Mander Portman Woodward

Mander Portman Woodward is a group of British independent schools, with branches in London, Birmingham and Cambridge, offering GCSE and A-Level courses.

The college is an alternative to the traditional school setting. Students at MPW do not wear a uniform, are on first-name terms with their teachers and are taught to take responsibility for themselves and their learning, which is thought to establish the skills they will need for university. The colleges are cosmopolitan with around 70% British and 30% international students leading to a diverse mix of cultures and traditions.

Originally known as a crammer, MPW is also an option for full courses. The majority of students take two-year A-level courses and the colleges have expanded to provide for them in a more holistic way – extensive extra-curricular provision and facilities such as cafeterias and common rooms provide a positive overall student experience and expand from the founders’ sole focus on academia.

The majority of students take A level courses. A small cohort each year take GCSE/IGCSE courses. One-year university foundation programmes are available for international students. The AQA Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is available to students wishing to take this alongside their other studies, usually in year 12. Every new joiner has an admissions meeting preceding entry to formulate a tailored study plan; students have complete flexibility in terms of subject choice, level and course duration.

Full A level and GCSE courses are taught over two years, 18 months or an intensive one-year short course. An increasing number of students also join MPW at the end of year 12 either to complete the courses that they have started at their previous schools or to begin a new set of subjects. There are 43 subjects available and no timetable restrictions.

Retakes: A level and GCSE retake courses are shorter and begin in either September or January. MPW has considerable expertise across exam boards and can provide retake courses on the following syllabuses: AQA, CIE, Edexcel/Pearson, OCR and WJEC. Students may take any subjects on a combination of different boards but will not be mixed in their classes: it is a fundamental principle at MPW that all students in a given group are studying for the same examination on the same board on the same date.

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