Character is at the heart of everything we do at OCL, and it is a great pleasure to see our young people grow up to be remarkable human beings. As educational providers we want to offer each of our young people the chance to be the best versions of themselves, and give them the opportunity partake in rich and meaningful experiences. One of our key aims to strengthen the sense of community within our students, helping them to understand the importance of hope, compassion and humbleness for their surroundings and themselves.
You won't be surprised to hear that we were delighted when Stephen Naulls, alumni of Oasis Academy Immingham - Grimsby, reached out to us with his story and how being a part of the Oasis family helped to shape the person he has become today.
Stephen was part of the first Year 7 cohort of Oasis Academy Immingham students after the academy joined the Oasis family. He is now in his 5th Year at Imperial College studying medicine, and is passionate about social mobility. So much so that he has launched a new programme with a colleague dedicated to inspiring young people from all backgrounds to aspire.
In an interview Stephen told us that he felt that he truly benefitted from the community focus OCL has, and was inspired by his teachers at OA Immingham. It wasn't long before he was placed on the gifted and talented register, and became part of a new initiative run by an NQT at the school at the time, taking Business GCSE in year 7 and year 8.
"This was virtually unheard of, and it made me a much better writer, preparing me for my GCSEs and meaning I could sit an A Level in Business before I left year 11."
When Stephen finished his first year at OA Immingham he and his classmates were asked to write down in the Oasis circle of inclusion what they hoped to become professionally when they were older. Much to his surprise these were then presented back to them at the end of year 11. Stephen had written 'Pathologist'.
Inspire to Apsire
After sixth form Stephen went on to study Medicine at Imperial College London. Here he continued his passion for supporting his community and quickly made a name for himself not only at his work placements but with his peers. Taking inspiration from his time at OA Immingham, he teamed up with colleague Caitlin Prowle to sucessfully launch a programme dedicated to social mobility - Inspire to Aspire.
The pair have worked with schools around the country to share their stories of success and it's root in character growth - not just academia or socioeconomic background. Inspire to Aspire's vision is to grow so that they can share the stories of other students from across the country, and partner with companies, schools and non-for-profit organisations to give young people the confidence to strive for the best and reach their potential.
"If you look at medicine, law, politics... very few are from a state educated background. If you are a student growing up in an area like mine, I felt that there were few people I could look up to as a relatable role model. We are trying to cut through that by sharing testimonials from students from our backgrounds and the routes they have taken in the hope we can inspire others to aspire."
"I have not got enough positive words to say about the positive experience I had with Oasis. I was able to benefit from the innovate approach Oasis has to transforming and engaging communities, every child mattering and boosting aspirations."
* 2018/2019 academic year.