A new tuition centre has been opened in Haddenham by Ely Classrooms.  

Allison Puranik set up Ely Classrooms online in 2021 following her early retirement from the independent school Stowe School.  

Allison, who has 20 years’ experience of teaching as well as extensive experience in school management, wanted to help pupils who had been set back in their education following the Covid pandemic.  

She noticed that pupils at independent schools didn’t have as much of a loss of learning as those who were at state schools. She wanted to offer the sort of support private schools offer, like small class sizes and one-to-one tuition, at a fraction of the cost to pupils from Key Stage 3 right up to sixth form in English, Maths and much more.  

Allison always wanted to offer face-to-face tuition, so she took on the premises on Station Road in April this year. She has transformed it from a beauty shop into the ideal environment for learning.   

The Ely Classrooms motto is ‘More relaxed than school, more focused than home’ and that’s reflected in the décor of the three learning areas in the new centre.  

Ely Standard: The room with soft seating, with founder Allison Puranik third from rightThe room with soft seating, with founder Allison Puranik third from right (Image: Studio Nova)

One, with soft chairs in a circle around a low table, is for discussion classes like English.  

“Here, we get them to think about the text they are studying and articulate what they want to say about it,” explained Allison.  

The next space is a large meeting room, designed to feel like a dining room or café, but with the addition of a whiteboard and a projector.  

Every evening from Monday to Thursday, this room hosts a homework club for ages 11 to 18.  

“They can bring food, and get a hot or cold drink, the whole vibe is that it’s relaxed,” she added.  

The third and final room is the one-to-one space for tutoring, which is designed to be like a French bistro.  

“It’s quite grown up, it’s not designed to feel like school,” said Allison. “I’ve tried to get it to feel stylish and professional.”  

Ely Standard: An Avon party in the meeting roomAn Avon party in the meeting room (Image: Studio Nova)

The whole space can be booked for anything from office meetings to pamper parties.  

While one of the aims of Ely Classrooms is to help pupils who are struggling, another is to support those who are doing well to do even better.  

Ely Classrooms offers enrichment in the form of LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) classes.

“We’re also going to put on free activities over half term,” said Allison.

One of those activities will be a Royal Literary Fund academic writing skills workshop.  

The free workshop, which will be run by crime writer Leigh Russell, will be for sixth formers who are planning to go to university and would like to learn how to write academic essays for any subject.  

Ely Standard: The Haddenham premisesThe Haddenham premises (Image: Studio Nova)

There will also be free advice sessions for pupils who are thinking about applying for Oxford or Cambridge universities.  

There’s even a “really exciting” school trip planned to the French battlefields to support GSCE English Literature pupils who are studying the AQA poetry anthology.  

Under the Ely Classrooms logo are the words ‘aspiration, ambition, achievement’. Allison says if you can raise one of the first two in a pupil, you can raise the last one – achievement.  

For more information on Ely Classrooms, visit elyclassrooms.co.uk