STUDENTS across Dorset and Hampshire celebrated their long-awaited A level results.
Hundreds of young people secured places at their first choice university while others are now involved in the clearing process.
For many the results are the passport to a job or apprenticeship. Across the country the numbers receiving the top two grades fell for the second year in a row.
In total, 26.3 per cent of entries scored an A or A* this year, down from 26.6 per cent in 2012 - a drop of 0.3 per cent. It is believed to be the second biggest fall in the history of A-levels.
The drop comes amid rising numbers of teenagers taking A-levels in science and maths. It had previously been suggested by some that an increased focus on traditional subjects, such as maths and science, could fuel a slight drop, as youngsters who may not have considered taking these subjects in the past, and may not be as strong in them, are now opting for the courses to help their chances of securing a university place.
There were almost 24,000 more entries for the sciences this year compared with 2009, Joint Council for Qualifications said, and nearly 19,000 more for maths.
The national picture also shows that boys have outperformed girls in the very top grade again this year, and widened the gap, with 8 per cent of boys’ entries attaining an A* compared with 7.4 per cent of girls.
Girls are still slightly ahead in A*-A grades combined, but their results dropped half a percentage point this year to narrow the gap between the genders.
Students at Bournemouth School are again celebrating outstanding results at A-level. Of the A-level examinations taken, 98 per cent were graded A*-E, with 67 per cent awarded a grade B or above – 13 per cent of entries were awarded the highest A* grade. Damien Aries achieved the highest grades possible in four A-levels, two AS levels and an Extended Project and will read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. James Aitkenhead leaves the school with six A-levels at grades A*/A and an AS level to read Classics at Oxford.
BOURNEMOUTH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS Students at BSG are again celebrating outstanding results at A-level.
Of the A-level examinations taken, 99.51 per cent were graded A*-E, with 72.84 per cent awarded a grade B or above – 12 per cent of all entries were awarded the highest A* grade. In all, 39 students achieved three or more A grades at A level.
BOURNEMOUTH AND POOLE COLLEGE Students at The Bournemouth & Poole College were handing out the high-fives all round after achieving a 94 per cent pass-rate this year.
The college, which is celebrating its centenary this year, reported that there were 100 per cent pass rates in 14 subjects and five students gained A*/A grades in at least two of subjects.
Head of Sixth form Tracey Griffin, said: “We are very proud of the marvellous achievements of our A-level students. Their hard work has paid off and overall contributed to an increase in pass rates to 94 per cent.
More than 20 per cent of the grades were A* with an impressive 82 per cent A* to B grades. Emma Crickmore and Stephanie Potten both attained an admirable four A* grades. Emma secured her place to study Natural Sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge; while Stephanie will now study medicine at St Catharine’s College Cambridge. Another first class performance came from National Youth Orchestra musician Nathalie Green-Buckley, who achieved three A grades and recently performed with the NYO at Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s Coronation celebrations. She is to study music at Homerton College, Cambridge.
Principal Stephen Duckitt is delighted with yet another increase, this time by 10 per cent, on the number of A*/A grades obtained by the school’s mixed ability cohort.
More than a third of students gained Russell Group entry. Results were up for the third consecutive year. Just over 26 per cent of grades were A or A* with 50 per cent B or above.
The Oak Academy – LeAF Campus in Bournemouth is celebrating a 100 per cent A-level pass rate.
A total of 103 students took the exam with the academy achieving the highest number of A*-B grades to date.
Among the individual success stories were Kyle Frewin, 18, who achieved an A* in Maths, A in Physics and B in Chemistry. He’s now planning to study Astrophysics at Sheffield University. Executive principal of the LeAF Federation, Dr Annetta Minard, said: “This is an excellent set of results and my congratulations go out to all the candidates.”
ST PETER’S SCHOOL
Delighted staff at St Peter’s in Southbourne sent the following report. “Another excellent set of results from St Peter’s sixth formers with a large number of students achieving their target grades and accessing their first choice university – the sixth form goes from strength to strength.”
The overall pass rate was 100 per cent, Twynham’s top performers did particularly well with 22 students gaining at least three A grades.
Twynham’s top students were Rebecca Alborough, Charlotte Davey, Elizabeth Lockhart, Kane Davis, Liam Hebron, Laura Maw, Joanna Wassell, Henry Wilkinson, Rebecca Curtis, Jack Gordon and Samantha Hancock. Headteacher Dr Terry Fish said: “I am absolutely delighted with the success of our students, and I’m particularly pleased that our top students did so well; gaining places at the country’s top universities to study subjects such as medicine.”
Two students gained places at Oxford and most were successful in gaining places on their chosen courses. The pass rate was more than 98 per cent for all students gaining A2-level results. 26 per cent of grades gained were A*/A grades 51 per cent A*-B and 80 per cent A*-C.
Students studying diplomas in Business, Dance, Drama, PE and Child Care scored very highly with just under 50 per cent gaining Distinction or *Distinction grades.
The overall pass rate was 98 per cent, with a record 43 per cent of these grades being at A*/B and 70 per cent at A*-C. Deputy headteacher Tim Farrer said: “This reflects the hard work, commitment and dedication of our students and staff and we are really pleased.”
In the school’s wide range of vocational qualifications, the number of students achieving a Distinction or Distinction* (equivalent to a grade A/A* at A-level) rose to 65 per cent of all entries with results across all vocational subjects being excellent.
Some examples of great performance in terms of top grades are Katherine Joint, Lewis Shutler, Guy Harvey, Josh Baum, Abdul Odhud, Mitchell Parris and Sam Wells.
Headteacher Alex Wills said results were better than last year with 68 per cent getting grades A*-C. He said: “I am very proud of all the students who have taken A2 exams this year – it is a good set of results. Our students can access Russell Group universities and we have people going to Imperial, Southampton, Cardiff and York.”
Thirty-two per cent of all examinations were awarded the top A* grade, compared with 25 per cent in 2012. 67 per cent of all grades were A*/A, 88 per cent were A*/B and 96% per cent of all grades were A*-C. 13 pupils gained straight A* grades, with 19 pupils gaining at least 3A*s or better. Over 60 per cent of pupils averaged A-grades or better, with nearly half the year group gaining all A*/A grades. Ben Vessey, headmaster, said: “It is a privilege to be headmaster at a school which has produced such spectacular A-level and Pre-U results.”
Several pupils gained 5 A* grades with the majority of students achieving three A*/A/B grades or better. The school’s Oxbridge candidates produced some outstanding individual results. Candidates for other Russell group universities and traineeships/ apprenticeships with local employers also scored stunning results. Headmaster Ian Carter, said: “I am delighted so many boys achieved the grades universities demanded of them, given just how competitive entry to the top universities is now. With just under 70 per cent of results at A*/A/B grades this was a most impressive year.”
Almost 79 per cent of all grades were A*-B. This is an increase of six per cent from last year. 12 per cent of those grades were A*.
There were some exceptional individual performances with Vicky Olive achieving 5 A*-grades with a place at Oxford to study Economics and Politics. Dorinda Chandrabose achieved 4 A*grades with a place at Cambridge to study Medicine. Both Erin Carlton and Tabitha Pople gained 3 A*grades each.
This year we have achieved 54% A* to B, 77% A* to C and 99.5% A* to E including BTEC. “We are exceptionally pleased as most students have met or exceeded their targets” said Janet Tuckett, head of senior school. “Most of our students have been given their places at university and we are sending over 50 students on to further their studies.”
Best performers were Oliver Strong, Alice Barnes Brown, Callum O’Brien, James King and Tarryne Rolle. ST EDWARD’S Pola Bevan, headteacher, said: “There are a number of high achievers at the school, including Helen Strain, who achieved an A* in Biology, Maths, and Chemistry, and Alice Farrell, who got A grades in English Literature, Maths and Biology. They will both be going to Oxford in September to study Biology.
“Sixth form A-level results are again very good this year. Overall A*, A and B-grades account for 41 per cent of the A-level grades at the school, and A*, A, B, and C grades are 66 per cent, which are great results for our comprehensive sixth form.
“We are especially pleased with an eight-per-cent increase in the highest A* and A grades. Overall, there is a fantastic A-level pass rate of 97.5 per cent with the vast majority of subjects having a 100 per cent pass rate.”
LYTCHETT MINSTER SCHOOL
A record breaking number of students achieved the A and A* standard.
The pass rate was 99 per cent, consistent with previous years. A quarter of results were grades A and A* and 83 per cent of results were grade C or better. In December, students were distraught by the loss of their coursework in Art and Design, destroyed by the fire that devastated the Creative Arts Block.
Students were convinced that their chances of success had been scuppered. By contrast, delight prevailed yesterday when 17 of the 22 Art students affected by the fire learnt that they had exceeded their target grades and shared nine grades A, 10 grades B and three grades C. Headmaster Stuart Clark said:”The efforts of students and teachers in the face of adversity is inspirational and testament to the ‘can do’ attitude that pervades the school."
Students who did particularly well were Hannah Downey (A* A* A ), Sarah Flanagan(A* A A), Sam Hartwell(A* A* A*A), Kathryn Pritchard ( A* A A A), Alex Roberts ( A* A A) and Bethany Seare (A A A).
BROCKENHURST COLLEGE The college had an overall pass rate of 99 per cent. More than half of students gained A*-B grades, with three quarters of all students achieving A*-C grades across all subjects. Two thirds of STEM subject students gained A*-B grades (Physics, Maths, Chemistry and Biology). AS-level course results were also excellent, with an overall pass rate of 92 per cent.
RINGWOOD SCHOOL Ringwood School is celebrating another year of excellent A-level examination results.
Provisional results indicate that the year group achieved a 100 per cent pass rate A*- E grades overall across over 30 different subject areas. 52 per cent of all grades awarded were A*- B and over 25 per cent achieved A* - A grades. A 100 per cent pass rate was achieved by students following BTEC courses. 30 distinction* / distinction results were awarded, accounting for 68 per cent of all BTEC results in Sport and Production.
Eighteen students achieved three or more grades at A*- A, the highest individual results being awarded to Jennifer Baldwin, Danni Bush, Rhiannon Hoggins, Ben Karkera and Jack Pomeroy.
Joe Hussey gained 3 A*/A grades and achieved full marks on both his English Literature and Geography papers.
ARNEWOOD, NEW MILTON
The Arnewood School is celebrating a record number of A* grades, 15 at A-level with a further 14 Distinction* at Level 3 BTEC.
Student Haydn Orme gained 4 A* grades while Katie Suida recorded 3 A* grades. Annie Humphrey shone in Btecs in ICT and sports, winning a distinction star and a double distinction star for her efforts.
The school also achieved a 100 per cent pass rate across A* to E grades.
Among this year’s success stories is Ben Gritton who achieved four A grades at A-level. Ben has accepted a place at Bristol to read Economics. Alex Powell (2A’s, 2B’s ) and Adam Turnbull (2A’s, 1B ) are headed towards Reading and Exeter respectively, the former to read Law and the latter, English.
The Purbeck School celebrated their highest average A-level exam results for five years. Headteacher Leanne Symonds said the students’ results had improved “upon every measure”.
The pass rate at the Wareham school was 99.5 per cent, with A-C grades rising to 71 per cent and the A-B rate rising 10 per cent on last year to 42 per cent.
ST MARY’S SHAFTESBURY
Every student achieved passes at grade A*-D. Of particular note were the outstanding results in Modern Foreign Languages with 88 per cent of girls gaining A*-A.
Burgate in Fordingbridge achieved 99.6 per cent A-E grades at A-Level, with 41 per cent of results at A*-B grades. Headteacher David Pover said: "The average A-level grade is our best ever this year, right across the cohort of students, representing a comprehensive and diverse range of academic subjects.”