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College celebrates A Level success

Posted: 14 August 2014

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

Today (14 August 2014) is A Level Results Day and the college has announced an overall pass rate of 99.2%.

  • There were 991 exam entries at A2 and AS levels at the college this year (2013/14), compared with 950 in 2012/13;
  • Of these, 358 were at A2 level, which were taken by 151 students;
  • The college achieved 100% pass rates in 17 out of 20 subjects at A2 level including English language, English literature, maths, pure maths, history, geography, media, film studies, business studies, ICT, sociology, psychology, and physical education;
  • Almost a third of the overall number of students (31%) achieved A*-B;
  • High grades (A*- B) were achieved in all subject areas;
  • The number of students gaining A grades remained the same as last year, at 23, while the numbers securing Bs increased from 66 to 74;
  • Just over two-thirds of students (68.7%) achieved A*-C grades;
  • A2 English language recorded a 100% pass rate for the eighth consecutive year, with 80% of students achieving A*-C grades.
  • A*-C grades were also achieved by over 80% of students studying accounting, pure maths, English literature and sociology.

Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive, said: “These are truly excellent results and cement our position as one of the top-performing colleges in the East Midlands for academic as well as vocational achievement.

“I am very encouraged that we continue to deliver such strong A Level results and have once again exceeded the national pass rate, this time by 1.2%.

“Good A-Level results are the springboard to university or the world of work and students can feel justifiably proud of the effort and commitment they’ve put in over the last two years, supported by their families and our excellent tutors.

“It’s great that so many students have secured a place at their first-choice university, which is a reflection of their desire and motivation to reach their potential.

“This has been an outstanding year for the college and, as we congratulate students on their fantastic achievements today, we look forward to welcoming many new ones in September as they embark on the journey towards their chosen career.”

Students spoke of their joy after collecting their results.

Ella Kicks, 17, from Tibshelf, Derbyshire, was delighted to achieve an A* in sociology and A grades in biology and psychology.

She said: “It’s what I was hoping for so I’m so relieved. It means I can get into the University of St Andrews in Scotland to study psychology, which is great.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at West Notts – my tutors allowed me to learn independently, which gave me some great flexibility. I’m now looking forward to university life.”

Bryony Moody, 18, from Mansfield, achieved an A* in maths and B grades in pure maths and chemistry – allowing her to progress straight on to a Master’s degree at the University of Sheffield.

She said: “I’m so pleased – I had a really sleepless night. It was tricky working out my results when I opened the envelope but I’ve just logged onto the UCAS website and it say’s I’m in!

“I’ve just phoned my family to tell them the good news and everybody’s really happy for me. I’ve got what I wanted.”

Kerrie-Ann Leader, 19, from Mansfield, described herself as “surprised but really happy” to get an A* in English literature, an A in ICT and a B in English language, which has secured her a place at the University of Sheffield, where she will study linguistics.

She said: “I didn’t think I’d get these grades so I’m really happy. I think it’ll take a while to sink in.

“Academically, I’m really happy to get into my first-choice university. I’ve been told I’m eligible for an overseas scholarship, which means I get to do a paid work placement for a year in a country of my choice.

“I’ve only just found this out this morning! I’ll probably choose America.”

Getting the right A-Level grades will also enable two mature learners who returned to college in very different circumstances to pursue their dream careers.

Sally Clayton, from Mansfield, is one step closer to achieving her ambition of re-training as a maths teacher after securing a B in law, C in maths and E in physics.

The 26-year-old is set to embark on a maths degree and PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University after taking the brave decision to quit her successful career in the restaurant industry, which included a managerial role at celebrity chef Marco Pierre White’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Box Tree.

She said: “Opening the envelope was possibility the most nerve-wracking experience of my life. The thought of two years’ of hard work possibly ending in disappointment was pretty terrifying.

“When I realised I got the grades I needed I felt a thousand different emotions – but all positive ones!”

Sally continued: “I’ve just had an email from university to say ‘congratulations and welcome’ so that’s a great relief. 

“I’m really excited about what the future holds and I can’t wait for university because, even though I’ve done a lot with my life, looking back I feel I missed out on that experience so I’m delighted that now I can get to go and do it.

“I’m also looking forward to the prospect of becoming a teacher, which will hopefully be something I’m good at and enjoy.”

Samantha Reece, 27, from Mansfield, was “over the moon” with her A grade in sociology and Cs in English language and psychology.

It means the mother-of-two has secured a place on a childcare studies degree at Nottingham Trent University – meaning her ambition of becoming a primary school teacher is clearly in sight.

Samantha, mum to son Dillon, eight, and daughter Georgina, four, took the bold step of returning to the classroom three years ago after spending four years working full-time at McDonalds, studying GCSEs before progressing to A Levels.

She said: “Juggling my responsibilities as a mother with coming to college and doing course work and exams hasn’t been easy – but it was the best decision I ever made.

“It changed my life and it’s definitely going to change my children’s lives. They see me doing something positive, which gives them a role model.

“I’ve become accustomed to the routine of coming home from college, giving the children their tea and, once they’re in bed, begin studying for the rest of the night. And then you get up the next morning and do it all over again!

“But it’s definitely been worth it and it’s preparing me for my working life because, once I’m teaching, it will be exactly the same.

“I’ve been left school over ten years and finally I’m on track. It’s like I’ve finally made it!”

Ben Faulkner, from Mansfield Woodhouse, is dreaming of a career in the RAF after getting the grades he needs to train as a pilot.

The 19-year-old is currently part-way through the application process and was thrilled to get a B in sociology, C in fine art and D in physics.

He said: “Now I’ve got two A Levels graded A to C I can complete my application to become a pilot so I’m really happy about that.

“Ever since I was a young boy I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. It could take up to three years to train and it’s a competitive job but I can see a great career ahead. I need to book my next interview and have a specialist interview, a medical and a fitness test.”

“I’ve just spoken to my mum and she’s delighted,” added Ben.

Jack Johnson, 18, from Shirebrook, has bagged a place at Loughborough University – his first choice institution – to study economics and accounting after gaining an A* in business and B grades in accounting and law. 

He said: “I’m looking at getting some work placements within accounting practices while studying, which will help me decide on the career I’ll be heading for.

“I’ve had a brilliant time at West Notts College. The tutors have really spurred me on and I got full marks in three of my business exams.

“I’ll be off into town tonight celebrating with my friends.”

Beth Allen, 18, from Edwinstowe, is planning to study disaster management and environmental hazards at either Kingston or Coventry universities after getting an A grade in geography, B in biology and C in chemistry.

But first she aims to spend two years working and travelling.

She said: “I want to travel to New Zealand – that’s been my plan for the last few years. I will work for a year and save up to fund my trip.

“But I definitely want to study disaster management and environmental hazards afterwards. It may sound strange but disasters fascinate me.  When you look at a hurricane hitting somewhere like Australia, there are a multitude of reactions and to study this kind of thing would be great.”

As with previous years, the college opened its doors at 7am to give students the earliest possible opportunity to collect their results. It also provided extra support for those who needed to go through the clearing system to secure their university place.

Students were given access to computers and telephones to contact UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service) and university admissions teams in two ‘clearing rooms’, while the college’s own careers and employability team was on hand to offer support and advice.

West Nottinghamshire College offers 20 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 HNDs, HNCs, foundation degrees and full honours degrees.

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

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Why choose West Notts?

Best college for A Levels value added* in the East Midlands

£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

In the top 10% of all providers nationally for apprenticeships

Second for vocational value added* in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

90% of students move into a positive destination

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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