In this, the first year that the college has run the new, linear A Levels, students have achieved 100% pass rates in: Maths, French, Spanish, Film Studies and the Extended Project Qualification (part of the Baccalaureate qualification), as well as pass rates of over 90% in subjects such as English Language and Literature; English Literature; History; Media; and Sociology.
The college has a strong reputation for its vocational (work-related) qualifications and hundreds of students have taken vocational courses in a wide range of subjects, from Applied Science; and Engineering; to Performing Arts; Digital, Creative Media; and Health and Social Care. For example, many students achieved three Distinction* grades – equivalent to three A Level passes.
The college’s Principal, Kim Caplin said: “This year more students than ever have taken A levels and vocational qualifications with us and I’d like to congratulate our students and the staff who have supported them over the last two years on their successes. It’s an exciting day – as well as a nerve-wracking one – for everyone.
“It’s wonderful that so many of our students have travelled to our Kings Cross campus for A Level results day, to receive their results. We’re celebrating with them today and helping them make their next step – whether that’s to university, to college or into an apprenticeship or a job. Some students have overcome really difficult backgrounds to get some excellent results and we’re really happy for them.”
And, for any who haven’t achieved the grades they wanted, our dedicated staff are also on hand to support them through university Clearing and help them explore their options, whatever their grades.”
One student celebrating today is Georgia Sullivan, who achieved an A* in Psychology, an A* in Sociology, an A in Media Studies and an A in her Extended project Qualification (EPQ).
“I’m over the moon!” she told us. “I honestly wasn’t expecting this and I’m ecstatic!” Georgia wants a career as a Psychiatric Nurse working with young people and is off to study Mental Health Nursing at the University of Nottingham.
Another delighted student is Chiron Haynes-Lynch who achieved A* in English Literature and Language, A in History, A in Politics and an A in his EPQ. Armed with these amazing grades, he is off to Leeds
“I wasn’t totally sure I was going to get the grades, so it was nice to wake up to this. I’m celebrating with family and friends later.”
Zoe Dupas-Hoult was one of our many successful vocational course students, gaining D* D* D* grades – equivalent to three
“I am taking a year off and travel now,” she told us. My course included Marketing, Law and Finance and I want to work in music. The Marketing part of my course will really help with this getting into the music industry. So I’ll apply for internships and apprenticeships in 2020.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at WestKing. It was really good fun.”
The media always take an interest in A Level results day and one of our past A Level students, Fatemeh Roshan who is now studying Dentistry at Sheffield University, was interviewed by Sky TV. Sky had originally interviewed her on results day back in 2015 and caught up with her to see how she had got on since then. Fatemeh talked about her feelings on the day and what her ambitions are for the future.
Many students get unexpected A Level results. Often these are better than they’d expected but sometimes they get worse grades and worry that their won’t get either their first or ‘insurance’ university places. So, on results day and in the days afterwards, our Careers Team offers vital support for students who have questions following their results. This could include queries about Clearing, but also Adjustment (for those who did better than expected) and anyone who may have had a change of heart about what they want to do next.
Charlotte Hoets, Careers and Progression Lead at Westminster Kingsway College, manages the college’s team of careers and employability advisors who support students throughout their time at the college. She explained: “Our role is to always ensure that students are making informed decisions that are right for them and their personal circumstances.
“We do this all year, but on results day – which is a particularly emotional day – we want to make sure our students are not making panicked decisions. If someone is very upset, we refer to our welfare team if emotional support is needed first and we provide reassurance and guidance.
“The first student I spoke to today immediately after getting unexpected results, has been on the phone to universities and gained two verbal offers that he’s really happy with. He is planning to visit them tomorrow and make a decision about his new pathway. We’ve also had thank you messages from students who were panicked this morning, and that having someone at college to calmly talk through the options with, has really helped clarify the positives and get them quickly onto a great path.
“There isn’t one right answer for anyone, it’s a very personal choice and there are lots of potential options for people to choose from. We have helped students that maybe dropped only one grade. For example I had a student who got three As, but wanted A*, A, A and he has been weighing up whether to seek a clearing place with 3As or re-take to get that A* and go to his dream university.
“Often students are too focussed on worst case scenarios. This is completely understandable, but in fact there are a lot of fantastic opportunities out there, many of which can be secured with a very short turn-around, and we can help students work through these options logically. Sometimes these involve lots of administration and reassurance of how to get through the process. It can be especially complicated changing university through Clearing, but we can help students navigate these processes when things may seem overwhelming. As well as a listening ear and support, we also provide a calm and quiet space to think and to make phone calls.”
Some students are from poor backgrounds or are care leavers – some don’t have reliable internet access or even their own phone – and they often need extra support. Charlotte’s team are here to help: “We can provide the vital tools that they need to check Clearing and contact universities; things that most people take for granted. We’ve also been helping students today who need to get a scholarship or a bursary to make their university progression possible. There can often be additional queries to resolve, such as finding accommodation and looking at the excellent packages for care leavers that many universities offer, which can include additional personal and financial support. It can seem very complex and daunting, but we’re here to help.”