New College Swindon may be better known for the high quality of its A Level/Level 3 provision, but today 1181 learners will be collecting their GCSE and Level 2 vocational results.
The College offers a wide range of GCSE subjects to a variety of learner groups, all with differing motivations. These include: 16-18 students seeking to progress to A Level/Level 3 study; adult (19+) students taking extra qualifications for interest or career improvement; and Pre-16 students supplementing their home education. Unlike school though, all of our GCSE students take their qualifications in one year, rather than the usual two, so the achievement is even greater.
Success across all age groups
Almost 80% of GCSE entries were in the core subjects of Maths and English Language, which are so critical to CVs, university prospects and job success for all age group. Many learners are retaking these subjects to improve their grades, including adults who have been away from education for many years. There were 476 successful entries at grades 9-4 in these two subjects.
Students also performed well in other GCSE subjects, with over 50% of students achieving grades 9-4 in 14 out of 18 subjects (excluding Maths and English). Science subjects (Biology, Physics, Chemistry), Statistics and Languages (French and Spanish) were among these subjects.
The number of GCSE entries increased from last year for this cohort to 1497 (from 1419 in 2018), with a pass rate of 98.3%. Of particular note was the increased number of entries which secured a 9-4 or A*-C grade (up 8% on 2018), including 326 students with grades 9-4 in English and Maths which will enable successful progression to programmes at Level 3. There were 11 subjects out of 20 where very high percentages (above 50%) of students achieved grade 9-4 with very strong performance from Science and Language subjects.
16-18 students also achieved a 99% pass rate across vocational subjects with 589 entries. There were 100% pass rates in the following subjects: Art & Photography; Business & Law; Creative Media; Hair & Beauty; Performing Arts; Science and Sports.
The provision for Pre-16 students continues to grow and improve, with an overall GCSE pass rate of 99.5% from 207 entries (98.9% from 182 entries in 2018). There was a 6% increase in the number of entries at grades 9-4 from last year. In 13 out of 20 subjects, over 60% entries achieved grades of 9-4, with a particularly strong showing in science subjects: Physics (100% at 9-4); Chemistry (75%) and Biology (71%).
For vocational courses, there were 62 entries, up from 48 in 2018, with 8 subjects achieving a 100% pass rate. Over 90% of our 14-16 students stay at New College and progress to Level 3 study.
Adult 19+ success
303 of the GCSE entries were for 19+ adult students studying, with an overall pass rate of 98% and 46% of entries at grade 9-4. There were five of the 10 GCSE subjects taken by 19+ students, where 100% of entries achieved grades 9-4: Chemistry; French; Geography; Physics and Spanish.
New College Principal Carole Kitching commented:
“There have been some incredibly impressive GCSE and Level 2 results today from a diverse range of our students. Each of those students will have their own story to tell about their reason for studying, their future plans and aspirations and how the learning journey has been for them.
We want to help all of them succeed, not just in exams, but in achieving those personal goals and preferred destinations. Today’s results will allow so many of them to progress, or to improve their career prospects.
Our learners’ successes reflect their hard work and enthusiasm and is a tribute to the teaching and support provided by all staff here. We congratulate all of our students who received GCSE or Level 2 results today and wish them all the very best for the future.”