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West Berkshire’s A-level results are in


Reporter: James Williams Reporter

Email: james.williams@newburynews.co.uk
Contact: 01635 886633

THE anxious wait is over for more than 1,000 West Berkshire pupils who will be picking up their A-level results today (Thursday).

A total of 1,096 year 13 West Berkshire pupils will receive their results this morning and early afternoon, with thousands of other pupils in the district also picking up AS-level and BTEC qualifications.

The newburytoday team will be at a number of our district’s schools, getting reactions, photos and interviews as the results come in throughout the day.

Send in your A-level stories, photos and future plans to James Williams at james.williams@newburynews.co.uk

Full reports will appear in next Thursday’s Newbury Weekly News.

You can view our A-level 2012 picture galley at www.newburytoday.co.uk/picture-gallery

To find out more about purchasing a photograph, call our reception on 01635 524111.

Here is how we reported on the day with our rolling live feed:

The first West Berkshire School to hand out its results this morning is St Gabriel’s, Newtown Road, Sandleford Priory, followed by St Bartholomew’s School, Andover Road, Newbury, at 8.30am.

We’ll bring you full results as soon as we get them.

During the last academic year the average pupil in West Berkshire achieved 754.1 points at A-level or equivalent, compared to 728.2 points gained by the average pupil across state funded schools and colleges in England.

However, in 2009-10 the district’s average was higher 10.8 points higher at 764.9.

Last year, Downe House School, Cold Ash, averaged the most points per pupil in West Berkshire with 1058.2 points.

The biggest improvement at A-level last year was at St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury, where the average points per pupil last year was 873.2 points compared to 817 in 2009-10, an increase of 56.20.

Come September new university students will be first to face higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year. We’ll be asking West Berkshire pupils whether the hike in fees has put them off applying for university.

According to Ucas a total of 357,915 pupils have already been accepted onto university courses in September, which is down 6.95 per cent on last year.

Results are in from St Bartholomew’s School. We’ll give them to you in just a moment.

At St Bartholomew’s 52 per cent of A-level results were either A*, A or B, while 99 per cent of all entries were passes.

Our reporter, Ellis Barker has been speaking to headteacher Christina Haddrell, who said: “St Bartholomew’s continues to produce exceptional results. We are just as proud of those who achieved C and D grades from low starting points as those high flyers who achieved a string of A and AS grades.”

The school says it also achieved its best ever AS results, with 46 per cent of pupils gaining either As or Bs.

“These grades are testament to the hard work and commitment of both students and staff, and the support from their families,” Mrs Haddrell added.

Twins and St Bartholomew’s pupils, Evie (left) and Georgia Davies (right) will both be going to university, but in completely different areas of Britain. Evie is going to Newcastle and Georgia to Swansea.

Results are in from St Gabriel’s.

There was a 100 per cent pass rate at St Gabriel’s, with 88 per cent of pupils achieving grades A* to C, while 40 per cent of pupils achieved A*s and As.

Our reporter Jane Meredith has been speaking to the school’s headteacher, Alun Jones, who said: “Of course I am delighted with such terrific results. I’m pleased with the whole year group.

“With 88 per cent at A* to C some pupils have received results beyond their wildest dreams.

“They can all move on with confidence,” he added.

St Bartholomew’s pupil Louis Spencer (pictured below), aged 18, of Stockcross, achieved three As in biology, chemistry and maths. He will go on to study biochemistry at Manchester University.

In the next few minutes we will have the results from Park House School, Andover Road, Newbury.

There was a 99 per cent pass rate at Park House, with 67 per cent of pupils achieving A* to C grades.

This year saw the best ever results achieved by a single pupil, with Adrian Wells gaining A*s in biology, chemistry, physics and maths.

Headteacher, Derek Peaple said the whole school was ‘extremely proud’ of Adrian, who intends to study medicine at Oxford University.

“We are delighted by this year’s excellent results. They exceed every target set for the year group, reflecting the outstanding talent, hard work and commitment of our superb sixth form students.

“Our students are thoroughly deserving of their successes and all are to be congratulated on what they have achieved. We are very proud of them,” Mr Peaple told our reporter John Garvey.

In the next hour or so we expect to hear the results from Kennet School, Thatcham, Trinity School, Shaw, John O’Gaunt Community Technology College, Hungerford, and The Downs School, Compton.

More results, this time from Bradfield College where pupils have secured a record haul of A-level grades for the second year in succession.

A total of 82 per cent of entries were graded A* to B, with more than half of entries reaching A* or A.

Headmaster Simon Henderson said: “We thought last year’s outstanding results would be hard to beat, but this year’s group of pupils has demonstrated an attitude to study that, combined with some excellent teaching, has seen them achieve such notable success.

“Bradfield College is not just about academic results – our pupils are committed to developing themselves across all areas of school life, but it is fantastic to see such a talented and committed group of young people receive the results that their hard work deserves.”

Our reporter Mark Taylor has just been told that overall results from The Downs are not available yet because there is a problem with one of the examination boards. We will publish the results as soon as we have them.

If you didn’t get the grades you expected then advice service, Connexions, who are supported by West Berkshire Council, can help you find a university place.

You can contact Connexions by either calling 0845 408 5001 or by visiting www.connexions-berkshire.org.uk

Pictured above from left to right are St Bartholomew’s School pupils Rachel Humphreys, Annie Miller, Chloe Girdler.

John O’ Gaunt Community Technology College is celebrating after the school equalled its best ever results last year with a hundred per cent pass rate.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent of pupils achieved A* or A grades, the school has told our reporter John Garvey.

We will bring the results from Kennet School and Trinity School in the next few moments.

A total of 147 year 13 pupils received their A-level results at Kennet School today.

The overall pass rate was 100 per cent, with 86 per cent of pupils gaining A* to C grades, while 61 per cent received A* to B.

Headteacher Paul Dick told our reporter Jane Meredith: “These results show the great strength and depth of the school. The results are among the best the school has ever achieved.”

At Trinity 51 per cent of pupils gained A* to B grades, while 75 per cent achieved A* to C marks.

“We are really delighted and thrilled,” headteacher Charlotte Wilson told our reporter Ellis Barker.

Pictured above from left to right are Trinity pupils Jo Meechan, Elle Codling, Anna waters.

Pangbourne College’ head of sixth form, James Bamforth has described this year’s A-level results as a ‘solid performance’.

The overall pass rate was 96 per cent, with 74 per cent of pupils gaining A* to C grades, while 48 per cent of pupils achieving A* to B.

“Our students have worked hard and achieved not just in the classroom but in music, drama, sport and the leadership programme and deserve their successes,” Mr Bamforth added.

Six per cent of pupils were rewarded with at least one A* at The Willink School, Burghfield Common.

The overall pass rate was 99.9 per cent, with 58 per cent of pupils gaining at least one A* to B grade.

Centre in the above photograph is outgoing headboy at The Willink, Lawrence Bowen, who achieved two As and one C.

Headteacher, Peter Fry said: “This is a fantastic set of results for so many students who have worked so hard.

“Given the squeeze on university places this year we are so pleased, and a little relieved, that our students have been successful in confirming places on popular courses at the top universities.

“My thanks to teaching staff for their hard work and particularly, at this time, staff overseeing our higher education courses and career support.”

As well as A-level results, thousands of year 12 pupils find out their AS-level and BTEC results today. Above is one such pupil, Marcus Oads, who attends Trinity School. The Reading FC supporter gained three As and one C at AS-level.

Our reporter Mark Taylor has been at the Downs School in Compton this morning meeting some anxious pupils, who were made to wait for their results today due to a technical hitch with an exam board.

However the matter was resolved fairly quickly and joyous scenes soon unfolded as beaming parents and relieved teenagers began to wave their papers in the air shortly after 10am.

BTEC pupils took the plaudits; at Level three 100 per cent of students passed at merit or distinction or better, with Anthony Holmes scoring two starred distinctions and with it entry into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to study technical theatre and stage management.

Of the A-level pupils, 112 sat the A2 examinations with a pass rate of 98 per cent, and just over 63 per cent of entries achieved A and B grades.

Headteacher Val Houldey told Mark Taylor: “We have seen the sixth form grow from just over 100 students in 2006 to nearly 250 students in the past academic year.

“We are delighted that the very high standards of the Downs Sixth Form have been maintained throughout this growth.  We have an excellent and highly committed staff and fabulous students.”

Head of The Downs’ sixth form Andrew Hartley said he was delighted that the school’s seven Oxbridge candidates gained places.

“I’m delighted that our students have once again achieved such outstanding results,” he added.

The seven (pictured above) were Ellen Ffrench, who will study English at Keble College, Oxford,; Sarah Hanson, who will study politics, philosophy and economics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford; Lucy Long, who will read Geography at Hertford College, Oxford; Duncan Palka, who will study medicine at Peterhouse, Cambridge; Jack Shuttleworth, who will study material science at Wadham, Oxford; head boy Jeff Vinall, who will study Law at Brasenose, Oxford; and Mirren Kessling, who will take foundation art then apply to Ruskin College, Oxford.

A total of 212 pupils received their A-levels grades at Little Heath, Tilehurst, today compared to 94 pupils as recently as in 2004.

Twenty pupils gained at least one A* at A-level, with ten pupils achieving at least three A grades.

Ninety per cent of pupils gained three A* to E grades, with 54 per cent achieving three A* to C, grades and 27 per cent gaining three A* to B marks.

Headteacher David Ramsden said: “We have done everything in our power to encourage young people to stay in education to increase their life chances and life choices and we are delighted with these results. Many students have made significant progress in Year 13 improving on their performance at AS in 2011.

“Many students who entered Little Heath with very modest results at key stage two have gone on to achieve good A Level passes this summer and gained University places. These results continue our strong tradition of outstanding value-added achievement.”

Pictured above are St Bartholomew’s pupils and Boyfriend and girlfriend, Becky Malone and James Creed.

Remember to send in your A-level stories, photos and future plans to James Williams at james.williams@newburynews.co.uk

Full reports will appear in next Thursday’s Newbury Weekly News.

Outgoing head boy at Trinity, Thomas Barry (pictured above) paid tribute to the school during an interview with our reporter Ellis Barker.

“I think people being disappointed even though they achieved As shows the quality of the school that we have become.

“We have done incredibly well as a school,” he added.

All Trinity pupils who applied for university have won places on degree courses, according to the school.

Denefield School, Tilehurst, results have just been sent to the newsdesk. We will publish them in just a moment.

Denefield headteacher Glyn Whiteford has thanked his staff and pupils for their hard work after 96.97 per cent of pupils gained A* to E grades at A-level.

The average points per pupil was 692.15, with 10.10 per cent gaining an A* or A grade.

One of the standout performers was Anastasia Kennedy (pictured above), who achieved an A* in English language, A grades in history and Russian, and B grades in French and psychology.

Headteacher Mr Whiteford said: ‘I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank both the staff and students for their hard work in making these results possible.

“As part of our rebuild programme, the sixth form will soon benefit from new leisure and study spaces as well as specialist facilities for courses in photography, catering, child care and music technology. These will help us to improve results further over the next academic year.”

Mary Hare School at Snelsmore Common is set to publish its A-level results. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, our photographer Geoff Fletcher has visited a number of West Berkshire schools today, capturing the moment A-level results are opened by pupils. Below is one from Park House School this morning.

You can view our A-level 2012 picture galley at www.newburytoday.co.uk/picture-gallery

To find out more about purchasing a photograph, call our reception on 01635 524111.

As promised, here are the results from Mary Hare.

Principal at the school, Tony shaw said both pupils and staff are celebrating an overall pass rate of 97 per cent for grades A* to E.

The percentage of individual pupils obtaining at least one A* grade increased to 25 per cent this year, the school says..

Mr Shaw added: “I am delighted with the performance of our pupils, they have overcome barriers caused by their deafness and achieved their full potential”.

Some final results coming through from Newbury College and Theale Green Community School (pictured below). Watch this space.

Pupils at Theale Green achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with 76 per cent of candidates gaining A* to Cs.

The school has described its BTEC results as ‘exceptional’ with all students achieving distinction awards, equivalent to A* at A-level.

Headteacher, Sue Marshall said, “These results have been achieved through enormous hard work on the part of students and staff and I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements.”

There were many happy faces at Newbury College today as pupils picked up A-level and Advanced Diploma certificates.

Dimitri Agejev (pictured above) successfully completed his Advanced Diploma in IT to secure a place at his first choice university.

“I’m so please I have got my place at Cardiff University, I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

To help students with rising university costs, Newbury College is working closely with Southampton Solent University and employers to offer high quality alternatives. To find out more call the college on 01635 845000 or visit its Monks Lane campus.

For more results and reports, read next week’s Newbury Weekly News.

Don't forget to read the Newbury Weekly News — Berkshire's largest–selling local newspaper — out each Thursday morning.

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