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Trent College has bucked the national trend of a fall in overall pass rates and the numbers of students gaining the top A* and A grades in this year’s A-levels - 68% of all students’ results were graded as A*-B, a 2% increase on 2013, while the school’s overall pass rate is 99.2%, also up on last year.
No less than 37% of all grades were at the top A* or A rankings, while of the 82 candidates, five students achieved four or more A* and A grades (6% of students) with 19 students in total attaining at least three or more A*-A grades (23%).
Trent College’s four-star performer, Sarah Ashcroft, saw she had achieved a clean sweep four A* grades through bleary eyes after only returning home from a European inter-railing trip at 2am this morning!
Sarah, a Senior Prefect and school Girls’ Tennis Captain, secured her place to study medicine at University of Leicester with top grades in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. But she admits she did panic about cutting getting back into the country a little bit fine yesterday afternoon.
She said: “I went to bed for a bit but I didn’t really sleep! We were a bit worried about a flight delay yesterday, and began thinking ‘This wasn’t such a good idea, maybe we should have come back a day earlier!’ But it all worked out fine and I’m sure the adrenaline will get me through celebrating today.
"I didn't let myself imagine getting these results but obviously I'm really happy. You get the option to do everything at Trent College and still be a high achieving academic as well. My teachers have done so much for me this year, they were always there for me when I needed help, even on the day of the exam. They have a constant wareness and understanding of what we’re going through.”
One of the biggest smiles of the day belonged to Penny Marshall, whose one A* and three As secured her place at Trinity College, Cambridge where she will study Modern and Medieval Languages, specialising in French and German. Having seen she had sealed her Cambridge place online before heading into school to get her results, she admits the outcome was the icing on the cake.
“It’s been pure joy, relief really,” said Penny. "All the hard work I did and that my teachers put in has really been incredible and getting into Cambridge has topped it all off. I only really started wanting to go to Cambridge in the past year; everything I worked for made it an option so to achieve it’s been amazing.
“The Cambridge application process is tough; when I was invited for interview I had to do a test in the language and then two interviews, one in French and one in German, plus I had to submit work along the way. It was a long process and I’m delighted to be going now.”
Amongst the school's other headline performers, Ahad Fayyaz secured three A*s and 1 A, Victoria Zuza scored two A*s, three As and one B from the six A-levels she sat while three other students - Jane Cowie, Ed Gray and Head Boy, Jack Sproson - all achieved three A*s each.
Jane, daughter of the school’s acting Head, Magnus Cowie, is now preparing to travel to South Australia for a gap year sports coaching in a school in Geelong.
Jane said: “I was completely shocked and I ran and hugged my mum and dad, but my dad already knew my results! I put in so, so much work this year and I was just scared it wasn’t going to pay off but it did! I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I have done and I couldn’t sleep.
"My dad’s always taught at the school so I’ve never known anything different, but it’s been quite nice having him there because, especially when I was younger, if I ever did anything wrong the other teachers would always tell him straight away! "
Jack is heading to Nottingham to study Politics while Ed is Bath-bound to study Sports and Exercise Science.
Jack said: "I hadn't seen if I'd got in to my chosen university before I opened the envelope and it was really surreal because the waiting's finally over and it's ended really well. My aim was that as long as I opened it and knew I'd tried my hardest and got the best result I could have done then I had to be happy.
"Trent strikes the balance really well between being involved in our academic lives and standing off in certain areas, which gives you the freedom to make the decisions you need to make. The school guides you in making the right decisions and keeps you on the right path, that's been key for our year group."
Ed, who joined the school for Sixth Form, said: "The passion of the teachers has made it; they really enjoy teaching their subjects so when they get behind it it's really easy for you to as well. I'm pretty pleased with what I've got and the hard work's paid off. It's worked out the best it could; I thought there might be a chance I'd do ok but it's gone in my favour. I logged on to UCAS before and already knew I'd got into Bath so the grades are the icing on the cake."
The overall results ensure that the vast majority of Trent College Year 13 students will be able to take up their first choice University place.
Magnus Cowie, Acting Head, said: "We're very proud of our students, they've worked very hard for the academic results they've achieved today and everything else they have achieved throughout their school lives. They have a fantastic platform for life now.
"We seen another improvement in overall results this year. One of the school's biggest strengths is the quality of relationships we have between students and staff and that's reflected in the results.
"The breadth of commitment is remarkable and they enjoy it too, which is seen in the smiles all around school. It doesn't happen by accident that our students are able to flourish in the way they do. They have tremendous opportunities but it's only of value if they take those opportunities. but not to the detriment of their academic results. It's all these things combined that give them the confidence to achieve."
Already thinking about your educational future? Trent College is hosting a Sixth Form Open Morning on Saturday 20 September with a Year 7 Open Morning on Saturday 4 October. Both events run from 9.30am until 12pm.