• Winstanley College students celebrate their A-level results this morning, marking the end of the most unusual year

Students celebrate the end of an extraordinary year

Winstanley College students received their A-level results last Thursday, marking the end of the most unusual year.

With A-level exams cancelled amid the pandemic, students had a nervous wait to find out the grades they had been calculated.

Mohammed Ali, who only moved to England from Sudan two years ago is following the university route after achieving top grades in computer science, maths, further maths and physics. He will take up his place to study aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London in September.

An impressive 15 students will be going on to Oxford and Cambridge Universities and 20 students are going on to medicine, dentistry and veterinary degrees.

Music, theatre and art students who have been studying practical vocational courses have secured places at prestigious specialist colleges such as the Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and Central St Martins in London. Oliver Bullen and Hannah Dootson, previously pupils of Hindley High School and Fred Longworth High School, are two of these students awarded places at drama schools. Oliver will study musical theatre at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Hannah is going to LIPA to study acting.

There are also number of students taking the apprenticeship route, including former Haydock High School pupil, Tom Aspinall who secured employment with The Bank of England on a degree apprenticeship in data analytics and Modelling. He achieved A grades in maths, further maths, economics and computer science.

Amongst the successes of the day, there were of course many shocked and disappointed students who did not receive the grades they, or the college expected; as reported in national news. Following the huge U-turn by Ofqual and the government on Monday evening, Winstanley, like all other sixth form colleges are now in the process of helping students to appeal and receive their Centre Assessed Grades.

Louise Tipping, Principal commented: “We are very proud of our talented students who have shown extraordinary resilience and determination in the face of an unfair, chaotic situation. We are still unclear about the appeals process and about how students will be receiving their Centre Assessed Grades from the exam boards which is adding to the levels of stress we’re all experiencing.

“I’m proud too of Winstanley’s teachers and pastoral care team who have been working tirelessly since Thursday to support students through this. I am grateful to Andy Burnham for the part he played in spearheading the Greater Manchester Colleges grievances and for the unequivocal support of all the local MPs from both main parties. This is not yet over as highly qualified and able students are now fighting for university places which should have automatically been theirs. We continue to battle on.”

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