College's exam star is still rising
STUDENTS at Truro and Penwith College enjoyed another outstanding year of A-level results, even bucking this year's widely reported national trend of a decline in A and A* grades.
Between the two campuses, more than 1,000 A-level students achieved a pass rate of 99 per cent, nearly 1 per cent above the national average.
The important high grades (A to C) pass rate at the college rose again to a record 83.2 per cent, soaring above the national A to C grade figure of 77.2 per cent.
While the proportion of those highest grade achievers dropped nationally by 0.3 per cent, the college saw its own proportion of students achieving A or A* grades actually rise by 0.7 per cent.
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Economics, further mathematics, English, French, and law were among the 36 A-level subjects which achieved a 100 per cent pass rate.
The college's very wide and varied A-level curriculum was reflected in the fact that 52 A-level subjects were offered, but the very largest numbers of entries were again in the traditional academic disciplines – for example, English (343 students), mathematics (22), chemistry (185), biology (176) history (148) and physics (125).
Martin Tucker, director of Penwith College, said: "I am delighted with these excellent A-level results which are a justifiable reward for all of the hard work that the students have put in, together with the excellent teaching that they have received from the team at Penwith.
"It is always nice to see students fulfil their ambitions and moving to the next stage of their education and training. These A-level results combined with the excellent vocational results this year are testament to the progress made at Penwith College over the past few years."
Results across the college's two main campuses were very consistent at both AS and A level but the latest results show particular growth in the numbers completing A levels at Penwith.
The Penzance campus was able to celebrate a 100 per cent pass rate in 26 of the 31 subjects offered and 100 per cent high grade (A to C) passes in six subjects including law and computing.
In total 32 A*s were achieved in subjects including biology, chemistry, computing, English literature, further mathematics, history, and psychology.
One of the college's best sets of results came from Tamsin Hichens, from Morvah.
Her three A*s in chemistry, biology and mathematics plus an A in French means she is off to Murray Edwards College at Cambridge University to study veterinary medicine.
The first person from her side of the family to get to university, Tamsin said: "I've grown up on a farm and always wanted to become a vet.
"I'm thrilled to get to Cambridge – having the ambition to become a vet has certainly given me the motivation to keep working hard."
Following Tamsin's career path is Kate Carnall, from Trescowe, near Praa Sands. She got two As and a B in sciences and geography which will enable her to take up a veterinary course at Nottingham.
Kate has spent a lot of time around horses and would like to specialise in the care of large animals.
Melissa Bird was another high achiever, with two A*s and an A in biology, chemistry and mathematics.
Off to Bristol to study biochemistry with the eventual goal of getting into research, Melissa said: "It's been really hard work but I've had some brilliant teachers."
There were massive smiles on the face of keen landscape photographer Dom Weeks, from Crowlas.
First he learnt that he'd achieved A*s in photography and graphics and a B in business, enabling him to start a photography course at Falmouth in September.
Then, a few minutes later, there was even more good news as he found out he'd been awarded a distinction in his music diploma.
"I've worked really hard here at Penwith but we have had great support from the staff – it's all been worthwhile."
Despite getting A*s in photography and graphics and an A in fine art, Leedstown's Jordan Jones is not going to pursue her studies for the time being.
"It's been great here and I've enjoyed doing the course but I want to set up my own business, probably in catering," she said.
Megan Archer, from Penzance, got an A* in history, As in philosophy and English and a B in mathematics which will enable her to take up a place at Bristol University studying philosophy. First she is taking a gap year, some of which will be spent doing conservation work in Madagascar.
Sam Symonds, from Penzance, said he was very happy to achieve an A* in mathematics and three As in further mathematics, chemistry and physics.
"I can now go and study maths at Bristol," he said.
Also successful in four science subjects was Tom Dennis, from Penzance who gained . As in maths, chemistry and physics and a B in computing, he will study computing at the University of Bath.