A Level success in face of pandemic adversity

By Barrie Hudson - 13 August 2020

College & Higher EducationCommunity

New College students woke up to news of a 97.4 percent A Level pass rate.

  • Principal and CEO Carole Kitching praised students' hard work amid the uncertainties of the pandemic

    Principal and CEO Carole Kitching praised students' hard work amid the uncertainties of the pandemic

The college has the largest number of A Level learners in Swindon and Wiltshire, and this year there were 906 successful exam entries. 

Senior staff have hailed the pass rate as proof that students have triumphed over the adversity of the covid-19 pandemic.

Principal and CEO Carole Kitching said: “I’m very proud of all our students who have risen to the challenge and achieved such fantastic results, especially with the difficulties that they have had to face this year. 

"There have been no exams this year, but achievement is not just measured by taking exams; the class of 2020 have worked hard for the past two years and that has been recognised in their grades. 

"Their determination and resilience is an example to us all.

"Our students continue to go from strength to strength and they have adapted so well to learning from home. 

"The high pass rates and increasing numbers of high grades are a testament to their hard work and determination. 

"This will stand them in very good stead as they move on to Higher Education, apprenticeships or employment.

"I would like to thank all my colleagues at New College who have worked so hard to support our students, and to wish all the students who have received their results today every success for the future.”

This year's achievements include:

- a 2.5 percent increase in ‘A’ grades (12.7%) – the highest in three years

- a 97.4 percent overall A Level pass rate for ages 16-18  

-  43 percent of 400 entrants achieving grades A* to B, with 61 students achieving at least three A* to B grades   

- 145 students sat A Levels in English and Maths, with a 98.6 percent  pass rate

- 221 entries for STEM subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths) with a 97.4 percent pass rate

- 26 A Level subjects with a 100 percent pass rate

- 192 BTEC Extended Diploma entries, with 60.4 percentage of entrants gaining Distinction grades

- 12 out of 13 BTEC Extended Diplomas have a 100 percent pass rate


The 26 subjects with a 100 percent pass rate range from technical ones such as Further Mathematics and Economics to languages including Polish and Turkish. 

Arts subjects with a 100 percent pass rate include Classical Civilisation, English Language and Literature and Historical Practice. 

Adult students - aged 19 and above - achieved an overall A Level pass rate of 95.7 percent, with 27 of 31 subjects having a 100 percent pass rate.

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