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Is the College just a hothouse for clever students?

No.  Academic achievement is our number one focus as all of our students are aiming for top universities.  However, students at Cardiff are well-rounded and multi-talented in many different areas.  We aim to challenge our students not just within the curriculum but also extend them in their individual subject areas to help prepare them for university and supplement teaching with careers societies, lectures and wider reading to really give them a passion for their subjects and to understand more about their wider career choices.  Students at Cardiff make friendships that last their whole lives and enjoy finding likeminded friends to share their individual talents in music, art, drama and sport.  There is a wide range of house social activities and whole school events. However, at Cardiff we inspire our students to lead these events and run societies themselves thus developing useful skills in leadership and organisation that will provide personal statement evidence and help them in the future.

Can you guarantee my son/daughter a place at Oxbridge?

No one can guarantee a place at any university, however, every year students at Cardiff do achieve places at both Oxford and Cambridge.  Although these two universities are continuously ranked at the top of the UK university league tables and are amongst the best in the world it is worth understanding that they are not necessarily number one for every subject.  Our careers team are expert at guiding students as to the top ranked universities for their subject and many other factors such as location, course content, research, teaching and employment prospects also come into play when choosing a university.  We do also run a specific programme for those who aspire to Oxbridge as critical thinking, research and analysis are vitally important as well as extension projects for these establishments.  Those thinking of applying are identified early and our careers team work with Oxbridge Applications, which is part of our umbrella company, Dukes Education, to ensure that all applicants have the best chance possible.

Will my son/daughter have any one-to-one tuition?

Yes, we offer one-to-one tuition every morning from 0800 – 0845.  Some subjects are more difficult than others to learn regardless of a student’s ability and so offering individual and group tuition means all our students are known personally, allowing them to address any concerns directly with the staff and learn from their peers.  This approach has proved extremely successful, enabling our students to reach their highest potential and increase their exam performance.

How will you look after my son/daughter when they are away from home?

Nearly all of our students board at Cardiff Sixth Form College and we take immense pride in the quality of our pastoral care.  The students live in one of our three boarding houses and are looked after by House parents who address any concerns, advise students from both welfare and academic perspectives and are the first point-of-contact for parents.

The boarding houses are our pupils’ homes and we foster a safe and empathetic community for everyone to live and work.  The award winning pastoral care team’s CREATE (create, respect, engage, active, drive, enrich) programme supports students with their emotional health and wellbeing and the team are extremely active in providing advice and signposting additional support. There is a medical centre on-site with a full time nurse to advise on any medical issues as well as a wellbeing officer and counsellor to help those who need emotional support.  From a social perspective there are many fun House activities including inter-house competitions, trips, parties and hiking to make life for our students as enjoyable as possible taking place during the evenings and at weekends.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, we do offer scholarships which are based on academic merit.  International students take four scholarship exams in the subjects they want to study and awards are up to 50% off tuition fees depending on the results of the exam.  Local students can apply for up to 100% scholarship off tuition fees dependent on the results of their Cardiff scholarship exam, GCSE results, school reports, letter of application and interview.  For more information on scholarships please click here.

Can my son/daughter cook their own meals and will their special dietary requirements be catered for?

All our meals are prepared on campus, seven days a week and are served in our canteen.  There is no need for students to prepare their own meals, although all student flats within the boarding houses contain kitchens, where students can make snacks/drinks should they want to.  Our food is prepared by professional chefs and we provide vegetarian and allergy-specific options and cater for any religious food requirements.  The menu features a wide variety of world food menus including rice, soup, salads, fresh fruit and vegetables and a choice of hot meal options.  We do encourage our students to cook for themselves for one week during Easter, when they are allowed to stay at the College, and run House cookery competitions as ideal preparation for university.

Will someone clean my son/daughter’s flat and how do they wash clothes?

All flats are cleaned once a week however it is the student’s responsibility to ensure their flat is kept tidy.  Students are expected to make their beds and pick up their belongings.  Regular inspections are carried out by the College and fines may be issued if rooms are not kept to a reasonable standard.  All boarding houses also have washing machines and bedding is washed by the College although all students wash their own clothes and are given training on how to use washing machines by the boarding staff.

What do I need to bring when I move to Cardiff?

We recommend you don’t bring any unnecessary items with you as most items can be purchased on arrival when you see what you need.  The College supplies each student with one set of bedding, although covers for pillows and duvets should be purchased as well as towels.  Please click here for a list of things to bring.

The kitchens are already equipped with electrical items such as kettles and microwaves but students should purchase cooking pots and pans should they wish to cook for themselves.  Rice cookers and heaters are not permitted in our accommodation.  You don’t need many clothes as you will be wearing school uniform in the day so just casual clothes such as jeans and jumpers for weekends and one smart outfit. Weather in Cardiff can be quite cool so a warm coat, which you can purchase on arrival, is essential.  Please bring laptops/tablets/phones (free Wi-fi is provided both in College and the boarding houses) as well as books, photographs and posters to make your room a home.