West Notts College students toast GCSE success

James Hilton celebrates his exam success with his daughter Ellie and son Thomas
James Hilton celebrates his exam success with his daughter Ellie and son Thomas

West Nottinghamshire College is toasting further exam success – its best-ever GCSE pass rate of 99.4%.

It comes just a week after the college recorded its all-time highest A-level pass rate of 99.2%.

Greg Dickman

Greg Dickman

A total of 130 students sat GCSEs at the college this year (2011/12). Results of the 174 exam entries include:

An overall pass rate of 99.4% – up 0.4% on last year;

100% pass rates in three out of four GCSE subjects offered at the college – namely in maths, psychology and science; with science gaining 100% for the sixth consecutive year;

98% pass rate in English for the second year running.

Deputy principal Patricia Harman said: “To achieve record pass rates for A-levels and GCSEs in the same year is fantastic for the college.

“Most of our GCSE students are adults returning to college to get a qualification they missed out on first time around, so they can progress to further study or pursue a career goal.

“Whatever their circumstances, they can all feel justifiably proud of what they’ve achieved.

“GCSEs are crucial for going on to study at a higher level so they’re one of the most important qualifications a person can get.”

Greg Dickman, from Ravenshead, hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming of doctor –after getting top A* grades in GCSEs English language and maths.

The 28-year-old – who has a Masters degree in physics – decided to re-take the subjects at West Notts College to improve on the grades achieved at school.

He said: “I worked really hard and studied during a lot of my time off from work, so I was hoping for A grades. But to get two A* grades is wonderful.”

It means Greg, who currently works as a healthcare assistant for the elderly at King’s Mill Hospital, is now ready to take the next step in pursuing a career in medicine.

He continued: “Since working at the hospital my motivation has been to work in geriatric medicine and I’m determined to get there.

“I sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test at the University of Nottingham next month and should discover next year if I’ve been accepted onto the medical course. If so, I’ll be working at Royal Derby Hospital, right next door to the university campus.”

Father-of-two James Hilton (47) celebrated with his children Ellie (nine) and Thomas (seven) after gaining two B grades in his GCSE English language and science at West Notts.

For James, from Pleasley, getting these qualifications means he can apply to study a teacher training qualification at university once he’s completed his Foundation Degree in Education, Learning and Development next summer.

He said: “I was pretty nervous when the envelope containing my results came through the letterbox. I rang my partner and read my results out over the phone to her. To get two B grades is great.”

Currently a teaching assistant at Anthony Bek Community Primary School in Pleasley, James eventually hopes to become a primary school teacher following a somewhat colourful career history.

He said: “I spent over 20 years in the broadcasting industry working as a radio advertising producer and presenter for the BBC and then for other local and regional stations. I then went on to run a pub. I’m ready for a change and teaching is something I’d love to do.”

As well as working part-time for Mansfield 103.2, James runs a mobile disco at weekends and is currently refurbishing a house.

He added: “Fitting my college studies around my work and family life was hard at first but I soon found a new routine and managed to juggle it all. I’m really happy with my grades, so the juggling has been worth it!”

Anybody interested in taking GCSEs at West Nottinghamshire College should call 0808 100 3626.