Sheffield College students celebrate major rise in A Level pass rate and top grades

14th August 2020

Sheffield College students are celebrating a major rise in the pass rate and top grades after receiving their A Level results today – August 13th 2020.

This year’s pass rate for all students, including those aged 19-plus, has risen to 98%, which is 13% higher than last year.

This year, 68% of students achieved at least one A* to B grade, which is a 30% improvement compared to last year.

The majority of A Level subject areas, 12, achieved a 100% pass rate this academic year. This is an increase from nine subjects last year.

Anita Straffon, Deputy Chief Executive, The Sheffield College, said: “I am delighted with this fantastic set of results and extremely proud of our students.”

She said:

“It has been a worrying time for students, following an unprecedented academic year as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, they have worked very hard and did really well in their mock exams earlier this year.”

She added: “Their efforts have paid off as the predicted grades submitted by the College to the awarding bodies were based on several factors including mock exam results. I’d like to congratulate our students on their success, wish them all the very best for the future and thank our staff for their hard work, diligence and support.”

This academic year, there were 173 A Level exam entries. The majority of students are planning on going onto university.

They include top performing student Alex Durham, who is looking forward to the next chapter of her life after gaining three A* in her A Levels this year.

The 22-year-old has completed three A Levels in English language, English literature, and history at The Sheffield College. Alex is now progressing to study a Degree in Politics and American Studies at the University of Sussex.

Alex said:

“I am really pleased with my results! It’s been a great experience studying at the College. I made a good decision going back into education. I really enjoy writing and have benefited from improving my writing and academic skills including analytical thinking.”

She continued: “One of my most positive memories at college was getting A grades in my mock exams. In terms of a career, I’m interested in several ideas including teaching, the Civil Service and the Secret Intelligence Service.”

Alex added: “It was a shock when exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus but I’ve tried to stay optimistic. My goal is to go to university - it’s very important to me and I don’t want to delay going.”

Students are progressing to a range of destinations this year, studying subjects such as American studies, biomedical science, medicine, dental surgery, digital media, pharmaceutical science, politics and psychology.

They are attending top universities including the University of Sussex, University of Keele, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

Science enthusiast Robyn Tyler, who aspires to work in the pharmaceutical industry, has just got the grades to go to a Russell Group university.

The 18-year-old has completed three A Levels and has been awarded an A* grade for maths, and two B grades for biology and chemistry. Robyn is now going on to the University of Nottingham to study a Degree in Pharmaceutical Science.

Robyn said:

“I am really, really pleased with my grades. I felt very nervous the night before and didn’t sleep so well. My heart racing was when I opened the email.”

During an unprecedented academic year, studying during the coronavirus lockdown was challenging for Robyn given that it affected the practical laboratory work that she enjoys.

“It has been a weird situation not sitting exams. It feels as though other people have had a lot of control over my future,” added Robyn.

At the same time, the pandemic has made Robyn appreciate her career choice given that the virus has raised the profile of science as experts race to find treatments. During her studies, Robyn has been a STEM Ambassador for the College, talking to other young people at open evenings and events about the appeal of science subjects. 

Robyn also works part-time for a high street chemist as a trainee pharmacy adviser, which has involved completing job related training and developed her professional knowledge and skills.  She said:

“I just love science. For all my life, I have been interested in the way that science works. It’s so important to all of our lives.”

The College offers A Level subjects in biology, business studies, chemistry, English language, English literature, film studies, fine art, geography, history, mathematics, media studies, photography, physics, psychology and sociology.

A Level programmes are based at The Sheffield Sixth Form, a dedicated facility for A Level students at the College’s City Campus on Granville Road, which is going from strength to strength with record numbers of applicants for the next academic year.

A significant number of students at the College also progress to university level courses with vocational diplomas at Level 3 that are equivalent to A Levels. 

Places are still available at The Sheffield Sixth Form starting this September. Apply now. Visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 2602600.

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