Students and staff at Barrow Sixth Form College are celebrating a best-ever year for exam success.
The overall pass rate at A level was 99.1 per cent topping last year’s with half of all students getting the highest grades A*A and B and more than 20 per cent achieving A* or A.
Around 200 students will be heading off to university to study sought-after degree courses and onto higher apprenticeships, apprenticeships and jobs with employers including BAE Systems, Sellafield and GSK.
It was smiles all round as the students gathered at the Rating Lane campus to collect their grades, speak to tutors who were on hand to celebrate and advise on next steps and to enjoy a breakfast barbecue.
The highest achieving student with four A*s was Alice Hewson alongside Robbie Simpson who secured 3 A*s. Alice said she was ‘surprised and delighted’ at her grades while Robbie said he was ‘really happy’. “I didn’t think I’d get three A*s,” he said. “I’m really pleased with that.”
With her grades leaving all options open to her, Alice has decided to take a gap year as she plans to apply for St Andrews University while Robbie has opted for a higher apprenticeship at BAE Systems. Both students had achieved their offer for Cambridge University alongside James Gallagher who also got top grades.
“It was close but I’ve always knew that I’d go for BAE because you can do a degree and get experience as well,” said Robbie. His friend Sophie Newsham, who is going to study history at Manchester Metropolitan University, described him as ‘superhuman’.
Among the other top achievers were Alyah Saltiga A*A*A, who will study biochemistry at Manchester University, Euan Lee achieved A*AA, Jennifer Managh achieved A*AA and is going to university. Joseph Bell, India Grace and Tyler Bircher also got A*s and As.
Chloe Rowe achieved 4 As and will go to Newcastle University to study biomedicine, Aina Mercant Osuna got 3As and a B, Ben Turnough secured AAAB and takes up a higher apprenticeship in nuclear at BAE while Jackson Readett’s 2 As and 2 Bs mean he will take up a scientific apprenticeship at Sellafield from September.
Adult student Ellen Wilkinson, 23, said her distinction*distinction in health and social care and B in English Language means she has achieved her dream of heading to Leicester de Montfort University.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “I have always wanted to go to university and now I’m really glad I took the decision to come back to college, it has been really good and the tutors are brilliant.”
Former Principal David Batten returned for results day to congratulate the students on a superb set of results that pave the way for bright futures full of opportunity.
“We always have high expectations of our students and they have delivered an amazing set of results that will be a springboard for their futures.
“The students now have the choice of where they want to go and the academic qualifications and valuable skills they need to excel – whether that’s a university degree course, higher apprenticeship or a good job. In addition, the AS results were also excellent which bodes really well for next year.
“This is an inspirational place to learn and these results are the best yet and a testament to the hard work of students and staff.”
The sixth form college, which is rated by the Department for Education as a top tier college for achievement at A level, merged with Furness College earlier this month and new Principal Andrew Wren said the results were extremely impressive.
“The results reflect the high-quality learning environment here at sixth form and the hard work of students and staff. You can see that students really enjoy their time here and progress with the qualifications and skills to succeed at university, on higher level vocational courses or in the workplace.”
“As a merged college we now have an excellent educational route and a broad range of opportunities to help young people throughout Cumbria achieve their career goals.”