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The Corporation

Posted: 26/08/16

Studio school celebrates first-ever Year 11 exam results

Vision Studio School has celebrated the achievements of its first-ever cohort of Year 11 students, who have studied vocational specialisms alongside core GCSEs over the last two years.

  • Tom Sefton has progressed onto an apprenticeship at King's Mill Hospital
  • Lillie Cornock (left) has started an apprenticeship while Cerys Goder is going to college.
  • Kenny Packman has begun an apprenticeship at AFH1
  • Carl Radford is hoping to secure a coveted apprenticeship at SSE
  • Sam Downs has enrolled on a hair and media make-up course at West Nottinghamshire College
  • Max Payne is progressing to a college course while Beth Seaton is looking forward to continuing her studies at the studio school

GCSE results day (Thursday 25 August, 2016) saw the school announce pass rates of:

  • 100% in Level 2 health and social care, with 77% at the distinction*-merit ‘high grades’;
  • 100% in the European computer driver licence (ECDL) IT qualification, with 70% of students achieving a distinction* and 30% a distinction;
  • 80% in Level 2 engineering product design, with half of students achieving high grades;
  • 73% in Level 2 child play, learning and development (CPLD) including 31% at high grades;
  • 70% in Level 2 engineering electronics and computer control, with high grades achieved by 65% of students;
  • 100% in English Language and science respectively; 95% in additional science, 90% in English literature, 88% in citizenship and 72% in maths;
  • All students achieved five or more GCSE subject passes, with 72% gaining five or more subjects including English and maths;
  • 34% of students achieved five GCSEs at A*-C.

For the first time this year, schools were scored against a new accountability measure called ‘progress 8’, which aims to capture the progress each student makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school, based on their key stage 4 results.

A type of value-added measure, progress 8 is based on students’ progress in eight subjects rather than how many A*-C grades they achieve – and means their results are compared to the actual achievements of other students with the same prior attainment.

A school’s overall progress 8 score is calculated as the average of its students’ individual scores.

The studio school’s progress 8 score of -0.45 is above the national floor standard of -0.5, which means its students have made expected progress in line with national expectations set by the Department of Education.

All 44 of its Year 11 students collecting their vocational and GCSE results had joined the studio school two years ago after spending the first three years of their secondary education at other schools in Mansfield and Ashfield.

Several have now progressed straight into apprenticeships after enjoying successful long-term work placements during their studies, successfully preparing them for the world of work.

Tom Sefton, 16, of Meden Vale, has begun an IT solutions support apprenticeship in the Health Informatics Service at King’s Mill Hospital, where he spent two years on a weekly placement.

His results included distinctions in the ECDL and in Level 2 engineering electronics, a merit in Level 2 engineering product design and C grades in maths and science.

He said: “I’ve done better than I originally thought I would do, so I’m really happy. Getting the grades I need means a lot to me. I’m particularly pleased with my distinction in the ECDL because I work with computers, so it’s really relevant to my job.”

Tom is looking forward to doing well in his apprenticeship, where he will study a Level 3 IT, software, web and telecoms professionals qualification.

“I’ve really enjoyed working at King’s Mill these past two years, so I’m excited about the chance to carry on and progress there – and be paid a wage while getting a qualification,” he said.

“Managers have already spoken about the possibility of me progressing to a Level 4 qualification and a permanent contract. They have seen a lot of potential in me, which is nice.”

Lillie Cornock, 16, of Shirebrook, has begun a Level 2 customer services apprenticeship at Shop-Equip Ltd – a catering, commercial refrigeration and shop-fitting supplier based in Langwith.

She said: “It’s going really well. I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to go into a job, and a real working environment, which is exactly what I’ve done.”

Lillie was delighted to achieve distinctions in ECDL, engineering product design and engineering electronics, Bs in English language and English literature, and Cs in maths, science, additional science and citizenship.

“I feel quite pleased with myself – I’ve done a bit better than I thought, although I have worked very hard” she said.

“It’s been brilliant at Vision Studio School – I couldn’t have got these results without the support of the tutors.”

Kenny Packman, 17, of Mansfield Woodhouse, has started an engineering apprenticeship at Mansfield motor mechanics AFH1 after impressing on his weekly placement.

He gained a distinction* in ECDL, merit in Level 2 engineering electronics and a pass in Level 1 engineering product design.

He said: “I was quite nervous coming to collect my results but once I saw them, I felt over the moon.”

Kenny is now working as a trainee technician at the firm, based at Quarry Falls, off Chesterfield Road South, which will involve him studying a Level 3 mechanical engineering qualification on day-release at West Nottinghamshire College’s Engineering Innovation Centre.

He said: “I much prefer hands-on learning and believe I’ll go far by actually doing something I enjoy.

“I’ve been at AFH1 about four months now after previously doing a placement at another car mechanics and I really enjoy it. It was a bit hard to get used to at first, because it was a different environment, but I soon got used to it and it’s a good place to be. I enjoy the work – there’s something different to do every day.

“I can’t wait to learn all there is to know about fixing cars, inside and out.

“Coming to the studio school was the best decision I ever made, because it’s given me this opportunity.”

Sixteen-year-old Carl Radford, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, gained a distinction* in ECDL, merits in engineering product design and engineering electronics, and Cs in science and additional science.

He said: “Although I felt I could’ve done slightly better, considering where I’ve come from – which was somebody who wasn’t interested in learning; who didn’t really see much of a future ahead of them – I’ve turned myself around and have got somewhere in life.”

Carl is hoping his grades are enough to secure him a coveted Level 3 electrical contracting apprenticeship at Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), based in Oxford.

“An apprenticeship is something I want to do in order to go to the next stage of my life,” he said.

“It means I can go into further education, get work experience and be paid, all at the same time – and with a guaranteed job at the end of it. It’s something that can’t really be surpassed if you’re given the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, other students were looking forward to progressing into further education.

Cerys Godber, 17, of Mansfield, begins a two-year Level 3 electrical engineering course at West Nottinghamshire College in September.

It comes after she achieved distinctions in engineering product design and engineering electronics, a B in English, and Cs in science and maths.

She said: “I was shocked to get these results – I really wasn’t expecting them so it’s a pleasant surprise, although I’ve also worked really hard to achieve them.

“I’ve tried my hardest and spent a lot of time preparing for the exams; doing lots of revision and making sure I knew everything.

“I’m looking forward to going to college and excited about pursuing a career in engineering, and getting there one step at a time.”                                                                                           

Sam Downs, 16, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, is also going to West Nottinghamshire College after enrolling on a Level 2 hair and media make-up course, having decided on a new direction after originally considering a career in health.

His grades included a distinction* in ECDL, distinction in Level 2 health and social care, a pass in Level 2 CPLD, B in English language and C in science.

“I feel like I’ve succeeded – I’ve got some good grades under my belt, so education has really paid off,” he said.

“If I hadn’t come to Vision Studio School, I would never have done as well as I have done.

“I’ve done so much in these last two years – things that would normally take people much longer to do – which just proves that if you put your heart into it, you will succeed.

“I can honestly say that I’ve passed – not just academically, but in life. I plan to have the same success at college as I have done here.”

Max Payne, 16, of Westwood, has enrolled on a carpentry and joinery course at the college’s construction campus after gaining a distinction* in ECDL, merits in level 2 engineering product design and engineering electronics, and a C in English Language.

He said: “I was worried about opening my results envelop because everything depends on what’s inside. It’s your whole future – the result of everything you’ve been doing for the last two years.

“I’m chuffed at how well I’ve done – really happy. I would never have got these grades if I’d stayed at my old school. Coming here has been a good decision.

“I eventually want to become a fully-qualified, self-employed carpenter and joiner, so college is the next stage of the journey.”

Beth Seaton, 16, of Hucknall, is returning to the studio school in September to continue her health and social care studies.

It comes after she achieved a distinction in ECDL, merit in level 2 health and social care, a pass in CPLD, and a C in English Language.

“As soon as I woke up this morning, the nerves started kicking in, but I’m fairly pleased with how I’ve done,” she said.

“One of the main reasons I came to this school was to study health and social care, so I’m particularly glad I’ve passed that, and I’m quite happy with my English grade.

"I’m looking forward to coming back in September and working with all the great tutors.”

Principal Chris Hatherall said: “I’m delighted so many of our students have secured their preferred destinations following the release of their GCSE results. It’s testament to all their hard work over the last two years in following the school’s technical curriculum in engineering and health and care.

“The students leave the school ready to meet the demands of a modern workforce and I look forward to hearing about their future successes, while for those returning in September, I am excited about seeing them progress with their learning.”

A new type of school for 14 to 19-year-olds, Vision Studio School bridges the gap between education and employment by giving students regular exposure to industry. Students specialise in either engineering or health and social care alongside their core GCSEs, through project-based classroom learning and work placements with employers.

The school, on Chesterfield Road South, opened in September 2014 and has more than 100 employer partners ranging from small and medium-sizes businesses to major organisations and charities. It is the currently only studio school in Nottinghamshire and one of only 39 across the country.