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GCSE success for Banbury and Bicester College students

99% of Activate Learning’s Banbury and Bicester College students taking maths and English GCSEs achieved a pass in this year’s exams. This is 2% higher than the college’s results from 2017, despite the changes to both this year’s curricula and grading structures.

This year’s students took on more demanding subject content and challenging exams and 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.

Of the16-18 year old students who sat this year’s GCSE, 111 students improved their maths results by one grade or more, and102 went up one grade or more for English.

Bernard Grenville-Jones, Head of Campus at Banbury and Bicester 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 are also delighted with the 99% pass rate. Congratulations to all of our GCSE students, and we look forward to supporting them in the next steps of their learning pathways.”

Katherine Ray from Swalcliffe is celebrating an outstanding grade 8 pass in English. She came to the college as a mature student after a negative learning experience elsewhere. Katherine says: “I was badly bullied at school and really couldn’t study in the classroom as there was always something going on to interrupt me. At that time there was no support against bullying and it was tough.”

She adds that studying for her GCSEs at the Banbury and Bicester College has been “fantastic for my self-esteem” and her advice to others is “just keep going.”

Ceri Brewer, from Banbury, is a 30 year old dental nurse. She now has the qualifications she needs to progress in her career, after achieving good passes in English and maths. Ceri was delighted with her results and said: “My tutors have been lovely, amazing!”

Another mature student, Adrienne Brown from Banbury, felt “shaky but chuffed” after achieving a grade 5 in English. She said: “My dad made me leave school when I was 15 because that’s what you did in those days. I’ve always wanted to do my English GCSE.”
Banbury and Bicester College offers a wide range of learning programmes, including Business and Enterprise, Creative arts and Engineering in addition to English and maths GCSEs.
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