Awards and Reunion Events

By Adrian Frost, (Assistant Principal) October 2015

At the end of last term, over a thousand students and guests gathered at Charter Hall to celebrate the success of the students who completed their studies at college in Summer 2015. We were also pleased to welcome YouGov founder Joe Twyman - a former college student who was our guest speaker at the event.

As the Principal explained in his address to former students:

"I am very pleased to report back to you tonight that, when we consider your achievements collectively, you were very successful indeed.

The examination successes you achieved in the summer were really excellent – by both local and national standards. The average ‘value added’ results you achieved – the comparison between your package of GCSE results on entry and your package of results on leaving, places your collective successes very significantly above the national average levels.

Well over 1000 of our second year College students entered for A Level examinations last summer and the average results you achieved were really excellent, with average results ahead of the achievements of students at all other colleges in Essex and Suffolk and in all the Essex comprehensive schools with sixth forms. 91% of our A-level students leaving us last summer achieved 3 or more A-level qualifications or equivalent IB points – which compares very favourably to the national average level for all Schools and Colleges of under 80% in 2015.

Our International Baccalaureate students achieved an outstanding level of success. Your average results of 33 IB points were very well above both the national and international averages.

The highest achieving 100 students amongst you obtained an average UCAS point score equivalent to 2 A*s and 2 A grades at A Level and we understand that this is a higher score than the 100 highest achieving students in any school in the country, including in all selective grammar and independent schools.

A very substantial number of last year’s leavers successfully attained the grades necessary to progress to degree courses, including large numbers progressing to some of the very most competitive degree course areas. Indeed approximately 1000 of last year’s leavers have, or will next autumn after a GAP year, progress to a wide range of exciting and challenging degree courses, or other opportunities in the UK or abroad. Others have found excellent employment or training opportunities either locally, in London and in other instances nationally or internationally. Your levels of academic achievement were really outstanding.

Many of you have achieved in a wide variety of ways including the development of skills important to your life and the lives of others. These include developing greater confidence, the ability to work with and relate to other people, improved communication, organisational and decision-making skills and much greater levels of worldliness and maturity. We very much hope that many of you who joined the College at age 16, left us after a programme of sixth form experiences at age 18 or 19 have become better prepared to be happy and successful, in the worlds of higher education and employment, and also in your personal lives.

We will also hear and see later that we are recognising achievements and contributions made in the fields of sport, performing and creative arts, science, technology and enterprise and we are also paying tribute to your contributions to both the College community and to the wider community in the area - particularly where you have helped others.

We are very proud that you as a group made a fantastic contribution to the wider community, including putting together generous Christmas hampers for the needy, raising money on a weekly basis for the Good Foundation, organising Christmas pantomime trips for underprivileged children, Charity theme days throughout the year which helped raise funds for local, national and international charities, individual action to help elderly and disabled people, work to support the oppressed through Amnesty International and also in undertaking challenges in local and international community work. Your positive attitudes and contributions in helping others were quite outstanding.

A number of our students who left last year are currently involved in international community placements, including through GAP projects and also at The Russ Foundation Community in Southern India - which we continue to support on an ongoing basis.

Over 20 of you completed the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, many others worked in local Primary Schools or were involved in Sports activities in the Community and many of you excelled in visual and performing arts and cultural activities in the College during the time you spent with us. Dance, music and drama flourished and there were a whole series of outstanding productions, concerts and performances over the 2 years you were with us. Excellent Visual Arts exhibitions and displays illustrated the significant student talents in these fields and many of you gained excellent practical experience in the field of media including those actively involved in production and broadcasting on the College Radio Station.

More than 300 of you represented the College in competitive sports fixtures in a wide range of different sports and over forty students represented their County or were selected for regional, national or international level competitions. Again, we will hear of more individual detail later.

You, our former students have contributed much to the College’s ongoing success. We in turn hope that you are able to look forward to your own futures in a positive way with positive attitudes, confidence, zeal and ambition. If you make the same level of contribution to the worlds of higher education, community and employment that you made while you were students at College, then you will make a very positive and favourable impact. You can make a real contribution to the future betterment of society, as well as achieving excellent opportunities for yourselves.

The best advertisement for the Sixth Form College has always been its students. You were, and still are excellent ambassadors for the College and we are extremely proud of you."

Back L-R

Orla was an articulate and enthusiastic member of her tutor group and was passionate and excited about almost everything she did. She had a strong interest In history and was involved in amateur dramatics, Duke of Edinburgh and the National Team for Target Rifle. She had a mature understanding of the plays studied and devised and performed an intelligent and thought provoking adaptation of the short story The Yellow Wallpaper. Orla takes a College Award for Academic Achievement and is now at East Anglia studying History.

James was a particularly well organised student who maintained a high level of sport. He won the PE Scholar Athlete award for Academic work and his performances in athletics. He also acted as a mentor for other students and is awarded the Syd Kent Award for Personal Achievement. He is now at Brunel University studying Physiotherapy.

Takes the Lloyd's Bank Award for Consistent Effort studying Computer Science At St John's College, Cambridge. He For demonstrating one of the most professional approaches to study in Computing seen in many a year and as a result achieving top marks in his coursework. Jared was an excellent student in Physics and was always prepared to test himself against the best. This was true of his entry into the Physics Olympiad where he completed the preparation in his own time. Jared set his sights high and reached his personal targets and is now.

Ben was an outstanding student who worked hard and did very well to achieve his dream of studying medicine. He takes the College Award for Academic Achievement and is now at East Angla studying Medicine.

Sasha achieved excellent results in Business Studies and takes a College Award for Academic Achievement, Sasha was the Sports Committee Chairperson and is now at Durham University studying for a Combined Honours in Social Sciences.

Front L-R

Jacqui consistently achieved at a very high level in Art History. She showed an infectious enthusiasm for the subject and was highly motivated to put in the effort in order to find relevant material. Jacqui takes a College Award for Academic Achievement and is now studying History of Art at Warwick University.

Rochelle was probably the perfect IB student. She was incredibly positive and cheerful. Always thoroughly engaged and passionate about all of her subjects. Academically she worked very hard and in addition she gave a lot of time to wider College activities including her role as Treasurer of the College Council, as a member of the College Amnesty group and helping out with a lot of charity and fundraising events. Rochelle takes the College Award for Contribution to the College Community and College Award for Academic Achievement. She is now at Birmingham University studying International Relations with Political Science.

Government Confirmation of a Strong Level of 2015 Student Examination
Achievement at the College

By Adrian Frost, (Assistant Principal) October 2015

The College level of achievement compares very positively to the provisional figure of an average of just 77% of 18 year olds in all Schools and Academies, Sixth Forms and Colleges in England, (including those in the Grammar School and Independent School sectors) completing and passing 3 or more A levels. As part of that process, the College has recently been notified that 91% of the 18 year old (upper sixth) students who sat A levels in the College in summer 2015 achieved 3 or more A level subjects in the A* - E range – therefore, providing students with excellent progression opportunities for university or competitive employment. The Department for Education is currently preparing the A level 2015 Performance Tables (which they will release in January 2016).

Students enrolling at the College are also statistically on average more likely to complete their year of study (a 3 year average of a 97% Retention Rate) than the average sixth forms in all Schools, Academies and Colleges throughout England.

Outstanding AS/A-Level Results

By Adrian Frost, (Assistant Principal) August 2015

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester, have achieved excellent A and AS level results in this summer’s examination series with levels above national average levels.

The year group of over 1300 upper sixth students who sat their A levels at the College this summer achieved a subject A to E grade pass rate of 98% and an A* - B ‘very high grade’ rate of close to 50%. Over 90% of all the 18 year old students at the College have achieved 3 or more A level qualifications or equivalent in their sixth form studies – a level of achievement which is very significantly (approx. 15%) above the national average level for all national sixth forms at schools and colleges. The cohort of students at the College have also achieved a strong ‘value-added’ scores i.e. when their package of A level results achieved at 18 are related to the GCSE results they achieved at age 16.

100% pass rates were achieved in 26 A level subjects including in the subject areas of: Art, Art History, Drama, French, Further Mathematics, Geology, German, Italian, Philosophy, Photography, Spanish and Statistics. The average Government measured point score of the College’s top 100 upper sixth students is equivalent to grades A* A* A A at A level and these ‘top end’ results, it is understood, will for the nineteenth consecutive year, exceed the results of the top 100 students in nearly all of the selective grammar or independent schools in the country.

In July, the group of upper sixth students who studied for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma heard that they had been awarded really outstanding IB results (an average of 33 points – which is approx. 15% better than the international average) and AS level results issued today are also very good. The overall A, AS and IB results achieved by the cohort of students this year are therefore, described by Ian MacNaughton, the College Principal as “Really fantastic. The students’ achievements are quite outstanding and they must be very warmly congratulated”.

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 over 400 students who have now achieved offers for places on prestige degree courses including, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering, Maths, 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.

Amongst the very high achievers are:

Hannah Yellop who achieved 4 A* grades in A level Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Health and Social Care. Hannah will now study Medicine at Keele University, School of Medicine. Indeed, Hannah is one of a large group of students this year, who have achieved the grades for places at Medical Schools or Veterinary Schools.

James Curran achieved 4 A* grades in A level Biology, Chemistry, Sport and PE and also an A grade in Psychology. James will now study for a degree in Physiotherapy at Brunel University, London.

Amongst a very large group of students who achieved 3A* grades are Eleanor Clifford (Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics) who will now study Natural Science at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Laurence Childs (Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science) who will now study Geology at Imperial College, London, Luke Congdon (Mathematics, Music and Extended Project Qualification) who will now study Music at King’s College, Cambridge and Jared Khan (Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics) who will now study Computer Science at St John’s College, Cambridge.

L-R - James Curran, Eleanor Clifford, Hannah Yellop and Luke Congdon celebrate their success

International Baccalaureate Success for Sixth Form Students

By Karen Burns, (IB Co-ordinator) July 2015

The Sixth Form College is celebrating another year of outstanding exam success for the group of International Baccalaureate students.

We are really proud of the students' successes this year. As a group, they have achieved a very impressive achievement level of an average of 33 points – which is positive ‘value-added’ in that this figure exceeds the predicted grades that are calculated from their GCSE scores. The IB is a global qualification, taken by students all over the world and, in this context, the achievements of our students compares extremely well (10% higher) to the international average of 29 points.

Indeed, nearly 10% of the students at the College achieved the extremely impressive score of 40 points - a really outstanding achievement. To put this in context, Oxford and Cambridge generally ‘offer’ students places for their degree courses at 39 or 40 points.

College Principal Ian MacNaughton congratulated the students and said: "The students have proved, yet again, that the International Baccalaureate course is an excellent all round sixth form education and also an excellent route into some of the most prestigious establishments in the country. We are very proud of their success. It's very pleasing to see students using the course as a springboard to further success in a wide range of academic institutions from Durham, Bristol and Manchester to Maastricht, to study everything from Law to Chemistry to Zoology".

Hayley Green Achieved a very impressive 40 points
Emily Barker Progressing to Kent to study Psychology having achieved an excellent 39 points
Catherine Gilbert Going to Maastricht to study Chemistry , having achieved an outstanding 40 points
Sophie Ainsworth Will study Psychology at St Andrews having achieved an excellent 40 points
Rebecca Coleby Studying Philosophy at Warwick, having gained an excellent 36 point score (and also a finalist in the Volunteer Category in this year’s Colchester Youth Awards)

L-R Back:
Adam Beard Will study Zoology at Reading
Sam Harris Progressing to Bristol, also to study Zoology
L-R Front:
Anna Gibson Hart Will study Languages after a year spent working and travelling
Alicia Northill Studying Psychology at Bristol in the Autumn
Kathleen Dunbar Going to Surrey to study Biomedical Science