All smiles for successful Gloucestershire A-level students
MORE students than ever have been accepted into university, despite a slight fall in the proportion of A-levels awarded top grades.
UCAS has confirmed 385,910 applicants have been accepted into a UK university or college, up 31,600 (nine per cent) on results day last year. This is the highest number of acceptances recorded for A-level results day.
Just over a quarter of exam entries – 26.3 per cent – were given A or A* grades, a slight fall from 26.6 per cent in 2012. Previously, the proportion getting top grades had risen year on year.
One of the best performing pupils in the county was The King's School pupil Chak-Lam Ip, 18, from Cheltenham. He achieved A* grades in biology, chemistry, mathematics, further mathematics and physics and he is considering studying medicine at Edinburgh University.
Bring a friend to Yoga with Evelyn at 8pm on Wednesdays, and get...View details
Bring a friend to Evelyn’s “Yoga” class on Wednesdays at 8-9pm, and get your class half for only £3. Offer open to non-members. Contact Natasha on 07958 520042 for details.
Terms: Class running at Fitness4Less, Grosvenor terrace. Non-members welcome.
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Headmaster Alistair Macnaughton said: "It is difficult to pick out any one student as all deserve credit in their own right but it is a stunning achievement by Chak-Lam Ip to have achieved no less than five A* grades. We are rightly proud of him and hope he will also continue his musical education, excelling, as he does, at the piano."
Meanwhile, a blunder over at Tewkesbury School meant 10 youngsters taking the Health and Social Care course were not given a grade.
They were told one of the 12 modules they had taken was the wrong one and, as a result, the exam board had been unable to give them a grade.
At the High School for Girls, in Denmark Road, Bethan Wilkins, 18, from Quedgeley, gained 5 A*s in biology, chemistry, maths, philosophy and general studies. She has gained a place at Cambridge in September reading natural sciences.
She said: "I did feel a bit under pressure to achieve good results but it made me work harder."
Bethan achieved 100 per cent in all four of her Biology exams over her AS and A2 studies.
EXAMS are never easy, but when months of revision are accompanied by personal turmoil it can be even harder for pupils to achieve dream results.
That was the case for good friends Natalie Brunsdon, 18, and Madeleine Letherby, 17, from Ribston Hall High School.
Natalie had to cope with exams without the support of her mum, who died recently, and Madeleine has been diagnosed with epilepsy.
Both defied the odds to get the marks needed for university. Natalie, from Cheltenham, will study law at Exeter with an A* in history, A in English literature and B in politics.
“My mum passed away three years ago in the middle of my GCSEs so I’ve had to work really hard since just to stay on track,” she said. “It has been incredibly difficult not having her here to support me. Mum wanted me to go to university, she would be very proud.”
Madeleine, from Brockworth, will study sociology at Newcastle after dealing with an illness that leaves her exhausted.
“The tablets make me feel really tired and if I don’t sleep enough, I fit,” she said. “The teachers have been very supportive. I’m a little worried about what it will be like at university. I’ve just got to go out there and do it.”
It was an emotional day, too, for pupils at nearby St Peter’s High School.
Head teacher Lawrence Montagu was due to retire after 29 years in the job, but died in April. Sixth form head Andy Barnard said Larry would have been proud.
“Results day was his favourite day of the year. He loved the excitement and sharing in the pupils’ success. He had a real interest in those who found it a struggle.”
James Richards, also from St Peter’s, will take up an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce in Bristol. “My grandad died recently so the build up to the exams was pretty tough, I’m just relieved it is all over.”
Head teacher at The Crypt School, Jonathan Standen, said: “It has been quite notable there have been some very good kids who have looked at alternatives to university. It is partly because of debt worries and partly because of the great apprenticeships on offer.”
It was the last results day for Sir Thomas Rich’s head teacher Ian Kelly, who is retiring. He said: “We’ve achieved fantastic results this year. All five of our Oxbridge students have got the grades they need to gain a place at their university.”
Will Geeson, 19, from Kingsholm overcame health problems to gain results good enough for Cambridge.
He dropped out of school last year, to deal with his bipolar disorder.
Miranda Bopoto, 18, from Quedgeley scored two A* grades, a B and an A at High School for Girls.
“I’m relieved to get my results and now I can enjoy the rest of the summer.”
SUCCESS shone through the drizzle on A-level results day in Stroud.
Although students could check their grades online many still arrived at 9am to open envelopes containing passports to greater things.
Marling School sixth-former Harry Bush, from Nailsworth, is heading to Merton College, Oxford, to read chemistry after getting an A* and three As.
"It's better than I expected," said Harry, 18.
In all, five have Oxbridge places.
James Gosling's two A*s and two As mean he is off to study maths at Imperial College, London, while Harry Pizzey's better-than-expected pair of A*s and an A mean he can take a year to choose the architecture course he wants.
"This is a terrific set of results and I am delighted for our sixth-form students and for the staff who have worked so hard to support them," said head teacher Dr Stuart Wilson.
At Stroud High School for Girls next door, outgoing head Tim Withers was delighted to have a high note to leave on.
"I am personally very happy, Stroud High School has now sent 20 students to Oxbridge during the last three years," said Mr Withers, who is leaving for Ralph Allen School in Bath next month.
Hanna Leatherland bounced with joy at her grades which mean she can study for an education degree.
"She suffered sinusitis really badly before the exams but insisted on taking them," said her mum Helen, a teacher at the school. "I am so proud of her."
Archway School saw an ever-improving set of results.
William Crabb's A, B, and D mean he can study for a degree while working for Renishaw as a junior software engineering apprentice.
"I love computing and when Renishaw contacted the school I knew it was what I wanted to do," he said.
"There is a huge increase in students getting the top grades," said head of sixth form Julian Young. "We are a proper comprehensive sixth form and pull out results like that. We give everyone a fair crack of the whip."
FROM music stars to computer engineers, talented students celebrated A-level success across the Forest of Dean.
At Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre, two top pupils are heading to Oxford University with a string of A*s under their belts.
Tobias Corrigan cleaned up in his grades, getting A*s in maths, further maths and physics and an A in chemistry. The 18-year-old from Longlevens is off to read physics at Keble College.
He said: “I’m pretty happy. I had my interview there in December and it was hard work.”
Susie Gold got A*s in biology, maths and chemistry and goes to Merton College to read biological sciences.
Two Bs and a D were music to the ears of Tom Butler, 18, from Hartpury, too. He has won a rare place at the Welsh Conservertoire for a four-year clarinet masterclass.
He’s already graced the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall since taking up the instrument as a youngster and is determined to make it his profession.
“I had an audition there which was the hardest part – they gave me an offer and I needed to get two Cs to get in,” he said. “I’m really pleased.”
Still at Newent, teaching assistant Jenne Golding was as proud as any parent to see one of her pupils make the grade too. She has helped dyslexic Giles Hardman, 18, from Hempsted, since he started at the school seven years ago. He got the grades he needed to do computer systems engineering at Brunel University.
“He’s like one of my own,” she said. “I’ve had two of my own kids come through the school and I feel the same about Giles today as I did about them.
“I didn’t sleep a lot the night before, I was desperate to know how he’d done. Seven years is a long time. He’s been brilliant, I’m really proud for him.”
At Gloucestershire College’s Royal Forest of Dean Campus, it was a second consecutive year of having a 100 per cent pass rate.
Budding vet Holly Maller, 19, from Mile End, can pursue her dream career now after retaking chemistry and getting an A. “I’ve always wanted to be a vet, I’m so happy,” she said.
Ben Wadley, 18, from Broadwell, came away with As in environmental studies and maths, and a B in physics.
He takes up a place at Cardiff University doing mechanical engineering and said: “I’m surprised – the grades are good news.”
But help is at hand for those today who may not have received their first choice:
Students can use a process called Clearing if they are not accepted on a course, if they decline all offers or if they applied after June 30.
Jack Mulcahy, 23, from Cheltenham, is a full-time graphic designer, having completed a HND in Graphic Design and Multimedia at Gloucestershire College.
He said: “After receiving my A level results in Fine Art, Product Design and ICT from Cheltenham Bournside School, I called Gloucestershire College to see what options were available via clearing.
“I was looking for a creative pathway locally and luckily, I secured a place on the HND in Graphic Design and Multimedia.
“I would definitely recommend considering studying for a higher education qualification with Gloucestershire College.”
Gloucestershire College offers 15 full-time Higher Education (HE) options, ranging from Higher National Diplomas in Business to Foundations Degrees in Salon Management.
Fiona Court, admissions and funds manager at the college, said: “The college admissions team are more than happy to take the time to speak to any school leaver or their parents and guardians about higher education options at the college.”
Meanwhile, the dedicated University of Gloucestershire clearing helpline are available from 8am with staff on hand to answer queries and share insights into living and studying in Gloucestershire.
Students can call 0844 846 4 846.
Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of Cheltenham-based UCAS, said: “There will be a rich variety of courses offering vacancies through Clearing this year, across a range of universities and colleges.” The new UCAS website contains all the information on Clearing that students need. Expert UCAS advisers are also on hand to answer questions from 7.30am. The number to call is 0871 468 0 468.