Oxbridge places offered to seven students at RGS

Oxbridge-bound: Ripon Grammar pupils Andrew McCann, Alex Mason, Ellie Fielding, Sally Pearson, Melody Swiers, Mary Kumarendran and Hannah Moss.
Oxbridge-bound: Ripon Grammar pupils Andrew McCann, Alex Mason, Ellie Fielding, Sally Pearson, Melody Swiers, Mary Kumarendran and Hannah Moss.
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A magnificent seven are leading high performing students at a Ripon school in securing offers from the country’s top universities.

The boy and six girls from Ripon Grammar School are continuing the school’s record for students gaining places at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Some are the first in their families to go to university, doing it in style with Oxbridge offers.

Ellie Fielding, 17, of Northallerton, who is set to join the famous philosophy, politics and economics course at Oxford University, said: “I have no idea how I got in. I was surprised when I heard – my dad even cried on the phone when I told him. It’s given me something to work hard for because now I really, really want to make the grades.”

Andrew McCann, 17, of Ripon, whose parents work for Leeds and Harrogate councils and is bound for Oxford to read French and linguistics, said: “They’re very proud. I’m not sure what I want to do with my degree yet but will be spending a year abroad as it’s a four-year course.”

A number of the students joined Ripon Grammar from other schools for its sixth form. For the last two years Ripon has been the highest performing state secondary school in North Yorkshire at A-level.

Hannah Moss, 18, of Bedale, is considering a career in teaching after gaining a place to read education and drama with English at St John’s College, Cambridge, and farmer’s daughter Melody Swiers, 17, of Boroughbridge, has a career with animals to look forward to after studying veterinary medicine, also at Cambridge University.

Mary Kumarendran, 18, of Northallerton, is set to go to Exeter College to read medicine, while Alex Mason, 18, of Bedale, says her theology and religion degree is becoming more and more relevant in current times. Both are bound for Oxford University.

Sally Pearson, 17, is looking forward to indulging her love of geography at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. The doctor’s daughter, who went to Richmond School before joining Ripon Grammar School, said: “I love it because everything on earth is connected to geography in some way. You can’t find an issue that isn’t affected or influenced by it. I think I’ll become an academic because I never, ever want to give it up.”

Now they have the offers, the students have to achieve a raft of A and A* grades this summer. Dozens more students at Ripon Grammar School have conditional offers from other Russell Group universities including Leeds, Manchester and Durham.

Headmaster Martin Pearman said: “We are delighted to have so many students securing offers from leading universities once again.”