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Pride and success for Varndean College students in first public examinations

Varndean College in Brighton could not be prouder of its students this year and is celebrating the considerable achievements of its students who have yet again achieved an outstanding record of A Level and Vocational course results overall.

Students completing their studies this year have had an educational journey like no other time, besieged with severe disruptions to their studies through ongoing Covid 19 challenges. For the majority of students, this was their first public examination as their GCSEs were replaced by Centre Assessed Grades following the very first lockdown in March 2020. Throughout their studies students were unsure of just how their final grade would be calculated this year, as there was a ‘Plan B- Covid Contingency Plan’ in place until April ‘22 in case examinations were cancelled. Despite this, students have been exceptional and have risen to these challenges, demonstrating remarkable resilience, positivity and strength of character. We are immensely proud of how they responded. Our teachers have worked tirelessly with students to ensure that they were prepared for these examinations and that their results reflect their effort and commitment.

The overall pass rate at A level is 97% with the majority of subjects achieving a 100% pass rate and a third of our students achieving the very highest of grades of A* and A, 57% of students achieved A*-B and three quarters of students A*-C grades.

Students have been similarly successful in our vocational courses with a 98% pass rate overall, with 56% of students gaining the very highest grades of Distinction*and Distinction.

  • 100% pass in A level Maths with 35% of students receiving an A or A*
  • 100% 3D Design students got a high grade with 74% receiving an A* or A
  • 75% of A level English students received an A* - B grade
  • 100 pass rate in all Arts A Levels with high grades of 94% in Photography, 90% in Fine Art,
  • 70% of students completing the EPQ gained an A* - B grade with 47% gaining an A* or A.
  • 60% of BTEC Environmental Sustainability students gained the highest grade of a D*
  • 56% of BTEC Sport students studying Level 3 Sport Science gained the highest grade of a D*
  • 60% of Level 3 double Health & Social Care gained a Distinction or above.

College Principal, Ms Donna-Marie Janson, said; “We are incredibly proud of our students this year, particularly under the circumstances they have found themselves to be in due to the global pandemic and to what have they have achieved in what is for most of them their first set of public examinations. We can not underestimate just how challenging their educational journey has been; they have studied through lockdowns, through huge disruption due to surging Covid cases and the plan B contingency arrangement was in place until this April, creating additional uncertainty and anxiety for them. They have dealt admirably with these challenges, taking everything in their stride and continuing to focus. They have been inspiring to work with, to teach and to get to know. Our students are quite frankly amazing and they and their loved ones should feel as proud of themselves as we do for their spirited determination and for all they have achieved. I would like to thank and commend my entire staff for their hard work and dedication working throughout the pandemic, adapting and responding throughout and ensuring that students have the best possible opportunities and the best possible experience. I would also like to thank all the parents and families of our students who have supported us throughout, we could not have done it without you.”

This A Level success follows on from Varndean’s successful International Baccalaureate results in July, when the IB students achieved a pass rate of 97%, with an average point score of 36.67, equivalent to at least three A grades at A Level. An incredible 29% scored 40 points or more, the equivalent of 3 A* grades at A Level and 60% of subject scores were at the top grades of 6 and 7. This success cannot be underestimated given the challenges faced during the last few years and we are immensely proud of their achievements. 93% of our IB UCAS applicants received offers for Russell Group universities with two-thirds of the Oxbridge applicants securing their places.

Ushika Kidd, who scored 44 points, will now be reading Human Sciences at University of Oxford, while Alice Brooker who scored 42 points, will be reading History and English at University of Oxford. Also scoring 44 points was Isobel Denslow, who is off to study Medicine at Queen's University Belfast; Matilda Wicks who will be reading Biochemistry at Bristol and Matilda Falchetta who will be reading International Relations at Aberystwyth.

Elinor Prodger achieved 43 points and will be studying Civil Engineering at Imperial College London, whilst Caedmon Szobody scored 42 points and will be focusing on Engineering and Renewable Energy at Durham University.

Highlighting just how varied our students’ choices and interests are, Desiree Hernandez will be attending the London School of Economics to study Social Anthropology, Maeve Rogers will be heading to Glasgow to read English Literature and Philosophy and Jens Koster will be studying International Management and Spanish at the University of Bath.

Congratulations and well done to all our departing students and the very best of luck for your future.