BMet celebrates bumper number of GCSE achievements

Priya is all smiles and full of confidence after achieving her grade C

Priya is all smiles and full of confidence after achieving her grade C

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) students and staff have been celebrating strong GCSE results today.

The overall pass rate of 97.6% for students studying maths, English and sciences is an increase on last year. There was particularly good progress made in mathematics at 98.5% and the 97% pass rate in English is consistent with the previous year.

Of the 1,870 entries this year, there was an increase in both the number of 16-18 year olds and adults who were achieving passes.

Andrew Cleaves, Principal and Chief Executive at the college, said: “I am delighted that BMet continues to be a place where anyone can come to achieve their dreams.

Victoria and Stefan celebrate as a family

Victoria and Stefan celebrate as a family

“Gaining GCSEs is the main route to expand individual career opportunities for adults, with a pass at grade C in maths and English being essential for many roles in areas such as public services, health and education. I am especially pleased that the college, in just over 90 hours of study time, has helped support many 16-18 year olds to gain the critical C grades they have struggled to achieve at school.”

Anthony Dennant, Head of Mathew Boulton College, part of BMet celebrated with his students today. Commenting on their performance he said: “Our results are a reflection of the college’s mission to inspire people to think differently about their futures and then help them achieve their dreams. I never stop getting a sense of satisfaction that we work well with students to have a better and more rewarding future. ”

A career in nursing remains on Evelina’s horizons

A career in nursing remains on Evelina’s horizons

Adult learner, Evelina Grobovaite, is embarking on the next steps towards a career in nursing after gaining an A* grade in Maths and a B in English. Lithuania-born Evelina said: “I’ve always been interested in medicine and now I have the qualifications I need to pursue my dream.” The 31-year-old is heading to the University of Birmingham to study nursing. She continued: “I did my GCSEs with an Access to Health and Social Care course at Matthew Boulton College. It was a demanding course, but I always felt I was in a good, supportive environment.

“I was a bit surprised by my GCSE A* but I feel very proud that all my hard work has given me the chance to follow a career I know I will enjoy.”

It was third time lucky for student, Priya Panesar who achieved a C in English Language. The 17-year-old Business Studies student said: “I didn’t do as well in English as I could have at school. My communication and understanding of language is good, but I haven’t always been confident about my writing skills. If I was asked to write a letter or a review of something, I’d get nervous. This time round, I made sure I pushed myself during my classes and found that I could write well. I was pleased with the two pieces of coursework I produced, one of which was a short story and the other, a critique of two literary texts.

“Achieving my GCSE means I can keep working towards my ambition of going to university. I’m so happy I passed.”

There were also double celebrations for Victoria Wilson’s family after both she and her brother-in-law Stefan Bramble gained their GCSEs in English Language at Grade C.

Victoria who is now enrolling on an Access to Science course at BMet said: “I studied my GCSE in the evenings after work and found the teaching to be excellent. My ambition is to be become a paramedic. I’m looking forward to starting my new course.” Brother-in-law Stefan is also returning to BMet to begin a teacher training course.

Birmingham Metropolitan College is currently taking applications for September admission in A Level and vocational subjects. Higher education courses are also available at the college. Students who are interested in joining should telephone 0845 155 0101 for further information or visit http://www.bmetc.ac.uk

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College Extends Guidance Offer During Enrolment

Walsall College is urging students who are receiving their GCSE exam results this week or have had their A-level results to explore all the options available to them before making a decision about their next step.

Carol Egan, Director of Student Journey at Walsall College said: “Students are faced with a difficult decision when they leave school or college. Choosing which course or apprenticeship to enrol on also means they are deciding which career route they want to pursue.

“With the reduction of independent careers advisors in schools, young people have less information to help them with this important decision. In current times when the job market is more competitive than ever, impartial careers advice has become increasingly important.”

Carol added: “New legislation also means that all young people have to stay in some kind of education or training until they are aged 18, but this doesn’t mean they have to stay on at school after completing year 11. Full-time and part-time college courses and apprenticeships are also viable options.”

The college’s awarding winning team of careers and guidance officers are available for extended hours during the enrolment period which starts on GCSE results day to offer impartial advice to help people to find the right pathway for them. So anyone who has achieved higher or lower exam results than they expected or are just unsure about what to do next can come and speak to someone at the college.

Walsall College’s Careers and Guidance team is available all year round, but from 20th August –5th September they will be available for extended hours: 10am -7pm from Monday to Thursday, 10am – 4pm on Friday, and 10am – 2pm on Saturday. Alternatively they can be contacted via email: guidanceteam@walsallcollege.ac.uk or by calling 01922 657000.

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College Leads the Way with Learner Voice Award

Walsall College has been announced as the Overall Institution of the Year at the first ever Learner Voice Practitioner Awards, for its outstanding commitment to empowering learners to have a voice and using it to make a real difference within the college.

​The college picked up the award at a ceremony, which took place at London Metropolitan University on Tuesday 4th August and hosted by The Learner Voice Practitioners (LVP) Network. Walsall College was also presented with the Midlands Region Institute of the Year award.

The LVP Network was founded in 2012 by staff at 20 colleges and specialist FE providers in conjunction with the National Union of Students (NUS), to support and facilitate the promotion of the learner voice across the sector.

The Learner Voice Practitioner Awards celebrate educational providers who recognise the value of learners’ views in improving the provision and systems in place.  Walsall College was specifically praised for listening to students through an active Students’ Union, a comprehensive Student Representative system and an annual Student Conference.

June Morrow, Director of Student Journey said: “Students are at the heart of everything we do at the college: our aim is to ensure every student achieves their potential and has the best possible experience of college life. We have a very focused and unique approach to ensuring the Learner Voice is heard. Listening and responding to our learners has been instrumental in bringing about change which helped us to achieve our outstanding Ofsted grade.”

Course Representative and Students’ Union President, Ryan Ball stated: “I became a Course Representative and SU President because I wanted to be more involved in college life and I wanted to get the most out of my years here.  Students have a real voice at Walsall College and our views are treated with respect.  By discussing issues and proposing areas for change with the college Principal and Governors, students are able to make a real difference.

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Advice available for GCSE Students

Students across the country will receive their GCSE results on Thursday 20th August and will be faced with a range of options about their future.

Burton and South Derbyshire College is holding an Information, Advice and Guidance Event on the day between 10am – 4pm, to help young people choose the best route to achieve their goals.

The event will be an opportunity for those who have received their results to gain impartial advice and guidance from professional guidance officers to help them decide their next steps.

Students will be encouraged to look at the full range options available, which include A Levels, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

College tutors across all curriculum areas will be on hand during the day to speak to potential students about the courses on offer and how to apply.

Those looking for advice and guidance about part time courses and university level courses are also welcome to attend the event for more information.

Naomi Merrick, Learner Services & Support Manager said: “Students receiving their GCSE results will undoubtedly be faced with a lot of decisions about their future over the coming days and weeks. Our Guidance Team at Burton and South Derbyshire College are here to help and can offer impartial advice and guidance to students about their next steps.”

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Students Celebrate Outstanding Vocational Success

Davina Wills, 17 (Music)

Davina Wills, 17 (Music)

A-level students are not the only ones celebrating their success at the moment, as many students on vocational courses are also receiving their results and certificates.

Students at Walsall College have achieved outstanding results with high levels receiving distinctions and merits.

Walsall College’s courses have been designed with significant input from employers to ensure students graduate with the skills and knowledge to give them a head start in the workplace or prepare them for university. They are a vocational alternative to the academic route offered by A-levels, giving students hands on skills and knowledge in their chosen industry.

Daniel Jackson, 19 (Business)

Daniel Jackson, 19 (Business)

Amongst the students celebrating was Business student Daniel Jackson, 19, who received a triple distinction*. He commented: “I’m really happy with my grade as it means I’m now going to Loughborough University to study for a BSc Honours degree in Information Management Systems and Business.

“I’ve had some great opportunities to gain work experience and working on live briefs set by employers which has prepared me to university.”

Music student, Davina Wills, 17, who received the grades she needed to gain a place at the University of Surrey to study a degree in Vocal Performance, said: “I have enjoyed everything about coming to Walsall College. It was a lot of hard work but the tutors have been very supportive. The course has really improved my confidence and the facilities for music are amazing.”

Recognised as outstanding by Ofsted, Walsall College offers a range of full and part time courses and its state-of-the-art facilities give students an exceptional learning environment to start their journey to success.

An £11m investment in a new Business and Sports Hub, adjacent to the college’s Wisemore Campus will add to the fantastic facilities and offer students more great opportunities to excel their learning.

Walsall College will be enrolling for courses from 20th August – 5th September as well as offering careers advice and guidance on all the options available. For more information about enrolling on a course at Walsall College, please call 01922 657000.

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A Level students celebrate success!

(Left to right) A Level students: Paige Wilson (18), Zia Zafari (18), Daniel Smith (18), Amelia Whyte (19) and Scarlett Smith (18) celebrating their results

(Left to right) A Level students: Paige Wilson (18), Zia Zafari (18), Daniel Smith (18), Amelia Whyte (19) and Scarlett Smith (18) celebrating their results

Students were celebrating at Burton and South Derbyshire College on Thursday 13th August after receiving their A Level results.

Students gathered in the College’s University Centre to open envelopes which contained the culmination of their hard work. They were joined on the day by Touch FM, who interviewed them as they found out their results. College tutors and guidance officers were on hand during the morning to support students with their next steps.

Many students receiving their results on the day will now be going forward to undertake degree courses at university, further training or employment.

Outstanding achievers on the day included Aliyya Lehman-Lund (19), who achieved an A in Maths, an A in Environmental Science and an A* in Biology, after only being in the UK for one year before coming to college. Aliyya, who won Learner of the Year for A Levels in the College’s FE Learner of the Year Awards, will now be going to work in a school in South Africa.

Paige Wilson (18) who achieved an A* in Law, an A* in Politics and an A in Sociology commented: “I wasn’t expecting to achieve such amazing grades; I’m so pleased! After a gap year, I will study Social Policy at the London School of Economics.”

Daniel Smith (18), who achieved B grades in his History, Classical Civilisation and Religious Studies A Levels said: “I’m really pleased with my results and I’m now going to study History and Archaeology at university.”

Overall, 14 A Level subjects achieved a 100% pass rate. Additionally, the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) qualification achievement surpassed the previous year’s performance.

Preeya Buckley, Director of Curriculum at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We’re extremely proud of the achievements of our A Level students, many of whom are now going forward to university or progressing to higher education courses at BSDC’s University Centre, run in partnership with local universities. We are committed to ensuring that all of our students have a great learning experience that will help them achieve their goals, whatever they might be.”

Next week, the College will turn its attention to GCSE results day, which is set to take place on Thursday 20st August. During the day, Burton and South Derbyshire College will be holding an information, advice and guidance event at its Town Centre Campus, between 10am – 4pm, to support those receiving their results with future study options, including A Levels, vocational qualifications and Apprenticeships. For more information about the event, please call 01283 494474 or visit http://www.bsdc.ac.uk.

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Satisfied Students Rate Walsall College as 4th in the UK for Higher Education

Students Graduating Back L-R – Claire Sutton, Kristofor Green, Lucy Broad. Front L-R – Neelam Atkhar, Kay Davies, Jenny Falconer

Students Graduating Back L-R – Claire Sutton, Kristofor Green, Lucy Broad. Front L-R – Neelam Atkhar, Kay Davies, Jenny Falconer

Walsall College has been named 4th for Student Satisfaction, amongst institutions in the UK offering higher education provision, following the National Student Survey (NSS) 2015.

The results from the latest National Student Survey reveal that 96% of higher education students at Walsall College were satisfied with their courses in 2015, far exceeding the national average of 86% for all institutions this year.

The NSS is a high-profile census of nearly half a million students across the UK, which has been conducted annually since 2005. Aimed at mainly final-year undergraduates, it gathers opinions from students about their experience of their courses. It is an influential source of public information about higher education and gives students a powerful collective voice to help shape the future of their course and their university or college.

Students heading to their Graduation ceremony

Students heading to their Graduation ceremony

Further highlights from the survey include the quality of academic support at an outstanding 99% while personal development was rated 97% and communication skills 100%. The exemplary results help ensure Walsall College graduates are best placed to secure their dream jobs in the future.

The college started offering full degree level courses for the first time in its history last year, and with an outstanding achievement rate of 97%, together with smaller class sizes and lower course fees than universities, it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for students studying at higher education level.

One student said: “My overall time at Walsall College has been a very good experience for me. I have developed greatly both mentally and physically and the course has made me ready for work outside of education.”

Another added: “There is a small group of students in each class which allows you to have more one-to-ones with tutors to check understanding and enhance learning. Compared to uni the course fees are appealing.”

June Morrow, Walsall College’s Director of Student Journey, said: “Students are at the heart of everything we do at the college, so we are delighted that satisfaction levels are so high and that students feel our higher education courses offer them exceptional value for their money.

“Our qualifications are all about preparing people for the real world. We know what employers want from our graduates and we use our close links with industry to make sure that’s precisely what we give them. With the cost of university still on the rise, studying locally has become more of an attractive option and our small classes and personalised tuition appeal to students of all ages.”
Walsall College’s score is higher than the UK’s top rated university, Keele, which received 95%.

For more information about higher education courses at Walsall College, visit http://www.walsallcollege.ac.uk to download a prospectus or call the guidance team on 01922 657053.

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