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Mark from HWS shows how achieving your GCSEs is a springboard to the future

Achieving success in GCSE Maths or English even when retaken later in life can lead to the start of something new

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Published Tuesday 1 February 2022

Mark Stevens, the College’s Health, Wellbeing and Sport leader at the Penwith campus, needed to retake his English GCSE when a student at the College to allow him to go to University. He is now an important part of the College team, helping students and staff with their mental and physical wellbeing.

“I needed GCSE English to enable me to study Sports Coaching Science and Disability Sport at the University of Worcester,” says Mark. “I am now the Project Lead Assistant for the Health, Wellbeing and Sport Programme at Truro and Penwith College.

“Without gaining my GCSE English I would never be in the position I am today. The lecturing staff at the College were exceptional and they supported me, giving me the confidence to achieve the grade I needed to succeed and move on to University.

“I urge everyone who has to retake a GCSE at the College to look at is as an opportunity to succeed which will lead to more opportunities for you in the future, whether it be Higher Education or career goals.”

Find out more about the Health, Wellbeing and Sport Programme at the College here and take a look at the latest HWS timetable to see the kind of activities you could do with Mark at Penwith or with Sheona and the team at Truro.

Each year, many students retake their GCSE English, GCSE Maths, or do Functional Skills with Truro and Penwith College.

Each needs a Grade 4 in GCSE English and Maths to do a Level 3 course like an A Level, Diploma or T Level. You can usually retake one of those in addition to doing your course if you don’t have a Grade 4, but if you need to retake both you may need to do a Level 2 Progression year while you do, before proceeding to your Level 3 course.

If a student has a Grade 3 they will retake their GCSE, if they have a Grade 2 or below they will do Functional Skills, which encompasses English and Maths and a Progression 1 year, with a chance to do the GCSEs later.

For students who have already achieved a Grade 4 there are opportunities available to improve to a higher grade. Students can access this by speaking with their Programme Team Leader.

Becky Rose, Deputy Team Leader for English and the English GCSE and Functional Skills Lead at the College, says: “Our students often say: ‘It’s different from school,’ and it is. College is a new learning environment where students often surpass their previous expectations.

“It is great to see students succeed with our support, where they had previously felt they couldn’t. Retaking your GCSE with us is a chance to have success at College and then continue having success from there.”

Find out more about GCSE English and Maths resits at the College here and about our learning support as a whole here.

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