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Oxbridge Success for Christ College Quartet
30th January 2018

Four Christ College Brecon students are celebrating after being offered places to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The competition has never been so fierce for these coveted places. The number of applications has more than doubled to Oxford over the past 20 years, with 22,000 applicants for 3,250 places.

Aisling Tarpey has received an unconditional offer to read English at Lincoln College, Oxford; Adonijah Airede to study Natural Sciences at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; Hayato Kaneda to University College, Oxford for Physics; and Kevin Zhao to read Engineering at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Set within the Brecon Beacons National Park, Christ College is an independent co-educational boarding and day school, with 370 pupils on roll between the ages of seven to 18. With strong academic provision at its core, the school provides high-quality, broad and balanced education, in a friendly, nurturing atmosphere.

Aisling Tarpey, from Cradoc, Brecon, joined Christ College Brecon seven years ago.

She said: “The English department provided me with a lot of guidance and resources, and I was able to have two practise interviews. These mock interviews were especially helpful as I felt more confident on the day.”

Adonijah Airede, from Abuja, Nigeria; Hayato Kaneda, from Tokyo, Japan; and Kevin Zhao, from Shanghai, China; all joined Christ College Brecon in Sixth Form. Eager to spend some time studying in the UK, they chose Christ College.

Adonijah said: “I’ve always wanted to study in the UK, but not anywhere. My parents and I searched for a school that was not only about academia, a place where I would enjoy not only learning, but also everything around that makes up a school: sports, extra-curricular activities – a school with a strong ethos, and that place was Christ College Brecon.”

Christ College was able to assist all pupils in their applications, even when they were not very familiar with the UK system. Teachers suggested resources, and helped pupils to find their subjects and deepen their interest.

Hayato said: “I didn’t know anything about uni applications, but teachers talked me through the process. At first, I didn’t even know what subject to choose, but they advised me to look at different websites, videos, books, to further develop my knowledge. Teachers at Christ College also encouraged me to do extra work, such as taking part in the Physics Olympiad, and taught us way beyond A Level.”

After her English degree, Aisling is hoping to complete a graduate medicine course, with a view to consultancy and medical law in the long term. Adonijah is thinking of pursuing his education in Natural Science with a PhD, and Kevin want to work as an engineer, or in finance. Hayato is not quite sure yet, but is confident, that after learning and experiencing life in Oxford, he will be free to choose.

Head of Christ College, Gareth Pearson, said: “Aisling, Adonijah, Hayato and Kevin should be as proud of their achievement as we are. We want our pupils to truly enjoy their academic learning and personal development, to reach their best potential. Such good news confirmed and strengthened the belief, shared by all our staff, that a whole person approach is key to the success and fulfilment of our pupils, whatever subject they choose to specialise in.”

These Oxbridge successes follow the recent ‘excellent’ Estyn inspection of Chris College. The school achieved the highest score possible in all five areas of judgement: standards; wellbeing and attitude to learning; teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership and management.