A-Level results for sixth forms across the Banbury area
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They have endured the upheaval of lockdown, the turmoil of their A-level exams being cancelled due to the country’s battle with coronavirus but the long wait has finally come to an end today (Thursday August 13) for teenagers across the Banbury area.
Students at the Banbury Aspirations Campus, which includes of Wykham Park Academy and Futures Institute has achieved another year of fantastic results.
Some 54 per cent of students achieved B grades or higher and 28 per cent of students achieved A or A*. It has also been another very successful year for those students who completed an EPQ course (Extended Project Qualification), with a 100 per cent pass rate and 80 per cent of students achieving B or above.
Many of the students are going on to prestigious Russell Group universities, including Durham, London School of Economics, and Warwick University to begin a wide range of academic courses, including medicine, clinical psychology and mathematics.
Students taking vocational courses also excelled achieving 100 per cent pass rate across the board and 100 per cent merit or above in health and social care.
Carly Berry, head of sixth form at Banbury Aspirations, said: ‘’We couldn’t be more proud of our students. They have demonstrated such resilience and maturity in the face of a very challenging year.
"They deserve every success as they move on to their next stage of education and we will be watching their flourishing careers with interest. They are a credit to the school, their families and the Banbury community.’’
One student from the school, Soniya Aryal, has come from Nepal to Banbury and will now be onto the University of Warwick on a scholarship to study mechanical engineering.
Student Soniya Aryal, 18, took four A-levels and was predicted AA*BB. This morning (Thursday August 13) she found out she had achieved A* maths A* further maths A in chemistry and B in physics.
A delighted Soniya said: ‘’I’m very happy. Glad that I got in. I feel like all the years of hard work have been worthwhile. I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to get my firm choice.
‘’I’m going to go out with my friends this evening to celebrate, they also got in to their first choice universities and I’m so happy for them too.’’
Her impressive results mean that she will be able to accept her scholarship from the University of Warwick to study for a degree in mechanical engineering – just three years after arriving in the UK from Nepal. Soniya is taking a gap year and will take up her place in 2021.
Soniya is the only girl from the Banbury Aspirations Campus’ sixth form to have applied to study mechanical engineering.
She said: ‘’It has been a bit of a stressful situation as I didn’t know what to expect. The school has been very supportive. They have given us resources and I have carried out online courses about computer programming.
‘’Warwick University has also set up a tutor programme and I have been doing one day a week every other week in order to prepare for undergraduate studies.’’
Soniya revealed it was a week-long trip to NASA which inspired her to pursue mechanical engineering. The trip is unique to the Aspirations Academies Trust and sees sixth form students from across the trust selected to go.
She added: ‘’I will be the first person in my family to go to university and my family are super proud of me.’’
Another student, Toben Barrett, 18, studied for A-levels in physics, maths and chemistry.
He was predicted AAB and achieved A in chemistry, A in physics and B in maths. He will now go on to study for a degree in physics at Queen’s University in Belfast.
Toben said: ‘’I’m very happy. It was scary and I was incredibly nervous. I’m happy that it’s all over now. It’s a massive relief. My parents are proud, which is great.
‘’I’ve always loved physics and I want to be a scientist because I crave answers for everything. I wanted to go somewhere completely different to Banbury. I like the fact that the university is modern, has an amazing library and the people are friendly.
‘’I’ve enjoyed my time at Wykham Park, it’s somewhere where I have grown in confidence and had lots of opportunities to try new things.’’
In a year when many things have been uncertain the school said more than 80 per cent of their university applicants have progressed to their first choice university, including to extremely competitive courses such as medicine and to renowned establishments such as Oxford University and the prestigious universities of the Russell Group.
Twenty five per cent of their year 13 students have also applied for apprenticeships and have already secured places in a variety of sectors such as childcare and aerospace.
Headteacher Jane Cartwright said: “In this most unusual of years, I would like to congratulate our students for all they have achieved during their time at Chenderit.
"Our students have shown great resilience and have been a credit to themselves, their families and our sixth form. On behalf of the governing body and our staff, I would like to wish our students well as they progress to university, employment, or as they begin their gap year.”
Due to the cancellation of end-of-course exams this year’s results have been calculated by exam boards and the government agency Ofqual, on the basis of information provided by teachers, subject to a moderation process conducted nationally.
Centres were asked to make their best assessment of what grade the student would be most likely to receive and to place candidates in rank order. The purpose of this ranking was to allow adjustments to take place to ensure the distribution of grades at a national level was similar to previous years.
There was certain to be some mismatch between centre-assessed grades and the final grades awarded by exam boards to ensure consistency in grade distribution between years, and this was recognised in the process that was used. This is a process that has never been attempted before and was forced by circumstances which nobody could possibly have foreseen.
Chenderit staff worked diligently to provide grades for students and to place them in rank order as fairly and accurately as possible.
Billy Belstone, head of sixth form said: “Our year 13 students have always been an incredibly resilient and hardworking cohort, and the events of the past few months have shown just how strong they are. We are so proud of each and every one of them and we cannot wait to see the amazing things that they go on to achieve in the future.”
Pupils at Sibford School have achieved their best results on record despite the unprecedented circumstances surrounding examinations this year. Overall 56 per cent of Sibford students gained A* - B grades in their A Level and BTEC exams, the highest on record, with pupils achieving a 100 per cent pass rate across all subjects.
The majority of pupils achieved places to study at their first and second choice higher education destination. This year’s leavers will go on to study a wide range of courses all over the country from astrophysics, law to theatre to mathematics, finance and marine biology.
Sibford Head Toby Spence said: "This is a remarkable achievement for our pupils who have worked so hard during this most unusual time. All of the staff are delighted that the efforts of the pupils have been rewarded with some exceptional results and fabulous onward destinations for our pupils.
"It has been pleasing to see that the majority of grades awarded were a fair reflection upon the efforts of the student with nearly 40 per cent of results awarded as A*/A or an equivalent BTEC distinction. Whilst there are anomalies that the school will appeal we are thrilled with the overall outcome for our students.
"We are very proud of the wide range of destinations and pathways that our students are pursuing – from those who are heading to ‘Russell Group’ universities such as York and Sheffield to those who are furthering their careers in a wide range of vocations such as fashion, sport, media and theatre. This reflects the diverse and thriving community that is found at Sibford School."
Cate Mallalieu-Needle, head of sixth form added: "Our pupils have responded so well to the individual care and attention we offer as they pursue such a diverse range of pathways. We closely support each pupil whether they are applying via UCAS or following a different career path. We wish all students every success."
Kineton High School
A spokesperson for Kineton High School said: "Well done to all Kineton High School Sixth Form students for their hard work and determination to succeed in their post 16 studies.
"In what has been such a challenging year, we have been delighted to see significant increases in the number of A*and A grades and a 17 per cent increase in the number of A*-B grades. Our pass rate has also improved from 94 per cent to 97.5 per cent.
"Our sixth form has been on a significant journey over the past two years, with a new Head of Sixth Form Miss Loveridge and her team of tutors who have made great strides in improving the teaching, curriculum and pastoral support for our students. We have seen this ambition really take off with the number of students securing a place at one of their preferred university or destinations increasing to over 90 per cent.
"Congratulations to William Harrison for achieving A*A*AB, Miles Leonard for achieving A*AA, Megan Chowdhury for achieving Distinction *AAB, Ellie Moll for securing her place at the University of Bristol to study veterinary medicine after achieving A*A*A.
"We are incredibly proud of every single one of our students; this year particularly. Ms Bridge, headteacher, also wishes to thank all the staff and parents for their hard work and support."
Mr Paul Sanderson, headmaster, said: "Well done to our upper sixth today. I am delighted that in spite of the uncertainty around results so many of you are going to your university of choice.
"Whilst grades are important and you should celebrate your achievements today, be reassured that your resilience, patience and determination in these extraordinary circumstances will sustain you through future challenges. As Old Bloxhamists, you can continue to rely on our support and guidance in years to come, and I look forward to following your successes."
One Bloxham School Sixth Form student, Emily Clarke, has been offered a place at the MET Film College to study Screen Acting.
After five years at Bloxham School, Emily said: “Bloxham is the reason I am able to pursue my passion for acting thanks to the inspiration and guidance from the drama department."
Emily’s interest in acting started at a young age and saw her perform in Annie at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. During third form she auditioned for the school production Blackout.
She added: “I was chosen to perform by Ms Dobry and it was encouraging to know that she saw something in me because I’d never been picked for a role like that before. This opportunity led me to study GCSE Drama and then A Levels.”
The Warriner School
Head of school, Mike Lowdell, said: "The vast majority of students from The Warriner School have been accepted onto chosen university courses or apprenticeships for further study and we are extremely proud of all of their achievements.
"In an exam series like no other, students at The Warriner School have worked tirelessly through the challenges of the past months. Our students have continued to access the highest grades, again being offered to study a wide range of courses such as medicine, biochemistry, computer science, maths, history, economics, business, natural History, physiotherapy, music and architecture to name a few at universities, which include Liverpool, Manchester, Warwick, Cardiff, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and Birmingham.
Special mentions go to: Rachel Bemrose A*AB, Lilly Blackwell ABB, Phoebe Brogden AAA, Georgia Cox AAB, Dylan Hill A*A*AA, Chris Knibbs ABB, Charles Palmer ABC, Kieran Power-Lydon ABC and Sophie Rumsby AAB.
Mr Lowdell added: "Despite the ongoing challenges our students have been fantastic members of the school community and continue to be outstanding role models ready for new challenges in new destinations – of which we wish them all the luck in the world."
Blessed George Napier School
Year 13 students at Blessed George Napier School have overcome the challenges and circumstances of the pandemic and been very successful in their university applications.
The vast majority of them were accepted into their first choice universities and students will be as far flung as Edinburgh, Exeter and Aberystwyth; studying a range of subjects from accounting to psychology and biomedical science and law.
Mr Fraser Long, principal of BGN said: “We are delighted that so many of our students have done so well and this is a reflection of their hard work and dedication in conjunction with that of their teachers. They are now moving onto higher education pathways and we wish them all the best for the future.”