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The Corporation

Posted: 19/08/10

College celebrates best-ever year for A Level passes

West Nottinghamshire College is celebrating another record year for A Level results.

Today (19 August 2010) is national A Level results day and the college has recorded a best-ever overall pass rate of 97.2% – a slight increase on the 97% recorded last year.

  • There were 731 exam entries at A2 and AS levels at the college this year, compared with 649 the previous year;
  • Of these, 253 were at A2 level – more than double the number of entries last year (125);
  • The college achieved 100% pass rates in 17 out of 20 subjects at A2 level including law, English language, English literature, maths, history, geography, biology, and government and politics;
  • In eight A2 subjects (business studies, design and technology, English language, film studies, history, law, maths, and media studies) more than a third of students got A*, A or B grades;
  • Four students (two on law, one on English language and one on media studies courses) achieved the new A* – the highest grade possible;
  • For the fourth consecutive year, A2 English language had a 100% pass rate;
  • The college has seen four times the number of A grades at A2 level compared to last year, while nearly two-thirds (62%) achieved grades A*-C.

Deputy principal Patricia Harman said: “These are fantastic results and our students should feel really proud of what they’ve achieved.  We’ve seen them work incredibly hard over the last year to get the grades they need to progress to the next level of study or into their chosen careers.

"We’re particularly pleased that four of our students have achieved the A* grade in its first year, meaning they have achieved over 90% in all their modules.  We also recognise the work our tutors put in to providing first-class teaching and support, which plays a major part in our students’ success.

“We’re delighted that the majority of our students will now go to their first or second-choice university, which is reward for their effort and determination, especially in the face of fierce competition for university places this year. Others will remain at college on higher education programmes such as HNDs or foundation degrees.

“Whatever our students choose to do next, we wish them every success for the future.”

Ben Brown, from Mansfield, and Rob Southwell, from Shirebrook, both scooped A* grades in law. 

Ben said: “I’m pretty surprised to find out I got an A* in law, but equally I’m really pleased as I am now definitely going to Nottingham Trent University to study law.  I also got a B in business studies and a C in ICT.  But first I’m off to Alton Towers today to have some fun with my friends!”

Rob, who has secured a place at his first-choice university – the University of Lincoln – said: “I’m overwhelmed!  I was pinning my hopes on an A grade in law but never expected to see A* on the paper.  I will be treating myself to a drink or two tonight.”

Adam Burch, 20, from Bilsthorpe, got A* in chemistry after returning to West Notts to re-sit the subject.  He’d previously spent a year studying medicine at Leicester University before deciding he wanted to study veterinary medicine.

“I’m delighted to have come away with an A * grade," he said. "Watching television this morning made me nervous as I heard about students across the country struggling to get into university.  I’m so pleased and will now be going to study veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College in London.”

Brothers Jake and Michael Coles, from Mansfield, were celebrating today with their mum Maggie, who came with them to collect their results.

Michael, 22, logged on to the UCAS website at 6.45am today to discover his first-choice university, Middlesex University, had accepted him.

He said: “I’ve just opened my envelope to see I got a C in law, B in business studies and a C in government and politics.  I’m feeling much more relaxed now and I’ve just got to sort out my accommodation and I’m all set to go.”

Brother Jake, 18, was quietly confident too.  He said: “My C in law and E in business at A Level, together with my E in ICT at AS level, should hopefully ensure I get on to the public services and law foundation degree here at West Notts next year.”

 Amy Bonsall, 18, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, said: “I’m really happy!  I found out that Nottingham University will accept me with my C in biology, B in environmental studies and B in geography. Originally they wanted ABB grades but when I logged on this morning, they said yes!

“It was stressful trying to get onto the UCAS website as it kept crashing owing to the heavy traffic and I was desperate to find out.”

Sam Allen, 21, from Mansfield, said: “I’ve been so nervous all night.  I finally got to sleep at 4am and then woke at 5am, so it’s a relief to finally get my results.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get into my first-choice university but I’m pleased I got into the University of Reading with my B grades in law and English and a C in history.

“I’ve been reassured the University of Reading has a great reputation so I’ll be going there to study international relations and then I’ll convert to law.  In the future I want to work in business and possibly emigrate to take my skills abroad.”

The University of York is the destination of choice for Sam’s girlfriend, 18-year-old Ellie Burland, thanks to her A grade in art and B grades in English language and English literature.

“I’m so very, very pleased with my A level results," she said. "My parents are in Belgium at the moment but I've texted them my news.  After spending hours trying to log on to the UCAS website, I’ve finally found out I am going to the University of York.  I was so thrilled that I lifted my boyfriend Sam right off the floor!  I am sure going to celebrate tonight.”

Katie Norwood, 18, from Shirebrook, was overjoyed to get a B in psychology, C in human biology and C in business studies.

"I really had no idea at all how I’d done but I’m ecstatic.  This means I can now look forward to studying radiography at the University of Leeds,” she said.

Heather Holmes, 18, from Shirebrook, said: “I felt such relief this morning when I discovered that I’ve got into the University of Lincoln to study law.  I got a C in psychology and a D in chemistry, and am really pleased to get a grade A in law.  Some friends are going to be coming to Lincoln with me, which is great.”

Charlie Rodgers, 18, from Mansfield, said: “I was a bit confused at first when I opened my results but quickly realised I’d got the grades I needed.  In fact, I got better grades than my first-choice university wanted – a B in English literature, C in sociology and D in psychology. 

“I’m very happy and will be going to Canterbury Christchurch University College to study American studies and I’m looking forward to seeing what grades my friends have got.

“Eventually I’d like a career that takes me to America.”

AS level student Catherine Kendall, 19, from Mansfield, was speechless when she found out her results. She’d just opened her straight A grade results in her AS levels in biology, chemistry, maths and physics and was doubly happy because she’d achieved 100% in both biology and physics.

She said: “I asked my friend Tom to open my envelope today as I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Everyone was staring at me.  I really can’t believe it but feel so proud.  I just want to party now!

“Next term I’m coming back to West Notts to take biology, chemistry, maths and physics at A Level.  Eventually my dream is to apply to Cambridge to study natural science and go on to specialise in immunity and disease.”

Melissa Day, 18, from Mansfield, had was worried she hadn't got the grades she needed in A Level psychology - so she was delighted to get a C, along with a C in history and a B in English literature.

"I’m really happy because I think I’ve definitely got a place at the University of Lincoln as they originally wanted three C grades," she said. "I was sat up worrying last night but it’s all over now.  We’re off out celebrating tonight!”

Friends Chelsea Mills and Eve Lilley, both 19, met on the politics course at AS Level.  Today they have achieved good grades, ready to start on their A Levels in September.

Chelsea said: “I really like it here at college and I’m glad to be coming back.  I’ve just found out I have a B in government and politics, a B in English language, a B in law and a B in sociology.  Lots of my friends who stayed on at six form haven’t done so well, so I’m glad I came to West Notts.”

Eve said: “Everyone I know who has come to West Notts has got good grades and I know it has a good reputation. I’ve just got a B in politics, a C in history and a B in English literature.  It’s A levels next for me and I can’t wait.”

Eager students began collecting their results from the college’s Derby Road site from 7.30am. The college opened its doors early this year and for the first time provided a special ‘UCAS room’ to enable students to check they had been accepted at their first or second-choice university and assist those in the scramble for university places.

Head of academic studies Nigel Oldham said: “We wanted to do the best we could for our students and ensure that, given the exceptional circumstances this year, they had the earliest opportunity to get their results and receive any support and guidance they needed.”

West Nottinghamshire College offers the biggest choice of A Level subjects under one roof across Mansfield and Ashfield. It also offers a wide range of vocational qualifications and university-level courses including foundation degrees, HNDs and HNCs.

Anybody interested in studying at the college should call 0808 1003626.