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Students make the grade as A-level results come out
Nervous pupils will be opening their exam results today – but early indications suggest a bumper year with record results.
Despite promising to make school exams harder, Sussex schools last night reported improved A-level results.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has criticised exam standards, saying too many university undergraduates were getting A grades.
Yet despite a promise of “more rigorous” exams, A-level students appear to have overcome the hurdle.
Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) students achieved “outstanding” results with more than 900 students getting a 98% pass rate overall, with 60% getting top A*, A and B grades.
Out of 40 subjects, 22 had 100% pass rates, with many students gaining three or more A grades.
Students taking AS-levels also improved to an overall pass rate of 91%, with 50% achieving A-B grades.
Principal Chris Thomson said: “BHASVIC has received national recognition for its ability to consistently deliver high quality teaching and learning.
“This is an exciting and nerve-racking day and I am proud that once again, BHASVIC students have achieved outstanding results.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved: schools, parents and above all our excellent staff and students.”
Independent school Brighton College may have achieved the best result in the county and is celebrating a record-breaking year.
The Sunday Times UK School of the Year is the only school in England to improve its results for seven consecutive years.
It achieved a 100% pass rate, with 96% of grades at A*-B and 99.6% of grades at A*-C.
Nearly 100 pupils achieved three As or better in their results, while 21 gained three A*s, with 20 pupils securing places at Oxford or Cambridge.
Headmaster Richard Cairns said: “I am delighted for the boys and girls of Brighton College.
They have once again achieved the top grades in Sussex without ever losing their sense of fun or their commitment to life beyond the classroom.
“So many of those celebrating today have been top sportsmen, dancers, artists and musicians.
That they have found time also to excel academically is both humbling and inspiring.”
Pupils at Dorothy Stringer are celebrating a different kind of success after 90% of Year 11 students taking their AS exams a year early passed.
The 70 maths, philosophy and ethics and French pupils achieved 48% As or Bs.
Headteacher Richard Bradford said: “We are committed to providing opportunities for our more able students to stretch themselves beyond what is normally expected. Their success in these exams is down to their hard work and that of their teachers and we are all extremely proud of them.”
Independent boarding school Roedean also celebrated a 100% pass rate, with 94.9% getting A*-C and 54.9% A*-A.
Headmistress Frances King said: “I am delighted that our additional investment in teaching and learning is already paying dividends in terms of higher grades.
"Furthermore, our encouragement of independent learning – so prized by both universities and employers – is being acknowledged by some outstanding results in the Extended Project Qualification.”
Specialist technology college Varndean was delighted to reveal its students had maintained its impressive academic record.
It achieved an overall pass rate of 98% with 48% achieving A*-B, 71% achieving A*-C and two-thirds of all subjects achieved a 100% pass rate.
College Principal Dr Philip Harland said: “Our students continue to demonstrate their hard work and commitment – they thoroughly deserve their success.
“I would also like to thank my staff for their dedication in achieving these excellent results. We must remember that behind these figures lie countless individual student success stories at all levels.
“Our A-level success follows our equally impressive International Baccalaureate results in July. Once again Varndean College looks set to have outstanding value added this year.”
Varndean College is the only college in Brighton and Hove designated by the Government to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which is now in its sixth year, and this year achieved some of the best results in the UK with a pass rate of 100%.
Sixth form Worthing College recorded record pass rates of 97% with 41.6% of students achieving A*-B.
Nearly 60 students achieved three or four A grades or equivalent at A-level or Advanced BTEC Diplomas.
Worthing College principal Peter Corrigan said: “We are extremely proud of the fantastic achievements of our students.
“This is a just reward for all the hard work and effort of students and staff.
“These results reflect the quality of teaching and learning we offer.
“We wish our students every success in their future at university or in the world of work.
“We have now moved to our state-of-the-art new college at The Warren and look forward to welcoming our students, who will have the best student experience in outstanding facilities.”
Lancing College is toasting some outstanding individual results with a pass rate of 99.7% and 93.2% getting A*-C grades.
Headmaster Jonathan Gillespie said: “I congratulate our students on their splendid achievements at A-level.
“Our sixth formers have gained outstanding results in a wide range of the most challenging academic subjects, and they will now go on to study at elite universities both in theUK and further afield.
“These grades represent the culmination of much hard work and enthusiasm on the part of our students who have been encouraged throughout their time at Lancing by inspirational staff.”
Not all schools were able to provide results as The Argus went to press.
For those whose hard work has not paid off, the University of Sussex has offered advice to concerned school leavers.
Professor Clare Mackie, pro vice-chancellor for teaching and learning at the University of Sussex, said: “First off – don’t panic!
"Keep calm and make sure you look at all your options rather than rushing into clearing and picking a university and course that in the long term might not be a good choice for you.
"It might be that you’d be better off deferring for a year to work, travel or gain other qualifications, all of which will help you make a better informed choice of university for next year.
“If you are keen to get into university now, there is advice and guidance readily available – from your schools and A-level colleges and the universities themselves, so don’t treat unexpected results as the end of the world.
"And because of Government changes to the numbers of students universities can admit, it may be that there are still plenty of suitable degree courses from which you can choose, and from a wide range of universities.
“Ultimately, be aspirational.
Set your sights high but of course, be realistic. Select a course that you want to do and would enjoy and then choose the best university you can get into.”
Prospective undergraduates can check with UCAS online to search for available courses through clearing as well as with individual universities who will be posting clearing news on their websites.
An admissions team will be on hand at Sussex’s Falmer campus during results week to give advice and explain the process for gaining a place at the university.
Open days will be held on campus from Thursday to Saturday for offer-holding students if you’re able to visit.
Check the website for details or ask the hotline team for information.
To find out more call the hotline on 01273 678416 or visit www.sussex.ac.uk/clearing and select Home/EU vacancies.
|2013 pass-rate||A*, A and B grade||2012 pass-rate|
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