A pioneering new program called Oxbridge Minds has been launched to inspire primary school children to aim towards a future where they can level up to the very best in society. The Quality Mark Accreditation has been created by a group of Oxford and Cambridge Alumni in partnership with Oxbridge Summer School and Sphere Educational Consulting ltd. Rizwana Mahmood Ahmed is the co-founder of this ground-breaking initiative and the MD of Sphere Consulting.
The aim of Oxbridge Minds is to sow the seeds of high aspirations from an early age and inspire pupils to broaden their horizons, in the hope that they will not deviate into negative distractions or settle for mediocre jobs. The program aims to inspire primary school children to aim for a brighter future and instil a can-do aspirational attitude. The initiative also hopes to trigger children’s interest in the Russell group and other notable institutions, which would hopefully then help youngsters map a pathway to attend in the future.
The program offers children the opportunity to hold debates in Oxford University’s famous student debating union hall, discuss topical issues, problem-solving, and critical thinking through directed and independent research activities. The children also get the chance to mingle with Oxford and Cambridge students and professors. The program includes visits to a rich selection of antiquities in the Science Museum, the Story Museum, and the heritage trail.
Initially, the aim was to pilot schools in the North, particularly in West Yorkshire, where two of Kirklees’ schools; Carlton Junior and infant school, (where Ms Ahmed is also headteacher) and Warwick Road Primary School have taken up this opportunity and have successfully achieved the Oxbridge Minds Accreditation.
Headteacher of Warwick Road Primary School Mrs Qureshi was delighted that her school was part of a pioneering program. She said: “I am honoured to receive this on behalf of the school community. This opportunity has inspired my children and raised their awareness of Russel group and how to aim for the very best”.
Co-founder of Oxbridge Minds and headteacher of Carlton Junior and Infant School, Ms Ahmed believes that a lack of elitist opportunities in the North means a lack of exposure for children along with opportunities to gain a first-hand understanding and experience of the best of British education, culture and heritage. By broadening the horizons of primary school children and instilling a can-do aspirational attitude, she believes we can help pave the way to a brighter future for them.
Alison Lowe OBE West Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC) was taken aback with the passion and aspiration the children demonstrated and stated, “I can see this is much needed especially during the current climate. Congratulations to the schools that took part”.
The Mayor of Kirklees was also highly impressed with the project and praised and thanked Ms Ahmed for going above and beyond for her children and really instilling aspirations and providing the children a platform that levels up the children of Kirklees.
Dr Manoj MBE District Governor, Rotary Club of Bradford, District 1040 Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, expressed his excitement about the program, saying, “This program – Oxbridge Minds is one of a kind, the children are extremely lucky to have something like this. They will be able to grow and flourish, reaching great heights which may have been otherwise beyond their experiences.”
Pioneer Ms Ahmed explains that the motto of Oxbridge Minds is to inspire, enable, and empower students to succeed no matter where they are from. She adds: “This innovative program offers an opportunity for primary, secondary, and college students to embark on a journey of high aspirations and aim for the very best. With Oxbridge Minds, primary school children are given the tools and the confidence to dream big and realise their full potential.”