Alumna supports students to apply to Oxford

13 June 2024

We are proud to partner with The Access Project (TAP) as part of our Access and Outreach programme. TAP is a charity that helps students gain the knowledge and support necessary for strong university applications. This support is key for students whose parents or schools might not have the resources to support them.

Fiona Brown (1986, Modern History) began tutoring with TAP in January 2021. We are delighted to share her experience of helping students achieve their academic potential and making a tangible difference in their lives. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved with, The Access Project are looking for alumni who might be willing to join Fiona in helping the next generation of excellent students do the best they can academically. Find out more

Fiona’s story

I began tutoring (through a Magdalen email) with The Access Project in January 2021. It is a great charity which supports students from under resourced/disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve higher GCSE/A level grades and transition to university through a mixture of tutoring and in-school mentoring. The charity matches you (as tutor or mentor) with a student recommended by their own particular school as someone who would particularly benefit from such help.

In relation to tutoring, you are given training (virtually) with other would-be tutors and once paired, are expected to deliver a one hour tutorial once a week in your chosen subject and spend a couple of hours preparing it. Tutorials are usually after the end of the school day and into the early evening. Many on-line tutoring resources, including past papers, are available. You are assigned a specific liaison contact for any questions you may have about your subject, tutoring generally, or your student. Although I read History, I chose to tutor GCSE English (mainly as I could not remember any History and the current history syllabus seems closer to PPE!)

It has been an enriching and generally uplifting experience… to use my own educational advantages to try to help current students do the best they can

Fiona Brown (1986)

It has (for me) been an enriching and generally uplifting experience, giving me the chance to use my own educational advantages to (try to) help current students do the best they can academically. I came to Magdalen from a North East comprehensive school and as (in my mid 50s) my own professional commitments started to reduce, found myself wanting to give something back in a tangible and direct way. Tutoring with The Access Project has certainly ticked that box as well as making me appreciate just what a difficult job teachers have.