Sophie Moore writes:
Sixteen to eighteen year old students at New College Swindon are celebrating great exam success with an increase in the number of successful A-Level entries in 2015 and a higher overall pass rate of 98%. There were 1,662 successful exam entries, up from 1,631 last year.
43% were A*, A or B grades, the highest percentage for the last five years. 29 students achieved 3 A grades or more, an outstanding achievement.
These outstanding pass rates indicate that once again, our students have achieved highly.
New College students believe that the pass rate of 98% will stand them in good stead for a bright future and the competition for jobs and university places.
New College has the largest number of A-level learners in Swindon and Wiltshire.
41 out of 57 subjects had a 100% pass rate. These were: Accounting, Ancient History, Applied Business, Applied Science, Biology, Classical Civilisation, Communications Studies, Creative Writing, Drama and Theatre Studies, Economics, Electronics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Film Studies, Fine Art, French, Further Maths, Geography, Government and Politics, Graphic Design, History (European & British 20th Century), History (American & British 20th Century), Human Biology, Information and Communication Technology, Italian, Law, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Polish, Portuguese, Sociology, Spanish, Textiles, Travel & Tourism, Turkish, Use of Maths and World Development.
With the Government’s emphasis on English and Maths, backed by employer organisations like the Confederation of British Industry and Institute of Directors, it’s good to report that 298 students sat for English and Maths A-levels with a pass rate of 98%. 341 students taking Science subjects also achieved a 98% pass rate with 135 students taking Art & Design subjects achieving a 99% pass rate.
Adam Pearce has received three A* grades in Further Maths, Maths and Physics, and two A’s in Chemistry and AS Economics. He said “I’m really happy with my results and I’ve enjoyed my time at New College. The staff really helped me with the university application process as a whole, from the extra lessons put on for my application test to a mock interview and help with my CV, a staff member was there to help and guide me.” Adam will be going to the University of Oxford to study Physics.
Many adult students (those aged 19+) also choose to take their A Levels at New College when returning to education, often after several years. 19+ students achieved a great pass rate of 95%, an increase from last year’s 94%.
For professional and vocational programmes, 154 New College students are celebrating their BTEC Extended Diploma results today. They achieved a 100% pass rate, with 40% gaining distinctions. The BTEC Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels and a distinction is equivalent to top A-level grades.
In all, there were 982 entries for Level 3 vocational studies. Learners have gained work-ready qualifications in areas such as IT, Computer Games, Medical Science, Creative & Media, Sport, Public Services, Health & Social Care, Child Care, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism and Beauty Therapy. Many of these young learners have worked part-time whilst at New College and have picked up the skills and work ethic that employers are demanding through participation in additional activities such as employability courses, dragons’ den sessions, business mentoring and the New College Job Club.
New College is predicting that a record number of students will gain university places following these results. Last year 559 New College students won places at university and other higher education providers and hopes are high that this record will be beaten.
New College Principal, Graham Taylor, added: “These fantastic A-level and BTEC vocational results really are a credit to the talented and hardworking learners we have at New College, and a tribute to the efforts and support of all of our teaching and support staff.
We are so proud of the achievement of these students, especially at a time when young people are competing so hard for places at university or in employment. These results, plus the additional opportunities that have been available to them at New College, will stay with them whichever career path they choose to go down.
It’s great to see an increase in the number of Higher Education applications this year, with over 650 students applying through UCAS and other higher education providers, including our HND and degree programmes at New College.
Our careers staff and employability team will be on hand to provide further advice and support to our students on university and job options.”
Photos by Richard Wintle of Calyx. Top, Georgina Iwasiuk, Fiona Griffin, Kate Spavins and Hannah Griffin celebrate better than expected A Level results. Below, handing out the results. Bottom, proud parents congratulate their son