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A-level pupils learn their results around Gravesham and Dartford

By Messenger Reporter

Once again, DSTC performed above expectations. Following a good Ofsted in March, the Post 16 students did superbly well, the college said in a statement.

Dartford Science and Technology College

A total of 72% of all grades awarded were A*-C or equivalent with 42% of these at A*-B (or equivalent).

Notable successes included 100% A*-B in art and the same in textiles, 89% A*-C in media, 81% A*-C in applied science, 82% in applied business, 77% A*-C in English literature, 100% D* grades in Btec ICT, 100% D* to D in Btec Sport and 100% grade C and above in health and social care double award.

VIDEO: Moonisha Verma is pleased with her results

Of the 30 pupils who wanted a university place, 27 have been immediately accepted with three going through clearing.

Pupils who did particularly well were: Jenny White (3 As and 1B), who is off to a London university to study podiatry; Lucy Hollis (1A*, 1A, 1B and 1C), who will study English and media at Sussex; Moonisha Verma (1A* and 2 Disctinction*) who is going to study architecture at Greenwich; and Marina Christophi (Distinction*, 1B and 1C).

Moonisha Verma with some of her artwork behind her

Moonisha, 18, from Dartford, got A* in art and Distinction* in IT.

She said: "I thought I was going to get a B in art, I was preparing myself to see a B. I feel shocked. I don't even know how I'm going to celebrate."

Verinder Rai and Jessica Aujla, both 18 and from Dartford, were both pleased with their grades.

Verinder Rai and Jessica Aujla

Verinder got a B in sociology, business and science. She said: "I was predicated those grades but I was still happy to see them. I'm going to do surveying at Loughborough and I'm going out tonight to celebrate."

Jessica got B in business and Cs in media and health and social care. She said: "I'm going to do quantity surveying at Nottingham Trent and I'll also be celebrating tonight."

Principal Anne Davis said: “I’m immensely proud of the staff and students and they should be proud of what they’ve achieved. We look forward to hearing about their next steps and seeing them in a few years’ time with their degrees.”

There were also pupils picking up their AS level results. Louise Norman, 17, from Dartford, was one of them.

Louise Norman with her AS levels

She got A in maths and B in applied science. She will continue with maths next year and wants to study paramedic science and become a paramedic.

She said: "I wasn't expecting those grades at all so it was nice. I'll be doing maths, biology and geography next year."

Meopham School

Head teacher Suzanne Dickinson said: "Once again, our sixth form students have achieved an excellent set of examination results which is a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Scott Thomas and Alex Wallace celebrate their results

"We are immensely proud that our students continue to excel in both their academic and vocational studies which has led to another year of fantastic results."

Director of sixth form Manj Nijjer added: "We are delighted with the performance of the students and the hard work that they have put in over the two years. We are proud of everything they have achieved and wish them all the best for their future."

Charlotte Sparrow, 18, of Charles Drive in Cuxton, was one of the school's top achievers.

Charlotte Sparrow has a place on the course she wanted

She gained a C in psychology and film studies, an A in finance and a double distinction* in health and social care.

She was delighted to receive a phone call from Greenwich University this morning who offered her the place she wanted, to study primary education.

She said: "I was so surprised that I done that well, and even more surprised I was in the top three. I wasn't expecting it at all."

Alex Wallace, from Northfleet, got two distinction* in business and IT and an A in finance, and is now going to Sheffield Hallam university.

He said: "I was expecting it - it shows hard work pays off.

"It's also the hard work and dedication from my finance and business teacher Mike Beacher. He's put a lot of time and effort into me."

VIDEO: Alex Wallace opens his results

He said he has his sights set on investment banking.

Carla Bolton, who achieved 4 A-levels in English literature, film studies, finance and psychology said, “I’m over the moon with my results, especially my B grades in English literature and finance.

"I am now looking forward to studying criminology at Greenwich University.”

George Buckland, who achieved a distinction* in business, distinction* in ICT and a B in finance said, “I am so pleased and I can’t wait to start my apprenticeship in financial studies.”

Gravesend Grammar School

Head teacher Geoff Wybar said: "Gravesend Grammar School is very pleased indeed with the performance of their Year 13 students in their A-level exams.

"The young people who were planning to go to university will be able to look forward to continuing their education at some top universities.

"Overall attainment has held up very well in a context where exams are more difficult.

"More than a quarter of the entries were at A*/A and 20 students got a full set of top A*/A grades, with one young man - Roshan Birdi - getting 4 A*s. The percentage of A and B grades is very similar to last year despite exams being harder.

"The 2017 cohort of students find themselves in a very confusing and difficult situation brought about by changes to the exam system.

"This group of students have been guinea pigs but have continued to work hard, and with commitment, despite the uncertainty about what their grades will look like and what will happen to university places.

"The move to a linear system, as opposed to a process that had two stages (the first one being AS), has been done without the benefit of past papers or clear communication from exam boards about programmes of study or what new grades will look like.

"It is a tribute to the resilience and determination of our students that they have achieved so well in such difficult circumstances."

Wilmington Academy

The school's post 16 results saw 51% achieve A*-A, 57% A*-B, 79% A*-C and 100% A*-E.

It puts the academy in the top 10% of all schools nationally for vocational courses.

Amar Dadi, Matt Jones and Kailey Nelson did well at Wilmington Academy. Picture: Wilmington Academy

Principal Tracey Trusler said: "This is the fifth year in a row that our results have improved.

"The most pleasing thing for me is that of all the exams taken, more than half resulted in pupils getting the top grades of A* or A.

"All the students who applied to university got into their first choice and we also have people doing degree apprenticeships or starting jobs.

Harlie Lovell, Emma Farren and Nicole Munn got 2As and 5 distinction* between them. Picture: Wilmington Academy

"I'm absolutely thrilled and really proud of the students, and the staff are amazing at this school.

"Today is a lovely day, we are over the moon."

Some pupils who did particularly well in their A levels include Robert Stewart, who got 1A*, 1B and 1C and is off to the University of Sussex, and Kailey Nelson with 1A, 1B and 1C, who is planning to take a gap year.

Robert Stewart, Callum Stewart and Oliver Jarvie all got into university. Picture: Wilmington Academy

Meanwhile, those taking BTECs, or a mix of the two, also did well with Callum Stewart getting 1A and 2 distinction* and Oliver Jarvie achieving 1 distinction*, 1B and 1C.

Amar Dadi and Matt Jones both got 3 distinction* while Harlie Lovell got 1A, 1C and 1 distinction* and is off to Canterbury Christ Church University.

Emma Farren achieved 1B and 2 distinction* while Nicole Munn came away with 1A and 2 distinction*.

Mayfield Grammar School

Head teacher Elaine Wilson said: "We are delighted with the results achieved this year. We are understandably proud of our students and their results are testament to their hard work and commitment together with the teaching they receive at school."

Pupils who did particularly well were: Rosie Flood (2A*, 1A and 1B), Serena Pershad (2A* and 1A), Yasmin Cheema (1A* and 3A), Kerry Bolland (2A*, 1A and 1C), David Luchford (2A*, 1B), Katie Bullimore (1A* and 2A), Olivia Ireland (1A* and 2A), Amrit Marok (1A* and 2A), Natalie Smith (1A* and 3As), Serena Bhatoa (1A*, 1A and 1B), Ryan Brady (3A).

Assistant head teacher and head of sixth form Louise Absolon: "Basically I would say we've had some outstanding individual results and we are pleased with how the results have gone this year, bearing in mind that the new A-levels are tougher.

"The intention was the new A-levels would be more rigorous. I expect lots of evaluation will come out in the days and weeks to come."

She said she didn't have an opinion on whether the new system was better or worse, adding:"It's changed in stages so it's difficult to tell. Different subjects have come online in different years. We'll know more in two to three years."

Wilmington Grammar School for Girls and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys

It was another good year for the schools’ fully collaborative sixth form, WG6.

Despite the fact that staff were helping to prepare pupils for the new, untried and untested examinations, they managed to secure over half of their A-level passes at grades A*/B.

Notable successes included Alice Wenban, who with 4 A* grades is poised to take up her place at Cambridge University reading computing.

Alice Wenban

Congratulations also go to Peter Farmer, who with 3 A* grades will be heading up the motorway to study maths at Nottingham University.

Many others secured outstanding results and showed that hard work and perseverance pay off, including Nicola Dugard with four A grades and Jess Marsh with three A* and A grades.

As always, results in maths, further maths and engineering were excellent. It paves the way for some excellent Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities with industry partners Laing O’ Rourke and Whitecode Engineering and bodes well for the launch of the new design engineer construct qualification that the schools are introducing in September.

Most pupils successfully secured offers from their first choice universities and this year, more than ever before, the number of unconditional offers for universities soared when compared with previous years.

Geraldine Tiddy, the head of WG6 was pleased the hard work had paid off. “I am very proud of the individual achievements of all of our students and am thrilled to report that some of our most disadvantaged students have secured exceptionally pleasing results and know just how much effort goes into turning predicted grades into actual results.

"I wish each of our leavers all the very best for their futures.”

Leigh Academies Trust

The Leigh Academies Trust said this year's results represented the strongest performance in the trust’s history, and were a fitting tribute to the hard work of staff and students.

The trust - which runs the Leigh Academy, Wilmington Academy (see above) and The Leigh UTC in Dartford, as well as the Longfield Academy - also acknowledged the support of parents in helping pupils to achieve their goals.

Simon Beamish, chief executive of Leigh Academies Trust, said: “This year has seen the introduction of more demanding A-level qualifications with the return to terminal examinations over a two-year period.

“Vocational qualifications now contain more demanding forms of assessment, including public examinations.

"Despite this ramping up of standards and a national picture showing significant volatility across school performance, the situation within Leigh Academies Trust is universally strong.

“I am tremendously proud of our students and staff and grateful for their hard work and commitment which has been so richly rewarded today.”

The Leigh UTC

Every student at The Leigh UTC either secured a place on an apprenticeship programme or got into their top choice university.

The university technical college, for 14 to 19 year olds, focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and pupils can study A levels, BTECs or both.

Every student that took engineering at BTEC level 3 achieved A* to C and 100% of students achieved A* to C in IT/computing at BTEC level 3.

Amelia Cockran, Carys Harvey, Carris Williams, Akeem Rhoden, Esther Boafo, Curtis Martin and Tom Saunders celebrate at The Leigh UTC. Picture: The Leigh UTC

In addition, 91% achieved a BTEC level 3 mathematics qualification.

Every student who did an AS Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which involves completing a research project, got an A* to E grade.

The average grade for a BTEC at The Leigh UTC was a distinction*.

Steve Leahey, principal, said: "I am immensely proud of these results. It reflects on the unique positive relationships between our staff and students at The Leigh UTC.

"Gaining outstanding qualifications is only part of the process, which includes our students securing fabulous employment and higher education destinations. I am extremely proud of all our students and they must be warmly congratulated."

Leigh Academy

The Leigh Academy has been rated in the top 10% for 'value added' across the country thanks to the improvements in its exam results compared with last year.

Alice Nicholson, with 2distinction*, 2B and 1C, and head boy Max Horry, who got 2distinction*, 1A and 1C, celebrate with academy principal Julia Collins. Picture: Leigh Academy

The school said it has improved across all areas, despite national changes to the A level and AS system meaning more importance is placed on the final exams than before.

Staff said they are particularly proud of student’s achievements in maths, health and social care, French, information technology and performing arts.

Languages teacher Stewart Dearsley with pupils Vaishaly Saravanamuthu and Nicola Cawley who both studied French. Picture: Leigh Academy

High-flying students included head boy Max Horry with 2distinction*, 1A and 1C, who secured a financial services apprenticeship, and Vaishaly Saravanamuthu who achieved an A in French.

Principal Faye McGill congratulates Elisha Banks who achieved 1distinction*, 1B and 1C. Picture: Leigh Academy

Julia Collins and Faye McGill, academy principals, said: "We are so proud of our students who have worked tirelessly to achieve these splendid results.

Charlie Randall, who gained a marketing apprenticeship with lifestyle photography, and Oluwaseyitan Osho who secured an apprenticeship with the BBC, celebrating with careers adviser Lesley Tannock

"This is testimony to the combined efforts of our dedicated staff and our partnership with parents and carers. Once again we are thrilled that The Leigh Academy continues to go from strength to strength year on year.”

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