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Oscar’s Odyssey: Cardiff and Vale College A Level student off to study Classics at Cambridge University

Oscar Griffin

Cardiff and Vale College (@CAVC) A Levels student Oscar Griffin will be travelling to Cambridge in the next academic year, having been accepted to read Classics at the prestigious university.

Oscar was among one of the first cohorts to study A Level Classics at CAVC, which launched the course two years ago. The 18-year-old from Cardiff was also part of the College’s A Level Scholar’s Programme, which is designed for learners who show academic excellence and who want to broaden their learning beyond the traditional A Level curriculum, supporting them to apply for elite universities.

While Oscar is really excited, the news that he has been offered a place at Cambridge University still hasn’t quite sunk in. “I’m still waiting for the ‘Oops, sorry – we got the wrong person’ email to be honest,” Oscar said.

Oscar chose to study A Levels at CAVC has he wanted to move on from school.

After having a tough time at high school, I wanted to study somewhere with a strong reputation for championing equality and not tolerating discrimination,” he explained. “The College’s commitment to the Trans*Form Cymru Charter assured me that CAVC is a safe place for transgender students, and the open evenings showed how invested the tutors are in their subjects – especially Class Civ, which wasn’t available at my high school or any other school I was aware of.”

He believes his time at the College, and the support he has received, has prepared him for study at one of the most renowned universities in the world.

“My teachers are really engaged and passionate about their subjects, especially my Classical Civilisations teacher Danny, who pushed me to apply and helped me through the process, and my Form Tutor Matthew, who must have done something right with my refence,” Oscar said. “Studying at CAVC comes with a lot of independence, making it feel more like a university already.”

Coming to the College was welcome change of scene.

“I enjoyed working in a mixed environment where you’re treated like an adult, with tutors who keep learning engaging and challenging,” he explained. “Plus, making new friends and studying in the city centre is great.”

Oscar also feels the College’s Scholars Programme was a great help.

The Scholars Programme is a great opportunity to go beyond your set curriculum and work with people who may have similar career plans to yourself,” he said.

“The careers advisors and tutors at CAVC are super helpful and always encourage you to push yourself to improve. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t come to CAVC for Classics”

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “Congratulations Oscar! We are all thrilled that he is going to study classics at Cambridge University – it’s a testament to all of Oscar’s hard work and that of the A Levels team who have supported him to get there.”

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