St Andrew's Cathedral School

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From SACS to Cambridge and back again


Year 10 student Anais Williamson has been honing her creative writing skills with the help of tutors from Cambridge University. Thanks to Immerse Education, she’s done it all from the comfort of her own home. In this article, Anais shares her experience.

Anais Williamson

The last thing Anais Williamson was thinking about at the beginning of lockdown was Cambridge University. Yet earlier this year, Anais was given the unique opportunity to participate in a creative writing course hosted by current Cambridge University students and tutors. The online course invited students from nations across the globe to participate. It meant Anais spent two weeks learning alongside students from Malaysia, China, Malawi, Spain, and the UK. Hear more from Anais below:

In late July – early August, I was able to participate in the Online Insights Creative Writing course, provided by Immerse Education. A typical day (or evening, for me) consisted of subject tuition from a Cambridge-graduate tutor, a skills course for all Online Insights participants, and an hour of games, quizzes and practical information on the Oxbridge colleges. I was lucky, as my course had a small class. This meant we could participate lots and foster a close bond with our tutor. During skills and recreation sessions we were able to collaborate and play games with students completing all courses.

Skills sessions were taught by a rotation of Cambridge tutors and graduates. These included essay writing, debating and presenting. For each session, the 50+ members of the cohort were given collaborative tasks: creating a PowerPoint on a topic of interest; presenting a personal overview to the group or editing shared documents. I was able to meet students from Malaysia, China, Malawi, Spain, the UK and more, studying a variety of subjects including medicine and business. I most enjoyed learning about how other students were passionate about their subjects, which gave me motivation to explore interests and develop my skills.

Participating in the Online Insights summer course was an amazing opportunity for me. The subject tuition especially helped me gain an idea of how my passion could manifest in possible careers or hobbies in the future, and I have carried on a daily writing goal from the course to develop my skills. Classes covered a wide variety of practical and theoretical information, forming a comprehensive foundation to studying undergraduate Creative Writing or English, but also offering numerous opportunities to extend outside of school, such as in writing competitions, internships or even publishing. The courses were interactive and flexible and gave me a fantastic chance to achieve personal goals in my writing. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in both academic and personal development.