Feedback from our learners

“Recently I got some really good news, I got Grade 8 for maths GCSE with I studied at Merton Adult Learning in 21-22. Now I feel I can help my children and my friends’ children with any maths questions they have up to GCSE Level. My daughter is really proud of me!  When I was studying, I sometimes did homework and revision with other students helping them and them helping me. My teacher was really helpful, and I learned a lot from online platforms like MathsWatch. 

I come from Sri Lanka where I worked as a midwife. I would like to do this job in the UK, and I have been busy updating my skills in English, maths, and other topics. I did not speak very much English when I arrived in London, so I started with ESOL Entry 2, then ESOL Entry 3, Level 1 and Functional Skills English L1 at Merton Adult Learning. I have become more confident with language and this year I am studying Functional Skills English L2. I have enjoyed learning step by step and making progress every year.  

In 19-20, I studied childcare Level 2 with a work placement and keep up to date with childcare by volunteering in a nursery in Morden. I really like it because I plan activities and get along brilliantly with the staff.  I intend to study Teaching Assistant Level 3 next year. 

I really love studying and I am starting a distance learning qualification:  Level 2 Understanding Mental Health in Early Years. 

If you want to get good results for GCSE and other qualifications, I really recommend Merton Adult Learning because you will get good teaching, learn a lot, and achieve your qualifications!”

Vinotha – ESOL, English, Maths and Childcare – July 22 


“I started at Merton Adult Learning in 2019 on the Award in Preparing to Work in Schools L1.  My tutor was very supportive.  I also did the Caring for Children Award L1 to see what area I wanted a career in.  

The courses gave me the confidence and social skills to progress, so in Sept 20 I enrolled on the L2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner. I loved my placement, and it was so good to be able to plan activities with the children.  I gained lots of new friends from my placement and being at Merton Adult Learning.  

I also completed Functional Skills Maths Level 2 which helped build my confidence even more.  

In Sept 21, I went on to the Early Years Workforces Diploma Level 3.  Again, I had a placement in an Early Years setting which I really enjoyed. My tutor and assessor were very supportive, and I enjoyed the lessons.  

I had the opportunity to do some distance learning courses which helped me with my childcare and giving me new knowledge. I achieved L2 Certificate in Understanding Behaviour That Challenges and L2 Certificate in Understanding Common Childhood Illnesses.  I enjoyed the flexibility of these. 

I also met with the careers adviser and have attended workshops on CVs and employability courses”. 

Karima – Preparing to Work in Schools and Early Years - July 22 


My lack of confidence using IT made life very difficult for me during the pandemic and lockdowns.  I realised that I needed to learn how to use IT and keep up to date with technology. 

I started a 6 week IT for Beginners course at Wimbledon Library as part of Connecting Merton and met one of the IT tutors at Merton Adult Learning.  After the course the tutor encouraged me to join a 10 week Computing for Absolute Beginners course at Merton Adult Learning. After completing this course, I have also completed a 3 day course IT for Near Beginners. 

I have really enjoyed the IT courses at Merton Adult Learning. My tutors are so helpful and supportive.  In the past IT was a phobia and I have now gained the confidence to try different tasks such as Word, File Management and Excel. 

I am planning to continue my studies in September and will join the E3 Essential Digital Skills for Everyday Life and then progress to the Level 1 course.   

I am very happy that I joined Merton Adult Learning and would recommend the IT courses to anyone lacking confidence with IT. I am so much more confident now, thank you, Merton Adult Learning.

Digital Skills – July 22 


I started at Merton Adult Learning in September 21 after being out of education for 6 years.   

I was really worried at first to start learning Maths again, but my teacher made everyone feel so welcome. She made sure that anyone in the class with additional needs was seen by student support to get the right support for the year.  I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons and the way the tutor taught us. Before my exam she told me she believed I would pass and had faith in me when I doubted myself. That boosted my confidence, and I passed my L2 exam first time!     

In the past I had struggled with English in school because of ADHD but when I started English at Merton Adult Learning, I really improved my reading strategies thanks to the tips and encouragement given by my tutor. As a result, I also passed Functional Skills English L2 first time!   

I had a really good experience, and I am glad I chose to do my Maths and English at Merton Adult Learning. It has given me the confidence to continue my education further.  I have caring duties, but my next step is to study GCSE Science and then do an Access course so that I can go to university and become a forensic toxicologist.

Rhianne, maths and English student – July 22


I started at Merton Adult Learning in September 20, on Functional Skills maths L1 and GCSE English. I work part time as a housekeeping assistant in a care home but always wanted to work in education. I also attended a short course on How to Become a Teaching Assistant.  I passed my L1 maths and achieved grade 5 in GCSE English. That gave me the confidence to continue with my goals.   

In 21-22, I enrolled on the L2 Supporting Teaching and Learning course and as part of the course, I did a one-day placement at St John Fisher Primary, supporting children in Year 4.  

I wanted to continue with my maths studies, and I achieved the L2 qualification in February 22. I also wanted to brush up my IT skills by doing the courses I enjoyed most of all which are Essential Digital Skills at Entry 3 and Level 1.  I have found all my tutors at Merton Adult Learning very supportive. I especially loved learning about the digital tools and specifically about the graphic tools and Excel.  

I really believe in lifelong learning, and I have already enrolled for 22-23 on Maths GCSE at Merton Adult Learning and Science GCSE at Kingston College. My goal is to work full time in a tuition centre for children and to develop my teaching skills further.  I will also keep volunteering in a school and gaining more experience, this time in a different primary school working with younger children.   

As I really love learning, I am taking a short summer school course and am working on improving my touch-typing! 

Vinotha - English & Maths, Supporting Teaching & Learning, and IT – July 22 


I came to the UK with my children in January 22. In my country of origin, I trained as primary school teacher, then took a career break to raise my children.  When I moved to the UK, I knew I would have to brush up my English skills if I wanted to get a job. I also looked at IT courses and how I could update my CV. 

I started English L1 and Functional Skills IT Entry 3. The English course has really helped me become more confident with my spoken English as well as expand my vocabulary.  Even though I only started in the middle of the year on a non-accredited course, I made good progress and took the English L1 Functional Skills exam in July 22.   

From the FS IT course where I passed the qualification, I moved on to the Entry Essential Digital Skills course that allowed me to get up to speed with the latest MS software.  

What I really like at Merton Adult Learning is that you get useful feedback from the teachers, and they are very supportive. I really enjoy studying and enrolled on a distance learning course, the L2 Certificate in Understanding Learning Difficulties.   

My next move is to look for a job in a nursery or school and I have started applying for jobs. I am doing practice interviews with the careers advisor to help build my confidence for interviews.   

This is all possible because I have really built up my confidence from being a student at Merton Adult Learning and my only regret is that there was no option to do intensive courses. On the other hand, I have been able to organise my studying and fit four qualifications in different topics in the space of six months.

Zahraa, English and IT student – July 22 


"I started a Supported Teaching and Learning course in September 2021 after a 15-year break from education. I wanted to do the course after having a young son with SEN. The course times are convenient and work around my childcare needs.

The unit on Schools as Organisations has been helpful because I learnt about the school system and how it works in the UK. My work placement at a special school has helped develop my skills and knowledge regarding special needs and how to communicate with children that are non-verbal. It has also helped me to understand triggers for challenging behaviour. I am also doing a distance learning course in understanding behaviour that challenges. 

The staff at Merton Adult Learning (Merton College) have been very helpful and have made it easy for me to access information. My teacher helped me to understand the modules and supported me in finding a placement. My assessor supported me in preparations for observation which put me at ease and more relaxed and confident.  

I was recently awarded Best Learner for Merton Adult Learning and was invited to attend an event at The House of Lords with my tutor. It was an amazing experience, and it was great to be recognised for my achievements and meet other students and tutors from other colleges with inspirational stories.  

Next academic year, I hope to get a job in a SEN school and further my skills and knowledge in this area.  

It’s been a great experience getting back into learning. Thank you, Merton Adult Learning".

Janet - Supported Teaching and Learning Level 2 - May 2022


"I started a Supporting Teaching and Learning course in September 21. I am really enjoying the course and my placement in a local school. I find the staff very supportive and approachable. The communication is excellent, and information is shared well. 

I completed distance learning courses in Safeguarding and Prevent, and Behaviour that Challenges and am currently taking Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties.  These courses further my personal and professional development. 

Recently I found a role in a school and the Careers Officer helped and supported me with the job application.  I also had an interview skills session with her to help me to prepare for my very first interview! I was successful at interview and have been offered the midday supervisor role, and another role supporting children in class. 

I am really excited about starting these roles and my future career. I am very happy that I joined Merton Adult Learning and I look forward to continuing my studies. Thank you."

Supported Teaching and Learning Level 2 - March 2022


"I have overcome my fear to use computers and the internet with the help of the tutor, and now I am confident enough to use digital skills for better job prospects. The location was easy to get to. I also enjoyed every new skill I learned".

Sarita – Digital Skills for All - June 2021


"I found the tutor very supportive and informative throughout the course highlighting his teaching on practical workshops that pinpoint real world examples of how to use digital skills and office software. The location looks inspiring to learn in a library environment. The training provider supply laptops for each learner to do their training and this is a great thing to do. Now I feel more confident with applied digital skills that will help me improve further learning and job opportunities".

Kelly – Digital Skills for All - June 2021


"I have really enjoyed this course. The techniques taught have given me the tools to develop and grow in confidence. The online learning was easy to access and use. The tutor was warm and welcoming and a variety of activities were used to make it really accessible. In particular I am using the kind self-talk, the power poses, positive affirmations, fake it till you make it / become it and body language focus which made the most impact for me. I have been using some of these techniques on a daily basis and I'm already starting to feel a difference! In the future I will also try some mindful thinking / meditation, watching some more of the inspiring videos we were introduced to and further interview practice with family / friends".

Helen – Career Confidence - March 2021


"It has helped me to highlight key areas that I needed to focus on such as highlighting key words in the job description to form the supporting statement. It has provided ideas and examples that I can use very effectively. I have received guidance and confirmation of the right direction of writing a good quality supporting statement. I also received career advice after doing the NCS skills assessment. I feel more confident, as I realised my abilities. I also felt the encouragement and identification of my skills helped me to pursue the application forms. I enjoyed the course as I got a good education out of it and found it really useful. Also the people on the course and yourself helped make me mentally feel better as looking for work is challenging. Also as a friendly and helpful trainer you encouraged me and I received professional advice. I got a job out of it and it guided me in the right direction, the preparation and the answers I gave supported me to get a job offer. I also achieved what I was looking for such as being able to tailor my CV and the personal statement which is the most challenging for me".

Davina - Career Confidence - March 2021


"It has definitely improved my creativity, has given me something to focus on, particularly during lockdown and it has incidentally resulted in encouraging my 85-year-old mum taking up embroidery too".

Gillian - Creative Embroidery - March 2021


"Adds to well-being. Gives me an additional activity to focus on in the evenings and on holiday. Motivates me to do embroidery which I probably wouldn't do without the class."

Claire - Embroidery - March 2021


"These online classes provide an excellent stop-gap when physical classes are impossible or challenging during the current pandemic. Although I am fortunately able to continue glass design / manufacture from home, unlike many, it has been very engaging and uplifting to be introduced to new artists and styles in this gorgeous format, and to discuss with fellow students under the guidance of our fabulous teacher, Maria Fagan. The course was well run and informative with a very fair sense of participation by all. It has also felt good to keep up a continuity with staff, students focusing on design techniques and appreciation – especially during this time of isolation".

Wendy - Exploring Stained Glass - March 2021


"It has improved my confidence in my woodworking skills and my ability to develop them just like anyone else. It has made me feel that as a woman, I am as equally welcomed and suited for this trade as men. It has improved my sense of self-worth. It has improved my mental wellbeing so that I feel happy again, capable of facing the world and being motivated. I literally could not be any more thankful for your Guitar Making course existing, I could never find words to describe the extent to which it has helped me".

Marta - Guitar Making - March 2021


"The class is definitely good for my well-being. Like many people I'm struggling during the lockdown not being able to go places, to meet people, to visit my family. Pilates with Lorna is helping me to be active again".

Izabela - Pilates - March 2021


"This course has been having a remarkable impact on my life in general. I have been more motivated, confident, intellectually challenged in a very positive way. I must say as well, that during the past year, because of the ongoing pandemic, this course has been a lifeline in keeping me in a much better mental health state. It is the highlight of my weeks and I am incredibly grateful"

Rui - Violin Making - March - 2021


Has provided a focus to develop new skills and knowledge. Has also provided anticipation for something to look forward to thereby increasing my wellbeing and interests. It's important to develop new skills which keeps the brain ticking!

Vivien - Watercolour and Drawing - March 2021