Skip to main content

A Level students turn up the heat with amazing results - Harlow College

It wasn’t just the recent heatwave that caused temperatures to soar, as our A Level students recorded some scorching results, with an overall 97% pass rate. The A*-B pass rate was 37% while the A*-C pass rate was 70%.

This year grades were generated in the traditional manner with learners sitting their exams as opposed to Teacher Assessed Grades, something that hasn’t happened since pre-the pandemic in 2019.

And our A Level students have again secured places at some of the country’s top universities including Queen Mary, University of London, Newcastle, York, Manchester, Southampton, Exeter to study subjects such as Dentistry, History, Law, Astrophysics and Philosophy.

Achievement for students on vocational courses mirrors the A Level success at a pass rate of 97%, with 36% of students gaining a majority Distinction grade and 67% of students gaining Merits or higher. These great results allow our students to progress directly to university or to take up Apprenticeships as the route to combine their studies with employment.

Key to our students’ success was the quality of the teaching and learning. Studying at an Apple Distinguished School meant that our learners had access to digital technologies to assist them in their learning throughout their course. Strong pastoral care was also available to support students’ wellbeing and mental health, which continued throughout these challenging times.

Becky Jones, Vice-Principal of Harlow College, said: “We are so incredibly proud of all our students. We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the previous covid years on this cohort of students, and while nationally grades at the higher end have dipped, all our students have worked so hard to recover lost learning and get themselves back on track to a great future ahead.

“This cohort of students have been fantastic, having survived many period of online learning, following strict covid rules whist on campus and not being able to really enjoy all the enrichment activities that college would usually offer. Despite this they have proven to be committed, dedicated and resilient. We wish them all the very best of luck for a new and exciting future.”

Tracy Greenall, Head of Sixth Form, said: “I am thrilled to be able to say that our students have once again attained amazing A Level results. Despite much of their most formative academic years being impacted by the pandemic, our learners have demonstrated great resilience and determination, achieving fabulous outcomes. We are excited to witness the progress of our students as they move onto the next stage of their journey and wish them every success with their endeavours.”

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, was equally enthusiastic. “The pandemic proved to be an incredibly difficult time for teachers, support staff and students. However, despite this academic year being the first ‘normal’ exam year since 2019, the Harlow College management, teachers, support staff and students have achieved remarkable results across the board. These results are a tribute to their hard work and resilience.

“I would like to thank every teacher and member of support staff who has worked so hard to create a catch-up programme to enable our young people to learn and succeed. Congratulations to every student for achieving good results.

“As MP for Harlow and Chair of the Education Select Committee, I am so proud to say that we have one of the very best colleges in England in our town and that has been proven true again today. I would like to wish every student the very best in their future endeavours and I look forward to continuing to work with the college management team to secure further investment into our great college and ensure every young person has the chance to climb the educational ladder of opportunity.

“Whether you are attending university or applying for a vocational scheme, well done all!”

Among the many students who achieved excellent results were:

Harrison Cole, 18

Biology A, Chemistry A, Business A

Going to Queen Mary University of London to study Dentistry

“I was absolutely over the moon when I opened my results this morning! All those hours of hard work and sleepless nights has paid off. I’m really excited to be off to study Dentistry in London. It was my mum who originally suggested it as a career – she had always wanted to be a dentist herself. My teachers have been such a big help – I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”

Eloise Nelson, 18

Biology A*, Chemistry B, Maths B, EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) A

Going to Newcastle University to study an Integrated Masters in Biomedical Sciences

“Since really early on in secondary school I’ve been interested in sciences, particularly biology, and I knew I wanted to pursue an academic career in sciences. After I graduate I’d be interested in going into research, either with a university or a pharmaceutical company. After all the lockdowns it was nice to be back on site. Although the quality of online teaching was very good it wasn’t the same as being in the classroom, and it was great to get to see my teachers and classmates again.”

Kane O’Connor, 18

Maths A*, Physics B, History C,

Going to University of York to study Mathematics

“After covid, things definitely seem a lot more normal now. The college has been really supportive and I’ve had some great teachers. Because of covid, I was part of that group who never got to sit their GCSEs, so I didn’t have that exam experience. Sitting my A Level exams was very nerve wracking but I needed to have that experience. I’m so excited to be going to university – I’ve been nervous for days just thinking about it!

Olivia O’Dwyer, 18

Sociology A, Politics A, BTEC Law Distinction*

Going to University of Manchester to study Law

“I found it really interesting mixing a BTEC with my A Levels I’ve always had an interest in law and completing my BTEC really confirmed this. After I graduate I’d quite like to specialize in Criminal Law. When I saw my results this morning I couldn’t believe it – it still doesn’t feel real! I couldn’t have done this without the support of my teachers. Coming back into the classroom after covid was quite hard – you get so used to staying at home and studying online – but the teachers really helped us to adjust.”

Borislava Spasova, 21

Politics A, Sociology A*, History B

Going to City, University of London to study Law

“I feel really happy to finally get my results after months of working hard. I come from Italy and knew I wanted to go to university so did my A Levels at a slightly older age than usual. It was very difficult at the beginning but with the support of the teachers they helped me through the whole way. I’m really excited to be going to study Law at City University, I’m particularly interested in human rights. The second year of my levels was so much more enjoyable, just being back in the classroom with friends and having a normal conversation, not behind a screen, was amazing.”