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Warning of “volatility” with A Level results due to coronavirus pandemic


WITH youngsters in Warrington today receiving their A Level and BTEC results Head teachers across the country were warning of “volatility” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In England, 36% of entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted and 3% were down two grades, in results for exams cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
But overall results show record highs for A* and A grades.

Birchwood College

Birchwood College are delighted to announce some outstanding Year 13 results. Despite the strange circumstances towards the end of this academic year, the students’ hard work and commitment has been rewarded with some amazing Level 3 grades that will support many applications for further study and employment. Of our BTEC Applied Learning entries a massive 76% were either a Distinction star grade or a Distinction grade with an overall pass rate of 100%. The A-level pass rate, A*-E, was equally impressive with a 100% for all our A-level courses.
Ms Mills, Headteacher of Birchwood Community High School said: “Congratulations to all of our students on these amazing results. They have all worked extremely hard whilst at Birchwood College and we are delighted that despite a difficult end to their academic journey with us, their grades really reflect their commitment and they have achieved the success they thoroughly deserve.”
Chris Burrows, Head of Birchwood College, said; “We are absolutely delighted that despite the un-settling circumstances around the end of this academic year, these excellent results give a genuine reflection of the hard work of the young people at Birchwood College. Students will have been nervous about whether their grades will allow them access to the next step of their academic journey and we are extremely proud that they will in fact form the basis of some amazing degree programmes and some exciting higher level apprenticeships.
The unique personalised learning programmes at Birchwood, together with small class sizes and specialist subject teachers have again demonstrated that Birchwood College is one of the most effective sixth forms in the North-West of England.”

Birchwood College would like to thank the students, staff, Governors, parents and carers for all of their hard work and support during this academic year.
Some notable resyults included Eleanor Jones who is celebrating top Distinction* grades in her Music Diploma and in Health and Social Care. She leaves Birchwood College for Edge Hill University to study Children and Young People’s Learning and Development.
Morgan Burgess has received some excellent A level and BTEC results , achieving a grade B in Mathematics and triple Distinction* grades in Level 3 Sport. He has a deferred place to study Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University after successfully achieving a further year on the scholarship programme at the Warrington Wolves. We hope to see him in the Super League very soon!
Meanwhile Alisha Robinson is heading to LJMU to study Law. This is after achieving some amazing D*D*D* grades in Level 3 BTEC Applied Science, Health & Social Care and Public Services.
Luke Watson is heading to an exciting Criminology and Law degree course at Edge Hill University University following some excellent results.

Lymm High School
At Lymm High School on A’ Level Results Day students have been coming into school to collect their results while observing social distancing and wearing face masks.
Head teacher Gwyn Williams said: “Many congratulations to all our students. They have worked so hard over the past couple of years and absolutely deserve the success they have seen today.
““To say this is a strange year for exam results is an understatement and I pay tribute to the students who have had to cope with such an upheaval, first in terms of the abrupt end to their school career, and then all the added uncertainty around the process for issuing exam results. The way they have handled all of this really has been extraordinary and just serves to underline our sense that, whatever their exam results, this group of young people are going to go out there and make a big difference in the world.

“As far as the big picture is concerned, it seems inappropriate this year to provide any data in the way that we normally would. All I will say is that, in general terms, we are satisfied that the process set out by Ofqual seems to have been applied properly in our case and that the results we have been awarded are in line with the very strong results of previous years. Many congratulations go to all the students, who have worked so hard over the past couple of years and absolutely deserve the success they have seen today. The vast majority of students have already secured places at universities or on apprenticeships of their choice for next year, and we are working really hard with everyone else to provide them with all the support they need to choose the right next steps for them.”
Matthew Swann was awarded an incredible four straight A* grades, with Amber Heckstall-Smith, Lewis Hindle and Anna Turner also achieving perfection with straight A* grades in all their three subjects.
Similarly, Amelia Smith deserves a special mention for her double starred distinction in BTEC Fashion to go alongside her A* in A’ level Textiles; as does Abigail Bellass for her triple starred distinction in BTEC Sport.
In addition, the following all gained at least three A or A* grades: Anna Turner, Marcus Mackay, Joe Cox, Jude Doherty, Eliot Nolan, David Rhodes, Finlay Williams, Cameron Green, Jada Moses, Emma Butterworth, Jade Carlin, David Evans, Eleanor Harle and Jordan Jones.

Priestley College

PRIESTLEY College’s new principal has paid tribute to the young people of Warrington, their families and tutors following results day.
James Gresty, who has taken over from retiring Matthew Grant, said he had been inspired by the efforts involved in securing grades during such a turbulent year.
“I would like to thank the staff, parents and our partner schools who have all supported the students during this difficult time,” he said.
“The students themselves have been inspirational. They have shown they are hardworking and dedicated to become the best they can be.”
College President Daniella Glenn, who was on the panel that selected James as Principal, was among those collecting AS-Level results today.
The former Culcheth High pupil said one of the reasons she chose Priestley was because of the option of taking AS-Levels which meant she could keep more options open in her first year.
“I hope taking AS-Level exams has given some of the Year 2s some reassurance because it has been a tricky time for everyone,” she said.
During lockdown hundreds of learning and tutorial opportunities were supported by the very latest technology and software such as Google Classroom.
Extra pastoral support was offered to students along with careers guidance and support in applying for university places.
Efforts have been made across college to ensure young people are ready for work and have acquired the essential skills to be successful in life.
James, who has 18 years’ experience working in sixth form colleges, said that despite all of the challenges, the cohort’s results showed real progress.
“It has been an unsettling time for many young people, but we should take this moment to celebrate all the students who have received results this week,” he said.
“Success means something different to every one of them. For some it means getting into university, for others it is securing the grades they need to help them pursue their career.
“I feel proud to be the new principal at Priestley and am looking forward to welcoming our students – as well as anyone looking to make a fresh start in September – to college in a few weeks time.”

UTC Warrington

UTC Warrington students are progressing to top universities and employers after receiving their academic and technical results today.
UTC Warrington – which is Ofsted graded ‘good’ – is a technical school for 14 to 19-year-olds that specialises in engineering, digital and construction, with healthcare starting in September 2021.
At the UTC, students complete technical qualifications and A Levels. This academic year, 50% of students have achieved A or A* grades in their A Levels.
Results in technical subject qualifications are also strong. Students have achieved a 100% pass rate in civil engineering with 88% being awarded a distinction grade.
They have also achieved a 100% pass rate in engineering with 77% of students who completed the two-year course gaining a distinction grade. In applied science, students achieved a 100% pass rate and all achieved a distinction grade.
Lee Barber, Executive Principal of UTC Warrington, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students. Given this unprecedented academic year, it’s great to see a strong set of results. The UTC equips students with the vital skills that employers and the economy need, enabling them to go onto great careers.”
Students are progressing to a range of destinations including top universities and apprenticeships with leading employers. They include BMW, Boeing, Cavendish Nuclear, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bangor, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Exeter and the University of Salford.
Teagan Feerick, 18, has gained D* D* D* after completing a technical qualification in engineering and is going onto the University of Exeter to study civil engineering.
She said: “I felt pretty confident about my grades and am really pleased with my results. The UTC has prepared me well. It’s great for engineering and it has allowed me to gain experience in the industry and understand my career path. I am really looking forward to going to university.”

Ole Fletcher, 18, is celebrating after securing a place on Boeing’s Apprenticeship in Aircraft Maintenance after his successful results, achieving D* D* D in engineering.
Ole said: “I’m over the moon with my results. If I had stayed at my old school, I wouldn’t have been able to do this well and I don’t think I’d know what I wanted to do next.”
Ole joined the UTC when it first opened in 2016 and was in the first cohort of Year 10 students. He has since completed his GCSE and A Levels at the UTC.
He added: “At first I was unsure what area of engineering I’d like to go into. Studying at the UTC allowed me to see the different areas of engineering and that’s where my passion for aircraft engineering began.”
“The culture of the UTC is destination related and the focus is on where you’re going, not just what grades you’ve got. It’s all about where you’re going next. It’s not like my previous school. If you put 110% in at the UTC, you will get 110% back from it.”
Talking of his time at the UTC, Ole said: “My biggest achievement is definitely securing my apprenticeship because that’s my dream job. I don’t think many people get the opportunity to work in their dream job and I have the UTC to thank for that.”
UTCs are government funded technical schools that provide technical learning opportunities in partnership with employers and universities.
UTC Warrington, on Dallam Lane, is backed by leading employers and Manchester Metropolitan University. During their time at the UTC, students work on employer-led projects to develop subject specialism, team working and problem solving skills.
The technical qualifications are equivalent to between one and three A Levels, and involve working on employer-led projects and developing skills related to the subject specialism.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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