A Level students at The Sheffield Sixth Form maintain highest ever results

A Level students at The Sheffield College have maintained the highest ever pass rate in their results today – August 10th, 2021.

The pass rate for all students, including those aged 19-plus, is 98% this year - which is the same as last year and was the College’s highest ever results.

This year, there were 266 exam entries and 66% of students have achieved at least one A* to B grade. The majority of A Level subject areas achieved a 100% pass rate.

Anita Straffon, Deputy Chief Executive, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s fantastic to see our A Level provision going from strength to strength with another set of excellent results this year.”

She added: “Our students have worked really hard, adjusted to new ways of learning and succeeded in the face of considerable challenges from the pandemic. I am extremely proud of our students, and our amazing staff who have supported them, and we wish them every success for their next steps.”

The majority of students are going onto university including red brick Russell Group institutions such as the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Durham, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Loughborough, University of Newcastle, University of York and the University of Sheffield.

The degree subjects that students have received offers for include archaeology, biomedical science, dentistry, law, medicine, midwifery, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, sustainability and environmental management.

Case study – Tom Robson

Top performing student Tom Robson is celebrating after getting into the University of Cambridge. The 20-year-old has just achieved three A* grades in A Level English literature, history and sociology.

Tom said: “I feel very happy with my grades. It all feels a bit surreal. It’s great to finish on such a positive note.” Now he is going on to the University of Cambridge to study a Degree in History and Politics.

Tom hasn’t decided on a career path yet but is interested in political strategy and communications or journalism. On balance, he says that his learning experience at the College has been very positive despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom said: “During the last two years I've matured as a person and gained in confidence and the College has had a direct influence in this.  At the College you're introduced to a variety of people from various areas and of different ages and I think that has a positive impact helping you to mature in social settings.”

He explained: “Although the lack of social interaction with teachers and peers was tough because of the pandemic, I enjoyed learning during lockdown. During the time that would usually be spent travelling, and during free periods, I used to read and study instead. I read more during lockdown than I have in my previous 19 years, which definitely had a positive impact on my studies. Without the time lockdown granted me I would not be the same person I am now, and I am not sure that I would have had the same university offers.”

“The lecturers prior to, throughout lockdown and after it, ensured lessons were engaging and interactive once the initial teething problems of online learning were overcome. The most impactful aspect has been from the initial interest certain periods of history sparked within me and I am really looking forward to exploring that further as part of my degree.”

Case study – Alanna Hurman

Ambitious Sheffield College student Alanna Hurman is looking forward to a career in the legal profession after achieving top A Level results.

Alanna has achieved three A Levels gaining two A* grades in history and sociology and an A grade in English literature.

She said: “I am so happy with my grades, there aren’t the words to describe how I feel right now. I can’t wait to celebrate! Studying at The Sheffield College has been a very positive and rewarding experience. I am really excited about the next chapter of my life.”

The 18-year-old is planning to move to Leeds to study a Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of Law.  Her goal is to train as a barrister in criminal law with a long term ambition to become a coroner, whose role is to investigate deaths where the cause is unknown.

The University of Law is Alanna’s first choice destination, even though she received offers from top Russell Group universities. Her priority is to develop professional practice skills.

Alanna is looking forward to developing her advocacy skills in the University’s accredited courtroom on campus and hopes to gain experience of the legal field during her studies by being involved in pro bono work.

As she looks back on the last two years and the impact of the pandemic, Alanna acknowledges that it has been tough however, there have been some positives.

She said: “Lockdown learning was hard work and stressful. At times, I struggled with motivation and my mental health. However, it has been a rewarding experience to get through those times and having to adapt has made me a more independent learner. I would like to thank my lecturers, tutor mentors and the careers team for their incredible support throughout my studies. They have been amazing including helping me reach the interview stage at the University of Cambridge, which was a valuable experience. My sights now, however, are firmly set on the University of Law in Leeds. I can’t wait to start!”

Case study – April Mitchell

April Mitchell is looking forward to digging deep and getting started on her archaeology ambitions. The 18-year-old has achieved three A Levels in history, English literature and sociology at grades A, B and B.

Now she is looking forward to studying a Degree in Archaeology at the University of York. Her long term career ambition is to be a field archaeologist, which involves the study of human activity by excavating and analysing historical artifacts.

April said: “It feels great to get my results and I am very relieved. I have loved my time at The Sheffield College and would highly recommend it to others. The teaching has been excellent. The staff are very welcoming, friendly and supportive. The College has good transport links and a great library and spaces to work and socialise. The lecturers are dedicated to their students and always there for them and use a range of teaching methods so that subjects builds on skills which are transferable into daily life and careers.”

April explained: “I have built my communication skills and confidence, which has helped me prepare for university. I feel more comfortable speaking in groups and presenting as well as meeting others and exploring new places. Throughout the pandemic I found that all staff were super helpful and supportive and that learning online helped combine independence with non-independent learning which prepared me for the next steps after college."

“The College has multiple opportunities for students to get involved which allows them to build confidence and put their passion for their subjects into action. It’s been a great opportunity for me and I would like to thank all the staff for their fantastic support.”

The College has expanded its offer and now provides 20 A Level subjects in biology, business studies, chemistry, computer science, economics, English language, English literature, film studies, fine art, forensic science, geography, history, law, mathematics, media studies, photography, physical education, physics, politics, psychology and sociology.

Case study - Raphael Nwose

Sheffield College student Raphael Nwose is celebrating after completing his A Levels.

The 18-year-old has achieved three A Levels in biology, maths and chemistry at top grades A*, A* and A.

Raphael said: “I am absolutely amazed at the results I have got. It was a huge relief. I hope everyone got what they wanted despite the rough pandemic and disruptions we have had. I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout. I appreciate it.”

Now he is taking a year out to consider his next steps after completing his studies at The Sheffield Sixth Form, based at the College’s City Campus on Granville Road. 

Raphael has enjoyed studying STEM subjects and is interested in going into medicine and training as a cardiologist. 

He said: “I chose The Sheffield College as I was impressed with the open day and the facilities such as the learning resource centre and the dedicated sixth form area.”

Raphael added: “It’s been tough studying during the pandemic however my lecturers have been really supportive and provided extra sessions. There have been some unexpected benefits as I think having to adapt has helped me to become more organised and made me more of an independent learner.”

Case study - Charlotte Thompson

Charlotte Thompson achieved top grades and is progressing to the University of Sheffield to study a Degree in Psychology.

Charlotte, 18, gained two A* grades in A Level criminology and psychology and an A grade in photography. Her career ambition is to work in clinical psychology, which involves assessing and treating people who have mental and physical health problems.

She said: “I felt both surprise and relief became of how difficult the final year was with the national lockdown. The results confirmed that I had worked really hard. It was nice to see that my hard work was all worth it.”

Charlotte added: “I chose to study A Levels at The Sheffield College because, from the open days and speaking to the tutors, I knew it would be an environment I could do well in."

“My overall experience has been great! Obviously, the second year was challenging but the College staff were excellent in terms of supporting me and making sure I still had the same level of teaching that I had in the first year of my studies. The Sheffield College has also helped me realise where my passions lie. I had never studied any of the subjects I chose at A Level prior to being at the College, so that experience has helped me see that there are so many different careers out there.”

All of The Sheffield College’s A Level programmes are based at The Sheffield Sixth Form. The dedicated learning facility for A Level students, which includes a common room, is easily accessible by public transport and sits within the College’s City Campus on Granville Road.

A significant number of students at the College also progress to university level courses with vocational diplomas at Level 3 that are equivalent to A Levels.  To find out more about our A Level programmes, please email info@sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 260 2600.