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Herts & Essex High School’s magnificent seven heading for Oxford and Cambridge universities





Seven Year 13 students at Herts & Essex High School have added motivation to excel in their A-levels this summer after being offered much sought-after Oxbridge university places.

Following an intensely competitive application and selection process, the six girls and one boy have been given five conditional offers by Cambridge and two by Oxford.

The Cambridge-bound quintet are classics scholars Maria Carter and Ursula Chinsky, Beth Hannant in maths, Sophie Stewart in history and Joe Thomas in veterinary science. Meanwhile, Martha Gray (classics and English) and Francesca Hammonds (French and Spanish) have Oxford offers.

Herts and Essex High School's Oxbridge 7 - from left, Martha Gray, Maria Carter, Ursula Chinsky, Sophie Stewart, Joe Thomas, Francesca Hammonds and Beth Hannant
Herts and Essex High School's Oxbridge 7 - from left, Martha Gray, Maria Carter, Ursula Chinsky, Sophie Stewart, Joe Thomas, Francesca Hammonds and Beth Hannant

At the Warwick Road secondary, 222 students – that’s 85% of the Year 13 cohort – met the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) university application deadline of January 31.

Their chosen courses range from medicine to mechanical engineering to musical theatre and from veterinary science to forensic science to sport and exercise science, as well as dentistry, English literature, Japanese, psychology, philosophy, real estate, screenwriting and fashion marketing.

Offers are coming in thick and fast, such as: automotive engineering at Loughborough, modern language and business & management (German) at Manchester, film, TV and digital production at Royal Holloway, geography at UEA, accounting and finance at Nottingham Trent, aerospace engineering at Leicester, physics with particle physics at Sheffield, illustration at University of Brighton and mathematics at Durham.

Executive headteacher Cathy Tooze said: “We’re incredibly proud of the 2024 university offers currently held by Herts & Essex’s Year 13 students. Students and staff gave their all towards getting this far and should feel proud of themselves.

“The rigorous Oxbridge interview process comes with an inevitable degree of stress and pressure; it’s not for the faint-hearted, and any student’s success is testament to the resilience, determination and ambition they have developed as a consequence of being one of our sixth formers.

“With predicted grades of straight As and A*s – including many more A*s than As – they’re all on track to exceed their offer grades. We wish them the very best of luck nonetheless.”



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