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GCSE success for City of Oxford College students

96.9% of Activate Learning’s City of Oxford College students taking maths and English GCSEs achieved a pass in this year’s exams. This is roughly equivalent to the college’s results from 2017, despite the changes to both this year’s curricula and grading structures.

Of the 16-18 year old students who sat this year’s GCSE, 206 students improved their maths results by one or more grade, and 114 went up two or more grades in English.

Many of the college’s GCSE students are learners who have had to resit maths, English or both in order to progress with their education.

These include mature students who need these GCSEs to progress in their careers, learners who may have missed the chance to go to university first time round and need these qualifications to get into a degree course, and also part-time students who have studied for their GCSE at evening classes.

Cheri Ashby, Head of Campus at City of Oxford College, said: “This year’s GCSEs have been more challenging with intensified content and a new grading system, and we are extremely proud of how our GCSE students have tackled these exams this year. We have seen particular success in our part-time and Access to higher education learners’ and strive to continue this trend across City of Oxford College.”

Gihan Meshref, the top performer in maths at City of Oxford College, is celebrating an outstanding pass at grade 8. Gihan said: “It is amazing to get the highest grade in the college, I am very pleased. I always push my daughter, she is only 12 and she will be so proud of me. I am going to take her out tonight to celebrate. It’s my lucky day today.”

Thrilled with her grade 6 in GCSE English, Kallista Morris, a hairdressing student from Garsington, said: “I feel good, I don’t feel stressed anymore and a weight has been lifted. I’m looking forward to progressing into what I want to do in life and will now move on to hair and media make-up.”

Freddie Whybrow, a second year Sports science student from Bicester, also achieved a grade 6 in GCSE English: “I feel shocked and relieved. I feel like the focus on English helped my confidence, it really made a difference. I hope to go to university once my studies are complete next year.”

Natalie Garrington, an Access to higher education nursing student from Kidlington, achieved a grade 4 in maths, securing her place at Oxford Brookes University to study adult nursing. Natalie said: “I am just so excited to have got into university. This was the last piece of the puzzle.”

Sarah Coachman from Littlemore has secured a grade 4 in her GCSE English via a part-time programme. She said: “I want to go into teaching and wanted to gain the relevant qualifications and information that current 16-17 year olds experience at college themselves. This was so that I was in line with what they have to go through, I was prepared myself for teaching, and also so that I could understand the level of effort students have to put in.

“I am very happy. Never think, if it doesn’t go right today then that is it. I’ve been there, you just keep on going! I did the evening class here on a Monday. Antonio was my teacher; he’s brilliant, with so much passion. It made the difference, being able to connect like that.”

City of Oxford College offers a wide range of A-Levels in business, science, communication and social sciences, as well as degrees in subjects ranging from Furniture: Design and Make BA (Hons) to Business and Enterprise BA (Hons) Top-up and outstanding apprenticeship, part-time and learning for leisure opportunities.

The college is providing information, advice and guidance to anyone who is unsure as to what to do next after GCSEs. More information is available at www.activatelearning.ac.uk/advice