PHOTO SLIDESHOW: West Notts students celebrate ‘truly excellent’ A-level pass rate

West Notts College celebrated another great year for A-level results, with a 99.2 per cent pass rate.

Almost a third of the overall number of students achieved A*-B grades, while just over two-thirds achieved A*-C grades.

West Notts students celebrate

West Notts students celebrate

Principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “These are truly excellent results and cement our position as one of the top-performing colleges in the East Midlands for academic as well as vocational achievement.

“I am very encouraged that we continue to deliver such strong A-level results and have once again exceeded the national pass rate, this time by 1.2 per cent.

“Good A-level results are the springboard to university or the world of work and students can feel justifiably proud of the effort and commitment they’ve put in over the last two years, supported by their families and our excellent tutors.

“It’s great that so many students have secured a place at their first-choice university, which is a reflection of their desire and motivation to reach their potential.

“This has been an outstanding year for the college and, as we congratulate students on their fantastic achievements today, we look forward to welcoming many new ones in September as they embark on the journey towards their chosen career.”

Students spoke of their joy after collecting their results.

Bryony Moody (18) from Mansfield, achieved an A* in maths and B grades in pure maths and chemistry – allowing her to progress straight on to a Master’s degree at the University of Sheffield.

She said: “I’m so pleased – I had a really sleepless night. It was tricky working out my results when I opened the envelope but I’ve just logged onto the UCAS website and it say’s I’m in!

Ella Kicks, Bryony Moody and Kerrie-Ann Leader.

Ella Kicks, Bryony Moody and Kerrie-Ann Leader.

“I’ve just phoned my family to tell them the good news and everybody’s really happy for me. I’ve got what I wanted.”

Kerrie-Ann Leader (19) from Mansfield, described herself as “surprised but really happy” to get an A* in English literature, an A in ICT and a B in English language, which has secured her a place at the University of Sheffield, where she will study linguistics.

She said: “I didn’t think I’d get these grades so I’m really happy. I think it’ll take a while to sink in.

“Academically, I’m really happy to get into my first-choice university. I’ve been told I’m eligible for an overseas scholarship, which means I get to do a paid work placement for a year in a country of my choice.

Bryony Moody delighted with an A star in maths, and B grad ... study a masters degree at the University of Sheffield

Bryony Moody delighted with an A star in maths, and B grad ... study a masters degree at the University of Sheffield

“I’ve only just found this out this morning! I’ll probably choose America.”

Sally Clayton, from Mansfield, is one step closer to achieving her ambition of re-training as a maths teacher after securing a B in law, C in maths and E in physics.

The 26-year-old is set to embark on a maths degree and PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University after taking the brave decision to quit her successful career in the restaurant industry, which included a managerial role at celebrity chef Marco Pierre White’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Box Tree.

She said: “Opening the envelope was possibility the most nerve-wracking experience of my life. The thought of two years’ of hard work possibly ending in disappointment was pretty terrifying.

“When I realised I got the grades I needed I felt a thousand different emotions – but all positive ones!”

Sally continued: “I’ve just had an email from university to say ‘congratulations and welcome’ so that’s a great relief.

“I’m really excited about what the future holds and I can’t wait for university because, even though I’ve done a lot with my life, looking back I feel I missed out on that experience so I’m delighted that now I can get to go and do it.

“I’m also looking forward to the prospect of becoming a teacher, which will hopefully be something I’m good at and enjoy.”

Samantha Reece (27) from Mansfield, was “over the moon” with her A grade in sociology and Cs in English language and psychology.

It means the mother-of-two has secured a place on a childcare studies degree at Nottingham Trent University – meaning her ambition of becoming a primary school teacher is clearly in sight.

Samantha, mum to son Dillon (8) and daughter Georgina (4) took the bold step of returning to the classroom three years ago after spending four years working full-time at McDonald’s, studying GCSEs before progressing to A-levels.

She said: “Juggling my responsibilities as a mother with coming to college and doing course work and exams hasn’t been easy – but it was the best decision I ever made.

“It changed my life and it’s definitely going to change my children’s lives. They see me doing something positive, which gives them a role model.

“I’ve become accustomed to the routine of coming home from college, giving the children their tea and, once they’re in bed, begin studying for the rest of the night. And then you get up the next morning and do it all over again!

“But it’s definitely been worth it and it’s preparing me for my working life because, once I’m teaching, it will be exactly the same.

“I’ve been left school over ten years and finally I’m on track. It’s like I’ve finally made it!”

Ben Faulkner, from Mansfield Woodhouse, is dreaming of a career in the RAF after getting the grades he needs to train as a pilot.

The 19-year-old is currently part-way through the application process and was thrilled to get a B in sociology, C in fine art and D in physics.

He said: “Now I’ve got two A-levels graded A to C I can complete my application to become a pilot so I’m really happy about that.

“Ever since I was a young boy I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. It could take up to three years to train and it’s a competitive job but I can see a great career ahead. I need to book my next interview and have a specialist interview, a medical and a fitness test.”

“I’ve just spoken to my mum and she’s delighted,” added Ben.

Jack Johnson (18) from Shirebrook, has bagged a place at Loughborough University – his first choice institution – to study economics and accounting after gaining an A* in business and B grades in accounting and law.

He said: “I’m looking at getting some work placements within accounting practices while studying, which will help me decide on the career I’ll be heading for.

“I’ll be off into town tonight celebrating with my friends!”

Beth Allen (18) from Edwinstowe, is planning to study disaster management and environmental hazards at either Kingston or Coventry universities after getting an A grade in geography, B in biology and C in chemistry.

But first she aims to spend two years working and travelling.

She said: “I want to travel to New Zealand – that’s been my plan for the last few years. I will work for a year and save up to fund my trip.

“But I definitely want to study disaster management and environmental hazards afterwards. It may sound strange but disasters fascinate me. When you look at a hurricane hitting somewhere like Australia, there are a multitude of reactions and to study this kind of thing would be great.”

As with previous years, the college opened its doors at 7am to give students the earliest possible opportunity to collect their results.

Students were given access to computers and telephones to contact UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service) and university admissions teams in two ‘clearing rooms’, while the college’s own careers and employability team was on hand to offer support and advice.