Take on our super-curricular challenge!

There are lots of ways to engage with your favourite subjects outside of the classroom. Find the ones that suit you, build your thinking skills, and share your findings with us by using #HertfordChallenge!

On these pages, you’ll find some of our favourite ways to get inspired by academic subjects. Unsure about what ‘super-curricular’ means? Read more in our handy explainers below. If this is your first time here, why not check out our blog post about getting to grips with super-curriculars? Remember that this isn’t a prescribed reading list – it’s a selection of prompts and ideas to get you started.

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What are super-curricular activities?

‘Super-curricular’ means taking your knowledge and engagement above and beyond what you do in school. It’s not the same as ‘extra-curricular’ – that’s the stuff you do outside of school that isn’t linked to your academic work (we’re thinking playing sport or volunteering here). A super-curricular activity might be doing some extra reading to explore a topic you’ve studied at school in more depth. On the other hand, it might be a way to discover a brand-new area of research you hadn’t heard about before. Reading is the most obvious place to start but you can engage with subjects that interest you in loads of different ways – listen to a podcast, watch a documentary, explore an online resource, visit a museum, take part in a project… the list is endless!

Why are super-curricular activities useful?

Engaging with a subject because you’re interested in it is great preparation for life at a top university like Oxford. In your university application it’s a good idea to demonstrate that you’re an enthusiastic, motivated and curious student who can work independently. We’re not looking for people who can memorise lots of facts – instead, we want to see that you can think critically by finding connections, reflecting on and even challenging what you’ve read and watched. We also want to see that you’re interested and enthusiastic about the subject you’ve chosen to study at university. If you’re finding the super-curricular activities boring then that might be a sign that you haven’t found the subject that’s right for you – don’t worry, just try something else.