Shropshire students receive A-level results in year with no exams

A-Level students across Shropshire are today receiving grades without having sat exams.

Preparing to discover their A level grades at Telford College are, top from left, Tom Ollivier, Faye Oliver and Matthew Thomas, with bottom row from left, Yuki Tanaka, Megan Davenport, and Fiona Robinson
Preparing to discover their A level grades at Telford College are, top from left, Tom Ollivier, Faye Oliver and Matthew Thomas, with bottom row from left, Yuki Tanaka, Megan Davenport, and Fiona Robinson

As exams didn’t take place this year due to coronavirus examination boards used statistical models and centre assessed grading to arrive at final grades.

The extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus crisis has prompted the Government to engage a “triple lock” system, whereby students who receive grades lower than they hoped (based on their teachers’ predictions) will be able to select a previous mark achieved in their mock examinations as a final result.

Despite this, the deficit created by the algorithm assessment implemented by Ofqual this year means that a shocking 40% of pupils will still receive grades lower than predicted. This means that 330,000 of the A-Levels awarded today are expected to be lower than teachers’ estimations.

Strong set of results for Telford College

Telford College had another good set of A Level results, with an increase in both pass rates, and high grades.

The college’s 7th Form has seen an overall 5% rise in pass rates this year, with 100% successes in several curriculum areas, including further maths, economics, sociology, media studies, film studies, and English literature.

Chemistry, physics, law and psychology are among the college’s other areas showing a significant improvement.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive, said: “These results are a reflection of two years of really hard work and dedication by our students.

“They are also testament to the high quality of teaching here at the college, and the way both tutors and students have adapted brilliantly to the different ways of learning over the past few months, since the Covid-19 lockdown. It gives us great confidence to start the new academic year, with our new blended learning timetable, in a healthy position.”

Shrewsbury Colleges Group Principal hails Class of 2020

Shrewsbury Colleges Group Principal, James Staniforth has hailed the achievements and resilience of the Class of 2020.

Speaking as the results were revealed to the students, Mr Staniforth said: “2020 will live long in everyone’s memory, and it has been an extraordinary year and one unlike any other in my experience of working in education. We’ve seen all our students and teachers make considerable adjustments to the way that they’ve worked, in a very short period of time. We are genuinely proud of the efforts that everyone associated with Shrewsbury Colleges Group have made in recent months, and especially those students who have completed their courses this summer.

“‘This group of students have been assessed very differently to previous years, especially those students who would normally have had to sit exams in order to achieve their final grades. The COVID-19 virus has meant that the students completing their courses this summer will have their grades awarded based on their performance in classes, assessments and assignments throughout their previous year with the college.’

“We’ve seen notable results from this year’s A Level grades. Across the full year, we have seen more A*’s and A’s achieved compared to last year even though this year is a slightly smaller year group. We’re delighted that four of our students got 4 A*’s at A Levels with 12 students getting at least 3 A*’s. We’re also thrilled that 50 of our students got 3 As or better.’

Unlike in previous years, the results have not been issued at any of the three Shrewsbury Colleges Group campuses today.

100 per cent A Level pass rate at Wrekin College

Wrekin College is celebrating its best set of A Levels for six years, with almost a third of results recorded at A*-A grade and it was the year for girls to shine, with 100 per cent pass rate amongst its female pupils.

Headteacher Tim Firth said the results were a fantastic testament to the dedication of the pupils and to Wrekin’s teaching staff and ethos.

“Not only are today’ results the best for six years, but they are among the best we’ve ever had,” he said.

“This is no mean feat given the upheaval wreaked by the Covid 19 pandemic over the last few months.

“I’m incredibly proud of the pupils, especially as we’re a non-selective school so don’t base our entry criteria on ability. Academically-gifted pupils thrive at Wrekin – but these results show that the value we add thanks to our outstanding teaching enables all pupils to achieve fantastic results.

“I have worked in five highly selective schools and some of the brightest pupils I have ever taught have been to Wrekin.

“It’s also been very satisfying to see our girls achieve 100 per cent pass rate.”

In addition to the A level results, BTECs taken at Wrekin also saw a 100 per cent pass rate. Distinction* – Distinction grades (equivalent to A level A* – A) were up on last year and are the best Wrekin has had.

“While these results are impressive, in many ways some pupils should have done better but have fallen foul of the way some of the calculations appear to have been made by exam boards.”

Moreton Hall A Level Results

Moreton Hall said it was delighted with the overall picture of today’s results which are a testament to the hard work and dedication of its students and staff. The school paid particular tribute to the resilience and positivity shown by its Upper Sixth students during these times.

George Budd, the Principal, said: “With over 20% of grades at A* and over half of grades awarded at A* – A, these results are a reflection of the ability and determination of our school community and represent some of the best A Level results achieved at Moreton Hall.

“With the vast majority of students achieving their first choice of University, we wish them well as they embark on the next stage of their journey and remain here for guidance and support along the way.”

Sir John Talbot’s Sixth Form students see hard work rewarded

Sir John Talbot’s Sixth Form students have seen their hard work rewarded with nearly half of all students being awarded at least one A*-B.

Michelle Jones, Head of Sixth Form commented that “These students have formed an exceptional year group throughout their time at Sir John Talbot’s and thoroughly deserve the success. They have gone onto create a thriving Sixth Form community alongside the positive contribution of students that joined from other schools.”

Head of School for Sir John Talbot’s, Tim Stonall added: “The sudden start to lockdown was particularly hard to take for some of our students who were completely focused on proving themselves in the summer exams.  The results students are receiving today should be seen as a mark of their commitment towards academic excellent during their time with us in the Sixth Form and the strong relationships they have established with the staff. Our staff will now continue to work with every student to ensure they are equipped for the next steps on their journey. We wish all of our students every future success and I am pleased we have been able to support them within our Sixth Form community.”

Marches staff delighted for their Year 13 students

Marches staff say this year has been challenging across the school and Sixth Form due to the impact of the pandemic. A small number of students have missed university offers as a result of the way grades have been awarded, with the school making use of the mock grade appeal.

Sarah Peacock, Key Stage 5 Raising Standards Leader commented: “This year has been like no other and the resilience shown by the students has been exceptional. Whilst the collection of results is not the same, I am delighted that students can continue with their plans for apprenticeships or taking up university places.”

Headteacher of The Marches School, Alison Pearson added: “The results are testament to the support from our specialist staff and the determination from our students. We wish all of our students every future success and am pleased that we have been able to support them on that journey as part of The Marches School and Sixth Form community. This year has shown how we can adapt our teaching and learning to be remote whilst maintaining our support and ensuring our students are striving for success.”

The Grove Sixth Form continues on successful path

The Grove School, Market Drayton is continuing the great achievements within the Marches Academy Trust with a solid set of A level results.

Andy Rayner, Head of Sixth Form commented: “The students have worked so hard and that is evident in the results they have achieved. We have a great facility offering a wide range of extra-curricular activities making the Sixth Form appealing to students leaving The Grove School to continue their studies in our onsite Sixth Form. Our ability to adapt learning was done swiftly which has ensured our results are not impacted as most of our lessons have been taught remotely since March”.

Headteacher of The Grove School, Sonia Taylor added: “We have made significant progress and with a great team of specialist staff have been able to celebrate some great results. We wish all our students every future success and am pleased that we have been able to support them on that journey as part of The Grove Sixth Form community. This year has shown how we can adapt our teaching and learning to be remote whilst maintaining our support and ensuring our students are striving for success. The continuation of study, particularly this year has huge benefits, and this is clear from our results”.

Supporting Shropshire Live...
Chris Pritchard
Chris Pritchard is Editor of Shropshire Live and lives in Shrewsbury. You can contact Chris by emailing chris.pritchard@shropshirelive.com or call 01743 818 095.
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