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Solihull School

Solihull School

Oxbridge & Medics

Oxbridge Programme

The Oxbridge Programme runs alongside the general Stretch and Challenge Programme and begins formally at the start of the Lower Sixth. The aim is to work with individual students and with groups of potential applicants to challenge them academically in preparation for their Oxbridge application. The programme also provides support in navigating the Oxbridge application process.

Oxbridge Mentors work with Heads of Department to identify early potential applicants and encourage them to pursue the independent and flexible thinking so valuable in preparation for Oxbridge. In conjunction with the many co-curricular stretch and challenge activities at Solihull, students are given the opportunity to gain confidence exploring topics away from the constraints of examination syllabi.

In the Lower Sixth, students will have the chance to prepare for Oxbridge applications in Enrichment sessions, in tailored events and masterclasses and in off timetable extension tasks. The aim of these is to promote free and critical thinking and make the discussion of ideas or new approaches to problems a far less daunting prospect. As they move towards the end of the Lower Sixth, additional support is given to Oxbridge students in producing their personal statements. Students will also undertake practice interviews with a variety of internal and external specialists and assistance is provided in preparing for entrance tests.

This programme produces students who are more confident in discussions in and around the subjects they apply for and for whom the interview process is far less daunting than it might otherwise have been. As a consequence, we believe we give our students the best opportunity to show their potential both before and during the interview process.

Solihull Area Oxbridge Network

In addition to the internal Oxbridge Programme, Solihull has been instrumental in setting up the Solihull Area Oxbridge Network which now has 11 schools ranging from academies to grammar schools. The aim of the network is to widen access to skills, resources and experiences which will enable individuals from all backgrounds to avail themselves of the support required for the Oxbridge application in addition to that offered by their schools. The network has strong links with both Oxford and Cambridge Admissions tutors and outreach staff and events have included Admissions talks, interview support and general advice. The network also runs an interview Xchange every November to provide access to experienced interviewers across the schools’ network. 


It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain places at university for degree courses leading to careers in Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry. With graduates in these vocations almost certainly gaining employment, competition is increasing year on year.

At Solihull, an extensive package of support is given to Sixth Form students applying for these subjects. This includes:

  • Presentations and tips from doctors, dentists and vets
  • Talks and advice from current undergraduate students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine
  • Guidance on A Level choices
  • Advice on selecting the right medical/dental/veterinary schools
  • UCAT and BMAT preparation
  • Support with writing personal statements and feedback on personal statement drafts
  • Assistance with gaining medically related work experience and voluntary placements
  • Mock one-to-one interviews
  • Mock multiple mini interviews
  • Additional support for Oxbridge entry via the Oxbridge Programme

While success cannot be guaranteed, over the last 10 years very few applicants who have gained the required A Level grades have failed to secure a place at university for these degree courses.

However, it must be stressed that the most important person in ensuring success is the applicant. The first hurdle is an excellent set of GCSE grades.