The second A-Level and BTEC results day for the multi-academy trust was marked by some outstanding achievements by students and across our family of schools. The largest Aldridge sixth forms, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, where 95 students sat exams this year, and Kensington Aldridge Academy (81), both comfortably exceeded the national average for the percentage of A-Level passes at top A*-B grades. Progression onto a wide variety of university courses included five Aldridge students bound for Oxbridge.
Across the whole family, including the UTCs we co-sponsor, total pass A-Level pass rates (97.8%) exceeded the national average with vocational pass rates even higher, at 99% Three of the seven schools in the family achieved 100% pass rates across all qualifications, with a fourth at 99.6%. Over half of all vocational passes were at top Distinction* – Distinction grades.
Stand-out individual successes at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy included Paige Williams, who gained A*A A and will be studying biomedical science at Oxford, where she will be joined by Brittany Cooper, who also achieved A* and two As to study medicine. On results day Brittany said: “I am really happy. I have wanted to go to Oxford since I was four years old and I have wanted to study medicine since year 10. I have got there through determination and the personal support and encouragement from the Academy. I am really excited about becoming a doctor, helping people and I will only want to work for the NHS.”
They will be joined in Oxford by a third DACA alumni, studying Fine Arts, and the success of these students was equalled by those of Jade Ronaghan-Bird who achieved A*A*A and will be attending Bristol University, and twin sisters Chloe and Rebecca Frankland who will both be going to Manchester University having achieved A*s and As in their A levels. Tobryn Prior achieved A*BBB and has secured a place to study dentistry at Dundee University.
It was a record breaking year for DACA and the vast majority of students who applied to go to university have already secured places.
At UTC@MediaCityUK, which joins our MAT in September, students and staff also celebrated an impressive set of A-Level and Level 3 BTEC results. The overall pass rate was 97.4%, with over half (55%) awarded at the top A*-B grades or equivalent. 41% of the UTC’s students achieved at least three of these top grades.
The UTC’s students study approved Level 3 courses in TV and film production, game design, and digital publishing, as well as complementary A-Level courses, with career ambitions reflecting the college’s specialism. Julian Wyatt achieved two Distinction Stars and one Distinction in Level 3 Interactive Media and Gaming, as well as A Grades in A-Level Maths and Physics. He says, “I chose the UTC over a more traditional setting because it offered me the chance to get practical experience at the same time as academic study. I have offers from Russell Group universities to study a BSc in Computer Science, but I haven’t yet decided which one to accept.”
Becky Price followed the TV and Film Production pathway and celebrated a triple Distinction Star alongside a Grade B in English Language A-Level. “The location of the UTC, and the range of employer links, means that I have had experiences that I couldn’t have had anywhere else” she said. Becky plans a career in TV, and has been accepted to study for a degree in TV Production at the University of Salford, one of the UTC’s key partners.
Creative arts are also a strong part of the curriculum at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio School, which posted a 100% A-Level pass rate, with 40% of all results at the top Distinction or A* to B grades. 50% of DAES 6th form students have been in the enviable position of having unconditional university offers and even university bursary incentives if they take up a place with them, which Principal Colin Grand attributes to how the students present at interview and the unique work that they produce.
Typical of their success was Aziz Ali, who secured a place at the University of Central London to study for a degree in Graphic Design, having received several unconditional offers from universities due to the standard of his portfolio of work. Aziz said: “The Studio recognised a creative talent in me and really pushed me to develop skills in graphic design. I have learnt so much and now have confidence with Adobe illustrator and Photoshop, but still love my sketchbook work.”
Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies (BACA and PACA) offer a range of unique vocational courses in their area, developed through partnerships with leading sports and arts bodies and businesses. PACA 6th students achieved 100% pass rate across all BTEC subjects taken and 100% pass rate in ten of the twelve A-Level subjects taught. For BACA it was the fifth year in succession that its sixth formers achieved a 100% pass rate with 70% of passes in BTECs being at top Distinction* or Distinction grades.
BACA student Will Sheffield combined his academic studies with the Aldridge Cricket Academy. His sporting development over the two year course saw him selected for the Sussex County Cricket Club First Team squad this season and academically he also did extremely well, achieving Distinction* in all of his subjects. Will is taking a year out to play cricket overseas, and is considering offers from both Durham and Brighton universities.
At nearby UTC@harbourside, which we are one of the co-sponsors of, the second ever set of post-16 exam results saw over a third of all grades achieved at A* – B grade, or equivalent, with the average mark obtained a full grade higher than in the previous year. The percentage of students who have also secured their first-choice university, apprenticeship or other job opportunity also significantly increased.
For Kensington Aldridge Academy yesterday marked the first ever A-Level results, and the founding sixth form students who returned to the Silchester Rd campus, which is due to fully reopen in the autumn, had a great deal to celebrate.
62% of all results were A*- B grade with an overall pass rate of 99.6%. The Academy’s value added score indicates that its students performed a third of a grade better at A-Level than those with the same GCSE results in other schools.
Nearly 100% of KAA students have been able to secure competitive university places, with the majority of students securing places at their first-choice university. Amongst these two students have been accepted to Oxford: Abdullahi Ali secured a place at Christchurch College Oxford to study French and Russian, and Kai Chappell has been accepted by Oriel College Oxford to read Spanish and Linguistics.