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Pupils have a strong sense of community. ‘We had an absolute blast, while getting the A level grades we needed to get on the courses we wanted,’ said a recent leaver. The size undoubtedly helps. ‘My year group feels like a family and I can approach anyone to talk to.’ Those allergic to team sports can enjoy tennis, dance and yoga, and all students have free access to a local gym. Plenty going on outside the classroom: debating, poetry competition (this year’s theme, Remember, advertised on whiteboards through the college), college magazine, widely attended lecture series...

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What the school says...

Founded in 1973, Mander Portman Woodward provides bespoke Fifth and Sixth Form education, offering GCSEs and A levels in over 40 subjects. We welcome students from Year 10 upwards who are seeking a socially relaxed yet academically disciplined college to help them achieve their goals. We are distinctive in many ways, not least in our small classes of no more than eight students and our focus on exam preparation, but also in the outstanding personal support for students through our Director of Studies system. A full team of staff offer specialist university entrance guidance. We have fully equipped media studies, computing and film rooms, plus drama and art studios, a photography darkroom and five science laboratories. Our extra-curricular programme is comprehensive. Among other options, we offer rugby, football, creative writing, street jazz dancing, basketball, gym membership, conversational Italian, instrumental lessons, debating, Duke of Edinburgh, and community service. We also run revision courses over one year, one term and during the Easter holidays. ...Read more

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Religious Studies at an English Independent School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking History at an English Independent School (Cambridge International Certificate Level 1/Level 2)

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2016, John Southworth, previously a vice principal. Engineering degree from Leicester and MSc in defence technology from the Cranfield Institute of Technology. Has been a major in the army, director of co-curriculum at The Perse, principal of Lansdowne College and vice principal of MPW since 2014. Parents at Lansdowne College commented that his army background showed through in his bluff manner: 'He's very much his own person. He said exactly what he thought, and it turned out to be right.'

Academic matters

Once primarily a ‘crammer’ helping students with short-term goals, such as exam retakes or Oxbridge entrance, today MPW is a thriving sixth form college, with over 70 per cent taking two-year A level courses. What marks it out is the range and flexibility of options on offer, with 44 subjects provided in...

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Special Education Needs

School's description of their SEN provision:

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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