Hard work pays off as college students secure record-breaking A Level results

Two years after being diagnosed with a form of dyslexia, Niall Auckland has helped Northampton College to a record-breaking set of A Level results – earning himself an A* in English Literature.

The 18-year-old struggled with panic attacks throughout his childhood, brought on in times of stress and tight deadlines. Thanks to the support of staff at Booth Lane his condition was diagnosed and he has managed it successfully to achieve outstanding A Level grades of A* and two Bs.

He said: “I’m over the moon to have got an A*, I never thought it would be possible. I’m so grateful to everyone at Northampton College for helping me over the past two years. It’s been lifechanging for me.”

Niall has earned a place at university in Liverpool but has deferred it for a year having landed a job at Nationwide in Moulton Park.

Students within the A Level Academy at Northampton College achieved an overall A Level pass rate of 97 per cent. Almost half (45 per cent) of all grades were either A*, A or B – the college’s best ever performance.

Eight subjects - biology, chemistry, geography, art, media, history, psychology and maths - achieved 100 per cent pass rates.

The percentage of overall high grades (A*- C) was 72 per cent, a 31 per cent rise when compared to 2016, and continuing the trend which last year saw Northampton College hailed as the leading college in the East Midlands.

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “We are delighted to have seen another exceptional performance in A Levels. We saw a significant improvement in grades last year so to have followed that up with an equally outstanding set of results this time around is especially pleasing.

“We set high expectations of our students, making sure that they always attended their classes regularly and punctually and instilling a culture of hard work and determination. I am thrilled to see our students reap the rewards of months of dedication.

“We have increased the amount of support that was available for students to keep them on track and I am proud of our staff who have worked so hard to support their students throughout the year. Their success will provide students with a solid foundation for their continuing studies and future career progression.”

Among the students achieving outstanding grades was Holly Sambridge, who is heading to the University of Birmingham to study business management having secured grades of ABB in geography, history and English literature.

She said: It’s such a relief after two years of hard work to finally have the results in my hand. After all the doubts and all the nerves I now know I’m off to uni.”

Kayleigh Moore achieved three B grades at A Level and is now heading to the University of Nottingham. She said: “I’m very grateful to all the teachers who have been amazing during my time at Northampton College, they have been so helpful.”

Anna Britton is set for a degree course at Oxford Brookes having also secured three B grades. She added: “I’m over the moon. I got the grades I needed and I can’t recommend Northampton College enough, the support you get from the teachers here is incredible.”

When Max Odell was five-years-old he harboured dreams of becoming an astronaut. Those ambitions are still alive and have moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the 18-year-old secured stellar grades at AS Level – paving the way for a potential University place in the future.

He said: “I’m really happy with how my first year at college has gone and I’m thriving on the independence it offers you. I’m looking forward to the future now with renewed confidence and I can’t wait to get going again and focus on the A Level programme next year.”

For anyone completing A Levels or BTECs who does not plan to go to university this year, the College has a number of higher education options including HNDs in a range of arts and STEM subjects.

Meanwhile, GCSE results at the College remained strong, with an overall pass rate of 98 per cent.

Mature student Philip Brocklehurst, who suffers from anxiety, secured a 9 grade – the highest possible mark – despite having a panic attack halfway through his GCSE English Language exam when his computer crashed.

He said: “The support staff were incredible. I thought it was ruined but they calmed me down and got me in a position where I was able to complete the paper. I must have worked 10 times harder than I ever thought possible to get it done in time.

“All the way through the course I was predicted a 5 so to get a 9 is amazing. I’m overwhelmed. It means an awful lot as I’ve had a terrible year. My marriage broke down, I lost my job and my home. I’m doing this for my kids so I can get myself a job and support them.”

Philip is staying on at Northampton College to pursue a course in integrated humanities and wants to eventually become a teacher at Booth Lane, using his experience to help fellow students overcome challenges and achieve the grades they need to get on in life.

Bettina Knight, Anna Szmak and Lucy Rogers are all set to become teachers having secured high passes in their GCSEs – giving them the final piece in the jigsaw and providing them with the qualifications to launch a new career.

For further information on the opportunities available at Northampton College, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk or call 0300 123 2344