Blog: Record breaking year for HEAPS university offers
01 February 2013
This time of year is nerve-wracking for the Higher Education Access team at Teach First, as we wait in anticipation to hear about successful university offers from the sixth form students we work with on HEAPS (the Higher Education Access Programme for Schools). For the last couple of years we’ve provided extra support for those applying to competitive courses, including Oxford and Cambridge. We’ve been keeping tally, and this year we’re really excited that 11 of the students on HEAPS have been given Oxbridge offers, up from 8 offers last year! While we’ve been high-fiving in the office every time news comes in, I’m pretty sure there are some other people who can express this feeling better…
Yesterday morning, I was notified that I got an important letter so I told them to give it to my brother to pick it up for me. When he returned from school, I asked him "Where was the letter?" and "What was the letter?", only to find that he forgot that he was supposed to pick it up.
I woke up today at 9:15am and got dressed up for school. I took the usual bus to the school and arrived at 10:50. I walked into the sixth-form common room and saw my teacher pointing at her room, "There is a letter there for you!". I walked to the room and saw it, "Pembroke College, Cambridge". I eagerly opened it, then slowly and quietly, slid the front page out. I was trembling; for the first time in ages, I couldn't read again. Then, I read the main bit. There it stood, in big bold letters, A* A* A offer.
Hanad Abdullahi Ali Hanaf, Uxbridge High School
I felt quite tentative applying to Oxford as I go to a school where only one person has got into Oxbridge in 10 years. However, my passion for history encouraged me to try which meant that going to the interviews to talk about a subject that I highly enjoy was a relative breeze! Getting the offer letter was the best moment of my life. Having time to explore historical documents at such an exalted institution is something that I’m highly excited about.
Karan Dyal, Barnhill Community High School
‘Dear Ms.Chi, I am very pleased….’ That’s all I needed to read. That’s all I needed to know before I started jumping up and down screaming “I’ve done it! I’ve done it!”
And so it was that the rest of the week was spent passing on the great news and thanking everyone for the help and support they've provided with the Oxford application process. Starting from preparing for the admission test, doing mock interviews and providing constant encouragement throughout the entire process; I could not have come this far without the incredible support from so many people, especially my teachers at Burlington Danes Academy. I really can’t thank them enough.
I would come home to find my inbox full of wonderful messages congratulating me on my success. It was so humbling to read all the messages that people have said on facebook and twitter. It was an amazing feeling to know that my hard work had finally paid off, and that I've made my family, friends and teachers proud.
The thought of studying a subject of my passion at Oxford University is extremely exciting, and I am really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I can’t wait for the academic year to begin!
Haengeun Chi, Burlington Danes Academy
Nothing could be more gruelling than the Cambridge Winter Pool. That said, emancipation does, indeed, only come with plight, and my offer from Cambridge has unequivocally liberated me into the intellectual warfare of a Law degree! Credit is due where it is deserved; I could not have achieved this offer without the support of my family, friends, school, and HEAPS, who, collectively, dealt with my pre-interview nerves and my post-interview tantrums! My excitement at being given an offer was shared by members of the public, who had to witness me jumping for joy on a London bus.
AL-Hussain AL-Keraim, Paddington Academy
To find out more about HEAPS, get in touch with the team