There are many more examples, but those below, given in alphabetical order, show the variety of ways in which we can adapt to students’ circumstances. We have given only their first names, as some may not wish to be fully identified.
ALEXANDER disliked what he saw as unnecessary rules at his boarding school. He joined Bartholomews Tutorial College for his A levels and to re-take GCSE Maths. He liked the fact that, in English for example, he could choose whichever texts he wished, rather than being told which would be studied. He completed his A levels within a year and passed his Maths, all before his 17th birthday.
BRIAN desperately needed to pass A level German, having previously failed, so we entered him for the exam with two different examining boards at the same time, in the hope that he might scrape one of them. He passed both! (although admittedly each with the lowest pass grade).
BRIDGET had been unwell in her first year of A levels and her school had suggested that she repeat the year. She didn’t want to, but needed extra tuition to catch up on lost time. She therefore transferred to Barts and managed to complete the A levels on schedule, obtaining grades A,B.C. At the same time she also secured a place at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, reading Biological Sciences.
CAROLINE was dyslexic and had been struggling at school. She had lost confidence in herself academically and her school teachers were pessimistic about her prospects for GCSEs. We were able to spread her GCSEs so that she could concentrate on just two or three at a time. She did well, getting grade C or better in all of them and stayed at Bartholomews Tutorial College for her A levels, achieving a B and a C.
CHARLES had come from Thailand and started a one-year GCSE course elsewhere. He needed to do well in the GCSEs in order to get into the school that his parents had chosen for his A levels, but he was very unhappy at his first school and came to Barts in February. He had learned very little previously, and his English was weak, but he passed all of his GCSEs (as well as an extra entrance exam) and was accepted at the school.
CHRISTY had a very modest academic background, but was interested in a career as a pharmacist. At school he had been strongly discouraged from doing science A levels since, among other things, he had failed O level Physics. He obtained modest arts A level results, but then did further A levels in Chemistry, Biology and Physics at his local tech. He failed all three and then, at the age of 22, came to Barts to re-take. He obtained grades B,B,D, got a place studying Pharmacy and went on to do a PhD.
EMERSON had taken A level History two years previously. He had done a very unusual syllabus and when he wanted to re-take it he could find nowhere which offered it until he came to Barts. He couldn’t afford much tuition and was only here for six weeks, but he passed with grade C; sufficient to get him into his first-choice university (a year earlier than he expected).
ILONA had problems at home around the time of her A levels and, perhaps partly as a result, she did badly in them. She only decided to consider re-taking in February, but raised her results from D,D,N to A,A,B by the summer, an overall improvement of 10 grades in less than 5 months.
JAMES was expelled from school 8 months before he was due to take his GCSEs. At Barts, he was able to continue with the same exam boards he had at school and to transfer his coursework. In the end he actually did better than most of his old friends at school, getting 4 A grades and 5 Bs. His expulsion shook him up a bit, but it probably did him some good, and his education did not suffer as a result.
JOANNA came to Barts to re-take A levels, on a one-term course and seeking a place to study Medicine. Despite suffering from glandular fever for much of her course here, she secured her place at Charing Cross.
KATIE wanted to study medicine, but had obtained grades D,N,N at her first attempt at A levels. She studied with us full-time for one term and then, in order to keep costs down, two further terms part-time. She improved to grades A,B,B, was accepted at Sheffield University Medical School and is now a fully qualified doctor.
KATRINA failed two of her A levels at her old school and got an E in English, yet her tutor here felt that she had real talent in literature. In her re-takes at Barts she improved by 10 grades overall and has now completed her degree in English.
LUCY was struggling academically at school. She suffered from a medical condition which meant that she missed quite a lot of schooling, on a fairly regular basis. Her school felt that this particularly hampered her in the sciences, and that she would probably never pass GCSE Maths, but she wanted to be a doctor. At Barts she got an A for GCSE Maths, followed by an A for A level Maths/Statistics, and went on to read Medicine at Oxford.
MARCO didn’t want to go to university but he and his parents wanted him to get reasonable A levels so that, if he ever did want to go, he would have the opportunity. He had previously failed dismally at several attempts, but left us with grades A, B and D. At the moment he’s a car salesman, but…
MARIA had to leave school before her A levels to work, following the death of her father. Having worked as a nurse for several years, she came to Barts and took A levels in Chemistry, Biology and Physics on a one-year course. She obtained grades A,B,B and is now a doctor.
NICK disliked school and, although it was clear that he was bright, he had simply refused to attend. Actually, he missed quite a lot at Barts too and was close to being asked to leave, but at least with individual tuition it wasn’t possible for him to fall behind the others. However he passed all of his GCSEs, with some good grades and is now one of the most academically qualified hairdressers in Brighton!
PETER appreciated that he had wasted some good opportunities at school and came to Barts to re-take with a clean slate. He improved his A level grades from N,U,U to B,B,E on a one-year course. This really was a story of a leopard who changed his spots!
RICHARD & LIZZIE’S family had just moved to this area. They had both been at boarding school and both wanted to get into Imperial College, London for their degree courses, but their A levels weren’t going well. The family felt it was time for them to return to living all together but it would have been difficult to transfer to a traditional school, in the middle of their A levels, which used the same exam boards. They both joined Barts and both got into Imperial. Their brother Alex, joined us subsequently and secured a place at St John’s College Oxford.
SAM was bullied at a local comprehensive school and wasn’t expected to pass her GCSEs. She was indeed very weak at first, but she blossomed with individual tuition and did well enough in her GCSEs to go on further education.
SARAH had started a degree at a polytechnic, but found that she had chosen the wrong course and place. She left there in December and joined us in January, taking on new A levels in Sociology and English for exams in June. She obtained grade B in each (as well as passing GCSE Maths), and satisfied both of her offers to read Psychology at good universities.
SEAN wanted to study Biology at university but hadn’t even taken it to GCSE level. At Barts he reached grade C in A level Biology in 2 months and secured a place at Bath University.
SIMON was heading for trouble at his old school for sneaking off bounds. He was popular there, but was expected to fail his A levels. After joining Barts, he passed one of the A levels a year early and the other two, plus an additional AS level, within the two years, going on to university. What he liked most was being able to tell his old school that he had done well in his A levels; they couldn’t believe it!
SPENCER was a talented skier and was training to represent Great Britain in the winter Olympics. It was agreed that he only attended Barts when there was no snow, and he skied for the rest of the time! He didn’t get a medal in the Games, but did well enough in his A levels to start a degree in Sports Science.
STEPHEN was another of our many successful applicants for Medicine. He battled against, and over came, dyslexia and has recently qualified from a London medical school.
STEVEN had got grades U,U,U in A levels Physics, Maths and Business Studies. He accepts that he had been idle, but when he started to do some work he improved to B,D,D respectively and went on to university to study Engineering.