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Scholarly school students get A-level head start

Published: February 28, 2017

St Austell 16-18 | Schools | FE

An after-school programme for students from around St Austell is raising aspirations while giving a valuable insight into college life.


The Scholars Programme, offered by The A-level department at Cornwall College St Austell, is a series of masterclasses designed to stretch and inspire ambitious students to achieve their very best.


The variety of topics on offer includes English, maths, science, creative arts, media and humanities, with subjects such as an introduction to political history, investigating waves and tsunamis, the changing face of war photography and an exploration of visual language among others.


Head of A-levels Chris Taylor, said: “At Cornwall College St Austell, we pride ourselves on the consistently high level of success that our students are achieving, with an increasing number progressing to top universities to study their chosen degrees year-on-year. We work closely with local schools to support motivated students to make the most of their GCSE study in preparation for A-level success.


Chris continued: “Our Scholars Programme offers aspirational Year 11 students a range of masterclass sessions, designed to enrich their curriculum beyond exam preparation.”


Delivered on Thursday evenings at the College campus in St Austell, the sessions cover a diverse and challenging range of content, designed to push students academically to achieve their best.


“The masterclasses will not only help augment success at GCSE level but lay the groundwork for continued aspirational study during A-levels,” Chris added.


“I look forward to welcoming our Scholars to Cornwall College to show them the fantastic standard of A-level provision available right on their doorstep.”


In the last academic year, Cornwall College students achieved record breaking results for A-levels with an overall pass rate of 99.6%, which is well above the national average of 98.1%. The St Austell students achieved a 100% pass rate in 25 out of 26 subjects which includes; English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, History and Law.


Alongside this, the standard of results culminated in the College being recognised by the A-level Performance System (ALPS) as in the top tier of A-level providers across the U.K.  The ALPS data analyses the progress made by students during their time at Cornwall College St Austell and shows that the Overall Quality Indicator Score is Grade 1, along with the overall teaching quality indicator, both of which is equal to the best scores in the sector’s top 1%.


Sixteen-year-old Ben Bassett from Stenalees, progressed to Cornwall College from Poltair School after attending last year’s Scholars Programme. Ben is now studying A-levels in Geography, Politics, English Literature and History. Ben said: “I really enjoyed the scholars programme because the sessions were completely different to that of a GCSE curriculum and so everything I was learning was new to me which made it all the more interesting. I loved the fact that the lessons were more informal and were more of a discussion rather than just being taught, which for me made the lessons feel more immersive and exciting.


Ben continued: “The programme made the transition from school to A-Levels much easier because I had already met the A-Level tutors and knew what I would be doing when I started college. It made me feel much more relaxed about the transition because I was prepared for how the lessons were going to be and decided that it wasn’t miles harder than GCSEs, just different- and more independent.


“I would definitely recommend the A-Level Scholars programme to aspirational school students because it gives the chance to be pushed, not hard, just that extra bit which makes the GCSE exams a little easier as the skills I had gained from just a few sessions at the college were invaluable! Moreover, it gave the chance to meet other like-minded students who share the same passions- because of this, it was incredibly easy to make some friends. This made coming to college much easier as I had already met so many new people!”


For more information on the range of A-level courses available at Cornwall College St Austell visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or come to our next open event on Saturday 18th March from 10am to 12pm.


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