Secondary Education

Division Heads: Daisie Elis (Tutoring) & Emmet Ferguson (Residential)

The Secondary Education division of CCA is a rewarding, interactive, and thoroughly worthwhile volunteering opportunity for students in all years at Castle. The division has two main branches, tutoring and residential, although we are hoping to expand the scope and opportunities the division can offer this year by partnering with at least one other school.

Summer School – The Summer School seeks to provide a free three-night long residential to enable state comprehensive pupils to get a taste of university life. The Division hopes that the event will encourage pupils to pursue higher education ambitions, and particularly apply to Durham University and other preeminent institutions. Our varied and practical schedule of events will explore both academic and social facets of university. Pupils will have the opportunity to learn about the vast array of courses available to them and partake in a series of mock seminars run by academics. Attendees will also have the chance to participate in societies at both college and University levels (from yoga and boxing to drama and music), and experience a formal in the Great Hall.

Such an undertaking cannot be done alone; the participation of Castlemen is fundamental. As current students, we are in the best position to shed light on the process of applying to and attending a higher education institute. We are a diverse, inclusive, and international community with a wealth of experience, enabling us to address any concern of any pupil. We warmly welcome volunteers to join us in the coordination and running of the Summer School.

Sixth Form Tutoring, Mock Oxbridge Interviews, and Personal Statement Workshops – One of the core aspects of the Secondary Education division of CCA is sixth form tutoring at St Leonards school. Ideally, tutors attend weekly, but committing to every other week is still invaluable. Using our subject specific knowledge, experience of A level exams, as well as offering insights into university life, the sessions are especially useful for the students. If you are still bitter from your Oxbridge rejection, and have inevitability reflected on all the better things you should have said in your interview, the chance to get involved in holding mock interviews is be the perfect opportunity to share your valuable experience with higher achieving local students. This year we are also hoping to hold a Personal Statement workshop for the students at St Leonard and invite the tutees to a formal at Castle.

Easter Residential  One of the most rewarding parts of the secondary education division of CCA is the residential that is held for year 10 students during Easter. Although this is only one night, it gives the students an opportunity to experience life as a student in Castle and will equip them will invaluable experiences to discuss in their personal statements. The residential is extremely rewarding for both the volunteers and the students and will definitely motivate them to pursue their academic interests and continue into higher education. Students will have the opportunity to speak to the ambassadors, have a tour of the castle, and even attend a formal.

Unfortunately, this year’s residential was cancelled due to Covid-19 but we will be holding a day trip for the students who missed out. We are also planning to launch a website for the students- this will another channel in which they can gain access to extra resources such as wider reading to support their personal statements, advertising for local volunteering opportunities, ask questions to subject specific volunteers and possibly even college office staff! This resource will be designed for students in year 10 and above.

Day Trips

One main difference within this division this year will be that our day trips are focused on GCSE as we believe they will benefit the most from it. This will give the students who were not successful in gaining a residential place an opportunity to experience what university could offer and speak to our volunteers, so nobody will be missing out! This will hopefully take place at the end of June, after exams.

All of the projects the Secondary Education division offers helps to bridge the divide between us university students, and the local student community. They also offer you the chance to meet new people within college and try something new. The division would not function without the incredible commitment, enthusiasm, and support from our volunteers. We are always open to new ideas and initiatives, and happy to answer questions, so if you think the division is something you would like to be a part of, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or suggestions!

Please address Banna for residential and day trips, and Jack for tutoring, workshops, and interviews using the email

Getting to know each other at the Easter residential for year 10 students.
Getting to know each other at the Easter residential for year 10 students