Post-16 Results 2021
What a journey.
As families will no doubt realise this year has been a very difficult one for many students and families and this equally applies to our Post 16 students who were receiving their results today.
As with GCSE results which are awarded on Thursday 12th August, these are Assessment Awarded Grades. This is because in March 2021 external exams were cancelled by the Department for Education due to Covid and all schools were asked to create their own robust examination system. With the help and hard work of support and teaching staff, over a very short time scale, we have developed and implemented an examination awarding process which we believe is fair, consistent and robust. Our aim was to put in place an assessment system which took into account a range of assessments across a student’s portfolio so that all students got a chance to show their abilities.
This will mean that it will be hard to compare to results from other years. This does not mean that this year’s grades are any less valuable or deserved – in many respects using evidence from assessments across a range of tasks is gives a better indication of a student’s ability than one final long written examination and also requires students to work hard across their whole course rather than saving all their efforts for the final exam.
Because of this I am not intending to talk about Post-16 headline rates or “best results ever” since ensuring our young people are successful in their next step after ECC is far more important.
Of course, it is fantastic that two of our students earnt places at Oxford (and will be studying in the same College at Oxford though in diverse academic fields – Music and Biomedicine) with another going off to study Medicine at Exeter along with students studying from as far away as Edinburgh (Applied Mathematics), Sheffield (Physiotherapy) and York (Environmental Science) with 23 students gaining places at Russell Group universities. As well as geographically diverse universities, there is also a real diversity amongst the courses students have chosen from Live Sound (Plymouth) to Marine Biology (Swansea) to Forensic Investigation (Winchester). It is also great to see so many of our students moving into apprenticeships (about which we are still awaiting information confirming courses) as well as into the world of work.
However, today feels more about recognising how difficult the last 18 months have been for our young people during their two or three years in Post-16.
Each of these students will have their own stories to tell, whether that is about family circumstances, the battles of learning from home or worries about what the final assessment would look like. Each of them will also have been on an amazing journey and shared those experiences with our incredible Post-16 team, their tutors and teachers. Our staff know it has been really tough for many of the students which is why we are so exceptionally proud of your individual achievements and the way you have persevered to overcome the barriers that you have often faced.
Talking to students as they left our school this morning, many with beaming smiles and ready to start the next chapter in their lives, it was clear that they were overjoyed with what they personally had achieved and, I am sure that for those who may have had a tinge of disappointment about a missed opportunity, over time, they will come to realise how amazing their achievement was given the difficult circumstances under which they were having to study.
Whether students left telling me about their plans to “chillax” for a while, carry on working, start an amazing apprenticeship or get ready to start universities across the country we are all really proud of each and every one of you and wish you all the best for the future.
Finally, I am sure the students would wish to join me in thanking parents, carers and other family members for all their support over their time in Post-16 and in many cases for the previous five years at the College before that. Thanks should also go to all the staff, teaching and support staff, involved in helping students achieve these fantastic results. From the Post-16 team led by Ms Craddock and ably supported pastorally and academically this year by Mrs Thomas, Mrs Wright, Miss Burch and Miss Collingwood as well as a great team of teachers, tutors and other support staff. Thank you all.