Skip to main content

Sixthformers at Barrow Sixth Form Colleges celebrate remarkable results

Students at Barrow Sixth Form College are celebrating achieving a remarkable set of results after having never sat formal exams at school.

The sixthformers returned to the Rating Lane campus for results day to discover their grades and plan exciting futures at university, in higher apprenticeships and in employment.

There were around 200 students marking their achievements in A Levels and CTECs - after missing out on sitting GCSE exams at school due to the pandemic.

The college saw a bumper crop of high grades with top student Toby Wilson securing the maximum 4 A* grades and a place to study medicine at Cambridge University.

The former St Bernard’s pupil, who has been shortlisted for a Golden Apple Education Award for his work to create an online forum to support future medics, thanked his tutors for their help over the past two years.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed really as I wasn’t expecting them to be so good. I was nervous because I haven’t experienced exams before but I am really excited about it now I know where I am going.

“I have a nice group of friends from college, I’ve enjoyed the freedom sixth form gives you. I would say to anyone thinking about Oxbridge just to go for it. I took a bit of a punt and applied and it has worked out. Don’t be put off by stereotypes, believe in yourself.”

Another aspiring doctor Phoebe Postlethwaite, who joined college from Dowdales, secured her university place to study medicine at Edge Hill after studying A Levels in biology, maths and chemistry.

Dowdales pupil Adam Boyd secured A*A* and A in business, accounting and maths and a place at Durham University to study business and management and closer to his dream career in finance.

“I’m ecstatic! It wasn’t what I was expecting – capital N, capital O, underlined! I’m really relieved, there’s been a lot of stress and it’s been a challenging time for me. My mum cried when I told her.

“I’m going to Durham and some of my friends are going too, so it’ll be nice to have friends there. We’re planning to go for a drink to celebrate.”

Evie McMullen and Luke Beresford are looking forward to higher apprenticeship roles in project management at BAE Systems and Sellafield respectively.

Evie, who went to Ulverston Victoria High School, secured ABC in business, accounting and maths while Luke, who went to Dowdales, achieved AAB.

“I needed CCC and I got ABC,” said Evie. “It doesn’t feel real yet. I’m so shocked at my results.”

Gracie Fisher, who was on the first cohort of students on the animal management programme the college runs in partnership with Myerscough College, successfully secured her place to study a degree in Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology at the University of Salford.

“I was quite nervous this morning but then I got a text to say I had got in to Salford. It’s been great and I feel great now. I’m really looking forward to going to university and then I plan to travel doing conservation.”

Other top achievers included former Furness Academy student Ben Patel, who completed four A Levels, achieving 2 A* and 2 and will study a degree in biomedical science at Lancaster University.

“It’s been a rocky road this year but it’s also been good. I did better than I thought! I’m looking forward to going to uni and moving away from home for the next step.”

Mum Amanda Mellor said, “I tried not to cry! Ben did his GCSEs during the pandemic so there have been ups and downs. I was proud of him no matter what today brought, but I’m as proud as punch with his results.”

Alisha Windle will study a degree in politics at Edinburgh University after achieving grades of A*A*A. Daniel Jewell achieved A*A*A*C in business, maths, further maths and physics and was ‘relieved and ecstatic’ to get his place at Loughborough to study a degree in automotive engineering.

Head of Sixth Form Helen Gibson said she was delighted with the results, which included an extremely strong set of high grades, and a fantastic pass rate.

“We cannot underestimate the strength these students have shown, their resilience and determination to succeed when faced with an unprecedented upheaval to their education through the pandemic.

“The majority of this cohort of students have never set a formal exam and others have faced challenges with family circumstances that had the potential to derail their education.

“Yet today, across the board, we are looking at an excellent set of results, a remarkable amount of high grades and the ability for these students to move forward in life and education in whatever direction they wish to choose.

“It goes without saying that the staff have worked their socks off to support the students and I’d like to thank them all for such an amazing effort over the past few years.”

Friends Jessica Brockbanks and Tobias Allen are both off to Durham University to study biology and history and politics respectively with a clutch of top grades.

“I’m really happy,” said Tobias. “A bit surprised too and we are going to Wetherspoons to celebrate.”

Jamie Kelley scooped A*s in psychology and law and an A in history and is going to study psychology at York University. “College has been really good,” she said. “You have your independence and the staff are really helpful.”