Students at Barrow Sixth Form College are celebrating an excellent set of results in a historic year for education.
The sixthformers returned to the Rating Lane campus for results day to discover their grades and plan exciting futures at university, in higher apprenticeships and in employment.
There were around 200 students marking their achievements in A Levels and CTECs with joyful hugs and high fives to their friends – after two years of disrupted study due to the pandemic.
The college saw a bumper crop of high grades with top students Chloe Price, Rona Bisset, Izzy Rodger, Jacob Sharif, Kris McSweeney and Isobel Dixon all securing the maximum 3 A* grades.
Aspiring medics Chloe Price, who joined college from Dowdales, and ex-Chetwynde student Aimee Barker secured their university places to study medicine. Former St Bernard’s student Darcie Wallace achieved As in all her subjects and is going to study dentistry. They all studied A Levels in biology, maths and chemistry.
“I was awake at 5.30am and trying to stay calm,” said Darcie. “I needed 3 As to study dentistry at the University of Sheffield and I found out this morning that I’d been accepted. I got my head down and worked hard for my final assessments but I’m still surprised by my grades.”
Rona Bisset’s top grades in art and design, maths and physics take her a step closer to her dream career in architecture with a place at the University of Edinburgh.
“I’m ecstatic with my results,” said Rona. “I think I adapted well to the lockdown situation and my tutors were amazing, I’d like to thank them.,” she said.
Meanwhile, fellow art and design student Adam Smith, who joined from Furness Academy, studied four A Levels securing ABBB and will study biology at Newcastle University.
“I want a career as a research scientist, I wasn’t expecting to get such good results. I definitely think I’ve gained new skills in lockdown that I wouldn’t have in college and I’d like to thank everyone who helped me along the way,” he said.
Paige Edwards, another ex-Furness Academy pupil, achieved an A* in maths and 3As is also planning to study a science subject with a degree in paramedic science at Coventry University.
“I wanted something that was an alternative to nursing and a bit more independent,” she said. “I’ve made great friends at college and we’ll be celebrating tonight. My family are dead proud of me.”
Jacob Sharif will do a degree in law at the University of Manchester while fellow ex-Walney pupil Izzy Rodger’s 3A*s and an A* in his extended project mean he is heading to Durham University to study physics.
“My aim is to become a commercial solicitor,” said Jacob. “I was nervous but having seen my results, they are great and I’m relieved. It’s not only the students that had to learn to adapt from home but the tutors too and I’d like to give them a special thanks for their support.”
Izzy said it had been an anxious wait. “I knew I needed an A in physics and I was prepared to fail and bawl my eyes out, so I’m so happy that I’ve done well. This year has been unprecedented and it’s been tough at times, but the teachers adapted well and so did the students. I’m excited for uni and ready to tackle it now. I’m going to celebrate with my family. They’ve been more anxious than I have!”
Hannah Brabbs, who went to Millom School, will read English Literature at Manchester University after achieving As in all her subjects while Charlotte Dixon, who joined from Furness Academy, was celebrating after securing 3As in biology, law and psychology and a B in photography.
She said: “I’ve had my offer confirmed to study law at Durham University so I’m feeling really excited. I was really nervous this morning, but thankfully I pulled through. My family and friends are really pleased for me, especially my sister Hannah as she’s at the same uni.”
Connor McLoughlin and Bobby-Rose Bone are looking forward to higher apprenticeship roles at BAE Systems in engineering and quality project management respectively.
“I always aimed for a higher apprenticeship because it’s close to home and you get paid while you work,” said Connor. “I did have an offer to do a degree in mechanical engineering but when I got the offer from BAE that’s what I wanted.
“I’m really happy. There were many distractions working from home but I feel I got through it and I’ve got the grades I needed,” added Bobby-Rose.
Head of Sixth Form Helen Gibson praised everyone across the college for the way they had stepped up in a challenging year.
“We are so proud of what our students have achieved after what amounts to two years of disruption to their education due to the pandemic.
“They have been an absolute pleasure to work with, they have responded positively to everything that has been thrown at them and turned challenges in learning into opportunities.
“We are sure that the problem-solving skills they have honed and resilience they have shown will stand them in good stead for their futures. It is also testament to the commitment and dedication of our amazing staff that our students have achieved their goals.”
Assistant Head of Sixth Form Helen Rastelli, who runs the Honours programme for academic high flyers at sixth form, said it was wonderful to end the academic year on such a positive note.
“To see the students faces today as they receive their grades and look forward to bright futures is what teaching is all about.