York A level results 2020 – as they happened

13 Aug 2020

Here’s how a very different A level day unfolded in York. Well done to all York’s amazing students!

York College: We applaud our students’ outstanding resilience, effort and commitment

6 months ago
Students at York College today. Photograph: Charlee Rowton

The whole York College community is applauding the Class of 2020 “for demonstrating outstanding resilience, effort and commitment in their studies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Following the lockdown in March, York College students and staff adapted well to learning remotely, accessing online teaching sessions and independent teaching materials, delivered by tutors.

Students embraced the change in order to continue their studies and ultimately achieve their ambitions.

A college spokeswoman said: “With commitment and dedication, the students’ hard work is now enabling them to progress onto university, further training or employment, and they can look to the future with the qualification they originally set out to achieve before their lives were dramatically turned upside down.”

The hundreds of York College students excited to embark onto the next stage of their educational journey/careers includ:

Harry Walker is progressing to the University of Surrey to study Veterinary Science, having achieved Biology (A*), Maths (A*), Chemistry (A).  Harry says: “In lockdown each subject tutor did what they could to make studying accessible, and I want to say a big thank you to them.”

Robbie Messenger is looking forward to taking a gap year before studying Physics at Lancaster University in 2021. (Physics (A*), Further Maths (A*), Maths (A*), Chemistry (A).  Robbie says: “My tutors have been so supportive throughout the whole of my time at York College, and especially during lockdown.  I’ve had a great time at College and now I’m looking forward to studying my favourite subject at university.”

Rebecca Edwards is going on to study Games Development at York St John University, having achieved a Distinction in Creative Media Level 3 at York College. Rebecca says: “’I’ve always been interested in Creative Media, and chose York College as the course offered more practical input and helped me to figure out which area I’d like to go into in the future. During lockdown I was able to access the software I needed at home, to work on my Final Major Project, and also had regular Teams meetings with my tutors.”

Matt Phillips is taking a gap year and wants to study Computer Science at university next year. He is delighted with his results; Maths (A*), Further Maths (A*), Computer Science (A).  Matt says: “Overall, my experience at York College has been beyond what I expected.  Lockdown happened so quickly and my tutors stepped up to the plate and just carried on teaching.  I am so grateful for their support.”

Elysia Normanton is excited to study Medicine at the University of Birmingham having achieved fantastic results: Biology (A*), Chemistry (A), Maths (A).  Elysia says: ““I chose York College as I was ready for a different, more mature environment which has allowed me the freedom to focus on what I’ve needed to work on.  Studying through lockdown has been very different, but I’ve had regular contact with my tutors, which has really helped.”

Grace Clark will study Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, and then hopes to have a gap year before studying a Masters in Investigative Journalism.  Grace is overjoyed with her results: Politics (A), Law (A), Religious Studies (A*) and an Extended Project Qualification (A*).  She says: “Lockdown has been difficult, but the support from College has been amazing.  My tutors were always there for me, I had regular online lectures in all my subjects, and even the option of doing addition lectures!”

The following students successfully secured their Oxbridge places this year:

Annie Brown will study Natural Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge.  Annie achieved Physics (A*), Chemistry (A*), Maths (A*), Further Maths (A)

Keturah Sergeant will study Classical Archaeology & Ancient History at Balliol College, Oxford. Keturah achieved Ancient History (A), Late Medieval & Early Modern History (A*), Religious Studies (A*), Politics (A)

Leah Oates will study Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Leah achieved French (A*), Spanish (A), and English Literature (A)

Following an unconditional offer last year, Eloise Peniston will study English Literature at Somerville College, Oxford.  Eloise has taken a gap year following her A Levels in English Literature, Psychology, Drama & Theatre Studies.

York College principal: ‘There’s never been a more testing time to be nervously waiting for exam results’

6 months ago
York College principal Lee Probert with students. Photograph: Charlee Rowton

York College chief executive and principal Lee Probert said today: “There’s never been a more testing time to be nervously waiting for exam results.

“Our results reflect the high-quality work of a skilled and dedicated staff team, navigating a complex process.

“I am enormously proud of how our staff and students have worked during the period of lockdown. Whilst there is a lot of noise about the process for determining grades, our collective priority is our students and supporting them to achieve their progression ambitions.

“These results are an important milestone in a student’s journey and we’re here to ensure that journey continues in a positive way.”

Huntington School: Excellent results in an extraordinary year

6 months ago
Huntington School students with their results

Year 13 at Huntington School have earned their excellent results, staff said.

“I am delighted for our students in this extraordinary year that so many of them have attained results which allow them to take the next step in their lives, whether that be into employment or onto university,” director of sixth form Chris Hardwell.

Head John Tomsett said:

  • Our young people have earned these excellent results after 13 years of hard work in schools.

    The fact that the last three months of their school career were interrupted by the pandemic is immaterial to me.

    It has been a tough, uncertain time for many of us. I just want our students to begin the next stage of their lives safe in the knowledge that their results are utterly well-deserved. I am hugely proud of every one of them.

He also thanked Huntington teachers “who have invested a huge amount of time in ensuring that these grades accurately reflect our students’ capabilities”.

The Mount School students reflect on their successes

6 months ago

The Mount School’s Hannah Walton-Hughes achieved straight A* grades.

Hannah said: “Today has been a really lovely reward because I couldn’t have asked for better results. It’s really nice to know my work paid off! I couldn’t have done this without The Mount and all the opportunities and support I’ve been given.”

Hannah is taking a gap year before going on to study English with Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham.

Alicia Lake who joined The Mount at the age of three, has always been creative and, from a young age, her desire has been to become a fashion designer.

Alicia’s love of art and design has been nurtured as she progressed through the School and has seen her win many design competitions.

Today she celebrates achieving an A* in her art A Level and an A in Art and Design (plus an A in Classics).

Alicia is especially happy as she is one step closer to her goal after earning a much-coveted place to study Fashion Design at Ravensbourne University in London.

Alicia said: “I’m really happy about my results, it’s a relief after everything that has happened with lockdown. Whenever I needed help, my teachers were always supportive.”

Sophie Lofthouse also celebrates achieving straight As, securing a place to study veterinary medicine at Nottingham University. “I love Biology, so Maths and Chemistry were the ones I was worried about. It’s like a dream come true! Veterinary Medicine is what I have wanted to do since I was seven, and now at last it feels like it’s tangible,” said Sophie. 

Head of Sixth Form Michael Spiers summed up the day. “A socially distanced results day was a little unusual. However, it was wonderful to see the girls again and share their much-deserved success.”

Girls from The Mount School celebrate outstanding results

6 months ago

Girls from The Mount School York are celebrating outstanding A Level results today, said principal Adrienne Richmond.

She said she was tremendously proud of their achievements. “They have worked extremely hard over their two year A Level courses.

“Despite the unusual circumstances of the last few months and the cancellation of exams, in true Mount style the girls always remained upbeat and motivated.

“Throughout lockdown our dedicated staff provided girls with online lessons completing the course syllabuses.  Girls then undertook extended study sessions designed to develop their study skills for university and beyond.

Most of the students will be taking up their places at university in a wide range destinations and courses including business, english, fashion design, geography, psychology and veterinary science.

Fulford School: Praise for ‘bright, engaged, caring and capable’ class of 2020

6 months ago
Fulford School students with their A level results. Photograph: Fulford School

“We are extremely proud of the hard work and commitment demonstrated by our students,” said Steve Lewis, the head of Fulford School.

“This has been a difficult time for our young people. They have been asked to show fortitude and resilience in a changing climate.

“In amongst all the conversations around algorithms and the methodology of creating the exams results, it is important to keep their achievements across the whole of their school career central.

“They are a bright, engaged, caring and capable group of young people with vast potential. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have them as part of our school community.”

He offered his congratulations and best wishes, adding: “We are delighted to celebrate their success over their time at Fulford School and we wish them well as they go to university, start apprenticeships and work or take up gap years.”

Bootham School: A day to celebrate the achievements of our wonderful students

6 months ago
Chris Jeffery. Photograph: Bootham School

Head of Bootham School Chris Jeffery said it was a day to celebrate the students, rather than share stats or argue over education systems.

“This is not a year for schools to be bandying around their exam statistics as these, by very definition, have to be in line with previous years’ performance and thus can’t always reflect the performance or ability of these individual students,” he said.

“Today is also not the right time to be decrying or defending the system that has led to the results that have been given to students today.

“It is, however, a day for us to be celebrating all the achievements that our wonderful students take with them from their time at Bootham; to marvel at the resilience they have shown in coming through – and growing through – the most extraordinary and challenging few months that education has known for very many years; and to rejoice that the overwhelming majority of them have gained places on a chosen university course.

“Well done to ALL of them: we couldn’t be more proud, or more confident that the world will be a better place as we send them out them into it as fine young adults!”

Mr Jeffery said he was delighted by how many students remained engaged in learning even after the exams were scrapped. “By valuing learning and keeping at it, they will be really well set to commence their degree studies or other ‘next steps’ over coming months.

Our congratulations to them today – and our celebration of them today – are not diminished or dampened by the situation they find themselves in, but actually enhanced by it. I truly hope that our students will feel some of that for themselves, too. They all deserve to.”

He also paid tribute to his ‘extraodinary’ team who “worked incredibly hard to provide our students with meaningful work during lockdown”.

Archbishop Holgate’s School: Resilience, fortitude and excellent results

6 months ago
Archbishop Holgate’s School. Photograph © Google Street View

Students at Archbishop Holgate’s CE School have achieved another excellent set of results, said the head Andrew Daly.

“As a school, we are incredibly proud of Year 13 and all they have achieved during their time at Archbishop Holgate’s which equates to another excellent set of results for the school,” he said.

“Students have worked extremely hard over the past two years and, in the face of the challenging circumstances that have unfolded, have demonstrated great resilience and fortitude.

“Whilst students should be extremely proud of their excellent academic achievements, the measure of their success and development goes well beyond this: both individually and collectively, they have consistently embodied the school values and have been excellent role models for the rest of the school community.

He wished the students well as they went on to university, apprenticeships or employment: “We will miss them and we look forward to hearing about their successes in the years ahead.”

All Saint’s School: ‘We are proud of each and every one of them’

6 months ago

Sharon Keelan-Beardsley. Photograph: All Saints School
All Saints RC School students “have worked extremely hard throughout the last two years and our staff could not have been more supportive”, said Sharon Keelan-Beardsley.

A large number of students who have gained places at the top universities, the head added. “This year we have a record number of 10 students who have received Oxbridge places which is a phenomenal achievement and there are a significant number of others who will be going on to study medicine and veterinary sciences.”

Mrs Keelan-Beardsley added:

  • We are very proud of how they have responded to the challenges they have faced over the last few months, but knowing our students and their teachers, this is not a surprise.

    At All Saints we believe that all young people are unique and have their own gifts and talents.

    Their A-level results, while impressive are only one part of how they should be valued as human beings.

    The skills, experiences and qualities they have gained while at school will stand them in good stead for their future and we wish them every success as they move forward with their lives.

Joseph Rowntree School: Results and destinations

6 months ago

Joseph Rowntree School students in the Class of 2020 have achieved well across A level and BTEC Level 3 qualifications. Here are some of the exceptional outcomes.

  • Daniel Berry has gained a place at Wadham College, Oxford to study Psychology after achieving an A* in politics to go with his A* outcomes in English Language and Psychology
  • Bella Glover achieved A*A*A* in English Literature, Psychology and Theatre Studies, and is returning to the school to complete a Chemistry A level in the new academic year
  • Abigail Lavers achieved A*A*A in Biology, Sociology and History, and is off to Durham University to study Health and Human Sciences
  • Eve Martin with A*A*A in French, Psychology and Sociology goes on to study French and Linguistics at Edinburgh
  • Olivia Appleton with grades of AAA in English Literature, History and Psychology goes on to study Law at Nottingham
  • Charlotte Aspin with grades of A*AA in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology will study Medicine at Newcastle
  • Aedan Evans achieved A*A*A in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, whilst simultaneously adding Mathematics A level to his subject mix, which he will complete next year along with an EPQ
  • Cate Mulholland has achieved A*A*A in English Literature, Sociology and Psychology and goes on to study Behavioural Science at Durham
  • Hamish McArthur has achieved A*AA in PE, Maths and Biology and is aiming to continue his outstanding performance in international rock climbing when he leaves us. Hamish has competed for Team GB on multiple occasions during his time studying for his A levels and showed great commitment to both his academics and the sport he loves so much
  • Olivia Forth achieved A*AB in Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics and goes on to study Motorsports Engineering
  • Emily Gardner with AAB in Biology, Psychology and Chemistry who goes on to Kings College, London to study Biomedical Science
  • Jess Kilner achieved A*AB in Psychology, Sociology and Biology and goes on to study Psychology at university
  • Evie Wilman achieved AAB in Business Studies, English Language and Media Studies and will go on to study International Business. Evie was one of our Student Presidents and worked tirelessly towards her A levels as well as having a striking impact on student leadership within the Sixth Form.

The following students also saw A* grades or multiple A grades within their results:

  • Ines Castanheira (A* Spanish)
  • Georgia Clay (A* Mathematics)
  • Scott Cooper (A* Mathematics).

Multiple A grade performances for:

  • Josh Kelly (A grades in Photography and Graphics)
  • Faye Stainton (A grades in Theatre Studies and English Language)
  • Katie Western (A grades in English Literature and Theatre Studies).

Joseph Rowntree School: Class of 2020 showed ‘fantastic character’

6 months ago
Socially distanced celebrations at Joseph Rowntree School

Joseph Rowntree School head Dave Hewitt praised his students for rising to this year’s unique challenges.

He said:

  • We are rightfully proud of the hard work, dedication and fantastic character of the Class of 2020.

    They have shown themselves to be absolutely committed to their studies since joining the Sixth Form, and their response to the challenges posed by this year has been admirable.

Ben Coleman, head of the school Sixth Form, said the year group “threw themselves into the life of our Sixth Form like no incoming year 12 cohort that went before them, and focused on excelling academically from the very earliest stage in their courses”.

He added:

  • This outstanding group of young people went on to achieve the best ever AS results and were well placed to exceed all our previous bests at A level, had the exams taken place.

    It has been a pleasure to work with such a superb group of young people, and they have been a genuine highlight of my 14 years in teaching.

‘Absolutely heartbroken’ by the results

6 months ago

This from Emily Brown in York:

Queen Margaret’s results continue on impressive upward trajectory

6 months ago
Queen Margaret’s students relax in the sunshine. Photograph: QM School

Today’s A Level results have seen Queen Margaret’s continue on its impressive upward trajectory, the girls school said.

Queen Margaret’s is celebrating after 62% of all girls achieved three or more A*-B grades.

Half of all girls secured two or more A*-A grades – a figure which has gone from strength to strength over the last five years.

The average A Level class size of five students means teachers “have had the opportunity to really understand the needs of the individual girls”.

“Despite the tumultuous circumstances schools across the country have been faced with this year, QM continued to diligently nurture its A Level students when they were forced to learn from home during lockdown, even after examinations were cancelled. This is reflected in the grades the girls have achieved; 19% of entries scored an A* grade – more than double last year’s national average.”

Head teacher Sue Baillie said:

  • I’m delighted for our Upper Sixth girls, they’ve had to ride a wave of uncertainty over the last few months, days, and even hours but they’ve coped admirably.

    I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to support them so well along the way, offering the best environment in which they could achieve such excellent results.

Council leader praises students’ ‘effort and dedication’

6 months ago

City of York Council’s education leaders have praised the hard work and dedication of students across the city who have received their A Level results today.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s results were based on teachers’ appraisal of their students’ work, which has been moderated by Ofqual, rather than on formal examinations.

Council leader Keith Aspden said: “This year has seen many challenges, not least for young people coming to the end of their time at school and college.

“It is important that we recognise the effort and dedication that they have put in to their courses over the last two years.

“Despite the challenges, I hope they are able to use their results as a stepping stone to the next phase of their lives, whether that’s university, work, apprenticeship or other opportunities. I wish them the very best of luck on the next stage of their journey.”

Amanda Hatton, director of children, education and communities, added: “I know that the last few months have been immensely difficult for students and school and college staff. I’d like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication.

“The commitment we’ve seen from York students will form the foundations to build their future careers.”

Pictures – The Mount School students celebrate

6 months ago

These pictures, from Danny Lawson of PA, show students from The Mount School in York celebrating after receiving their A level results.

Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
A big day for the Mount students. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
Alicia Lake. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
Matilda Auty. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
Hannah Walton-Hughes. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire

Thousands of A-level results downgraded after exams cancelled

6 months ago

Thousands of pupils’ results have been downgraded after this year’s summer exams were cancelled because of Covid-19 despite record-high results.

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9% securing the top grades this year, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1%) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.

Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.

In England, a total of 35.6% of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3% were brought down by two grades and 0.2% came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.

But overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9% – the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.

In total, 27.9% of entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer, which is up by 2.4 percentage points on last year when 25.5% achieved the top grades.