By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal , 18 August 2022

(Above: Millie Fuller finds out that she's off to Cambridge, with A* grades across the piece)

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester have achieved really excellent A Level results in this summer’s examination series, with grades which are well up from the strong A level results achieved by students at the College in 2019 - (The last pre-Covid year students sat ‘normal’ A Level exams) 

Well over 1000 of the upper sixth students from The Sixth Form College have now obtained the necessary qualifications to be able to proceed onto university degree courses including a very large cohort of students who have now achieved the grades required for offers for places on prestige degree courses including, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering, Maths, sciences, modern foreign languages, Economics, Architecture, Law, English and History, or have achieved places at Oxford or Cambridge or Russell Group Universities or Medical Schools or for other highly competitive universities or degree courses. Other students have achieved excellent opportunities in employment and training.

The year group of nearly 1400 students who studied A level programmes  in the years 2020 -22  achieved a grade  A* to E grade pass rate of over 98%, and an A* - B high grade rate of over 50%. Indeed, well over 90% of all the 18-year-old students at the College achieved 3 or more A level or equivalent Applied General Extended Certificate qualifications in their sixth form studies – a level of achievement which once again, will be very significantly above the national average level in sixth forms at school and colleges across England and Wales. 

100% pass rates have been achieved in a large number of A level subjects including in Philosophy, Politics, German, Spanish, Italian, History of Art, Music, Electronics and Art, with virtually all other subjects achieving 98% or 99% pass rates. The average level of achievement of the College’s top 100 upper sixth students is equivalent to grades A* A* A at A level and these ‘top end’ results, it is understood, will again match or exceed the results of the top 100 student achievers in virtually all of the selective grammar or independent schools in the country.


The Best in The Country!

By Clarissa Ford, Head of English, 18 August 2022

We were delighted to hear from the exam board that student Lizzie Peck achieved the highest score IN THE COUNTRY for her English Literature and Language A Level. This is well deserved;  Lizzie is a very talented English student, and the department are absolutely delighted that her creative and perceptive engagement with texts has been rewarded and recognised by OCR.  Achieving an A* in all five examined areas, plus the coursework, well reflects Lizzie’s extremely impressive skill set, her highly refined powers of analysis, interpretation and evaluation. It is a phenomenal achievement to be awarded the accolade of OCR’s highest performing English Language and Literature student in the country!  

The Sixth Form College Colchester receives prestigious Artsmark Award

By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal , 13 May 2022

We are Gold Arts Mark Award winners!!

Pupils and staff at The Sixth Form College Colchester are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award in a momentous year for the programme as it celebrates 20 years of arts, culture and creativity in schools and colleges.

The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and colleges accredited by Arts Council England. It supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, putting creativity and wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum. Artsmark ensures every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.

The Artsmark Award, recognises the arts and culture provision at the college, as part of a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole college.

The College was supported by The Royal Opera House, who worked alongside the college at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement.

The Artsmark assessor commended the college on its commitment to raising the profile of arts and culture across all of its departments and pointed to the range of activities on offer at the college, including the radio station and record label, as clear strengths. Also highlighted was our work within the local community, local schools and arts venues, alongside an extensive programme of visiting arts practitioners, who work with and inspire our students, helping to guide future career choices. 

On receiving the award, Artsmark co-ordinator Fiona Bush said: “We’re extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Gold Award. We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and we look forward to continue to grow with Artsmark. I’m really proud of the work everyone does here, across the whole of the curriculum. A Gold Award is a fantastic achievement and real recognition of everyone’s commitment, especially in the context of the recent covid restrictions and lockdowns; colleagues worked so hard to keep our vibrant arts culture alive.” 

 Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said: 

“I would like to congratulate The Sixth Form College Colchester on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark institution demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum, every student can develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them throughout life.

Congratulations to all our Jack Petchey Award winners!

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 21 March 2022


Here’s College Council Treasurer Sonny presenting the winners of this year’s award with a certificate and pin badge. The successful students were also awarded with £300 to spend on their chosen subject area. This year’s winners represented a broad spectrum of college life, with awards for outstanding commitment in biology, art, dance, sport and modern foreign languages. 

From left to right, Matthew, Ollie, Amy, Lucy and Abundance. 

Huge Hamper Success!

By Michele Perrin , Student Charities Committee Co-ordinator , 16 December 2021

Well done all the students at The Sixth Form College Colchester for all their generosity and hard work with this year’s hamper collection.  We collected nearly 120 hampers to be distributed to families and individuals in the local area via Colchester and Tendring social services and organisation such as Y.E.S. and Next Chapter.

 Students always work really hard to decorate their hampers each year, with things getting quite competitive between some tutor groups and even a number of the staff departments, but this year everyone really excelled themselves. Many of the hampers came with their own built-in light systems and one train-themed hamper even had a set of wheels attached to each carriage

Well done everyone!

(L-R) Iestyn, Aoibhin, Georgia 

College Carol Concert 2021

By Dan Plewinski, Performing Arts Department , 16 December 2021

British Council International Award Winner

By Ian Levinson, International Initiatives Co-ordinator , 21 October 2021

(Photos received from pupils in our link school in Nicaragua

We are delighted to announce that the College has been (re)awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.

Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: ‘The school has earned this prestigious award through its inspirational international work and links with schools abroad. 

The International School Award is a chance for schools to be recognised for their important work bringing the world into their classrooms. This is especially commendable when schools have been deeply affected by the global pandemic. The desire to build on their international work shines through and it is with upmost pride that we celebrate their achievements.  

By embedding an international dimension in children’s education, these schools are preparing their students for successful lives in the UK or further afield, empowering them to be global citizens, and are creating vital opportunities in an increasingly global economy.’

The Award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Over 6000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.


By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 10 August 2021

(Above - Hiba Ahmed discovers she's off to the University of Bristol to study Law)

Because of the corona virus pandemic, 2021 has, of course, been another extraordinary and challenging year for everybody, with, yet again, the government putting in place a very different process by which A Level students were awarded their final grades. It’s important to remember that beneath the statistics and the politics, a huge number of students achieved excellent grades which clearly reflect their high levels of skill, hard work and tenacity; a very substantial number of this year’s leavers successfully attained the grades necessary to progress to degree courses, including large numbers progressing to some of the very most competitive courses in the country – successes in this area include an outstanding year for teachers in areas such as Classical Civilisation, with three students now reading classics at Cambridge:

Holly Poynter, who joined us from The Colne Community School, will now be reading Classics at Queen’s College Cambridge, having achieved a stunning four A* grades in A Level History, Mathematics, Classical Civilisation and in her Extended Project, as well as an additional qualification in Latin

Tom Hopkins, originally from Ipswich School, will be joining Holly in reading Classics at Cambridge, but this time at Pembroke College, having achieved A* grades in History, English Literature and Extended Project, alongside an A in French and a grade 9 in GCSE Italian

Susannah Eiden, who joined us from Colchester County High School, completes our trio of Cambridge classicists. She is to read classics at Corpus Christi having achieved stunning A* grades in all four of her subjects: Classical Civilisation, Biology and German, as well as Extended Project. 

A Level Classical Civilisation teacher Mark Brassington said: “We are of course delighted to see so many students progress to Cambridge. They have worked extremely hard, making full use of the extra opportunity to extend their skills via courses such as extended projects and the opportunity to pursue additional studies in various languages; indeed, this year we have seen some of the strongest extended project essays ever seen at the college.  Next year, with the addition of A level Ancient History to our provision, we only hope to build upon our strengths in this area".

Esme Bishop, originally from St Benedict’s College, also gained a stunning four A* grades, including, again, an A* in Classical Civilisation. She will be joining her fellow students at Cambridge, but has chosen to pursue her love of English at Clare College. Andras Cserep, who also joined us from St Benedict’s College, will be proudly taking up a place to study Earth Sciences at Exeter College, Oxford. He achieved A grades in Mathematics, Physics and Geography alongside an A* in his highly impressive EPQ.

Also heading for an Oxbridge place is James Simons – he joined us from Tendring Technology College and is now about to take up a place on a highly prestigious course, this time at Oxford, reading Biochemistry at St. Catherine’s College – building upon a stunning set of grades, including A* grades in Maths, Biology and German and an A grade in Chemistry and again, an excellent Extended Project.

In other areas of the curriculum, it’s fantastic to see former East Bergholt pupil Matthew Pyall jumping for joy, as he's heading to Warwick, this time to read Mathematics and taking with him excellent A* grades in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, alongside a grade A in Computer Science. 

It’s also great to see the continued success of our ‘Medics’ programme, with, for example, former Philip Morant pupil Ella Marshall off to study Medicine at the University of East Anglia, having achieved A grades across the board in her A levels at college, and Ellie Davey, who joined us from Colchester County High School, off to Sheffield with an excellent combination of A* and A grades.

Special mention must also go to twins Sofia and Anya Ilczenko, who achieved a stunning six A*s and two A grades between them!

It’s important that we recognise the achievements of all of our students, across the board, in a year that has been so very different for this generation of students: a generation that has dealt with very difficult times, that have demanded great patience, flexibility, resilience and resolve from all of them  We are proud of them and of their grades; these grades pay tribute to students, who, throughout a difficult period, impressed us with their resilience, humour and determination.

Amongst the most impressive is perhaps, Sophia Bourne, who suffered a severe concussion on Boxing Day 2020 and, for much of the spring term, was unable to leave her house or even look at a computer screen, let alone attend lessons (Her run of bad luck continues – she’s recently broken her foot!). Despite these real difficulties, she battled through with much tenacity and we are delighted to see that she is much recovered and on her way to study Sociology at The University of Essex with three B grades!