From education to employment

GCSE success for Activate Learning’s Bracknell and Wokingham College students

Mike Hapaguti

Students at Activate Learning’s Bracknell and Wokingham College are celebrating today after collecting their successful GCSE exam results. 

Over 95% of students taking maths and English GCSEs at Bracknell and Wokingham College achieved a pass in this year’s exams.  

The college also offers two full-time GCSE pathways. Biology, Citizenship Studies, Media Studies, Physics and Sociology all secured 100% pass rates.  

Many of the college’s GCSE students are learners who resit maths, English or both, to continue in education or progress their career.  

This includes mature students who need these GCSEs to progress in the workplace, learners who may have missed the chance to go to university and want to study at degree level, alongside part-time students who have studied GCSEs at evening classes. 

Cheri Ashby, Deputy Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said: “I would like to wish a massive congratulations to the thousands of students who are collecting their successful GCSE results from across our Activate Learning colleges and online provision today.  

“For many of our students receiving their GCSE results today, this isn’t their first attempt at them. Which is why, for me, it makes it all the more satisfying, as we get to see people succeeding where they previously haven’t and overcoming the challenge of previous failure, where they’ve pushed themselves to achieve. This is testament to our Learning Philosophy and the work we do with students to make them realise that previous failure doesn’t determine future success.  

“We have seen some remarkable results today across our both our colleges and our online provision, which continues to go from strength to strength.  

“For many of our learners, today’s results will open a door to further education and training opportunities or allow them to take up work opportunities they wouldn’t have been able to previously.  

“For those students who are due to join us next year, I hope everyone has done as well as they had hoped. Please remember that if you have not, we are always here to help you work out what you can do next and talk through your career options with you. Our colleges are part of our local communities and we here to support anyone who needs help.” 

Inga Menezes is a 47-year-old student from Bracknell. Inga, a part-time English and maths GCSE pathway student, was delighted to get a grade 5 for both.  

Inga said: “I’m very happy with my results. I didn’t think that I would pass English at all, as it is my second language, but I did and I’m very happy. 

“I first came to college because I wanted to become a nurse. I did my assessment for an Access to HE course, but found out that I needed to study English and maths GCSE first. 

“English is my second language, and the college didn’t accept my original grades from Lithuania. I didn’t do well at school in Lithuania, so I had to work hard here. 

“I moved over here 14 years ago but I never studied here before, as I was raising my children and working in roles that didn’t require GCSE English and maths. 

“I enjoyed the teaching. Everything was clearly explained. My English teacher, David, helped me by explaining everything, so I could understand. He knew that English was my second language. 

“It was hard studying as an adult, fitting it around work, family and home life. Studying had to take priority. 

“I originally wanted to do Nursing because I was working in a care home, looking after older people and I thought it would help.  

“Then I got a job at a florist, where I’ve learnt a lot and really enjoyed it. I’ve been part of a flower arranging club for 10 years, I’ve really enjoyed it and learnt loads.  

“I’ve changed my mind and decided that I would like to do it as a career and am looking into studying Floristry at Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) either in September or next September.” 

Seventeen-year-old Amber Harris is a full-time student in the GCSE Science Pathway. Amber, who is also a member of the Student Leadership team, was delighted to get a grade 6 in Maths (Higher tier), grade 6 in Physics, grade 7 in Chemistry, grade 7 in Biology and grade 4 in Psychology.

Amber said: “I’m very happy with the sixes and sevens, as I want to do A Levels in Science and Maths. 

“Coming to college was really nice. It was very welcoming. I was given lots of support. The students are very nice. 

“I didn’t do year 11 at school. Instead, I did a year in Foundation last year, doing English, maths, wellness and catering. I wouldn’t have done mainstream education if it wasn’t for my teachers, Sandra and Ben, who pushed me to do it. 

“The teaching was really good. My teachers uploaded everything to ALO and used the resources, which helped when someone was ill and needed to catch up. They made sure that everyone got the education that they needed.  

“I’m going to do A Levels in Chemistry, Physics and Maths at Bracknell and Wokingham College. I am also going to retake my English GCSE to see if I can improve my grade and get a grade 6.  

“I know that it’s going to be a big jump to study A Levels but I’m prepared to study daily to keep on top of the work and do my best.” 

Eighteen-year-old Annabelle Parker is a full-time student in the GCSE Science pathway at the college.  

Annabelle was happy to get a grade 6 in English language, Maths, Physics and Psychology, and a grade 7 in Biology. 

Annabelle said: “I never did my GCSEs before. I didn’t enjoy school. I left at 14 and went into care. I decided to come to college to do my GCSEs.  

“I was doing well in my college work, but I knew that the grade boundaries would be harder, so I was expecting my grades to be lower because of it.   

“Studying at college was good because it was more flexible than school. If I was having a bad day, I could come in, get the work and study in the library and get on with it. The teachers understood and would help me as much as they could. They were really nice, especially my maths teacher, who put on extra classes at lunchtime for students who were doing higher tier maths to help us. You could tell that he really cared about what grades we got.  

“I’m going to do A Levels in Maths, Psychology and Biology at Bracknell and Wokingham College. I feel good about doing them here because I’ve done my GCSEs here. In the future, I would like to go to university to study Psychology.” 

Mike Hapaguti, 17, studied a full-time GCSE Science Pathway at Bracknell and Wokingham College. He started in October, having relocated from South Africa. He was happy to have achieved a grade 6 for Chemistry, Maths and Physics, a grade 5 for Sociology and a grade 4 for English. 

Mike said: “I am proud of myself for getting the results that I got. I came to the college a bit later into the year because I recently relocated from South Africa.  

“I came to the college in October, and it was a bit hard for me to catch up and come to terms with how things are done in this country because the educational system is different in South Africa. With the help of my tutors and my friends, I managed to gain some momentum and hence I got the results that I got. I could have gotten less if I was on my own but thanks to the help that I was offered, I got what I have today and I’m grateful for it. 

“It was a nice experience to study my GCSEs here. I got to meet interesting people. I enjoyed the environment. My teachers were quite helpful, especially my maths tutor, Melvin; he played a huge role in not only helping me academically but also mentally, pushing me to go beyond my limits. 

“I am still considering what I’m going to do next, I’ve got a meeting with a careers advisor from the college to discuss studying a BTEC in Engineering or A Levels in Chemistry, Physics and Maths at Bracknell and Wokingham College. 

“I’m excited for the new challenges that are going to come with it and whatever comes next.” 

Bracknell and Wokingham College offers part-time GCSEs in English and maths. The college also offers two full-time GCSE pathways, the humanities pathway consists of English, Maths, Media, Citizenship, Sociology and Psychology. The science pathway consists of English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology. 

The college also offers a wide range of A Levels including Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Computer Science, Chemistry, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Further Mathematics, Geography, History, Law, Mathematics, Media studies, Physics,  Philosophy and Religious Studies, Politics, Psychology, Sociology and Spanish.

Bracknell and Wokingham College teaches a wide range of A Levels. These include Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, English Language and Literature, Further Mathematics, History, Law, Mathematics, Media, Photography, Physics, Politics, Psychology and Sociology.

The Church Road campus offers a variety of vocational programmes in Art and Design, Beauty Therapy, Business and Enterprise, Construction, Engineering, Esports, Foundation and Supported Studies, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, IT and Computing, Media, Motor Vehicle, Public Services, Sport and Tourism.

Additionally, Bracknell and Wokingham College’s extensive network of business partners means they provide outstanding apprenticeship opportunities via Activate Apprenticeships.

This year, Bracknell and Wokingham College is providing information, advice and guidance via Clearing sessions at the college from GCSE Results Day, and throughout the end of August and September. Tutors and career advisers will be on hand to help anyone who is unsure as to what to do next after GCSEs, and can also provide advice on funding and other student support services. 

Clearing sessions can be booked on the Activate Learning website

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