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College celebrates A-level success

Posted: 17 August 2017

Students and staff at West Nottinghamshire College are celebrating another excellent year for A-level results.

Today (Thursday 17 August, 2017) is A-level Results Day and the college has announced an overall pass rate of 98.7% – 0.8% above this year’s national pass rate (97.9%).

  • There were 821 exam entries at full A-level and AS level at the college this year (2016/17);
  • Of those, 315 were at full A-level, which were taken by 134 students;
  • The college achieved 100% pass rates in 14 out of 18 subjects; namely biology, chemistry, physics, English language, history, geography, media, film studies, business studies, ICT, law, sociology, photography and fine art;
  • Almost a third of the overall passes were at the ‘high grades’ of A*-B;
  • 33 individual passes were at A* or A grade, while 57 were graded B;
  • 206 passes (65.4%) were graded A*-C;
  • English language recorded a 100% pass rate for the eleventh consecutive year;
  • 33% of students achieved A*-B in their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which saw a 92% overall pass rate

Results in the sciences – biology, chemistry and physics – were particularly pleasing, with each subject seeing a 100% pass rate including 74.1% of passes at A*-C, with an average of grade B across each.

Meanwhile, seven subjects at A2 level saw 60% of passes at A*-C; namely biology, business studies, English language, film studies, geography, physics and sociology.

Students receiving their results today were the first to be examined under the revised A-level system following national reforms, which has seen the introduction of new syllabuses and grades determined by exams at the end of the two-year course. New AS and A-levels have become two entirely separate qualifications, with the AS no longer counting towards the full A-level.

Principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “The change to syllabuses and the assessment structure has made it tougher than ever for students, but they have risen to the challenge and achieved an excellent set of results.

“The majority have secured places at their first-choice university, which means so much to them, and many can look forward to studying at some of the country’s leading institutions. Others will head straight into employment or on to an apprenticeship, for which the college has been an excellent springboard.

“Huge credit to our tutors, who have provided students with a consistently high standard of teaching and learning and mentored them through two of the most crucial years of their lives.

“Congratulations to all students and staff on this much-deserved success. I wish every student the very best as they continue their journey to higher education or the world of work.”

Matthew Gudelajtis, 18, from Mansfield, said he felt “really good” after gaining an A* in maths and As in chemistry and physics. It means he is off to the University of Nottingham to study physics with theoretical physics.

He said: “I honestly wasn’t expecting my grades to be this good – I was amazed when I saw them. I half-expected to get a B in physics so to get an A is fantastic. I had to work particularly hard at this subject as it’s what I wanted to study at university.

“I’m buzzing about going to university and experiencing something different – new people and a new place.

“First I need to have a nice long sleep and catch-up on all the sleep I missed while revising!”

Daisy Sams, 17, from Chesterfield, insisted her A* in biology and As in chemistry, maths and her EPQ “still haven’t sunk in”.

The grades take her to the University of York to study chemistry.

Daisy, who is considering a career in pharmaceuticals, said: “I couldn’t tell how I’d performed in my exams, so it was pure relief when I opened my results envelope.

“Although I’d worked hard, you don’t know how you’ve done until you see the grades in black and white. I feel shocked, relieved and happy all at once!

“I’m going to a really good university and am excited about what the future holds.”

Jack Wilkinson-Garfield, 19, from Mansfield, was thrilled to achieve an A* in English literature, A in English language and C in business studies – securing him a place at the University of Manchester to study a degree in English language and English literature.

He said: “When I opened the envelope it took a few moments before the grades registered – everything had been building up to that moment.

“I’m very happy with my grades and I’m looking forward to university now that I’ve got what I need. The University of Manchester rang me a few moments ago and confirmed my place, which is brilliant. I really enjoy both English subjects and I’m confident they’ll take me to a career that I enjoy.

“I’m glad I get to tell my family how well I’ve done. I’ve worked really hard for this, especially business.

“I’m now going to celebrate by going out tonight, Friday and Saturday!”

Amethyst Johnson, 18, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, is also heading to the University of Manchester – to study environmental science –  thanks to her As in biology and English language, C in geography and A in her EPQ.

She said “I’m really pleased. I didn’t expect an A in biology – I was hoping to achieve it, but it still came as a surprise. Thankfully I’d done a lot of work in my own time. Basically, I had no friends while I was studying!

“A-levels are a big step-up from GCSEs and you don’t really realise that until your second year, but if you put the work in, you get the grades.

“I’m really excited about going to university. Eventually I’d like to work in wildlife conservation.”

Cara Cornell, 18, from Selston, was delighted with her B grades in business, sociology and psychology.

She said: “It means I can now go to Nottingham Trent University to study psychology.

“Studying A-levels was quite hard, but having already done the GCSEs it gave me a flavour of things to come. I’ve made loads of friends at college and had a lot of fun, and it’s a more relaxed environment than school.

“I’d like to work within either education or psychology. I’ll probably decide once I’m at university and after I’ve studied all the modules.”

Emma Cook, 18, from Mansfield, is also going to Nottingham Trent University – where she will study accounting – after gaining Bs in business, accounting and law.

She said: “Over the last week I’ve been so nervous about getting my results, and going to university seems so real now. I’m nervous but also very excited about it.

“It’s been hard work the last few years, but I’m glad I did it. Now it’s time to celebrate!”

Rebecca Hudson, 18, from Mansfield, achieved As in law and ICT, B in English language and an A in her EPQ. She will now study business law at Nottingham Trent University.

“I am really happy because I didn’t know what to expect, especially considering the changes to A-level specifications, so I was really pleased when I opened my results.

“With A-levels, if you work hard, it pays off. That is the rewarding thing about it and I think that is recognised across college.

“It feels amazing because I know that I’ve got into university, and I’m so happy for my friends who have achieved the same – it’s such a happy experience.

“I’m really looking forward to starting the course and meeting new people. I’m going out with my friends later to celebrate.”

Georgina Walters, 20, from Mansfield Woodhouse, was delighted to achieve an A* in media studies and As in English language and psychology. She is now set to study psychology at the University of Leeds.

“I was very anxious collecting my results – I didn’t even want to think about not getting good grades, so I’m absolutely ecstatic. My A* is definitely a surprise.

“I really put the time and effort into my revision. I revised for six hours every day in the two months leading up to the exams – I pretty much had no social life! But I feel that it’s all paid off.

“I’ll celebrate with a glass of Prosecco tonight.”

Kate Power, 18, from Mansfield, gained two C grades in English language and the EPQ, and Ds in English literature and media.

She said: “Although I was just a few marks away from getting higher grades, I’m really pleased as it means I can take up my place at the University of Derby where I’ll be studying media production. I’m hoping to travel the world and produce documentaries.

“I really enjoyed college and feel I’ve taken an important stepping stone before going to university.”

William Hartley, 19, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, gained A grades in chemistry and physics and B in biology after deciding to re-take his final year. It came after his second year of study was interrupted by a serious bout of illness.

He said: “I got appendicitis and was quite poorly so I missed a lot of my studies in the final few months. I wasn’t very happy with my grades after missing college so I decided to re-sit my A-levels.

“It was tough to come back but I stuck at it and it’s paid off. I’m fairly happy with my grades and I’ve got a place at the University of Leeds to study bio-medicine next, which is good.”

Lutricia Duyar, 18, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, achieved As in law and sociology and B in English literature and her EPQ.

“I’m off to the University of Lincoln after summer to study law. I have dreams of becoming a barrister eventually,” she said.

“I’m the first person in my family to go to university so I know my parents will be proud and I can’t wait to tell my mum.”

Phoebe Walters, 18, of Mansfield, was pleased to gain a B in media studies, Cs in English language and sociology, and a D in her EPQ.

She said: “I’ve got an unconditional offer to study journalism at the University of Salford. I’m quite excited about leaving home and starting this next chapter.

“West Notts College has been a good experience and it’s helped me to grow as a person and become independent. I feel the friends I’ve made here will be life-long friends.”

James Russell, 18, from Langwith, Mansfield, achieved A in accounting, B in business, C in maths and D in his EPQ.

The grades have secured him a place at the University of Surrey to study a degree in accounting and finance.

“I feel I’ve done reasonably well and I’m happy that I’ve got into a good university.

“I’m really excited about the prospect of moving away, experiencing living somewhere else and continuing to study a subject that I enjoy.”

West Nottinghamshire College offers one of the largest choices of A-levels under one roof in Mansfield. It also offers a wide range of vocational and higher education qualifications including HNDs, HNCs, foundation degrees and full honours degrees.

Anybody interested in studying at the college should call 0808 100 3626.

Media Enquiries

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Richard Skelhorn
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Why choose West Notts?

Best college for A Levels value added* in the East Midlands

£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

In the top 10% of all providers nationally for apprenticeships

Second for vocational value added* in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

90% of students move into a positive destination

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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