Thu, 15 Aug 2019
THOUSANDS of pupils across West Berkshire are picking up their A-level results this morning.
NewburyToday's team of reporters and photographers are out and about at schools across the district speaking with pupils, parents and school staff to get all the reaction as those all-important envelopes are opened.
You can see how they fared in our live blog below. Remember to keep refreshing the page as it doesn't always do it automatically.
We'd love to hear how you got on - please email your results and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pangbourne College headmaster Thomas Garnier, said: “At Pangbourne, we are concerned about much more than just academic results, but I am pleased that, once again, the hard work of students and staff has been reflected in the A- Level results published today.
"I am proud of their efforts and confident that each has the character, confidence and skills to succeed at university and in life.”
Some interesting news in terms of the national picture.
The BBC reports that the proportion of students achieving the top grades at A-level has fallen to its lowest level for more than a decade.
This year some 25.5% got an A grade or higher - the lowest level since 2007 when it was 25.3%.
Girls narrowly reclaimed the lead from boys, with 25.5% achieving A* and A grades compared with 25.4% of boys.
The overall pass rate remains the same as last year at 97.6% for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Just a reminder that we'll have eight pages of A-level coverage in next week's Newbury Weekly News - including even more pictures, results and reaction from all of the West Berkshire schools.
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We've got some results to bring you from Pangbourne College, where there was a 99 per cent pass rate at A level.
Some notable individual performances include Tomas Tokovyi (A*AAA); Bethan Smith (AAA); Louis Winter (A*AB); and Cameron Branney (AAB plus a BTEC starred Distinction).
The latter was thrilled with his results, saying: “I did a lot better than I expected! I am very happy with how things turned out. I found this morning that I’ve been accepted to do Aerospace Engineering at Surrey - it’s going to be a big change leaving school but I’ve really enjoyed my time at Pangbourne.”
Other exceptional individual achievements at Park House include Carys Davies, who achieved an A* and three As and has a place to read Materials Science at Trinity College, Oxford University.
Meanwhile, Fay Penlington achieved an A* and two As and has a place to read chemistry at York University.
We've had an email from Park House pupil Daniel Roch, who got A*s in history and politics and a B in maths.
As a result, he's managed to secure a place a Loughborough to study politics and international relations.
But, the former head boy will be taking a year out to become a teaching assistant at the school. He said: "It’s going to be nice to spend more time at the school that I have done so well at.
"As I am not a new member of staff it’ll be great because I know the timings of things so it’s perfect."
Well done Daniel. Exciting times ahead!
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Some pretty impressive individual performances at Theale Green School.
Eleanor Connell has achieved her ambition of reading Natural Science at Cambridge University after achieving three A*s as well as A* in her Extended Project Qualification.
George Carter and Josh Castle – both head boys in Year 13 – have achieved places to follow their passions at Edinburgh (mathematics) and Royal Holloway (history and politics) respectively.
Meanwhile, Masud Mohammed has a secured a place at Kings College London to read computer science having achieved three A*s.
Staying with St Gabriel's, principal Ricki Smith praised the "excellent" set of results.
Back to St Gabriel's, where three friends - Alice McGonnell, Rowan Saltmarsh and Anna Stirk are off to Cambridge and Oxford after getting 10 A*s between them.
No wonder they look so happy!
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Back at St Barts School, student Ben McCarthy secured three A grades in biology, chemistry and physics and also an A* in mathematics.
Ben will be heading off to Southampton in September to study medicine.
Results from Trinity School are in and an amazing 81 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades and 53 per cent of them achieving A*-B.
Mahima Begum said: "I am really proud of my results. They were better than I thought I did." Her A* in history and A in psychology and English literature have secured her a place at University of Birmingham to study English literature and history.
Gabriella Wilson was also happy with her results which have secured her a place at University of Winchester to study sociology. She got a merit in performing arts, C in sociology and B in media.
Well done all!
This year, The Downs School is sending a record contingent to Oxbridge.
Among the top-performing students is head girl Freya Watson, who achieved 3 A*s (in mathematics, further mathematics and economics).
She will be studying economics at Cambridge.
Freya said: "It feels so surreal ... I'm really happy and relieved.
"The two years of hard work and stress was well worth it."
The results are in at The Willink School in Burghfield Common.
Sixteen per cent of them 80 pupils taking their A-levels achieved A* to A grades, 42 per cent achieved A* to B and 72 per cent got A* to C.
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Staying with Park House, student Grace Norton has secured a place at Bath University after getting two A grades and two B grades.
Grace has enjoyed a good couple of months. In June she completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold and attended Buckingham Palace for the ceremony.
Well done, Grace!
Park House School headteacher Derek Peaple added: "These exceptional young people thoroughly deserve their success; we are so happy for them.
"As a year group, they have significantly exceeded every performance target and we congratulate them on the truly wonderful progress and achievement that this represents."
It's all smiles at The Downs School in Compton!
St Bart's pupil Isaac Fernandes looks pleased with himself - and with good reason! He got 4A*s and one A.
He is now taking a year out to do a placement.
Well done Issac!
Blimey, the results are coming in thick and fast now. Over to The Downs School in Compton, where eight per cent of entries gained A* grades, 28 per cent A*-A grades, 56 per cent A*- B grades and 79 per cent A*-C grades.
Headteacher Chris Prosser said: “Our students have produced excellent results and I am really proud of what they have achieved.
"There are so many wonderful success stories that lie beneath these statistics and the students, staff and parents worked so hard to make it happen - it was a real team effort!
"My biggest pleasure is knowing that so many of these students will now be able to access their chosen destinations, whether that will be university, apprenticeships or a career. I wish them all the best on their next adventure.”
We've got results coming in from Park House School, where 51.4 per cent of pupil achieved A* to B grades and 72.4 per cent achieved A* to C. Headteacher Derek Peaple said he is "thrilled".
Here are some results from Bradfield College, where a third of all grades were scored either A* or A; almost 70% were within the range A*- B. In total, a quarter of this cohort achieved AAB or better, which is an excellent achievement in light of the recent qualification reforms and a drop in the number of top grades nationally.
There were some outstanding individual performances too, most notably from Hamish Newall who achieved A*A*A*A in mathematics, further mathematics, physics and computer science respectively.
Emma Warley (Yattendon) secured a clean sweep of top grades in art, English literature and religious studies. Harvey Holliday-Williams and Tushar Vivekanandan (of Goring and Didcot respectively) both impressed with A*AAA.
The results are in at Thatcham's Kennet School and its another very strong performance. In total, 41 per cent of pupils achieved A* to A grades, 64 per cent achieved A* to B grades and 87 per cent achieved A * to C grades. Well done Kennet!
We've got some results in from Theale Green School.
Half of all grades were achieved at A*-B and all students who took the L3 BTEC qualifications achieve the top grade of Distinction *. The results have secured students places on sought after courses at universities including Cambridge and Russell Group universities as well as places on prestigious apprenticeships with companies such as the National Grid.
Headteacher of Theale Green School, Joanna Halliday, said: “I’m delighted to congratulate our students on their achievements, which are well-deserved after their hard work and wish them every success in their future careers.
“Year 13 have been so motivated in this, their final year, and their commitment to Theale Green School has been an absolute joy to see.
"We are all immensely proud of the very impressive young people who have completed their education here, and wish each and every one of them success in the future.”
Congratulations to St Bart's pupil Sofia Pivaral-Booth, who got 4 A*s and is off to Oxford University to study experimental psychology.
The results are in at St Gabriel's and it's a record breaking year. In total, 67 per cent of of students achieved A* to A grades, 91 per cent achieved A* to B grades and a massive 99 per cent achieved A* to C grades. Well done girls!
ST BARTHOLOMEW’S SCHOOL SAYS:
St Bart’s is delighted to report yet another year of excellent results at A-level. With 231 students and nearly 700 entries from our open access sixth form, this cohort achieved some remarkable results. Well over a quarter of all grades were at A* or A, and nearly three-quarters were at C grade or better. Even more impressive, given the size of the cohort and the challenge of the new qualifications which are only assessed through terminal exams, is the pass rate of 99.3%
A total of 31 students achieved at least 3A* and A grades, including Isaac Fernandes (4A*s and 1A), Sofia Pivaral-Booth (4A*s), Harriet Atherton and Elsa Oakes (both 3A*s and 1A) and Matthew Forsyth (3A*s).
As a result of all the immense hard work of those students and their teachers, more than 160 of the cohort will be starting university across the country in the next few weeks, with seven of them starting at Oxford and Cambridge and a further seven beginning their studies in medicine or veterinary science.
Do’s and don’ts for getting through Clearing smoothly
Clearing can be a daunting process for prospective university students, which is only emphasised by disappointment if they haven’t been able to secure a place on their chosen course. However, many universities have courses suitable to various career paths, which are available on their clearing lists.
Below, the admissions team at The University of Law shares top tips for getting through Clearing smoothly.
Planning ahead is a good way to help you reduce stress and pressure on the day, helping you to not feel overwhelmed when you need to act quickly. Research alternative courses and providers ahead of time, including any relevant contact details, so you have this to hand on the day.
Get advice early
Teachers and careers advisors can help point you in the direction of people whose advice will really help when it comes to Clearing, such as students who have been through the process previously. As part of your preparation, make sure you seek this advice sooner rather than later, as it will be harder to access once Clearing gets underway.
Get everything you need to hand before you make a call
During Clearing, the phone lines will be extremely busy. When you call the Clearing hotline make sure you have your Clearing number and UCAS Personal ID number to hand (if you have one you can find this in Track), as well as the exam results and details of the qualifications you hold. This will enable you to work with the adviser quickly and efficiently once you get through, for the best chances of securing a place on one of your chosen courses.
Think carefully about your options, then make a decision
It makes sense to contact a range of institutions that you have researched in advance and to survey what is available to you in terms of options. Make sure you record each offer made to you and spend a bit of time evaluating which would be the best for you to accept. Once you’re happy to can add a clearing choice via UCAS track for the university to process.
You can apply for clearing courses until October 23 – but don’t hold off for too long. Different university courses start at different times, and when the courses are filled, they’re filled.
Many students have come through Clearing and gone on to have successful academic and professional careers, there’s plenty of options out there for you. Follow the steps above and ensure you have everything you need to hand. This approach will help to reduce stress on the day and enable you to act quickly when you need to.
Wait until your results come out to consider your options
The competition for Clearing places can be intense, so don’t add extra pressure by waiting until the last minute. There’s no harm whatsoever in considering a range of scenarios before getting your results. If the results come in and they are exactly what you wanted, then there’s no need for action, however if they aren’t quite what was required then you can rest assured, knowing that you’ve made a plan B (and C).
Let anyone else call on your behalf
Unless you have nominated alternative people on your UCAS form, you will need to talk to Clearing staff yourself. Staff manning the Clearing phones are all incredibly helpful and they may even have gone through Clearing themselves, so will likely know exactly what you’re going through.
Universities across the country will be processing thousands of applications during Clearing, so be prepared for it to take a little time if you’re applying after you get your results. Phones will be busy on Clearing day but keep trying until you can speak to someone about your options.
Assume you have not got your place
If you don’t get the grades you expected it can be easy to assume you automatically lose your place. Before you do anything, check Track before assuming the worst. Some providers will be happy to accept you with different grades to your initial offer, meaning you may not even have to go through Clearing.