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The Corporation

Posted: 13/08/15

College principal congratulates students on A-Level achievement

West Nottinghamshire College is celebrating another fantastic year of A-Level results.

  • Lindsay Hill celebrates her triple A-star grades and an A grade in her extended project
  • Triple A-grade student Callum Lack receives a congratulatory kiss on the cheek from proud mum Tracey Morley
  • Lucy Keane was delighted with her A-star and A grades
  • Charlotte Swindells is all smiles as she gets the grades needed to study broadcast journalism at university
  • Ollie Smith's grades mean he's all set for university
  • Rachel Davison described herself as 'so happy' with her two As and a B
  • Jemma Ratcliffe was overjoyed at getting the grades for university following a difficult few months after her mum sadly died
  • Joanna Brocklehurst-Smith is all set for university after juggling college with raising a family and coping with a bereavement
  • Principal Dame Asha Khemka took time to speak with students about their grades and their plans for the future
  • Friends and family joined in with students' celebrations at West Nottinghamshire College's A-Level results day
  • Friends supported each other during the nailbiting moment of opening their results envelopes
  • Celebrating their results are Joanna Brocklehurst-Smith, Lindsay Hill, Callum Lack, Jemma Ratcliffe and Charlotte Swindells
  • Once again West Nottinghamshire College has exceeded the national pass rate with its 98.8 per cent overall pass rate

Today (Thursday 13 August, 2015) is A-Level Results Day and the college has announced an overall pass rate of 98.8% –once again above the national pass rate, which is 98.1% this year.

  • There were 1,014 exam entries at A2 and AS levels at the college this year (2014/15), compared with 991 in 2013/14;
  • Of these, 346 were at A2 level, which were taken by 141 students;
  • The college achieved 100% pass rates in 14 out of 18 subjects at A2 level; namely English language, English literature, maths, history, geography, chemistry, media, film studies, business studies, ICT, law, sociology, psychology, and photography;
  • 42% of the overall passes were at the ‘high grades’ of A*-B – an increase of 11% on the previous year – which were achieved in 17 out of 18 subject areas;
  • 42 passes were at A* or A grade, compared with 36 the previous year; while 102 passes were graded B – up 28 on the previous year;
  • 264 passes (77%) were graded A*-C – an increase of 9% on last year;
  • Meanwhile, A2 English language recorded a 100% pass rate for the ninth consecutive year – with 96% of students graded at A*-C – while 12 subjects including maths, history and sociology achieved 100% pass rates for the third consecutive year;
  • A*-C grades were also achieved by over 90% of students studying English literature, English language, film studies and geography.

Principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “I’m delighted we have once again delivered an excellent set of A-Level results which confirm the college’s position as one of the region’s top-performers for academic, as well as vocational, achievement.

“This doesn’t just happen; it comes from all the hard work and effort that our students put in to achieving success, supported by their caring and dedicated tutors.

“It is incredibly rewarding to see students gain the grades they need to get into their chosen universities or progress to studying a Higher Education qualification right here at college.

“It’s particularly pleasing that many more students are achieving A*-B high grades and are successfully completing the Extended Project Qualification, which will take them on to some of the best universities in the country.

“Huge congratulations to all our students on this important landmark as they now prepare to take their next step towards fulfilling their career ambitions.”

Lindsay Hill, from Mansfield, was delighted to achieve a clean sweep of A* grades in English language, history and psychology, complemented by an A grade in her Extended Project Qualification.

The 18-year-old said: “I’m really relieved as I didn’t think I’d get anywhere near these results! It means I can study history at the University of Leeds, which was my first choice.”

Lindsay, who is considering a career in teaching, described college as a “great experience” and insisted she was now “really looking forward to starting university.”

But not before toasting her outstanding results, adding: “I’ll definitely be celebrating with my family tonight!”

Callum Lack, 18, from Mansfield Woodhouse, was equally thrilled after achieving straight As in maths, accounting and ICT.

He said: “I’m really quite shocked – I honestly didn’t think I’d do that well!”

The teenager said his excellent grades had justified his decision to come to West Notts, explaining: “I was originally planning to stay on at school to do my A-Levels but decided to come to college – and I’m really glad I did. Life at college has been great and all my tutors have been really helpful.

“I’m now going to the University of York to study accounting, finance and management. Eventually I’d like to be an accountant but, for now, I can’t wait to get stuck into university life.”

Lucy Keane, 18, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, celebrated gaining an A* in sociology and A grades in both psychology and English language.

“I’ve been offered a place at the University of Lincoln to study sociology, so I’m really excited about that,” she said.

“I’m still undecided about what job I’d like after university, but I’ll immerse myself in that phase of my life first and then make those decisions further down the line.”

Charlotte Swindells, 18, from Jacksdale, bagged A grades in media and psychology and Bs in both film studies and in her Extended Project Qualification.

She described herself as “really pleased” after it secured her a place at Nottingham Trent University to study broadcast journalism.

“I’m so pleased I got an A in media as it’s my most important subject,” said Charlotte. “The tutors here are fantastic – I couldn’t have got the grades without them.”

“My dream job would be as a journalist working for the BBC and hopefully getting to grades to go to university will help me achieve that,” she added.

Rachel Davison, 18, from Mansfield, was “so happy” after learning she had got A grades in both English language and history, and a B in psychology.

She said: “I’ll be going to study at Nottingham Trent University next year to learn equine psychology – working with horses and horse riders.

“I’m having a gap year first though, and really want to gain some work experience in the industry – just so I can see what my options are. After that, I could go maybe go on to teach – it’s a very specialist area.”

Ollie Smith, 20, from Hucknall, gained a B grade in accounting, a C in maths and an E in physics – and now he’s off to the University of Lincoln to study accounting and finance.

He said university may not even have been an option, were it not for the support he received at West Notts.

“Prior to West Notts I studied at a college in Nottingham, but I didn’t really apply myself and the tutors weren’t as supportive as they are here. The tutors here are very helpful and encouraging,” explained Ollie.

“I’ve been lucky to have an offer at the University of Lincoln and I’ll be looking to work in accounting – maybe specialising in tax – once I’ve finished.”

Jemma Ratcliffe, 18, from Shirebrook, was happy that her B grade in English language and Cs in both film and history meant she could go on to study history at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln.

It came after the 18-year-old bravely continued with her studies despite tragically losing her mother to cancer last December. Such was Jemma’s determination to succeed and do her mum proud; she maintained a 100% attendance record at college while also supporting her grieving father.

She said: “I think I’ve coped well with my A-Levels at the same time as my mum being ill and then sadly passing away. As strange as it sounds, studying helped as it was a distraction from what was happening at home. It was difficult, but it helped me to cope and I was able to channel my grief into my studies.”

At the prospect of going to university, Jemma said: “I’m excited but terrified at the same time! A friend of mine is going to another university in Lincoln so we’ll be able to support each other.

“Career-wise, I’d like to become a secondary school teacher and possibly study a doctorate, but I’ll decide as I go along.”

Another student who successfully overcame adversity to secure a university place was 33-year-old mother-of-two, Joanna Brocklehurst-Smith.

As well as combining college with raising a family – five-year-old daughter Cassidy, and son Andrew, 14, – Joanna had to cope with the tragic loss of her father last New Year’s Eve.

Despite this, Joanna, from Huthwaite, achieved D grade passes in English literature and geography – and is now set to study geography and environmental hazards at the University of Derby.

She said: “It was a hard year with losing my father part-way through the course; so I guess these results are better than what I expected.

“Coming back to college as a mature learner and being almost twice the age of other students in my group was strange at first. I did my GCSE maths here at West Notts the previous year too. But everyone accepted me and supported me with losing my dad.

“College has pointed me in a new direction and I’m now really looking to university.”

West Nottinghamshire College offers 18 A-Level subjects – one of the largest choices 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.