Caitlin Receives Offer from Cambridge University

We are incredibly proud to share the wonderful news that Holyrood Sixth Form student, Caitlin Smith, has received an offer to study at Cambridge University from October 2021.

Caitlin will read English at Peterhouse College, Cambridge and is the first ever Holyrood Sixth Form student to gain a place at this prestigious institution. Caitlin achieved a fantastic set of GCSE results while studying at Holyrood Academy and is set to achieve an impressive series of A Level results this summer. Her determination has never wavered to study at Cambridge and she has utilised every opportunity presented to her to ensure that this dream would become a reality.

Of Caitlin's achievements, Mr Dave MacCormick, Headteacher of Holyrood Academy said, “I am absolutely delighted for Caitlin because she has consistently shown a relentless work ethic and the kind of academic curiosity befitting of an Oxbridge candidate. She has worked so hard to achieve her place, at a time when competition for places becomes more fierce each year. Everyone at Holyrood is so proud of Caitlin, especially her teachers.”

During the first lockdown Caitlin competed in the Peterhouse Campion Essay Competition, writing a beautiful piece on Wordsworth's Immortality Ode which allowed her to explore the nature of Wordsworth's relation to the Romantic Movement; combining her current studies with her own wider reading. Caitlin has been able to further her understanding of literature this year with her Extended Project Qualification on William Faulkner and other influential Southern American authors. We have no doubt that her academic ability will continue to flourish at Cambridge University and look forward to reading her own publications.

On receiving the offer Caitlin said, “I was shocked and jumping for joy in my room as I read the offer! I texted my parents and friends and emailed Miss [Mrs Challis] and was so happy she rang and I was able to talk to her and share the news, I am still so happy just thinking about it. I know the next few months are going to need me to continue to work hard to ensure I achieve the necessary grades but the goal of being at Cambridge this October has made me more motivated than ever to do this. I am really looking forward to studying at Peterhouse College, I selected this college on my application not just for its professors and current fellows, but because of its history. It is the oldest and one of the smallest colleges at Cambridge, I am excited to explore the development of literature through history and to study where Nigel Balchin, Thomas Campion and Sir Peregrine Worsthorne did. More than anything I am grateful to those who have helped me achieve this offer, my A Level teachers have constantly encouraged me, the time, support and preparation Mrs Challis has given me and my friends and family who believed in me when I was uncertain. Thank you to them all! To all other students considering applying, don’t be daunted enjoy the interview!”

Mrs Challis enthused, “I am thrilled for Caitlin and am extremely proud of her achievement, it is a true testament to her academic capabilities. Caitlin is an exceptional student and has been a delight to both teach and support through the application process. She has secured an offer at Cambridge University at an incredibly difficult time but she has also received offers from Queen’s University of Belfast, The University of Edinburgh, East Anglia and St. Andrews; a remarkable accomplishment. This success is down to her thirst for knowledge and sheer determination to excel in everything she does – she works hard and has earned this place. We are proud of all our students and I am honoured to be able to support them all in achieving whatever it is that they desire, nothing is unachievable and Caitlin is a wonderful example of this.”

Mr MacCormick went on, “Personally, I am also very pleased for the Sixth Form Team at Holyrood who have been working tirelessly to support and guide students like Caitlin who aspire to study at the finest Universities in the country to do so through our OxbridgePrep programmes. We introduced these structured programmes four years ago and they are now allowing students from Chard and the surrounding area to progress to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. We are extremely proud of that and we hope that more of our students will be successful in their applications next year.”

He added: “We are very proud of our Sixth Form and all its students and would urge any current year 11s, Holyrood students or students of other schools, to contact us to discuss how we can support their future aspirations. More information about our Sixth Form can be found here:

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