From education to employment

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

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

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

More than 96% Bracknell and Wokingham College students who sat a maths or English GCSE exam have achieved a pass.

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 workplaces, 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. 

Around a quarter of students who have taken an exam for English or maths GCSE at Bracknell and Wokingham College have improved their grades that they had previously.  

Several students have been studying GCSE pathways at Bracknell and Wokingham College. The college offers two full-time GCSE pathways, the humanities pathway consists of English, maths, history, sociology and media. The science pathway consists of biology, chemistry, English, maths and physics.    

Cheri Ashby, Deputy Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said:

“GCSE results day is such a special time for us at Activate Learning as often we see our students overcoming the barriers they have encountered in their studies previously, to improve their grades and succeed where perhaps they thought they would not. 

“Once again, this year I am delighted to see so many students improving on what they have previously achieved, and to do so in the first public exams for two years – and for many of them their first since they were in Year 6 – is a real achievement. 

“I’d also like to take a moment to celebrate our older students who may have returned to education to get their mathematics and English GCSEs to advance their careers. I’ve heard some amazing stories about some of our mature students and I really want to shine a spotlight on their achievements, especially given the demands many of them faced in terms of juggling family commitments, busy home schedules and coming into college. 

“In particular, our mature students studying English and mathematics GCSEs fully online have experienced tremendous success today. This is a tribute to the way our teachers have embedded our Learning Philosophy by supporting our students to develop and build their confidence, keeping them motivated through helping them understand the relevance of their learning to their career pathway and having lots of opportunities to practise their skills and improve through ongoing feedback. 

“I would like to also express my thanks and appreciation to all our staff who have worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure our students achieve their qualifications. 

“For those students that 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.” 

Anne-Marie Benson, who studied an Access to HE Nursing and Midwifery Diploma alongside GCSE maths and English at Bracknell and Wokingham College is celebrating an outstanding set of results. These include a Grade 7 in English and a Grade 4 in Maths. She also achieved nine distinctions and one merit for her Access to HE Diploma.  

Anne-Marie returned to education after a long battle with bowel cancer and was inspired to become a nurse herself. Her personal experience with cancer being her inspiration to help others, as well as the excellent care she received from her own Macmillan nurse.  

Anne-Marie is dyslexic and was originally nervous about studying. Working alongside her daughter Daisy, who is also dyslexic, the pair revised their GCSE subjects together which helped them to succeed.  

In September, Anne-Marie will go on to study Adult Nursing at the University of West London. Daisy will be starting at Bracknell and Wokingham College to study a T Level in Health.  

Anne-Marie said: “I can’t believe it! I’m just in so much shock. I never thought that I’d be able to do this, but I have! 

“It was brilliant studying here at college, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve encouraged my daughter to study a T Level in Health here in September instead of staying on at sixth form at school. 

“It was scary returning to education as an adult, but also very exciting. The college and teachers have all been really supportive. 

Thrilled with a Grade 6 in English and a Grade 4 in Maths, Kelly Griffin, a part-time GCSE maths and English student, said: “I’m so happy! I really didn’t think that I would get the 4 in Maths, but I’m so happy I did. The hard work paid off! 

“I’m currently working as a Teaching Assistant and would like to become a teacher. I decided to study at Bracknell and Wokingham College because I applied to do a Foundation degree here but needed to pass my English and Maths GCSE before I could start it. 

“I thought that I should do it before I got any older. My children are older now and don’t need me as much, so I thought that this is my time to do it. 

“I really liked it here. The teachers were really good. I was really nervous about maths, but my teacher would go through it with us, answer questions and was happy to go back over things.” 

In September, Kelly will start to study a Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning at Bracknell and Wokingham College.  

Kelly added: “I’m nervous but now that I have done my English and maths, which were my hardest subjects, so I think that it will be fine. I’m looking forward to the Foundation Degree as I really like working with children.” 

Gareth Wells, who worked as a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) at Activate Learning, while studying GCSE English Language in evening classes at Bracknell and Wokingham College, achieved a Grade 6. Garethwill now go on to study a degree in Education Studies with Special Needs at the University of Winchester.  

Gareth said: “I’m really happy! I decided to do my GCSE in English Language as it was the only qualification that I needed to get into university. 

“It was interesting studying here while working as a LSA because I did my classes here and at the same time I was supporting students who were doing their GCSEs. It helped me to support them better as I knew more about the qualification and what they were going through.  

“It was strange returning to education as I haven’t been a student for 11 years. I’ve been a LSA for quite a long time so I’m more used to supporting other people than being taught. 

“The teaching was really good. I’d previously supported some of Ben’s students, so I knew what his teaching was like, which helped.  

“Although I feel sad to be leaving Bracknell and Wokingham College as I’ve really enjoyed working and studying here, I’m really excited to go to university to begin my journey of becoming a teacher.” 

Tamara Wolcough, a part-time GCSE Maths student at Bracknell and Wokingham College achieved a Grade 5. She will now go on to study a master’s degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Tamara said: “It’s amazing! I failed maths three times before.  

“Studying maths here was the first time that it made sense to me. My teacher, Paul made it easier and would explain it all and answer all my questions. 

“I’m really excited about going to university as studying maths here gave me the confidence to apply for it.”

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, history, sociology and media. The science pathway consists of biology, chemistry, English, maths and physics. 

The college teaches a wide range of A Levels including history, law, biology and accounting, as well as vocational options in subjects including Health and Social Care, Art and Design and Public Services. Additionally, our extensive network of business partners means that we provide outstanding apprenticeship opportunities via Activate Apprenticeships.

This year, we are providing information, advice and guidance at the college on the GCSE results day, and throughout the end of August and early September. Tutors and career advisers will be on hand to help anyone who is unsure as to what to do next after GCSEs, and we can also provide advice on funding and other student support services. 

Related Articles