Shropshire students excel after hardest two years as A-Level results arrive

The region's A-Level and vocational studies students have been celebrating their exam results after two years of studies being completely turned upside down by the Covid pandemic.

Celebrating their results (left-right), Harry Barnes, 18, of Telford (BTEC in Business), Rachel McFarlane, 19, of Telford, (BTEC in Engineering), and Ben Forrester, 19, of Telford, (3 B grades for his A Levels), at Telford College..
Celebrating their results (left-right), Harry Barnes, 18, of Telford (BTEC in Business), Rachel McFarlane, 19, of Telford, (BTEC in Engineering), and Ben Forrester, 19, of Telford, (3 B grades for his A Levels), at Telford College..

Head teachers across Shropshire and mid Wales were full of praise for the dedication of the students - who found themselves locked down just weeks before their GCSEs two years ago.

While grades were lower than the last two years they are higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Two students from Llanfyllin, Ben Benson and Matthew Blowers, each gained no fewer than 5A* grades, securing places at Cambridge to study Engineering and Computer Science.

Telford College staff said they were delighted with the number of high grades including A* and A grades increasing in comparison with the last exam period in 2019 – the year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many A-Level course areas achieved 100 per cent pass rates including Business, Economics, Geography, Media, Physics, Maths and Further Maths.

The college also recorded its best-ever set of advanced level BTEC results, with a third of students achieving triple distinction grades, or higher for their technical and vocational studies.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive at Telford College, said: “We’re really proud of our students, who have coped brilliant with the disruption to their learning caused by the pandemic."

Celebrating their A level results (left) Kyra-Leigh Whinnerah, aged 18, of Telford (3 A grades), and (right) Abigail Taras, 18, of Telford, (2 A's and a B grade), at Telford College..

Head at The Grove School, Market Drayton, Sonia Taylor, said: "This cohort of students is exceptional. It was dreadful standing in front of them in March 2020 telling them we were moving into lockdown and online learning just weeks before their GCSEs, it is wonderful to see how well they have coped with the past two years."

Celebrating their A level results, (left-right) Jake Nicholls, 18, Mia Marshall, 18, Emma Irvin, 18, Amelia Fleet, 19, Maddie Lowe, 19, and Hattie Beath, 19, at Grove School Sixth Form, Market Drayton..

Staff at the Grove were praised by students including Amelia Fleet who gained As in psychology and business and a distinction in child development.

"The have been incredible, constantly supporting us. It has been really hard over the last two years but we knew that they were only ever a phone call away."

Mia Marshall, 18, and Emma Irvin, 18, at Grove School Sixth Form, Market Drayton celebrating their results and Mia's 18th birthday

Shrewsbury Colleges Group Principal James Staniforth said the college was celebrating the achievements and resilience of the Class of 2022 with a 99 per cent overall pass rate across all college courses and 56 per cent A*/A/B grades at A-Levels.

"The disruption has meant that many students were sitting formal exams for the first time this summer. Despite this, students have individually and collectively excelled.

"We’ve seen notable results from this year’s A-Level students and consequently, the overwhelming majority of students have secured their first-choice university place. We have also seen some fantastic results across our vocational courses. Many of these courses contain challenging exams as well as ongoing assessments."

Upper Sixth students at Moreton Hall near Oswestry gained the highest proportion of A*-A and A*-B grades in recent history in externally set and marked A-Level examinations with a third of all students achieving straight As and A*s and the number of students who exceeded nationally standardised expectations by one grade or more was more than double that in 2019.

Newport Girls High School achieved a 100 per cent pass rate across the year group and 81 per cent achieving A*-B with many individual subject successes such as Psychology where 40 per cent of students achieved an A* grade.

Michael Scott, headteacher, said: "The results show the resilience and determination of our class of 2022 to achieve top grades and we are thrilled to share in their success."

A-Level students at Shrewsbury College, from left: Adam Thomas, Travis Wood, Khalid Bakala and Ella Rees

Haberdashers’ Adams in Newport also celebrated A-Level success with 74 per cent of students achieving A*-B grades and 51 per cent securing A*-A grades. In addition to their A-Levels, 85 per cent of A-Level pupils also took the Extended Project Qualification with 29 per cent achieving an A*- A grade.

At Llanfyllin School in Powys a number of students have received scholarships at Aberystwyth and Bangor.

Dewi Owen, headteacher, said: "We are delighted that all our students have gained a place at the university of their choice to study a range of courses including Technology, Medicine, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. These excellent results will enable students to embark on degree courses at universities across the country with a number receiving scholarships at Aberystwyth and Bangor. We are delighted that all our students have gained a place at the university of their choice to study a range of courses including Technology, Medicine, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

"We would particularly like to congratulate Ben Benson and Matthew Blowers who have both secured places at Cambridge to study Engineering and Computer Science respectively after achieving 5A* grades each – an absolutely amazing achievement."

At the Marches Sixth Form a dozen students had straight A* and A grades. Head, Alison Pearson, said: "Our Sixth Form students and staff have ridden the last two incredibly tough years together. It is joyous today seeing the smiles on their faces and celebrating the realisation of the talent we always knew they had."

Adcote School, the independent school at Little Ness, said it was celebrating another excellent year of A-Level results with 47 per cent of the grades awarded achieving A/A* - well above the national average of 36.4 per cent.

“We are in awe of our students. After two years of unprecedented disruption, they have achieved amazing results,” said headmistress Diane Browne.

Students at Ellesmere College have celebrated impressive A-Level and BTEC Diploma results with a 98 per cent pass rate - 100 per cent for girls and students now going on to universities across the UK and around the world.

Isaac Dodds from St. Helier achieved an impressive three A*s alongside being a competitive swimmer and a member of the college Swimming Academy.

He took his A-Levels in June before going on to represent his home country Jersey at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last month, part of the 4 x 100 Medley Relay team that made the final.

He has secured a place at Bath University where he will continue his high-performance swim training while studying Mathematics and Physics.

Two Ellesmere College students are moving to the USA to study - Millie Foster has been awarded a Hockey Scholarship and will study Criminal Justice at St Anselm College, New Hampshire, while Olivia Herron has gained a place at Southern Illinois to study Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

Shrewsbury High School Sixth Formers, will take up places in 2022 to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Mathematics, Drama and Acting, Business, Music, and Graphic Design to name but a few.

Telford College A level and vocational students celebrate their results.

"With nearly half of all grades A*-A, and over 70 per cent A*-B we are celebrating another year of stellar performance, and we are thrilled for all our students who have worked so hard and who will now be heading off for such an exciting array of university courses, headteacher Jo Sharrock said.

Despite a national tightening of grade boundaries, it was a record-breaking year at William Brookes with more students than ever before attaining the highest A/A* grades.

With her A level results, Maddie Lowe, 19, at Grove School Sixth Form, Market Drayton..

Stephen Richards, headteacher, said: "For these young people to achieve these results is nothing short of remarkable and is a fitting reward for all of their hard work. All of us at William Brookes School are incredibly proud of their achievements and of the contributions that they have collectively made to their school during their time with us. Our students have been successful in securing a wide range of exciting destinations including Russell Group Universities and degree level apprenticeships. We wish them every success in the next stage of their lives."

Headmaster Sir Kevin Satchwell, of Thomas Telford School, said: "These results are amongst the best we have ever received, even compared with previous external examinations last taken in 2019. This year group deserve the highest possible praise as they have faced the toughest challenges. The extra effort that teachers and students gave through remote learning, attending lessons arranged after the normal school day and on Saturdays to catch up on any lost learning, has really paid off."

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