Record year for A Level results

Truro and Penwith College has again broken the mould with their A Level results, published today, confirming that students there have had their most successful year ever.

A record number of higher grades A*- C have been awarded this year, putting the College at 10% above the national average for achievement at this level. 87.0% of the Truro and Penwith students passed with a grade A*- C compared to the national average on this measure of 77.3%.

In total, the College has seen its cohort of around 900 A Level students achieve a 99.5% pass rate overall, well above the national pass rate of 98.1%.

English Literature, History, Chemistry, Human Biology and Psychology were among the 41 subjects across the College’s campuses in Truro and Penzance in which students achieved a 100% pass rate. This again breaks the previous record at the college for subjects recording 100% exam success.

The number of top A Level grades continues to buck the national trend. The number of A and A* grades achieved rose from 31% to 32.4% with 140 students achieving three or more grade As or A*s. Nationally, A* and A grades were only awarded to 25.9% of entries, down from 26% last year.

Commenting on this year’s A Level results, Truro and Penwith College Principal David Walrond said: “Truro and Penwith College A level results this year are outstanding and have beaten all the previous college records. That is remarkable as the bar was already set so high by our students from previous years.

“As ever, the really important stories of the day are the hundreds of individual student successes, and the excellent university and career progression options these results will now deliver. It’s inevitable, however, that we and the press focus on the data headlines as well. They tell an important and impressive story too.

“The fact that our higher (A*-C) grades performance is now tracking at about 10% above the national A level average is really a key factor in understanding the great success of our students in securing places on the most competitive university degree courses. I congratulate all our students and the staff here who have worked in such effective partnership to secure these outstanding achievements.”

Some concern has been raised nationally over the impact of lower funding on post-16 providers in terms of their ability to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) subjects. However, Truro and Penwith College has seen growth both in the volumes of STEM subject participation and in the levels of STEM subject attainment.

In total, 573 students were successful in STEM A Level subjects including 203 in Mathematics, with 33 in Further Maths, 138 in Biology, 127 in Chemistry and 105 in Physics. The growing demand for places to study science subjects at Truro and Penwith College is confirmed by its having to convert two more teaching spaces to new laboratories over the summer break.

Among those achieving exceptionally in science was Vinodh Arumugam from Feock who, with four A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology, will be studying medicine at University College London.

“My dad originally had reservations about my going into medicine because of the stress of the job,” said the former Truro School pupil, “but I was inspired by my parents at around eight-years-old and once they knew this is what I wanted, they have been very supportive.”

He added: “I want to be a surgeon eventually and can now look forward to another six years of education. I was really, really surprised by my results. I didn’t expect to get four A stars. Truro College has been amazing throughout and in my opinion have some of the best teachers in the country.”

Another student looking forward to studying Natural Sciences is Rebecca Richmond-Smith from Polzeath, who has been awarded a place at St John’s College, Cambridge.

Rebecca achieved three grade A*s in Physics, Biology and Maths and feels she owed some of her success to the fact that relatively few girls study Physics.

“Being one of the very few girls on this course actually drove me more,” she said. “I was determined to make sure I got it right but I can’t thank the teaching staff enough. I have had great support and my Biology teacher in particular was amazing. My tutor helped me with the specific preparation for university and they are always there for you.”

Twin sisters Charlotte and Lucy Talbot from Camborne are both looking forward to continuing their education, albeit 200 miles apart. The former Pool Academy pupils both exceeded their expectations and helped each other out while studying the same subjects of Chemistry and Mathematics.

Charlotte received an A* in Biology and A grades in Chemistry and Maths and is off to study Medicine at St George’s University of London. Meanwhile Lucy, who received an A* in Mathematics, and As in Chemistry and Physics, as well as an A in Further Maths at As Level is going to study Chemical Engineering at Manchester University and hopes to become a Chartered Engineer.

“I’m over the moon,” said Lucy. I can’t wait to go to a new place and meet new people.” Charlotte added: “If we were stuck in Chemistry or Maths we’d help each other out. I’m really excited right now. I’ve done very well at Truro and Penwith College.”

The twins’ mum, Aurora praised her daughter’s achievements. “I am absolutely proud,” she said. “Their motivation and determination has been outstanding throughout. I’m a bit apprehensive about them both going away, but as a family we’re all ready for a new chapter of adventures and challenges.”

Results across the college’s two main campuses, in Truro and Penzance, were consistent at both AS and A Level and follows the notable successes confirmed earlier this summer on the College’s vocational courses and its International Baccalaureate programme.

Within this IB group is Rosa Dyer from Gorran Haven who scored an impressive 43 points and is going to read Human, Social and Political Science at Cambridge.

Mark Wardle, Director of Curriculum at the college, added: “Although students can now access their results on line and from home, we were really struck again by the sheer numbers coming into the college to collect their results in person, to thank their staff, and to celebrate with fellow students. This involved long journeys for many of them, yet more of the travel that has been part of their choices and commitment over two years, but they were determined to be here on results day and have created a wonderful celebratory atmosphere.”