Two top performing students at a leading North East school have been offered places at world-renowned universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

Durham School sixth former Sophie Hogg, 17, has received an offer from Wadham College, Oxford to read French and Spanish and Miranda Li, 18, who took a gap year, has been offered a place to read Engineering at Robinson College, Cambridge.

The joint honours offer to Sophie comes as she looks towards completing her four A levels in French, Spanish, Latin and English Literature. She excelled at GCSE gaining 7A*’s and 4A’s.

Sophie said “I burst into tears when I heard I had got an offer and drove straight to tell my mum and dad at work.

“I decided to apply after my visit to Oxford in September, which was organised by the school and after chatting to the Spanish staff at the University I thought, I can do this!”

Mr Hope, Head of the Classics Department and Co-ordinator of Oxbridge, Law and Medicine Applications at Durham School said, “Wadham College’s offer to Sophie is the culmination of a rigorous process which really puts pupils through their paces; to be called for an Oxbridge interview is a huge achievement, while being made an offer is an amazing success against stiff competition.

“Sophie’s profile has always been strong, with a good GCSE record and a real talent in both Spanish and French, the languages she has applied to study. To complement her interests, she studies two further A Levels, Latin and English Literature, and has shown herself capable not only of coping with the workload and the challenge of four subjects, which require extensive reading and the study of literature in three different languages.”

Sophie also recently went to Madagascar on World Challenge, demonstrating the breadth of her commitment and achievements.

Mr Hope added, “Sophie has always aimed high. She richly deserves this acknowledgement of her passionate mindset, her successes in academic pursuits and her natural aptitude for languages.”

Sophie said “Mr Hope was always encouraging but never pushy. I don’t think I would have been made an offer by Oxford if I wasn’t at Durham School and been supported by him. He’s been to Oxford, lived it and has been able to help with any questions I had.”

Miranda Li spent her time during her gap year, gaining work experience in engineering environments before applying to Cambridge.

Mr Hope said, “Miranda’s achievement is testament to her determination and self-belief. She secured an offer to read Mathematics there last year, but narrowly missed the requirements. Though holding four offers, including one from UCL, Miranda thought it over carefully and decided she wanted to reapply to Cambridge, this time to read Engineering at Robinson College.

“Miranda clearly performed well in the admissions assessment and was called to interview. She had to take further tests at the interview and negotiate her way through several assessments with University staff. We were delighted when she received an offer which she richly deserves “

Durham School, Quarryheads Lane, has achieved considerable recent academic success, with 90% of pupils progressing to high education and 60% of students leaving to attend their first choice university.

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