STUDENTS at Buxton and Leek College were celebrating a 98 per cent pass rate in their A level exams on Thursday, August 15, with most looking forward to higher education courses at their chosen universities.
Subjects including English, Media, Psychology, Sociology and Business saw a 100 per cent pass rate and all but one student gained a place at his/her first choice of university with many opting to progress to the University of Derby which offers Buxton and Leek College students a £1,000 bursary.
College Principal Len Tildsley said: “Results have been excellent this summer but Buxton and Leek College is not just about results. "We try to give all our students the experience they need to become rounded individuals who are more in tune with where they are heading in life.
“Students here are not just a number. We spend time with each individual and, now that we are part of the University of Derby, there are lots of opportunities for students to remain with us as they pass through higher education.
"Anyone choosing to do this qualifies for a £1,000 bursary towards their degree course.”
Among the successes was Martha Hermolle, aged 20, from Kingsley Holt, who was 'astounded' to achieve an A* in her English A level and has opted for a course in English and Creative Writing at Staffordshire University.
She said: “I was really shocked. I was expecting a B grade at most and have never had an A* before.
"I felt like I was walking into the paparazzi when I arrived at college to see the photographers here this morning.
"I’ve loved Leek College. It’s very liberal but the lecturers are always there for you, especially when you need that extra bit of help. I’d like to become a lecturer myself one day.”
A student, for whom English is not her first language, Amy Bermudez, aged 19, from Venezuela, was thrilled to pick up two B grades in her English and Psychology AS levels.
Amy, whose native tongue is Spanish, said: “I started out at Leek and Buxton College studying Art but wanted to focus on subjects which would challenge me more. "I have found the teachers here brilliant at helping me get the best possible grades and I’d like to progress to studying Forensic Science at university eventually.”
James Gibson, aged 20, from Werrington, found his path to success has not always been an easy one because of health issues and dyslexia. James, who first arrived at the Leek college campus in 2011 to re-take his English GCSE, has progressed to gaining AS passes in both English Language and English Literature in spite of spending a lot of time in hospital.
James, who has Cystic Fibrosis, said: “What makes Buxton and Leek College so special is the lecturers here who are so compassionate and supportive. When I was ill in hospital my tutor, Harry Richardson, would phone me not just to brief me on my assignments but just to see how I was.”
Two other students have also excelled this year; Emma Jane Malkin, who attained 390 UCAS points with a B in Psychology, A in Sociology and a Level 3 BTEC in IT Distinction, is going to Edge Hill University to study sociology and criminology.
Lauren Averill, who attained 380 UCAS points, is going to Staffordshire University to study Psychology. Figures for AS level results are equally as impressive with all learners achieving grades B or higher - A- 67 per cent, B- 33 per cent.
At A2 level 70 per cent achieved C or above, and results figures for AS and A2 show 63 per cent achieving As and Bs and 85 per cent achieving C or above. Combined results figures are A - 37 per cent, B - 26 per cent, C - 22 per cent, D - 15 per cent.