Cambridge offer for college student


College Merthyr Tydfil student Rachel McKeown is celebrating after securing an offer to study at Cambridge University.  Rachel, who is studying Science and Mathematics at the college, received the offer to read Natural Sciences Degree at St Catharine's College, Cambridge on condition that she receives A* A* A grades this summer.

The Natural Sciences course is designed to allow students to cover a wide range of topics.  Rachel has chosen to specialise in. Rachel will have the opportunity to study a wide range of natural sciences modules, including the biology of cells, physiology of organisms, evolution and behaviour and mathematical biology.

Rachel who attended an interview at Cambridge on 14th December commented “I am elated to have received this offer. The interview process was the scariest but best thing I’ve ever done. I had two interviews incorporating a range of questions and I was also given a number of mathematical and science problems to solve. It was very nerve wracking waiting to hear if they were going to offer me a place.”

Rachel, who previously studied at Afon Taf High School, has excelled during her time at the college. Not only has she obtained 4 grade A’s at AS level, but over the last year she has successfully gained a place on the Sutton Trust summer school programme at Cambridge University, received commendation from the International Biology Olympiad and participated in a Nuffield Laboratory Placement at Cardiff University.

Lisa Thomas, Head of Advanced Programmes at the college, commented “This is a fantastic achievement for Rachel and one which is thoroughly deserved. She is such a hardworking and motivated student. We are all so proud of her. We constantly strive to provide the best learning environment and support to enhance our students’ abilities and give them the confidence and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. This includes an innovative programme for more able and talented students, linked to the 'Seren' Hub for progression to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group universities. Rachel's success showcases that this programme and the support that we are offering as a college is working."

Mark Richards, Head of Science and Mathematics at the college, commented “We are all so proud of Rachel and we are confident that she will achieve the required grades for Cambridge. We offer an excellent science enrichment programme and Rachel has taken up every opportunity to participate in this programme and enhance her academic studies. She has also embraced all of the bespoke activities we designed to help her through the application and interview process. Our enrichment programme, together with our state of the art laboratories and first class teaching provides the perfect learning environment for students wishing to progress into a career in science or mathematics. During 2015 we achieved excellent success rates, with a high number of our students progressing on to degree programmes at major universities across the UK. We are looking forward to seeing Rachel and her fellow students achieve equally high results in 2016, with a number of them already holding down firm offers from leading universities.”

Rachel pictured third from left alongside other science and mathematics students who between them achieved 22 A’s at AS level, 2015.


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