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Preston students celebrate A-Level and BTEC success amidst country-wide disappointment

Posted on - 15th August, 2020 - 1:47pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Schools
The incident took place near Cardinal Newman College in Manchester Road Pic: Google
Cardinal Newman College saw students accepting prestigious apprenticeships and Oxbridge entries

Preston’s College and Cardinal Newman College students are celebrating success after both colleges received A-Level results on Thursday (13 August).

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There was outrage across the country as students did not receive the results they expected from their predicted grades and mock exams, however, Preston College saw a 99 per cent pass rate.

Overall A-level results in England are higher at grade A and above compared to 2019 (27.6 per cent in 2020, compared with 25.2 per cent in 2019).

This is said to reflect the approach to awarding grades this summer and the decisions that, where possible, have been taken in students’ favour, as part of the standardisation process.

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A spokesperson for Cardinal Newman College said: “It is fair to say that it has been an unusual year and we haven’t finished the academic year in the way that we would have imagined, but we don’t want the current situation to over shadow or diminish the achievements of our Year 13 students.

“We are taking the time to celebrate the achievements of our A-Level and BTEC students, who have worked so hard over the past two years.

“There couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the individual successes of our students, from those who have secured highly sought after places at prestigious universities, to those who have gained impressive higher level apprenticeships at top UK companies, they are proof that nothing can get in the way of our students success!”

This year’s results have been based on an assessment model, due to the coronavirus pandemic which meant students did not take formal exams.

Instead, exam boards have used a statistical process to decide on the final grades awarded. These results are based on teacher assessments of the grades their students may have achieved if exams had gone ahead.

The grades are based on students’ previous performance, including GCSEs and mock exams, non-exam assessment such as coursework, and the grade their tutors expected them to receive.

Oliver Atkinson, who attended Garstang Academy before enrolling at Cardinal Newman, has secured himself a place at BAE on a degree apprenticeship programme, which allows him to train in Project Management, whilst also earning himself a degree.

Oliver Atkinson
Oliver Atkinson will start a prestigious apprenticeship with BAE. Pic: Cardinal Newman

Oliver decided to apply for an apprenticeship as he felt university wasn’t for him and after going through a rigorous selection process, Oliver was accepted onto the apprenticeship.

Oliver studied BTEC Applied Science, A-Level Psychology and Politics at Cardinal Newman, achieving a fantastic DS*AA. He will start at BAE in January, as they have staggered the start dates for Apprentices this year due to the COVID outbreak, and he plans to continue with his part-time job until then.

Oliver said: “I am really looking forward to starting at BAE, I feel like I will really enjoy the more rounded experience that this type of programme will offer me.”

Preston College also saw success with a 99% pass rate

BTEC qualifications have continuous assessments throughout the course, meaning it is easier to predict a grade however A-level subjects primarily rely upon exams at the end of the year and this years results have been held under scrutiny.

Another Cardinal Newman student jumped for joy when she was successful with her Oxford and Cambridge applications.

Ffion Fox studied A-Levels in English Combined, Law and Early Modern History and achieving A*AA and is now looking forward to taking up her place to study Law at Oxford.

Ffion, who joined Newman from Darwen Vale Academy said: “It was a hard process, applying for Oxford.

Ffion Fox
Ffion Fox has accepted an offer to study Law at Oxford. Pic: Cardinal Newman

“I had to take the LMAT test first, which I don’t think I did very well in and then was called for an interview.”

The majority of grades awarded to students are the same or within one grade of the centre assessment grades (CAGs) – 96.4% at A level and 91.5% at AS.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, is congratulating all the young people who have received their A-Level results

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County Councillor Phillippa Williamson said: “Because of the pandemic students were unable to sit their final exams, which must have been extremely disappointing for them as they had spent so long working towards them.

“However I am pleased that their progress across their courses has been taken into account and I hope that they feel that they have been awarded the grades they deserve.

“They should be proud of what they have achieved through such an extraordinary time.

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“I’d like to congratulate all the young people who’ve been recognised for their hard work, and also the teachers who have supported them.

“I wish them all every success as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whatever they choose to do.”

Students who are not happy with their calculated grade can ask their school or college about the appeals system or they can choose to sit an exam in the autumn.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Did you receive A-Level and BTEC results on Thursday? Do you feel you got the result you deserved? Tell us in the comments

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