Students and staff at Holmes Chapel Sixth Form college are today celebrating the publication of the A level results for 2020. For all students, this day marks the end of their two year programme of study and gives them the results that will help to determine the next steps on their learning or employment journey. This year, for the first time in living memory, results are not based on final examinations but on each student's progress and achievements during the course of study.
In the results published today by the exam boards, overall, 23% of grades across the college were top grades A*/A and almost three quarters, 72% were graded A* to C. Looking at every A level entered, students achieved at least the pass grade in a whopping 98% of entries. Looking further into the results, in 19 A level subjects the pass rate was 100%. In 15 subjects 50% of grades awarded were in the higher end A* to B and in Chemistry, Maths and Spanish, over half of all results were A*/A. In Computing, German, Physical Education, RE and Technology 100% of students achieved grades A* to C. A special mention goes to Computing where two thirds, 66% of grades were the very top A*.
In overall terms, the results show an improvement on the previous year but as Joanne Camm, Director of Sixth Form Studies explained, this was always expected.
“ Overall our results this year show an improvement but given the level of progress this cohort of students have made during the past two years we always expected that they would do well in comparison to other year groups. Looking back over their progress scores and mock examination results, these students have worked hard consistently and fully deserve to be proud of what they have achieved.”
This year will always be remembered for the Covid-19 pandemic and the massive impact on the education system. Students receiving their A Level, BTEC and other Level 3 results today are the first cohort in living memory not to have sat national examinations. These results have been awarded following a very detailed and thorough assessment of the progress that students made during their studies. Schools and colleges were asked to submit estimated grades for each subject based on progress and the teachers professional assessment of the most likely grade a student would normally be expected to achieve. The examination boards then applied a moderation process before publishing today’s results.
Nigel Bielby who takes the reins as Headteacher from September, comments:
“This has been a very difficult and unsettling time for these students, who I have to say have been quite amazing in the way they have dealt with the disruption caused by lockdown. They have done everything asked of them and more but not just during lockdown, throughout their two years in the sixth form college. They have been a great group of students and have been with us for the past seven years so we know them well. We are all very proud of each and every one of them. I know they will all go on to do great things in whatever they choose to do next”.
Details of the process for appeals where students are unhappy with the grade they have been awarded by the examination boards are unfolding following the announcement earlier this week that students will be able to appeal where grades awarded are lower than the grades achieved in their earlier mock examinations. Further details about how this process will work are expected to be published shortly. In the meantime, Mr Bielby went on to state:
“In preparation for the publication of results today, we have already provided all of the students with a reminder of the results they achieved in mock examinations. This should help each of them to see where there may be an advantage to appeal based on the latest announcements. We estimate that around forty of the individual grades published today are below those achieved by students in previous assessments”.
The sun was shining in Holmes Chapel this morning which was a fitting backdrop as staff, students and their families arrived to pick up the results. Staff were on hand throughout the morning to work with students helping them to navigate the next steps on their learning or employment journeys. Face coverings, hand hygiene stations and social distancing measures didn’t impact on the very calm and enjoyable experience of everyone involved. One parent described the morning as “wonderfully handled and just what we expected from the team here, thank you”.
Denis Oliver, who retires this summer after 21 years as the Headteacher paid tribute to staff and students for the way they have handled the past few months.
“I want to place on record my thanks and admiration for the staff and students in our Sixth Form College for their tremendous hard work over the past two years. Since the nation went into lockdown at the end of March, the world has changed massively and this group of students have had to deal with lots of uncertainty. In the vast majority of cases students have got the results they deserve for two years of hard work but we know that there are still some results that have been lowered from those that our staff calculated based on two years of assessments. We will do everything we can to support our students to make sure that everyone gets the grades they deserve.
Everyone connected with our school community, students, staff, parents and our governing body should be very proud of what our students have achieved and the amazing learning environment that we call our sixth form.”
Photograph Left to Right
Oliver Lord (A*AA going to Birmingham studying Chemical Engineering)
Liam Blake (AAA going to UCL studying Astrophysics)
India Tate (AAA going to Newcastle studying Medicine)
Edward Morris (AAA going to Lancaster studying Mechanical Engineering)
Tom Gilsenan (A*A*A*A* Going to Birmingham studying Chemical Engineering)
Rebecca Scowcroft (BBB made the most progress of all students in year 13)
Oliver Balabil (A*A*A* going to Bristol studying Maths and Philosophy)
David Black (A*A*A*A* going to Durham to study Physics)
With Nigel Bielby, Headteacher from 1st September, back and center