King Solomon Academy visits College

17th May 2018

KSA orchestra

Magdalen was delighted to welcome students from Westminster state school King Solomon Academy last week.

The sun was shining and the College was looking its very best when the group of 13- and 14-year-olds, their teachers, and Principal, Max Haimendorf, arrived for a day of talks, tours, and a very special concert by the pupils.

The day began with a welcome talk from our new Outreach Officer, Ed Dodson, followed by a tour of the College with Magdalen student ambassadors.

King Solomon 3

“Helping with the school visit was a really fun experience – chatting to the students and answering their questions was really enjoyable,” said Amy McCall, one of the student ambassadors. “It felt good to give some advice that will hopefully make a positive difference to the way they view the College and Oxford as a whole.”

Kin Solomon

King Solomon Academy is in Westminster, one of the areas we focus our outreach work, along with Barnsley, Brent, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Rotherham and Sheffield. Magdalen is committed to ensuring that all young people see Oxford as a real option regardless of ethnic, social, religious, or educational background, and we believe that visits like this play an important part of that commitment.

“Visits at a formative age can have a lifetime of impact,” said Principal Max Haimendorf. “The student ambassadors did a great job in promoting life at Magdalen, Oxford and university in general. We feel very lucky to have Magdalen as our link college.”

After the tour, pupils headed to the Hall for lunch where one excited pupil exclaimed, “This is the most amazing place I’ve ever been!”. Lunch was followed by a talk from Access Fellow Alexy Karenowska about her research with The Institute for Digital Archaeology, and then the students headed to the antechapel to prepare for the concert.

King Solomon Academy is unusual in that every pupil is a member of a string orchestra. The Academy believes that being part of an orchestra creates a sense of shared identity, and that pupils benefit from the academic, intellectual and social advantages of musical training.

The Class of 2022 String Orchestra put on an excellent concert which included string versions of Justin Beiber’s Can We Be Friends and Symphony by Clean Bandit. The audience of College students and staff gave a deserved standing ovation when the music ended.

“King Solomon Academy put on a great concert for us,”said Ed Dodson. “They also asked tons of questions about Oxford life. One student with a particular interest in libraries got the chance to have a private tour of the Old Library and marvel at its treasures.

“Magdalen is a wonderful place for schools to visit and I look forward to welcoming many more students as part of our busy outreach schedule. It’s wonderful to know that the entire College community supports our outreach work.”

Read more about our outreach work.