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The Corporation

Posted: 27/08/09

College celebrates best-ever GCSE results

West Nottinghamshire College is toasting further exam success – this time for GCSEs.

Today (27 August 2009) is national GCSE results day and the college is celebrating its best ever pass rate of 93%. It comes just a week after the college recorded its all-time highest number of A Level passes (97%).

A total of 275 students sat their GCSEs at the college this year (2008/09), with results including:

  • An overall pass rate of 93% – up 5% on the previous year
  • High grades (A*-C) increasing by 11% to 64%
  • 89% pass rate in English – up 2% on the year before
  • 90% pass rate in Maths – an increase of 8%
  • 100% passes in two out of six GCSE subjects offered at the college – namely Science and Sociology. These subjects gained 100% pass rates for the third consecutive year.

Asha Khemka OBE, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “These are excellent results and students should feel justifiably proud. The majority of our GCSE students are adults returning to education to improve their qualifications, while others come to college after failing in subjects at school, so this is a major achievement for them.

“GCSEs are a vital stepping stone to higher-level qualifications and open up new career opportunities. Many of this year’s Science students, for example, are seeking to re-train as nurses so gaining this qualification will enable them to pursue their ambitions.”

Keela Darby was ecstatic after picking up a B in Science and a C in English.

The 32-year-old, from Mansfield, said: “I’m now hoping to come back in September to start the Access to Nursing course. Then I’d like to begin my nursing training at King’s Mill Hospital.  My ultimate dream is to be a midwife and getting these GCSEs will hopefully set me on the way.”

Sisters Sue Foulkes, 46, and Pam Hoskins, 49, are also hoping to pursue careers in healthcare. Sue bagged a B in English and an B in Maths, while Pam collected a C in English.

The pair studied their Access to Science and GCSEs together at the college and are now going to study for a degree in diagnostic radiography at the University of Derby.

Said Pam: “We were both made redundant from the Pretty Polly factory three years ago and decided to study together. We started on the AAT accounting course and then came to an open day at college to look at getting onto the Access course. Looking back, we’d never have believed we’d be on our way to university!”

Mother-of-one Kelly-Marie Westwood, from Mansfield, was delighted with her A in Psychology, B in English and B in Sociology. She returned to education after being made redundant and described it as her “last chance” of fulfilling her dreams.

She said: “I was made redundant last year after working for the same firm for 10 years and came back to college to get the GCSEs I didn’t get first time round, having left school with hardly any qualifications.

“I really want to be a child psychologist and help children that have had a hard time. From September I’ll be back at West Notts doing the Access to Science course and then hope to go to university to get a degree in psychology.

“This is my last chance to do something with my life.”

Wayne Mercer, 26, from Mansfield, was delighted to get a C in Maths.

“I didn’t do very well in my GCSEs at school,” he said. “I now work for the Coal Authority in Mansfield, where I’ve been for five years, and they have supported me in getting a formal qualification. I’m now planning to do GCSE English next year.

“I’ve already got a business diploma and I am thinking of doing the foundation degree in software development after my English GCSE.  I want to take it steady though, as it’s sometimes hard juggling family life and a job with study, but I will do it.”

Mother-of-two Rachael Birmingham, from Blidworth, was happy with her C in Maths.

The 27-year-old, who collected her result with son Oscar, four, and daughter Felicity, one, said: “I’ve been waiting for this to go with my B in English and B in Science which I got last year. I’ve also been studying on the Access to Higher Education at West Notts and today’s result means I can now go to the University of Derby to do my B.Ed in Primary Education.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and coming to college has been a great experience.”

David Chanyk, 23, from Mansfield, said: “I was really pleased to get a B in Science but slightly disappointed with my C in Maths.  I was worried it wouldn’t be enough to get me onto the A Level course at West Notts in September.  However, my tutor has just given me a selection of A Level Maths questions and tested my ability and is confident with my score, so I’ve been accepted!

“I’m thrilled to be coming back next term to do A Levels in Maths, Business and IT and am still focussing on becoming a teacher in the future.”