UK.

After making the move into teaching, Helen has spent 10 years successfully mentoring Oxbridge applicants alongside potential medics, and was Ackworth’s Head of Careers for five years. She has also completed a postgraduate qualification in the Teaching of Psychology, and introduced Psychology A-level at Ackworth School.

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