“The secret of my success is the supportive and friendly teachers- they made all the difference”

Date: August 16th 2019

Students across our family of schools were celebrating some excellent results at A-Level and in Vocational Qualifications yesterday, with some wonderful stories of personal achievement reflecting the skills that define an Aldridge education – the passion, determination, risk-taking, creativity, problem-solving and … with their teachers and families … teamwork to succeed.

At UTC@MediaCityUK one family in particular had a triple celebration, with three teenagers from the same family celebrating an outstanding clutch of results!

Twins Charlotte and David Hughes both scored triple Distinction Star grades in Level 3 TV & Film Production, and their older brother Kieran received two Distinction grades and one Merit in Interactive Media and Gaming.
All three students have attended UTC@MediaCityUK for four years, joining the 14-19 media college in Year 10.

“Studying TV & Film from year 10 gave me a head start” says Charlotte, 18, “I am so pleased to have received a place at a red brick University after doing a combination of BTEC, A-Levels and an extended project qualification at UTC. Being a student at UTC@MediaCityUK gave me enough time, flexibility and support to write my first novel, which is a great start to my degree in English literature and creative writing at Manchester University”.

The siblings’ mother, Rachel Hughes, said: “We knew from the start that sending our three children to a technical college would prepare them for life after college and the world of work. We are delighted that their experience at UTC has exceeded our expectations, given them outstanding opportunities to be creative and to turn this creativity into entrepreneurship. Three young adults ready and excited for their next steps. Thank you to all the UTC staff; we will miss you!”

The UTC achieved a 100% pass rate for vocational qualifications with 50% of these at top Distinction – Distinction* grades. Over 50% of the College’s A-Level passes were at A*-B with Alex Sherlock achieving A grades in maths and physics A-Levels to go with her triple Distinction Star in Interactive Media and Gaming.

Alex said “I am over the moon with my results, the ongoing support from all my teachers and the support staff at UTC gave me the confidence and strength I needed to push though my most difficult times to get me the results I needed. All my hard work has paid off, I am super happy to be moving on to Lancaster University to study Theoretical Physics and maths.”

Students at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy were also full of praise for their teachers and sixth form experience yesterday. Joshua Southworth got A*, A, A and is off to the University of Durham to study Biological Sciences. Joshua said: “The secret of my success is the supportive and friendly teachers- they made all the difference.”

Kerys Haigh, who is going to York University to study Mathematics, said: “I have been supported by amazing, committed teachers all the way through my time at DACA and I wouldn’t be going to university without them.”

At DACA 45% of all A-Level grades achieved were A* – B and that nearly half of all Applied / Vocational subjects were passed with top Distinction * / Distinction grades.

At nearby Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio Principal Colin Grand described the 6th form’s results as “truly acknowledging the enterprising and creative talent of the young people of Blackburn & Darwen.”

The Studio had a 100% pass rate at A-Level with over half being A*-B grades. 50% of Studio students received unconditional offers for university places this year.

Amongst these were Megan Boyd and Ana Diaconu, who both received several unconditional offers from universities and have decided to study Film making at Leeds and interior design at Salford.

Kirsty Prescott will be progressing onto a degree in Engineering at UCLAN following a brace of outstanding results that include a double distinction* in film production.

Jake Brennan is keen to go straight into business and has decided to set up his own freelance photographic studio. He said: “I have achieved a grade A in A-Level photography and Distinction and Merit in film production and through a range of commissions and briefs I have realised I’m ready to set up my own enterprise.”

One Kensington Aldridge Academy student is also keen to go straight into the world of commerce, and turned down university offers to read Economics in favour of an Apprenticeship at the Bank of England. Raouf said: “Why not start in the centre of economics and hit the ground running?”

The Academy celebrated another strong set of results this year with 42% of all results were A*- B. Its provisional “KS5 Progress” score, which shows how KAA students perform compared with their peers in other schools, is again “above average” nationally at 0.11. A number of students achieved fantastic results, including Taylor, who will be studying Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at University College, Oxford with his results of A, A, B in History, RE and English.

Sport and Sport Science students at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy saw particular success, with 75% of entries achieved the top Distinction* grade.

Amongst the cohort were two students who made a particular contribution to both PACA and the Aldridge Cricket Academy: Luke Chafer who captained the cricket team who has secured a place at Glasgow University, and Ariana Dowse who was a member of the Hampshire Women’s team that won the Royal London One Day Competition in 2018 and playing for Hampshire Women and Southern Vipers RDC this year.

Oscar Petit, who is heading to the University of East Anglia to study Physical Education said: “I have been at PACA for seven years and have seen a lot of changes. Recently I have noticed the school is moving in a great direction and looking forward to seeing it in the coming years.”

Principal Mark Poston also highlighted the achievements of students who had overcome real challenges to complete their studies, including Kieran Ross who, as a young carer, had to manage his work to complete his college courses while also being the stable figure in his household.

At Brighton Aldridge Community Academy another Cricket Academy graduate. Tom McCreadie, also had reason to celebrate. Tom achieved triple Distinction * in Sport and Sports Science to secure his place at Durham University.

Tom said: “I’m feeling really good about my results. They were worth all of the hard work! To get top grades you have to get high marks consistently throughout the course. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and very excited to be going to Durham.”

Tom will be studying Sport and Exercise Science and wants to work supporting professional sports teams after his degree.

Performance on BACA College’s BTEC courses was exceptional, with a 100% pass rate for the fifth year in succession and students achieving an average grade of Distinction across all courses. Fatima Hussain, who achieved Distinction* in Creative Media, Distinction in Entrepreneurship, is going on to study Law at Sussex University. Fatima said: “I’m really happy with my results and particularly proud of my Creative Media grade.” Fatima aims to become a barrister following university.

All BACA College students achieved the grades they needed to pursue their chosen destination, whether further study, employment or an apprenticeship. Summing up the feeling across all of our sixth forms yesterday BACA Principal Bob Speight said: “These young people have made the most of all the opportunities on offer and have done themselves and the college proud.”

Tagged: A-Level education Post 16 Sixth Form Vocational