Cardiff and Vale College has had its best year ever for A Level success this year, with more students gaining their qualifications than ever before.
The number of full-time learners achieving A*-C grades increased overall by 3% on last year, which in itself had seen an increase of 2% on the year before that. With more than 3,000 exams sat and A Level results received, many subjects recorded 100% pass rates.
“We are thrilled that so many of our students have succeeded and achieved grades that will enable them to progress into further learning or straight into employment,” CAVC Deputy Principal Kay Martin said.
“This is a fantastic result for the first cohort of students studying in our new Cardiff City Centre Campus with its dedicated A Level Centre with art studios, science labs, computer rooms and excellent teaching facilities. Our focus here at Cardiff and Vale College is on progression – and it’s particularly pleasing to see that last year that 82% progressed straight in to university or employment within three months of completing their qualification.”
More than 850 of the College’s students progressed straight into university last year. One student who will follow in their footsteps is 18-year-old Sol Khan from Penarth.
Sol, a player in the College’s Rugby Academy which aims to develop talents both on and off the pitch, studied A Levels in History, English and Religious Education. His results have gained him a place studying History at Loughborough University.
“I’m buzzing at the moment,” Sol said. “I didn’t do so well in my first year – I thought I had worked hard but it just didn’t happen for me. So this year I tried harder and the results were a massive relief which just shows you that hard work is good for you and it does pay off!
“I play for College Rugby Academy and Loughborough has a good reputation for sport. I applied to do rugby and I applied for History as well. I’m happy to have got on the History course – it’s good to have something other than rugby plus I enjoy history and I can keep up with my rugby as well while I’m there.”
Another CAVC student who was pleased with his A Level result was Jacob Strong Greys from Newport. He has read out the traffic news on BBC Radio Wales and South West for ten years and is looking for a change in direction.
“I’ve got a B in English A Level which is just what I want to go into teaching,” Jacob explained. “I am definitely chuffed – this English A Level is the key to a career change for me.
“I’ve been reading the travel news on BBC Radio Wales and South West for ten years and I would like a change so I want to get into teaching. I’ve also sat a GCSE in Maths and I’m waiting for the results of that next week – the Welsh Government requires these two qualifications for teacher training but if I don’t achieve my GCSE I can always study in England.
“But I needed the A Level! A lot has been hanging on it for my change of career – it’s a game changer. College has been fantastic.”
Twenty-one-year-old Damien Moran from Barry has achieved the grades he required to go to Aberystwyth University to study Marine Biology.
“I didn’t expect to be accepted so I was blown away,” he said. “So I’ve got the results that I need. I enjoyed the course – the teachers were really good and they took the course well.”
Shannon Conway, 23 and from Penarth, achieved an A* in Sociology, an A Sociology and D in History.
“I’m very happy with the results and I’m going to Cardiff University to study Human and Social Sciences,” she said. “It’s great – I can’t believe it. I want to become a professional psychologist so that will be another three years studying after my initial university course. I cannot wait to go university but my time at the College was really nice. The teachers were really helpful and were always there is you needed them and you cannot ask for more than that.”
Derek Lai decided to return to education and the 27-year-old from Cardiff has done far better than he thought he would, achieving Bs in Graphic Communications and Media Studies and an A in the Welsh Baccalaureate.
“I’m actually quite surprised – I didn’t expect to get two Bs to be honest,” Derek said. “I’m hoping to go to Cardiff Met to study a Graphic Communications degree so will have to go through UCAS.
“Coming to college at an older age was the test of a lifetime and I was really nervous about, it but it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. The tutors and the other students have all been so helpful. I wanted to learn more and I’ve achieved that, so mission complete!”
Twenty-year-old Decklan Byrgrave from Cardiff gained a B in Law, C in Maths and D in Politics and has a place at Portsmouth University.
“I’m going to Portsmouth University to study Law,” he said. “I feel very happy with my results. Very happy and very relieved. I want a legal career and coming to the College has definitely helped me a lot to reach the next stage.”
When Ismail Elkhalifa moved to Wales from the Sudan he had hardly any English. Two years later he has achieved A in the Welsh Baccalaureate, B in Maths and C in Chemistry and is going to study Pharmacy at Portsmouth University.
“I’m just waiting for the results of my EIS test results –the university wants to know the results,” Ismail, 19 and now living in Cardiff, said. “But I am very happy to think that I’m going to university and I am happy with my results – I have been very nervous over the last few days. I definitely enjoyed my time at the College and at the moment I am just really happy.”
Amy Wilson returned to education to study A Level English Literature part-time in evening classes offered by the College. Today she discovered that she has achieved an A*.
“I’m very pleased and really surprised as well,” she said. “It’s been a long time since I was in education but I’d always wanted to study English Literature.
“It was really good that I come in to the College in the evenings after work to achieve my goal of studying English. I might do another A Level next year if I spot one that I fancy. I already have a degree so I don’t think I’ll be going back to university.
“The College course was really good and I enjoyed it. There was a great bunch of the course, a real mix of different people, and it’s nice to meet different people and make new friends.”
Cardiff and Vale College has also seen strong results from its AS Level students. The number of full time learners gaining A-E grades has increased by 8% since last year.
Seventeen-year-old Michael Bonney from Barry achieved straight As in his AS subjects of Biology, Computer Science, French and the Welsh Baccalaureate.
“I’m so glad – I thought it wasn’t going to go as well as it did,” he said. “I’m very happy, well – with four As you can imagine how happy I am! College has been amazing and everyone has been great – you never know what’s going to happen when you go to a new college not knowing anyone, but this has been great.”
Aga Furtak also did well in her AS Levels. The 29-year-old from Cardiff gained As in Maths and Physics. She is looking forward to coming back to the College in September to study her subjects at A2 Level.
“I couldn’t have got better grades,” she said. “I’m very happy and will come back next year to do my full A Levels and I aim to get A*s – that would be ideal for me. I am looking to study Physics at either St Andrews or Aberystwyth so next year I will take Maths as an extra subject. I’ve already got a degree in Graphic Design but I hated it and fancied a change in direction so I thought ‘just do it’. I’m really enjoying my time at college.”
Notes to editors
- Photo shows Shannon Conway
- Cardiff and Vale College is one of the top companies for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the National Centre for Diversity’s 2016 Top 100 Index
- Cardiff and Vale College was awarded College of the Year at the 2015 Insider Business and Education Partnership Awards
- Apply now to join CAVC in Sept 2016: visit for details
- Why not follow the latest updates from Cardiff and Vale College on Facebook or Twitter @cavc?
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