St Vincent College students’ delight at A Level and BTEC success as they look forward to the future

Overjoyed students at St Vincent College in Gosport are looking forward to the next steps on their career journey after achieving A Level and BTEC success.

The college saw 98 per cent of students achieving A levels at grade A* to E, with 75 per cent of all students achieving A* to C grades in three or more subjects and 34 per cent achieving A* to B grades.

Among the success stories is 18-year-old Rachel Chen, who will be studying for a degree in business at Queen Mary’s University in London after being told she had earned an A in A Level graphics and a BTEC distinction in business and a distinction* in law.

“I am a bit overwhelmed to be honest,

it is all quite exciting,” she said. “We have had a lot of help inpreparing for the exams from the college because of Covid and us not sitting GCSEs. I thought I had done well but it is amazing to see it written down.”

Paityn Cooper and Tia Pugh said sitting their exams had been a nerve-wracking experience because of missing GCSEs. “I hadn’t sat an exam since my SATs so I didn’t really know what to expect but I thought I had done okay,” said Paityn, 17.

But to see I had A* in criminology, a distinction* in applied law and a distinction in performing arts practice was a bit overwhelming.” She will be going to Central Lancashire University to study forensic science and criminal investigation.

Tia, 18, was equally delighted with her distinction* in applied law and health and social care, as well as a distinction in performing arts practice. Now she has the option to take up a legal secretary apprenticeship or a child nursing degree at university. “I’m really not sure what I want to do yet but it’s nice to have options,” she said.

Keanu Gordon will be going to either Chichester or Southampton university to study for a degree in adult nursing after achieving a distinction* in applied human biology and distinctions in health and social care and psychology. “I’m really pleased with my results,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work.”

Music student Ashleigh Diffey achieved a triple distinction and is now off to Fareham College for a university foundation course. “I’m very pleased and excited,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the next year and then going on to university.”

There was a triple celebration in the Tebb family where three sons and their mum are all celebrating success. Shane, 18, achieved a B in A Level criminology and a distinction* in applied science. Brother Joe, 17, passed his foundation diploma in IT while mum Zena passed an access to HE course at the Adult Community College and will be studying for a degree in childhood and youth studies with psychology at the University of Portsmouth in the autumn.

“I’m very proud of my sons and I’m also proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Zena, 41. “It all started with a free community learning course but I had no idea it would end up with university.”

Principal Andy Grant said there was an element of relief among students after Covid. “The results have  been outstanding and have surpassed the results from the last time we sat exams in 2019 so it has been a fantastic day. All the hard work over not just the last two years but through GCSEs have paid off for the students and it’s great to see them in here celebrating with their families and their teachers.

He said the college staff have worked hard to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on students’ learning and the results show that that has paid off. “As a college we have been on a trajectory of improvement with the results over the last number of years and the last two years have not really given us the benchmark to assess what the aggregate grades of students are because they have been teacher-assessed,” he said.

What today has shown is that because of the support structure we’ve been able to put in place the impact of Covid has really been more about student welfare and their confidence because of the lost learning. The work of the staff and of the students in trying to overcome some of those challenges has really paid dividends.”