Student success stories

Everyone's educational journey is different. At Cherwell College we don't try to fit people into boxes or push them onto a path that's not right for them. We meet with every student and discuss their aims, ambitions, struggles and strengths in order to map out a route through education that is best. We are, in a word, personal. 

Read below some of our student stories:

Basim Alhomida

"My time at Cherwell has been delightful and I am now looking forward to studying Medicine at university"

Cherwell has helped me develop both academically and socially. I have became more independent as a student, and the one-to-one system has allowed me to prosper, receiving the close attention to my work. The cultural enrichment programme in Cherwell has given the unique opportunity for me to enhance my knowledge on the history of the UK as well as debating. My time at Cherwell has been delightful and I am now looking forward to studying Medicine at university.

Fred Pankov

"Cherwell really helped me achieve good grades and improve my IELTS score"

Like so many others here at Cherwell, I wasn’t satisfied with the results in my previous school which was a boarding school in East Sussex. Once I joined Cherwell I was surprised at the difference between the two schools. Here, it is much smaller which means the connection between the students is better, as is the connection between teachers and students. This means that you can ask questions that you might not ask in a larger group and have a chance to spend more time on topics that really interest you.

The one-to-one tuition also means you cannot slack in a class but neither do you want to as you want to impress the teachers.

Cherwell really helped me achieve good grades and improve my IELTS score. Next year I am looking forward to going to the US to study Business Management.

Lily Vorhies

"I loved that I could work at a pace I’m most comfortable with"

I have participated in Cherwell College Oxford’s Easter and Winter Revision Programmes since my GCSEs, and decided to move to Cherwell full-time last year, for my final year of A-Level studies. 

I took up Literature, Psychology and Mathematics for my A-Levels. I enjoyed and benefitted immensely from the one-to-one tutorial set up. The tutorial system enables the student to work at a pace most suited to their individual learning patterns. I loved that I could work at a pace I’m most comfortable with – especially with Literature, which is a subject I feel most passionate about. 

With Literature I felt I could really get my teeth in the subject– study not only the set texts, but around the subject matter thereby allowing me to really engage with the content.

Cathy, my Literature tutor, has so much experience and she immediately understood my learning needs. She is very passionate about literature and is a teacher that I can not only learn from, but share some of my interests in with.

It’s been an interesting year for me. All my tutors are very passionate about their individual disciplines, making my tutorial experience most engaging. At the same time, life at Cherwell House is a perfect mix of different cultures and ideas. I am surrounded by students who have such vastly different interests that it has prepared me, I feel, for life at University. 

Will Blanchard-Butter

"Cherwell College met me without judgement and said I could start the following week"

I originally attended a large boarding school in Shropshire but after they made some unexpected changes to the boarding houses I felt that I wasn’t enjoying my time there as much. I needed somewhere that could accept me mid-way through the year and help me get straight down to the business of learning and completing my A Levels in Geography, Business and ICT.

Cherwell College met me without judgement and said I could start the following week. So I moved into the Cherwell House and found myself getting settled quickly. My tutors have been amazing, with special thanks to Cyrus, my tutor for Geography, who has helped me to not only succeed at the subject but also to really enjoy it too.

I wasn’t so sure which universities to apply for but after several one-to-one consultations with the UCAS team at Cherwell, I decided to apply for Pearson College in London where I applied for - and was accepted onto - the course for Business and Management.

I honestly don’t think I’d be looking forward to the future quite as much if I’d stayed where I was and not joined Cherwell College.

Sophie Guan

"The teachers are so kind and approachable"

I first studied in Singapore but needed to resit my A Levels in order to apply to UK universities. I also needed somewhere that could provide a fast-track course and have me start part-way through the year.

I walked past Cherwell College and saw a sign saying they offered one-to-one tuition so I popped in for a chat. Stephen and Helen met with me and showed complete understanding of my situation. I enrolled at the College in May 2017 studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. Due to the excellent provision of one-to-one tuition I have been able to finish these subjects in just over a year.

In my previous school I was learning in a class of up to 30 other students, but here it is just me and the tutor. I have been able to go at a faster pace and focus on the topics where I am weaker. The teachers are so kind and approachable.

Overall my time at Cherwell College has been excellent - with great teachers and a very comfortable boarding house to return to each evening.

I am now looking forward to going to Imperial College London to study Biomedical Sciences.

Joseph Scholes

"I’d heard that there was a college in Oxford that offered fast-track retakes"

I was originally at a boarding school in Reading where I only achieved 4 GCSEs at A*-C. I was determined to improve but did not want to take a year out of my studies to resit exams.

I’d heard that there was a college in Oxford who could offer fast-track retakes through one-to-one and small group teaching. Cherwell College lived up to this reputation as within just one term I was able to retake a number of my GCSE exams and achieved 9 GCSEs all at at grade B or higher.

Despite this huge improvement I was left needing to study all my A Levels (Business, Geography, Politics) in just five terms. But again, thanks to the one-to-one teaching from my excellent tutors I have been able to embrace this challenge. A special thanks to Sean, my politics tutor, who quickly understood the way I think and has helped me to really enjoy the subject.

I am now looking forward to going to Nottingham Trent University to study Politics and International Relations where I have an unconditional offer. Back in 2016 when I finished my GCSEs I thought that going to university was not much more than a fantasy!

Haiqi Wu

"My first year at Cherwell was also my first year in the UK. I was initially nervous"

My first year at Cherwell was also my first year in the UK. I was initially nervous about studying in a new country but the members of staff and my fellow classmates made this transition really easy.

I took up Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry as my A-Level subjects. I enjoyed and benefitted immensely from the one-to-one tutorial set up. My tutors often used some interesting examples during the lessons when I got stuck at some points. The tutorial system also works to reduce any distraction during the learning process.

Life at Cherwell involves a good mix of extra-curricular activities and academics. Since we moved to our new accommodation building, situated at the heart of Oxford, students have found a place to bond with each other - whether in our gardens or in the common area. I would describe my stay at Cherwell as comfortable, as each student has an en-suite room to themselves. Regular meals are served, and we have termly Gala Dinners as well.

People in Cherwell are so nice and have always been keen to help me. I especially thank our welfare, who explained to me again and again how the admission process works and led me overcome the most stressful period when I was preparing for my interview at Oxford University.

The last two years have been memorable for me, and I hope students will continue to benefit from life at Cherwell.

Wenxi Wang

"It is difficult to overestimate my tutor's input"

My Art tutor, Graham, must be one of the best teachers of Art in Oxford and I am really grateful to him for the great progress we made within the last half of the year in preparing my portfolio, which was the most challenging part of my academic programme.

When I started my studies at Cherwell College I didn't have Art foundation at all. I highly praise everything that Graham has done for me, which finally allowed me to apply to Cambridge and UCL for Architecture.

Sessions in Art are the most important part of my A-level programme, it is difficult to overestimate his input into my academic preparation including annotations and preparation for exams. Graham perfectly understood me and always encouraged me to perform at my best.

Maria Liu

Cherwell was very welcoming and non-judgmental

When I first came to Cherwell I was low on self-confidence owing to some bad exam results but Cherwell was very welcoming and non-judgmental. Over time, I no longer felt anxiety when going to chemistry lessons and began to fill in any gaps in knowledge and honed exam techniques. This was my first experience at a boarding school. The accommodation is comfortable, everything is within walking distance. I’ve made a lot of excellent friends and have enjoyed getting to know Oxford with them.

Overall, although I am very excited to go to University, it has been quite bittersweet leaving what has been my home for the past one year. I would like to thank my Cherwell family and it’s comforting to know that I will be going to University with some of my closest friends.

Joey Chen

"What makes one-to-one tuition so beneficial is that the student receives the tutor’s full attention"

What makes one-to-one tuition so beneficial is that the student receives the tutor’s full attention. This is not possible in a large classroom set-up. Through Cherwell’s expert tuition I have been able to complete an (I)GCSE programme at just 15 years. I had the freedom to dictate the pace of the lesson, go over things quickly when I understood them, and go over things in greater detail when I needed more time. I actually finished my entire Science syllabus by December! This allowed me to focus on exam technique and thorough revision for the rest of the two terms.

I loved my accommodation, Cherwell House, which has a lovely yard, green garden and modern facilities including en-suite bedrooms.

Overall, I am grateful to Cherwell College – tutors and staff for their work, support and care in my everyday life here.

Christoffer Ulander

"My tutor, Ross Logan, is the best teacher I’ve ever had."

Cherwell’s one-to-one tuition made it possible to really improve upon my weaknesses– I did not get this kind of attention and focus in larger classes. I liked that I could ask to focus on a particular topic or go over a topic slightly quicker depending on my own understanding.

I want to pursue my undergraduate degree in Business Management, and in this regard, Economics is a subject I feel really passionate about. My tutor, Ross Logan, is the best teacher I’ve ever had. He’s professional, dedicated and makes the subject really interesting. I don’t think I’ve had to look over my textbooks before the exams as the notes I take down in class are very comprehensive. His way of teaching makes it very easy to structure and tackle essay questions, which is an important part of the economics exam.

I have enjoyed this past year at Cherwell College, especially at Cherwell House, the College’s accommodation building. The small community of students has made it interesting, and I have formed strong bonds with people from across the globe. 

Camilla Cresswell

"I will hold found memories of my time here"

I am very thankful for my time at Cherwell. The college have been very flexible and allowed me to begin my A-Level studies (Economics, History and French) half way through the first year and to flourish in the tutorial system. This enabled me to learn in a more effective and personal way than perhaps I would have in another school.

Cherwell has been a wonderful place to meet new people from all over the world, helping me broaden my horizons. The skills I have learnt will definitely be useful at university and I will hold found memories of my time here.

Abigail Greenfield

"The team made my transition to the College so easy"

After I achieved my GCSEs my school was put into special measures.  Fortunately I still achieved good grades there, many A*s and As. But after a year of AS study I realised I wanted to be at another school. Cherwell College offered the chance to study one-to-one which really appealed to me.

The team made my transition to the College so easy and I think that studying here has been the perfect way to complete my A Levels.

I am fortunate to have been made offers from a number of excellent universities to study Medicine and Medical Sciences including Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham.

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