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Paddy’s story

After studying for her A levels in the 1970s, Paddy has recently returned to Wolsey Hall to continue learning in her retirement.

Adult learning students chatting

In addition to our homeschooling students we also have a number of adult students studying with us.

Paddy O'Brien

Determined to get an education

‘I did my A levels with Wolsey Hall in the early 1970s after being kicked out of school for being pregnant,’ explains Paddy. ‘Wolsey Hall absolutely saved my education. I got two A levels in English Literature and Ancient Greek while juggling a small baby and also working part-time. I was in a very rebellious frame of mind and insistent on proving to everybody that I could do it, in spite of their doubts.’

‘I then went on to Southampton University and got a 2:1 joint honours degree in English Literature and Ancient Greek. I have had a varied and interesting career including having 13 books published. I was very keen to share my perceptions about childbirth, yoga, martial arts and management training. I spent most of my working life as a management consultant.’

Returning to studying once more

‘At the age of 67 I’m a Wolsey Hall student again, having a lot of time on my hands because of needing a double hip replacement and wanting something constructive to do! I am studying A level History of Art and the course is wonderful. It really makes me look at things properly, and although I don’t think I’ll ever write another book, I do think writing essays is a wonderful way to make yourself think properly about a subject.’

‘In the 1970s my coursework arrived by post and now it’s all online so very different. It was absolutely crucial for me to be able to rescue my educational chances at that very difficult point in my life and I was delighted to find Wolsey Hall still around to participate in again now.’

Cambridge A level history of art

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