Today (2 February) marks the day that the application window for Year 11 students interested in joining HNC this September 2024 closes. We are delighted that so many students are considering joining HNC, and we can’t wait to meet you at your interview.

Throughout our admissions process, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the experiences our future students can expect. Our series starts by taking a look at HNC’s XL Programme. This fascinating lecture series is designed to enrich the experience of students with the academic profile to progress to leading universities including Oxbridge while also opening their minds.

A core part of the programme is the XL lecture series. Students who are part of the programme have the opportunity to attend a series of lectures that are often in no way linked to their study programme, expanding their horizons and getting them thinking about the answer to some of life’s biggest questions. Some of our lectures since September 2023 have included:

  • How long is a day on Saturn? A fascinating introduction to astronomy and how the planetary syste works
  • How to fill your heart. An intriguing philosophical session looking at happiness, and determining your own path in life
  • Futures package: a number of sessions supporting students with applications to Oxbridge, access to summer schools programmes and advice regarding applying for the highly competitive medicine, veterinary and dentistry degrees
  • The art of public speaking. Helping students to shine in front of an audience while being their best authentic selves!
  • Life after life. An investigation into post-death experiences and the question of is there is life after death?
  • Is it right or wrong? This featured thought-provoking content about ethics, and how we decide what is acceptable or unacceptable as a society
  • The lessons of Abu Kassem’s slippers. What can an ancient tale tell us about accountability?

Catherine Cushnie, Assistant Principal: “Our XL lecture programme is designed to broaden horizons, and give students access to experiences that ensure they can take their step to leading universities with confidence. As part of this, along with practical support, we welcome fascinating speakers and experts in their field who help us open our students’ minds and learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Indeed, many of our students opt to choose an EPQ topic linked to a lecture they have joined, really developing their knowledge in a topic that fascinates them. Since our return in September, we have welcomed some amazing guest speakers and have a similarly incredible programme planned for the remainder of this academic year!”

Enrolment to the XL programme is automatic if a student secures an average GCSE grade of 7 or more in their GCSEs. There is no application process and eligible students who enrol will receive full details during the induction period.

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