From education to employment

Meet some of the students behind Coventry College’s record GCSE success

Coventry College

Students who have helped @CoventryCollege to land another record year of GCSE results have been speaking about how their time on campus has set them up for their future careers.

Paulina Ziarek, Qiong Li, and Suditha Arachchige were part of a 600-strong cohort who passed their English and Maths GCSES last month with grades between 9 and 4, which is equivalent to A* to C. 

Paulina began studying her Maths GCSE at Coventry College last year after moving from her native Poland in 2016. She would eventually go on to land a grade 9.

She said: “I want to pursue a career in engineering and although I had taken the equivalent of a Maths GCSE back in my home country, it isn’t a recognised qualification in England, so I had to go down the GCSE route.

“I wasn’t expecting to get a grade 9 in Maths, but I am so pleased! This means I can now move forward with my engineering studies, and for the year ahead, I will be continuing with my English Level 2.” 

Mum-of-two Qiong is also celebrating after landing a grade 8 in Maths and grade 5 in English as she looks to begin a career in midwifery. 

Qiong added:

“Whilst the children were at school I was able to dedicate some time to my own development, and decided to study two days a week towards my GCSEs at the College.

“We have been able to work round the Coronavirus pandemic by doing video calls and studying online, so I’m really pleased with the outcome, and I am now looking forward to studying an access to higher education course.”

Another mum-of-two, Suditha, returned to college for the first time in 18 years since her time at home in Sri Lanka, achieving a grade 7 in Maths. 

Suditha, who also works as a Lunchtime Supervisor Assistant, said:

“I have ambitions to become a teaching assistant and I’m looking to build upon the teaching assistant level 2 qualification that I have, so achieving this Maths GCSE is a step in the right direction for me.”

Overall, the 2019/20 academic year’s GCSE pass rate for Coventry College stood at 92 per cent for Maths, and 91 per cent for English.

Carol Thomas, Principal and CEO at Coventry College, said:

“As a College we play a key role in preparing young and mature students of all abilities and backgrounds for their chosen career path, and that often starts with helping students to attain crucial GCSEs in English and Maths.

“Paulina, Qiong and Suditha typify the difference that the College makes to people’s lives every year – and their stories can be multiplied in their hundreds this year despite the challenging conditions that we have overcome together because of Covid-19, which is something we are very proud of.” 

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