Three quarters of A level students were awarded A*-C grades, a quarter achieved A*-A. Over 71% of vocational students achieved the highest grades across Extended Diploma Courses. 100% of those taking EPQ achieved A*-C.
Results in traditional A level subjects such as English, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, History, Geography and other STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) alongside Performing and Creative Arts, were particularly notable for success.
An impressive 100% of students passed ‘Double Maths’ A level (Maths and Further Maths) and nearly half of the vocational Engineering students achieved the top grades of three Distinction*. Three quarters of Performing Arts students also achieved the top grades and 73% of BTEC Extended Diploma Art and Design students achieved three Distinction*.
Earlier this year Alton College celebrated 36 years since its official opening on 23 May, 1980 by then Secretary of State, Mark Carlisle. The College was one of the first purpose-built Sixth Forms in the UK and opened for teaching in September 1978 to a cohort of 226 students. Approximately 2,000 students from different state and independent schools travel from across four counties to study at the College due to its reputation for excellence.
The College was the first to be awarded Outstanding status in three consecutive Ofsted inspections and was noted as the second highest achieving Sixth Form College in Hampshire by the Sunday Times in its latest league tables.
Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire and Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, regularly visits the College. He said: ‘Alton College is a jewel in East Hampshire’s crown, offering students first class tuition in an environment of great achievement and purpose and this is reflected each year in the College’s impressive exam results. When I meet students at the College, I am always struck by their confidence and their drive. Alton students are inquisitive and challenging, but engage easily with each other and their teachers. It is a fantastic place for young people to explore, learn, develop and thrive. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding academic institution in our area. The College has developed remarkably over the past 36 years and I look forward to it continuing to go from strength-to-strength in providing excellence in education for young people in the area for years to come ’.
Sara Russell, Principal explained: ‘At 36 years young, we remain a thriving, modern Sixth Form College offering students an enviable choice of high achieving A level and vocational courses in a dynamic learning environment. We have extremely experienced, specialist teaching and support staff who provide the perfect bridge between school and Higher Education or employment. Benchmarking analysis shows Alton College is the number one choice in East Hampshire for studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), Humanities, Business, Media, Health and Social Care, Public Services, Child Development, Sport, Performing Arts and Art and Design. The College also ranks as the top provider for Engineering in the M3 Local Economic Partnership area for 16-18 year olds.’
She explained: ‘Our students are amazing and each year I’m so impressed and proud of their outstanding achievements. I’d like to offer huge congratulations to our students this year. Yet again thanks to their dedication and efforts and the unique support and high quality teaching from our expert staff, the College has exceeded national averages and achieved yet another set of outstanding results.’
‘Each year 98% of our students leave us for Higher and Further Education and employment. Nearly 19% of those who continue to university go on to Russell Group Universities including the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. 21% of our A level students achieve a First Class Hons Degree at University (the national average for Sixth Form Colleges and School Sixth Forms is 16%). Furthermore independent economic analysts have calculated that our Level 3 learners will earn over £8,000 more per year in higher earnings than those with no formal qualifications’, she added.
Around 40% of Alton College students go on to study STEM subjects at university. Second largest subject studied is the Creative Arts. This year six of music students gained places at highly competitive top Music Conservatoires.
She continued: ‘Life at Alton College prepares our students for their futures. In addition to our high quality courses we offer unique personal support and guidance as our Personal Tutors not only support students they also teach them, we also have a dedicated Careers Advisor. We provide students with the opportunity to travel with a variety of fantastic trips in the UK and abroad and participate in an exciting programme for extra curriculum Enrichment courses. We have a thriving Students’ Union, scholarships provided by independent charity, the Alton College Foundation, and initiatives such as ‘talks@altoncollege’ where speakers such as MP Damian Hinds and broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE give Q&A sessions in our industry standard theatre.’
Over the past 36 years, the College has grown from a small number of classrooms into an impressive university-style campus. More than £17million has been invested in its estate in the past 10 years, which boasts facilities such as an industry-standard media suite, music recording studios, science laboratories, the Wessex Arts Theatre, dance studios and a Starbucks café. The most recent addition and the College’s 10th building was the Sonardyne Centre for Engineering and Design Technology, opened by Sir Robert Winston in 2013. The College has a dedicated STEM Ambassador, Dawn Elson, Group Engineering Director at Merlin Entertainments and Dr Penny Marriott, a leading research scientist leads the College’s specialist Rocket Scientist Programme.
Ali Bayliss, previously at Perins School achieved 4* at A level and an A* in the Extended Project Qualification. He is going on to study Economics at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, much like College alumna Yvette Cooper, MP previously at Eggar’s School who studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and who came back to deliver a talk to students last year about her career path as part of the talks@altoncollege initiative . On receiving his results, Ali who took the More Able and Talented Programme which includes the Applying to Competitive Courses module, said: ‘Studying at the University of Cambridge was a long held dream of mine and am really grateful to all my teachers at Alton College for the special support and guidance that has helped me to achieve my long held ambition.’
Isabel Carter, previously at Perins School is going to study Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. She achieved an A* in Biology and As in Maths, Physics and the Extended Project Qualification. She said: ‘The support at Alton College is fantastic and the Applying to Competitive Courses programme definitely helped me gain my place at Oxford. I felt completely prepared for the interview and even enjoyed it. I also took the Geology enrichment course which was fantastic.’
Lucy Siers, previously at Eggar’s School successfully gained her place at the University of Bristol to study Law having achieved an A* and 2 As in her A levels and an A in the Extended Project Qualification. She said; ‘I am over the moon with my results, I couldn’t be happier. Alton College helped me throughout the last two years to enable me to fulfil my ambitions perfectly.’
Laura Denton, previously at Amery Hill School is going to study Palaeontology and Evolution at the University of Bristol having achieved A*, A and B in her A levels. She is really pleased with her results and thanked her teachers saying; ‘The encouragement from Alton College staff has been amazing over the last two years, in particular the science department. I practically lived in the department and received so much support and help from the enthusiastic teachers that it was a pleasure to be on campus every day. I was also grateful for all the extra-curricular activities that we were supported with, in particular the Biology Olympiad.’
Amy Bleakley, previously at Bohunt School, achieved A* in Geography and A* in the Extended Project Qualification as well as an A in English Language and Spanish. She leaves the College to study Physical Geography at Royal Holloway (part of the University of London). This year Amy was awarded the prestigious scholarship: the Steve Millar Award for Excellence in Geography by the independent charity The Alton College Foundation. She said: ‘I’m delighted with my results and have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Alton College. The teachers have been so supportive. It was an honour to be awarded the scholarship and I have used the money to buy books and to fund trips to prepare for university’.
Helen Blackbourn, previously at Perins School achieved three A* at A level and an A* in the Extended Project Qualification and is going to Exeter University to study Natural Sciences. On receiving her results she said; ‘I am so happy and grateful to all the teachers who helped me succeed. As well as the fantastic academic opportunities, I have been glad of the extra-curricular options available to students at Alton College. In particular I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Students’ Union; it has helped me grow in confidence and I have been pleased to contribute to the student voice. Alton College really has a sense of true community where the staff care about each student as an individual. It was the perfect choice for me and I am excited for what lies ahead.’
Amie Jones, previously at Weydon School fulfilled her ambition to study Geography at the University of Leeds by achieving an A* in Economics, an A in Geography, a B in Philosophy and an A* in the Extended Project Qualification. She said; ‘I am really happy with my results, and couldn’t have achieved them without the help and support of my teachers, they helped every step of the way and encouraged further extra-curriculum learning which I really benefitted from. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of four UK students at the international Geography Olympiad last summer, an opportunity I wouldn’t have had without the encouragement of the Alton College Geography Department for which I am thoroughly grateful.’
Tom Brailey, previously at The Petersfield School achieved A* in Law and A* in the Extended Project Qualification and As in English and Geography. During his time at College Tom was managing editor of the student magazine ‘The Alternative’. His band also qualified at WelcomeFest2015 for a spot on the introducing stage at popular Butserfest. Tom leaves the College to study World Literature at the University of California, San Diego. ‘Not only does the College offer a wide range of fantastic courses, it also has extensive range of extra-curricular activities that are fun, social and challenging. The College provides amazing UCAS advice and the teachers are incredibly supportive.’
Alethea Norman-Rhodes, previously at Amery Hill School achieved A* in Art & Design, A in English Literature and A in History and will be going to the University of Leeds to study History of Art. She said: ‘Alton College was amazing in pushing me to succeed, the independent learning style of teaching really suited me and I always felt the teachers were there to support me in my needs, they have helped me achieve what I set out to do. I’m so pleased.’
Ivan Saunders, previously at Perins School is going to Exeter University to study Physics having achieved three A*s and an A in his A levels. He said; ‘Alton College gave me fantastic support both academically and personally. The teachers helped me achieve the grades I needed to go onto university which I am extremely pleased about.’
Holly Kinsey, previously at Robert May’s School is going on to study Maths, Business and Finance at the University of Exeter. She achieved an A* Maths and As in Further Maths and D&T Resistent Materials. She succeeded in fulfilling her ambition to study Maths at university.
Josh Lawrence, previously at More House School is going on to study Civil Engineering at Swansea University having gained three Distinction* in his BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering. He said; ‘I never thought I could get into university and had not considered it previously, until I came to Alton College and the teachers encouraged and supported me and gave me the confidence and belief that I could gain a place. I am really grateful for all their help and support and am excited for the step up in particular the year in industry.’
George Garner, previously at Frensham Heights School achieved three Distinction * in his BTEC Extended Diploma in Media Production enabling him to go on to Ravensbourne to study Digital Film Production. He said; ‘I am so pleased to have done so well and am extremely grateful to the amazing teachers at Alton College for guiding me towards the result and career path I always wanted. I have been given some fantastic opportunities whilst at College, including using industry standard equipment, and this will stand me in good stead for the next step at uni.’ Last year George filmed the Q&A session with broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE, held in the Wessex Arts Theatre on campus as part of the talks@altoncollege initiative.
Alex Medler, previously at Calthorpe Park School studied BTEC Engineering alongside A level Maths, achieving three Distinction* in the BTEC and a C in Maths. He has gained a place at Loughborough University to study Automotive Engineering. He said; ‘Until I came to Alton College, I had not received such great support and informative, enthusiastic teaching. I was shown a different path that I hadn’t previously considered and am extremely pleased I chose to study here and am looking forward to see what the future holds.'
Clemmy Venn, previously at St Nicholas’ School achieved three Distinction* in BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts and is going to study Drama at the University of Exeter. She said; ‘I am really pleased with my result. At Alton College we are really lucky with the fantastic performing arts facilities and the high standard of professional teaching across all disciplines including singing, dance and acting. I have been encouraged to develop and broaden my skills base and feel fully prepared for the step up to university thanks to the support from teachers.’
Students in the lower sixth celebrated outstanding AS Level results this year with 62% achieving the highest grades of A-C. The pass rate across all courses was 90%, compared to the latest national average of 88%, while 9 subjects achieved a 100% pass rate. Further good news has our students placed in the top 25% nationally for surpassing their predicted grades (source: alps-va.co.uk). Principal Sara Russell said: 'This is an amazing news, year after year our students exceed national averages and I'm thrilled that almost two thirds of our AS Level students have achieved the top grades of A-C plus achieve beyond their expected grades. It's testament to the fact Alton College supports students to succeed every step of the way. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their tremendous efforts and encourage them to keep up their hard work and dedication for the next academic year'.
To find out why hundreds of students choose Alton College each year visit altoncollege.ac.uk/whyalton. The College’s next Open Days are Thursday 6 October, 3.30-8pm and Tuesday 8 November, 6-9pm.
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