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James Rowe

James Rowe, 17, Cwmbran, Outdoor Activities

James Rowe, 17, Cwmbran, Outdoor Activities

I CAN: Go to uni without doing my A Levels
I WILL: Make my passion for the outdoors a career

James swapped the classroom for the great outdoors, bagging him a place at uni without even having to sit an exam. College has transformed his outlook on learning: “Being able to channel the adrenaline junkie in me to transform my passion for adventure into a career is unbelievable.  I didn’t realise you can go to uni if you don’t do A Levels but the Extended Diploma has earned me the UCAS points I needed to get a place at a top university.” 

“I wouldn’t have thought in a million years I’d be going to uni, but I’ve got a place at the University of St David’s to study outdoor education.  It’s not just down to getting the right qualifications, but the whole college experience – the support, the tutors, the opportunities and personal development.”



This perspective on education is a far cry from two years ago when James left school. “I didn’t enjoy school,” says James, from Cwmbran.  “It’s not for everyone.  I struggled with some of the work as I didn’t enjoy the subjects”. But rather than putting him off learning, it made him find out about the huge range of opportunities available at college and realise that when you’re passionate about a subject, you’re more driven to succeed and learning becomes less of a chore and actually enjoyable.

Loving being able to focus on one subject, James has thrived at college and is well on his way to a career as an outdoor instructor.  Despite his determination, just before he enrolled James was nervous; unsure he’d be able to do the coursework:  “I needn’t have worried though – the opportunities for support are endless.”

James puts the changes his family, friends have seen in him since starting college – self-belief, confidence, maturity and motivation – down to his tutors:  “I didn’t really like coursework in school but now I realise that was down to the subjects I had to study.  At college the tutors bring the subject to life and as well as giving you any support you need, they put coursework into context, giving you a better understanding of how it fits in with the practical aspects of the course, and why it’s important.
    James Rowe

“The best bit about college?  Being able to get practical, hands on experience.  Not just because it’s fun, but it gives you relevant experience to prepare you for work.  And I’ve swapped the classroom for the great outdoors – what’s not to love about that!”

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