10 reasons to choose MPW colleges

10 reasons to choose MPW colleges

The Mander Portman Woodward (MPW) Group was founded in 1973 and comprises of three colleges in London, Birmingham and Cambridge. Students are attracted to MPW for a number of reasons including our:

High-quality teaching

MPW teachers are experts in their field and their passion for their subjects is often reflected in their high-level academic qualifications. Supporting our teaching staff in delivering the best possible lessons are our small group sizes of fewer than 10. These small classes make it possible to combine a lively atmosphere conducive to debate with the close individual attention that each student requires. Teaching never loses sight of the precise demands of the final examination and particular emphasis is placed on examination technique. Monthly tests ensure that revision is a continuous and cumulative process throughout the course, building students’ confidence and allowing them to perfect their question-answering.

“The quality of teaching is outstanding because it takes account of the needs of individual pupils exceptionally well and ensures that they make strong progress... Teachers at Mander Portman Woodward College have excellent subject knowledge and have high expectations of the pupils they teach. Relationships between teachers and pupils are strong.”
Ofsted Report on MPW Cambridge

Excellent Examination Results

We are proud of our academic record at MPW. Our students achieve outstanding results year after year: the most commonly achieved A level grade at all three of our colleges in 2016 was A/A*. This is in spite of the fact that MPW has a non-selective admissions policy and a wide variety of courses targeted at students of different academic abilities.

In addition to the achievements of our students in absolute terms, we are exceptionally successful in terms of "value added", which measures the considerable improvements made by our students at A level relative to their attainment at GCSE.  Our bespoke approach, focusing entirely on the supporting students in the ways best suited to them, means that MPW students frequently surprise even themselves in exceeding expectations based on previous grades.

Prestigious Progression Opportunities

The overwhelming majority of our A level students advance to university upon completing their studies, usually to their first choice.

Results and destinations are inextricably linked and, ultimately, our students are successful in securing their preferred courses at top-ranking universities because they attain strong A level grades. However, we recognise that university entrance is a competitive process. We have a wealth of expertise and knowledge of the university admissions system and provide comprehensive assistance to our students throughout their time at MPW to enable them to aim for top destinations. The close links we maintain with universities and individual academic departments enable us to provide our students with up-to-date guidance concerning their applications. This allows students to make informed choices about where to apply and ultimately helps them to secure places on competitive courses at outstanding universities.

Prior to submitting a UCAS application form, each student has a series of one-to-one meetings with his or her Personal Tutor/Director of Studies to finalise course choices and work through multiple drafts of the Personal Statement until it is ready for submission. Tutors work hard to provide insightful student commendations through their supporting reference and, once students receive offers, more meetings will be held to discuss which university to choose.

We have considerable experience with students who are hoping to apply for the most competitive courses such as Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Veterinary Science. We always offer a mock interview service for those students who are called to interview. We also offer specialist preparation for those students who are confronted with university entrance tests such as BMAT, LNAT and UKCAT.

“I credit my success to the exceptional teaching standards, the dedication of the staff and the incredibly positive atmosphere that exists in the college”
Ellie, MPW Birmingham, AAA, University of Bristol (Medicine)

“My grades have gone from averaging Es to straight As.”
Matthew, MPW Cambridge, AAA, University of Warwick (Chemistry)

"If, like me, you change your mind after school about what you want to do and need to get some new A levels there is nowhere better to cater to your needs. I would recommend MPW. It is a fantastic school."
Hector, MPW London, A*A*A, University of Edinburgh (Philosophy and Mathematics)

Best-in-Class Inspection Reports

MPW is the UK’s only sixth-form group to achieved top marks in all of the areas inspected by the ISI or Ofsted at all three of our college locations.

MPW Cambridge and MPW Birmingham were rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in every category of their latest inspections while MPW London, which is visited by the ISI, was awarded their top grade of ‘Excellent’ across all areas examined. We are very proud of these independent endorsements of our teaching quality and student outcomes.

Dedicated Academic Support

Our dedicated Academic Support departments enable us to assist students with particular educational needs, such as dyslexia, to ensure that this is not a disadvantage in the classroom. Members of academic support staff will also assist students with study skills in general so that they leave MPW ready for university life with excellent note-taking and revision skills as well as strong  essay writing abilities. Our Personal Tutors/Directors of Studies monitor progress enabling them to quickly remark upon any apparent areas of difficulty and take steps to support the student in addressing these early on, meaning they are able  to resolve the problem well in advance of any external examinations.

“Provision for students with SEND and EAL is excllent and enables them to achieve at the same level as other students… In interviews students articulated their appreciation for the level of support they receive. The information from individual education plans (IEPs) is shared effectively with staff and ensures that the details of individuals’ needs remain an important consideration.”
ISI Report on MPW London

Strong pastoral care

Personal Tutors/Directors of Studies closely monitor students’ wellbeing as well as their progress and have frequent meetings with their tutees. Although some will attend to academic matters, staff will also use that time to get to know students, establish rapport and make themselves known as an approachable and understanding person for a student to share concerns with if necessary, whether that be immediate or in the future. Students are matched after interview to a tutor with whom they are likely to have a successful association. This might be due to a subject or hobby in common or a particular area of tutor expertise (Oxbridge applications, Academic Support or counselling experience) that is likely to particularly benefit that student.

I cannot find the words to express how very very grateful I am for what you and your staff have done for V this year. Your support, encouragement and guidance have proved absolutely invaluable, and they have given him a confidence and happiness that I have not seen at any time during his academic career.” 
Mother of a one-year GCSE student at MPW London

“I am so grateful for your helping P during her exams. She (we) were very nervous about how she would cope on the day. But, when she got home she said that you were right there to help her ... In all sincerity, she was praising you and said she could not have made it through the day without your support. How can her father and I ever thank you enough?" 
Mother of a two-year A level student at MPW London

Extensive Extra-Curricular Provision

MPW colleges offer more than academic excellence:  it also offers an extensive list of extra-curricular options for students to get involved with,  available at every campus. Football is a particularly popular choice at all three colleges and our teams frequently enjoy great success in local leagues. There are a number of options aside from sport including the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, opportunities to write for college publications or art/photography masterclasses enabling all students to pursue their passions.

Our flexible timetabling and bespoke approach also allow us to accommodate students who have their own commitments outside of college.  We are understanding towards students who may need to be absent due to training or sporting events and do our utmost to support students academically alongside demanding extra-curricular schedules.

Perfect location

MPW colleges are all well-located in some of the UK’s leading cities. Each is near to green spaces and busy town centres enabling students to make the most of both, and all three are situated near to at least one prestigious university campus. MPW students benefit from local museums, galleries and theatres which are easily accessible for independent visits outside of lesson times as well as on outings with their tutors. All are well-linked by local transport and local accommodation options are also available through our provider Kensington Student Services for those students whose families live less locally.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

MPW colleges are fully equipped with specialist, modern equipment. The majority of classrooms are furnished with audio-visual facilities and interactive whiteboards. In addition, all of the colleges have specialist laboratories for science practical work and dedicated art and photography studios. There are study centres as well as ICT rooms for working outside of lessons and cafeterias/common rooms for students to enjoy in break times.

Bespoke Approach

MPW works hard to carefully tailor our approach to each student’s education. We meet every one of our students for an academic consultation before they enrol and during this meeting we aim to learn about their academic strengths, areas of difficulty, their goals in life and desired outcomes after MPW. We then discuss with them the best way to help them achieve those ambitions and offer recommendations on course duration and subject choice.

We teach GCSEs and A levels over one-year, 18-months or two-years as well as six-month retake course and Easter Revision. There are no timetabling restrictions or subject blocking and students can study different subjects at different levels at the same time, meaning that we can usually accommodate even the most unusual requirements.

“I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible.”
Jake took A levels at MPW Birmingham. He achieved grades A*A*A*A*A and is now studying Mathematics at Oxford University.