13 January, 2021

January Supercurricular Bulletin

Welcome to your first issue of the Supercurricular Student Bulletin. Here will be the natural home for news, updates, information and advice relating to the Department. These bulletins will be published both electronically and in print. We start this issue with an inspirational quote, followed by the self-development ‘Book of the Month’. Year 13 student, Ian Guan Jun Cheng, has kindly offered to be our first student to produce an article detailing his subject passion (Ancient History) – which we hope will inspire you to continue learning about your own academic areas and building your personal portfolio of experiences. Especially, as this is our first issue, we do welcome any additional ideas for relevant sections and headings that you would like to see in your bulletin. If you would like to make any recommendations, or nominate yourself to produce an article, please contact the Supercurricular Department.



“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

Earl Nightingale (1921-89) – radio speaker and author


Self-Development Book of the Month

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (2018) Prompted by his experiences of attention deficit disorder (ADD), author Ryder Carroll decided to create a powerful yet simple method to increase productivity. The bullet journal method transforms an everyday notepad (ones with dotted pages are recommended) into a purposeful planner, notebook and journal, with the adoption of key structures, rules and symbols. Carroll synthesised concepts such as ‘rapid logging’, ‘migrating’ and ‘indexing’ to create a non-technology-based analogue tool. Whilst this started as something for personal use, the bullet journal method has since enhanced the productivity of many others. To watch a good overview video of the book and method, click here. To watch a 10-minute Waterstones interview with Ryder Carroll, click here. An analogue way of organising your life in a digital age – outdated or refreshing? You decide.


Clubs and Societies

We currently have 32 clubs and societies. In order to operate within our COVID-safe regulations, we are strategising ways to continue offering as many of the these as possible – albeit most likely transitioning to an online delivery. The Student Council is actively liaising with the Supercurricular Department to explore options. In addition, the Department will be releasing a document which details interesting sport and exercise resources that we can use during this period!


“My subject passion and why”

Ian Guan Jun Cheng (Year 13 student)
There is often the perception taken by some inhabitants of the 21st century that History is a dead subject. And can we really blame them for thinking this way? We are living after all in an age which defines itself by looking forwards towards ever expanding horizons; an age which apotheosises progress. How can it then be anything but natural for those of us who have been nurtured by its hands to be inculcated with its fixation on the future, and, as a consequence, come to disregard that which peers backwards into the past. Once we come to set prejudice aside however, we find that History is in fact anything but dead… Imbued with the historian’s spirit, I had set out in the last academic year to strengthen my comprehension of the subject through a wide range of Supercurricular activities. In addition to extensive reading around the historiography of the Graeco-Roman world and Renaissance Europe, I spearheaded the establishment of the School’s first History Society, which offered me a chance to take my interests in History beyond the classroom whilst sharpening my communication abilities. I have also attended numerous historical conferences and seminars which have helped to greatly boost my knowledge of the discipline and its interrelations with fields like Politics. In October this year, having equipped myself with the requisite knowledge, I proceeded to apply to UCL, KCL, Edinburgh, Durham and Oxford to read Ancient History, receiving an interview offer with Magdalen College, Oxford and conditional offers from the rest. My fingers are kept crossed for an Oxford offer! I look forward to but am fundamentally undecided on the plethora of career pathways that a History degree can open up: potential routes include academia and journalism, or more traditionally a career within administration i.e., the civil service.  

Academic competitions

  Now that you all have experience of writing essays (via the Comparative Writing Task and Analytical Writing Task), you have finetuned your skills to be able to participate in essay writing competitions. Competitions can be offered by universities, other academic bodies and companies from industry. We will be advertising available opportunities and it is also advisable for you to proactively search online for academic competitions which match your career and university subject aspirations. Not all academic competitions are essay-based and so there are a wide range to choose from. To see what is currently available at the University of Oxford, click here.


Oxbridge updates

§  For updated prospectuses: click on Oxford or Cambridge §  For virtual departmental tours: click on Oxford or Cambridge §  For a video of undergraduate student life at the University of Oxford, click here §  For a list of upcoming essay competitions at Newnham College, Cambridge, click here
News and recommendations by career group
Healthcare & Biological Science Physical Science & Mathematics Social Science, Commerce & Humanities
Recent articles and publications §  COVID-19 Resource Centre   §  Clinical Dentistry – the brand new publication for the dental profession       §  Top 15 Architecture magazines & publications to follow in 2021   §  Advances in mechanical engineering §  Life cycle assessment synthesis of the carbon footprint of Arabica coffee (Nab & Maslin, 2020)   §  Recent publications from School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University
YouTube recommendations §  Webinar on UK Medical Schools, with The Medic Portal   §  Biomedical Sciences Student from Hong Kong (at Queen’s University Belfast) – A day in the life §  Documentary: “The rise of artificial intelligence”   §  Natural Sciences at Cambridge     §  Philip Hoffman on “The Art of Entrepreneurship”   §  “Journeys into Geography”, Association of American Geographers
Upcoming webinars §  ‘Veteducation’ webinars   §  Royal Society of Chemistry (includes webinars for organic chemistry) §  Webinars with the Institute of Physics   §  Public lectures with the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford §  Webinars with the British Psychological Society   §  Webinars with the Royal Geographical Society
Other opportunities §  Internships with the British Pharmacological Society   §  Events delivered by the British Dental Association   §  Free programming courses delivered by Harvard University   §  Resources from the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science §  January 2021 Geographical crossword   §  Current projects and online resources from the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
  NB. This list is by no means exhaustive and is intended to be a springboard for inspiring you to research interesting opportunities in your subject and career areas. Webinars cannot replace timetabled lessons or scheduled activities. Upcoming events, deadlines and other information
·         All students: (Monday 4th January): Welcome to the New Term! ·         Year 12/GCSE students (Monday 4th January 13.50-14.35): ‘Active Recall and Growth Mindset’ session and workshop (Dominic Fuge) ·         Year 12/GCSE students (Monday 4th January 15.40-16.25): Career Meeting – ‘Welcome to the New Term’ (Dominic Fuge & Dan Casey) ·         Year 13 students (Monday 4th – Thursday 7th January): Irish University Medical Consortium (IUMC) – deadline to email Dominic Fuge with your first draft applications and to book in your 1:1 meeting slot using Calendly ·         January intake students (Monday 11th January 14.30-15.30): Supercurricular induction (Supercurricular Team) ·         Year 12 medical applicants (Sunday 10th & 17th January 09.00-17.00): Medic Mind interview and training day (Jason Brooks) ·         Year 12/GCSE students (Monday 11th January 18.00): Deadline to complete and submit your Analytical Writing Tasks (email to Felix McCulloch, using felix.mcculloch@oxcoll.com) ·         January intake students: Continuing to email Dominic Fuge, with your completed Comparative Writing Tasks ·         IUMC webinar (Tuesday 12th January 08.00): "IUMC Applying to Medical & Dental Schools in Ireland" – register by clicking here ·         Philosophy classes talk with Richard Graham (Monday 18th January 11.15-11.35) (Dan Casey) ·         Year 12 medical applicants (Saturday 23rd January): virtual work experience with Medic Mentor (Jason Brooks) ·         All students (Tuesday 2nd February 17.00): deadline for the “Medic Mentor National Essay Competition” – click here for more information  
  Thank you for reading this month’s Supercurricular Student Bulletin. Please contact the Supercurricular Team for more information.