Amazing Grace off to Oxford

St Mary's College head girl Grace McGowan who has been offered a place at Oxford. (2501PG40)
St Mary's College head girl Grace McGowan who has been offered a place at Oxford. (2501PG40)

St Mary’s College student Grace McGowan has earned herself a place in the school’s history books by becoming their first pupil to be offered a place at Oxford.

Grace, the school’s current head girl, has been offered a place at Exeter College to read English Literature.

The aspiring writer is looking forward to taking up her place at the college, which is closely associated with fantasy novelists JRR Tolkien and Philip Pullman and was one of the first universities to accept applications from women.

An offer came through for Grace from the prestigious university earlier this month, and is dependant on her getting three A’s in her A levels which she will take in June.

She has been nicknamed “amazing Grace” by her friends at the school, who she says have been incredibly supportive over the last seven years.

Grace secured a coveted place at the Oxford Summer School last year and said as soon as she arrived she had a “gut feeling” that she wanted to study there.

“I didn’t think the interview had gone that well. It turned into a crusade for me and about more that just getting a place in the university. I just wanted to show you don’t need blue blood to do it.”

Grace credits St Mary’s for keeping her grounded and for helping her get as far as she has. She hopes her successes will set an example for younger pupils.

“I think maybe if I had gone to another school I would have been a very different person. In St Mary’s I have a really nice balance.

“All the girls here have been really supportive and I have the academic life but also have a good social life. That makes all the difference”.

“I would like to show the other girls in St Mary’s it is worth taking the chance and seeing how far you can go if you push yourself and challenge yourself.”