By Adrian Frost - Assistant Principal, 10 August 2021

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

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!


By Adrian Frost - Assistant Principal, 8 July 2021

Eighteen years ago, at a time when the government was very supportive of the use of international qualifications, The Sixth Form College enrolled its very first cohort of students on its newly established International Baccalaureate Diploma course. The prestigious course provides a different approach to A-Level, for those who wish to study a broader range of subjects with a distinctly international flavour, as well as get involved in a range of creative and charitable pursuits. Although it was new to the college at the time, internationally it has a far longer pedigree than A-Level and carries significant international prestige.

Many of those first generation of students went on to considerable success at university, and in employment and beyond and we are sure that they would be glad to see that their successors continued to build upon their achievements, with another set of outstanding results achieved this summer.

We are really proud of the students' successes this year, especially as this is the final year that the college is able to offer this course. All students passed, with an excellent overall average of 34 points. To put this in context, the global average is usually around 29 points and, internationally, nearly a quarter of students fail to achieve their diploma.

We are delighted to see a number of students achieve excellent grades. For example, Emmanuel Kemball achieved a stunning 44 points, and is now taking up a place reading Politics at Edinburgh and Rachele Poli is moving to Manchester to read Environmental Science having achieved an outstanding 42 points.

College Principal Ian MacNaughton congratulated the students and said : "The students should be very proud of their success. It is pleasing to see so many of them moving on to such a wide range of opportunities, including places upon some of the very best university courses – proving once again, the value of the International Baccalaureate in developing students’ outlook and skills. The college has always, and remains, committed to providing students with a very wide range of breadth and choice.

 Amongst a strong overall performance there are some excellent individual scores, including Jess (above) who scored an excellent 38 points – well above what she needed for her film course at university and Rachele (below) who is moving to Manchester to read Environmental Science having achieved an outstanding 42 points.