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A Level Case Study - Andrew Williams

My name is Andrew Williams, I am 19 years old and currently live in Ynyshir, near Porth, in the Rhondda Valleys. I was born in Beddau, Pontypridd and spent the first few years of my life in America before moving back to South Wales when I was 10.

I’ve always thought it’s a good idea to try and balance your work and social life so you always have enough time to relax and enjoy yourself, especially during exam time! So when I’m not working I enjoy books, coffee, Marvel movies (!) and meeting up with friends. I am also an avid musician and spend a lot of my time listening to music (jazz, classical, folk, rock, blues etc) and playing guitar.

I am the first person in my family to study A-levels and also will be the first to attend university, so college has been a very exciting and challenging time for me, however as you’ll hopefully see the college has provided me with excellent support throughout my time here.

I did my first year of AS-levels at St. David’s Catholic College in Cardiff, where I studied Biology, Chemistry and History, however I felt myself being increasingly drawn away from these subjects and towards Physics and Maths. Eventually I decided to ‘take the plunge’ and so I completed that year, cashed in my AS’s and transferred to Coleg y Cymoedd in order to study A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

My initial reason for transferring from St.David’s College to Coleg y Cymoedd was that Cymoedd was much closer to where I live, so the commute would be easier (!), but the college’s location is also great because of the many attractions close-by, such as the cinema, bowling alley and restaurants which provide a great way to relax after lessons!

When I look back, the main benefit of studying at Coleg y Cymoedd has been the high standard of learning and support I’ve received from the teachers. As I applied to Oxford there were a lot of extra ‘entrance exams’ I had to sit, which required knowledge from beyond the A-level syllabus, but my teachers were more than happy to accommodate this and help me prepare for the exams.

I’m also very happy to say that, in January of this year, I received an offer from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford to read Physics, so in October I’ll move up there and begin my undergraduate studies. In the long-term I would like to continue my studies past undergraduate-level by completing a Ph.D and undertaking further research within a university.

In conclusion, I cannot recommend this college enough, I feel that alongside the academic success I’ve had during my time here I have also grown a lot personally thanks to my personal tutors who have helped me learn to take confidence in my abilities, aim as high as I want, and to pay no attention to any prejudices that I may face.

This college has been very good to me and I wish them every success in their future endeavours!

Your tutor Rebecca Francis-Jones said:

Andrew is an exceptionally gifted student, who has been a real asset to the A Level Centre at Coleg y Cymoedd. He is everything you could wish for in a learner, and more: dedicated, engaged, and inquisitive about everything.

Andrew has shown complete dedication to his learning and progression, and has thrived in further education; he really has made his achievement of straight A’s seem effortless! He is an exceptionally motivated and dedicated student, who has maintained a 100% attendance rate, as well as an outstanding attainment record.

Moreover, I have been struck by Andrew's maturity, he is polite and pleasant at all times, with a very humble attitude to his More Able and Talented status. He is always happy to discuss his studies, along with his extra-curricular activities, and does so with remarkable flair and insight. He's a learner I feel we can all learn a great deal from; he set his sights on a clear goal and worked tirelessly to achieve it. I wish him every success in his next step at Oxford University, I fully expect to see him receiving a Nobel Prize in the future and hope his hard work and dedication will be justly rewarded.

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