Students celebrate ‘fantastic’ A-levels

DOWNEND and Mangotsfield Sixth Form leaders hailed a “fantastic set of results” for this year’s A-level students.

A nervous wait for teenagers across the country ended on August 17 when this year’s results were published.

At the sixth form centre, which is based at Downend School but also serves post-16 students from Mangotsfield School, there was tension and excitement as the 90 students who sat exams this year tore open their brown envelopes.

This year the government signalled a “return to pre-pandemic grading” after three years of assessments and adjusted grades because of the covid pandemic.

It meant the sixth formers sitting their exams were told they would be judged in line with the standards of 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

They had not sat formal national exams before, as their GCSEs took place in 2021 when classroom-based assessments were being carried out.

The Department for Education said that as a result of changes to grading, the proportion of top A* to A grades had fallen from 35.9% last year to 26.5% this year – although this was still above the 25.2% in 2019.

The number of A-levels given grade A* to B was 52.7% nationally, compared with 51.1% in 2019.

At Downend and Mangotsfield the percentage of entries achieving A*-B grades was 46%, which head of sixth form Kate Long said “compares very favourably with previous years”.

She said: “Downend and Mangotsfield Sixth Form students are celebrating a fantastic set of results.

“All students achieved passes, with 98% of our 230 entries achieving A*-E, allowing them to progress onto a range of destinations, including Oxford, Manchester, Bristol and Exeter University and prestigious apprenticeships with the Ministry of Defence, Avon and Somerset Police, EasyJet and many more.

“The hard work and dedication they have shown has allowed students from a variety of starting points to achieve their personal bests.”

Mrs Long said a special mention should go to students who achieved top A* grades: Jamie Warren (3A*), Ali McCormick (2A*, A), Azaria Tesfaye (A*, 3A), Grace Perry, (A*, 2A), Elliot Sargent (A*, 2A), Alex Sheppard (A* 2A) and Reece Worrow (A* 2A B).

*GCSE results were being announced after the Voice was published and will appear in October’s edition.