High-achieving students helped record a two percent rise in top grades at Northampton College – bucking the national trend of an overall dip in results.
Overall, the college achieved a 97 per cent pass rate, with over 2,000 students sitting exams in science, maths and English, with a number of students achieving the highest possible grade of 9 – the first time the new grading system has been used.
Pat Brennan-Barrett, the principal, said: “We are delighted that our results in maths and english continue to improve in spite of changes to the grading system and the more challenging national environment. Passing these exams, in particular, is vital for future progression and our teachers have high expectations of all our students to achieve the highest possible grades.”
Among the standout students were Christina Martin, 31, who achieved the highest possible grade of 9 in english despite spending much of the year in hospital due to complications with her pregnancy. She gave birth to son Teddy five weeks ago, with top marks giving her cause for a double celebration.
She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I was just hoping to get a pass so a nine is unbelievable, I don’t really know how I’ve done it.
"I left school before taking any exams but came back to education later in life. I needed my english to help get my qualifications to be a psychiatric nurse so that’s my next target.”
Garn Charoencholwanich, a 50-year-old mature student, succeeded in achieving a grade 7 in maths (equivalent to an A under the previous system).
Originally from Thailand, Garn came to England 12 years ago knowing only three words of English. Currently working in a warehouse, he was encouraged by his college tutor to keep studying and working towards his ambition to study law at university.
He said: “It has been a hard journey to get here but I am really pleased with my grade. Coming to college has been a great experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone. I am determined to keep studying and will return again next year to do my English GCSE.”
Jasmine Beal, 25, passed her maths GCSE on the seventh attempt after achieving six D grades on previous attempts at school, college and even while she was at university. Having graduated in history from Oxford Brookes University, Jasmine knew she needed to pass her maths exam in order to enrol on a PGCE and become a history teacher.
Jasmine overcame the odds after she was unexpectedly hospitalised in the middle of the exams.
She managed to successfully achieve her grade 4 despite taking the new, tougher maths paper.
The college is standing by to provide advice and guidance to all students who have received their GCSE results.
There are plenty of places available on full-time study programmes starting this September.
For further information and to book an appointment visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk or call 0300 123 2344.