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The Corporation

Posted: 15/08/13

College celebrates best-ever A Level pass rate

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

Today (15 August 2013) the college recorded its best-ever overall pass rate of 99.7% ­– up 0.5% on last year’s results and above the 98.1% national pass rate.

  •  There were 950 exam entries at A2 and AS levels at the college this year, compared with 851 in 2011/12;
  • Of these, 290 were at A2 level, which were taken by 140 students;
  • The college achieved 100% pass rates in 20 out of 21 subjects at A2 level including English language, English literature, maths, further maths, law, history, geography, media, film studies, ICT, biology, chemistry, sociology, psychology, and government and politics;
  • A third of students (33%) achieved A*-B grades – an increase of 5% from the previous year;
  • High grades (A*- B) were achieved in all subjects;
  • Almost three-quarters of students (74%) achieved A*-C grades – up 12% on last year;
  • A2 English language recorded a 100% pass rate for the seventh consecutive year.

The college opened its doors at 7am to give students the earliest possible opportunity to collect their results.

Once again, it also provided extra support for those who needed to go through clearing to secure their university place.  Students were given access to computers and telephones to contact UCAS and university admissions teams in two ‘clearing rooms’, while the college’s careers, information, advice and guidance team was on hand to offer support.

Patricia Harman, deputy principal, said:  “We’re thrilled by these superb results. Not only have we seen our overall pass rate improve for the seventh consecutive year, our high grades have also increased significantly.

“This is a clear demonstration that the college is one of the leading providers of academic, as well as vocational, qualifications.

“Our students have worked tremendously hard to get the results to progress to higher education either at university, here at college or embark on their chosen career.

“These results are also testament to the dedicated tutors who coach and mentor students through two of the most important years of their lives.”

Students spoke of their joy after collecting the results.

Natalie Flint, 18, from Mansfield, was delighted to achieve A grades in English literature and media studies and a B grade in English language.

She said: “It’s great I’ve got the grades I need to study linguistics at York St John University and don’t need to make any urgent phone calls.

“My reaction when I opened the envelope was complete shock but I’m so proud – and so is my mum. Coming to West Notts College has been a good step between school and university.”

Elanor Ibbotson-Butt, 18, from Alfreton, Derbyshire, is off to the University of Sheffield to study history after getting A grades in English language and history and a B grade in history.

She said: “I was hoping to get an A in history so it’s mixed emotions right now but overall I’m happy and at least I’m going to university.

“My mum and dad have come with me today and it’s nice to have them here for support.

"My time at college has really developed me as a person.  It’s a big leap from school and has been challenging but it’s all paid off and I’m looking forward to university.”

Tyler Mellins, 18, from Mansfield, celebrated getting an A* grade in media, an A grade in film studies and a B in English language. It means he can study film and media production at Sheffield Hallam University.

He said: “Life at West Notts has been really good – probably the best experience of my life.  I was expecting to have to come back for another year to do re-sits but I don’t have to so it’s a bittersweet moment today.

“I’m going out for a meal with my grandma later – my little way of celebrating!”

Lauren Snape, 22, from Mansfield, declared herself “over the moon” after achieving an A* in English literature and B grades in English language and AS Level sociology.

“It means I’ve got into my first-choice university – the University of Hull – on an American studies degree,” she said.

“It’s a bit of an odd subject but I’ve always been interested in American culture so I grabbed the chance to study the subject. I’ll get to spend a whole year at an American university to experience life and learning there.”

Kirsty Hill, 18, from Mansfield, described opening her results envelope as a “relief.”

She said: “I’ve waited two months for this and I’ve got the grades I need to study at The University of Aberdeen.

“I got an A grade in art and B grades in film studies and business.  I’ve just phoned my mum and she’s so happy for me! I’ll be celebrating my success this weekend.”

Winston Severn, 19, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, is set to study accounting and finance at university after getting A grades in accounting and English language and a B in business studies. 

He said: “I wasn’t completely confident I’d get the grades I needed so I’m really pleased. I wasn’t too nervous last night but when I woke up this morning I suddenly thought ‘this is serious!’”

Rather than go to university, Lucy Brown, 17, from Warsop, is embarking on an apprenticeship.

She said: “I got Cs in English language and sociology a D in psychology, which is just what I wanted.  I’ve just secured an apprenticeship with Burchell Edwards estate agency and couldn’t be happier.

“I will go on to further study as part of my apprenticeship.”

Meanwhile, adult learner Greg Dickman, 28, from Ravenshead, is aiming for a career in medicine after getting straight As in biology, chemistry and physics at AS Level.

It comes after the 28-year-old – who already has a Masters degree in physics – got A* grades in his GCSEs English language and maths at the college last year.

Greg, who combined studying with working as a healthcare assistant for the elderly at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield, is set to join the University of Nottingham’s Graduate Medical School.

He said: “I’m on the graduate route to medicine and my four-year programme starts in September. Ultimately, I’d like to work in clinical oncology or radiology.”

West Nottinghamshire College offers 21 A Level subjects – one of the largest choices under one roof in Mansfield. It also offers a wide range of vocational qualifications and higher education courses including foundation degrees, ‘top-up’ full honours degrees, HNDs and HNCs.

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