Full-time students at CAVC achieve 100% A*- G GCSE pass rate
Full-time students at Cardiff and Vale College have achieved 100% A*-G pass rate in their GCSE exams, which is a 2.7% increase from last year’s results. Part-time students at the college have also approved on last year’s results with 99.7% of students achieving an A*-G grade, an increase of 4.8%.
All full-time students at Cardiff and Vale College are re-sit students who have previously failed at school like 17 year old Conor Regan from Llanrumney. Conor left St Illtyds High School with one GCSE, having achieved a C in Science. He decided to come to college to study BTEC Applied Science and re-sit his Maths and English GCSEs.
Conor decided to study on the BTEC Applied Science course at Cardiff and Vale College after the death of his nan. He said, “My nan died of cancer and going through something like that with a family member made me want to study on the Applied Science course.”
However, Conor’s family was hit with another tragedy which meant he had to drop the BTEC Applied Science course. Just eight days before Christmas 2010, his 24 year old sister (who had schizophrenia) died at home in her bed. Conor tried to resuscitate her with CPR he had learnt four years previously in Army Cadets however, it was too late. Conor said, “It was a tough time and had a big effect on the family, especially being so close to Christmas.”
Conor carried on studying for his GCSEs in Maths and English and gained two Cs. He said, “College gives you a whole different perspective and I feel happy that I can move on to bigger and better things now.”
Conor now hopes to study on the Public Services course at Cardiff and Vale College and eventually have a career in the military as a paramedic. He said, “What I’ve been through has pushed me towards having a career helping others as a paramedic.”
20 year old Suresh is another student who left high school with only one GCSE. Suresh Kerai moved to Wales at the age of nine without knowing a word of English. Originally from Gujarat in North India, the only GCSE he passed at Fitzalan High School was Gujarati, the language of his hometown.
Suresh, who now lives in Grangetown, began his British education in Ninian Park Primary School where he had a translator to help him with his studies. He has also learnt and perfected his English through watching television (especially the news) and taught himself how to speak Hindi by watching films.
Suresh wasn’t motivated or switched on in school and came to Cardiff and Vale College for a completely new start with the determination to succeed. He has since achieved his AS Applied Science and GCSEs in English Language, Maths, Human Physiology and Health, Science and Citizenship as well as being awarded Student Governor for the 2009/10 academic year.
“I am so pleased that I’ve passed English,” said Suresh, “I recommend that anyone should come to college to try it and see what it’s like. You get more independence but lots of help and support at the same time, something you can’t really get in high school. It’s turned my life around.”
Suresh is aiming to study Biology, Physics and Applied Science A Levels at Cardiff and Vale College next year and then hopes to study Podiatry at University; a branch of medicine devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
Part time GCSE Language courses at Cardiff and Vale College also saw an increase with a 100% A*-G pass rate and 92% achieving A*-C grades in French, Italian or Spanish. 49 year old mature student Tim Lynes decided to study GCSE Italian after contacting an old friend on Facebook and finding out that her husband was Italian with Italian speaking children.
Originally from Birmingham, Tim has a Bio Chemistry Degree from Lancaster University and worked as an Immunology Researcher at the University Hospital of Wales for four years before working in IT for BT. He is currently enjoying a gap year from work and is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
“I always wanted to do a language that was interesting,” said Tim, “and unlike many places, Cardiff and Vale College allowed me to gain my GCSE in one year. I’m very happy with my result and it’s all I could have hoped for. You’re never too old to go back into education.”
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners are also amongst the GCSE achievers at Cardiff and Vale College. Learners on the Level 2 ESOL course have been collecting their GCSE Maths grades today and collectively have gained 1 A*, 3 As, 12 Cs and 5 Ds – a remarkable achievement for people from other countries who are still learning the language.
Dr Barbara Prosser, Coleg Glan Hafren's Head of Faculty of Advanced Studies said, "Many of the young people picking up their GCSE results at the college today left school with next to no qualifications for a variety of reasons - some had serious illness, some had learning support needs and some just didn't work hard enough, so to see so many of the students get the grades they need to move onto another level of study is very heartening. Our language results are proof that part-time students are still interested in exploring new subjects and can pick up excellent results when learning a new language to use on their travels."