Oliver’s A Level Course Experience

My Justin Craig Course Experience

Sceptical, would have been the word to describe my mood halfway through a four hour coach journey to Finchley Road, followed by tube to Watford station.

As a seventeen-year-old boy who has been out of formal education for seven months, an intensive three-day course consisting of eighteen total hours of tutoring seemed daunting and overwhelming. I was studying PE, a topic which I did well at GCSE (grade 7) but was struggling with getting to grips because of a lot of the more detailed and complicated areas of the specification.

My experience, however, was completely different from what I anticipated.

The Study Centre

Watford Grammar School for Boys was a fantastic location to host such a course, had wonderful classrooms, large space for throwing a ball around or sitting on the many shaded benches to enjoy lunch.
The location was within 10 minutes of both a Tesco and a Tube station which provided the option for me to buy fresh lunch at a reasonable price and, as I was staying a few stations down, the short walk to the station was incredibly convenient.

I stayed at my mum’s flat which was a very pleasant hour’s walk away along canals and through lovely countryside. Many of the other participants either commuted locally or stayed at a nearby hotel, particularly the Premier Inn located a ten minute walk away from the campus.

The Course Community

There were around twenty to twenty-five people on the course and initially I was worried about being a northern loner. However, this wasn’t the case as there were many people I could converse, and with who I eventually became good friends.

The community feel was amazing, initially awkward but that’s natural and it only took about half the day for people to become familiar with each other. Large sports games were played and according to Wesley, the Course Assistant on my course, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence and almost every course eventually becomes a 3-day community.

Speaking of Wesley, he was in charge of making sure everyone felt involved and were enjoying themselves in and outside the class, by playing games and ensuring the tutors had all the resources they needed. I felt the addition of a Course Assistant was a really great idea from Justin Craig as he operated as a both useful asset for teachers, and someone which we could come to speak to if we felt there was something wrong.

The Learning Experience

Whilst community feel and location are important, the actual learning experience is what you’re paying the money for. And obviously, before I say this, I am one boy, on one course, in one centre, with one experience. I’m sure you could find people with different experiences and I’m not guaranteeing that your child will emerge from the 3 days as a genius. However, the learning experience for me was the best of my academic life!

My overall knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge to exam questions have been catalysed to a new level thanks to the Justin Craig’s Tutors and Format.

The 4×1.5h lessons were academically testing, but not so long to feel painful. As a student with both ADHD and Dyspraxia, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to cope, but my amazing tutor Rhiannon was incredibly accommodating to my learning disabilities and made the learning so valuable for me.

The class size varied between two to eight and, for me, I found it perfect as the tutor could really give me a large amount of attention compared to that of a twenty or more sized class. It felt a lot more personal as a process and the tutor really understood what worked and what didn’t for each individual student.

It wasn’t just me who experienced this. Other people I spoke to said their experience was great and their tutors were incredibly knowledgeable. I have an unconditional offer to an American university, which can often make me feel very demotivated, but I never felt flat or demotivated whilst on the Justin Craig course.

The Challenges

Obviously, not every course is perfect, and I wouldn’t be giving a fair reflection if I didn’t acknowledge what I personally found challenging. These are very minor challenges however.

The last half an hour can feel very long and if there was any point where I struggled, it was then.

As an extrovert, I found very easy to fit in however I don’t know if that was the case for everyone and I didn’t ever see some people at lunch.

Finally, and this is another if, if you were to get a tutor who you didn’t get on with or you didn’t like their teaching style then it may not be quite as productive a week. Having said that, Justin Craig seemed to be very good at selecting adaptive and engaging teachers.

The Course was outstanding!

To conclude, the Justin Craig experience was outstanding.
They treat you like adults, but still provide you the guidance when you need it. I loved my experience and if I was given the choice to do it again, I would jump at the opportunity.

It actually was such a great experience that I will be applying to become a Course Assistant in order to make other children’s experience just as special as mine.

I understand people may be hesitant to fork out the money – and I’m not telling you to go and get a loan just to attend a course – but I think its possibly the best decision you could make regarding your child’s academic future.
Justin Craig is the best academic choice for your child.