College Merthyr Tydfil learners excel again!
18th August 2022
There were congratulations all around this morning as staff and learners at The College Merthyr Tydfil celebrated a sea of excellent A level and vocational results in what has been a challenging two years.
Reinforcing its position as one of the top colleges in Wales, the college achieved an overall A Level pass rate (A*-E) of 99% on par with its 2021 pass rate. 41% of students achieved the very highest A*-A grades in comparison to 39% in 2021, with 15% of learners gaining the highest A* grade. 84% of learners achieved A*-C grades.
These results build upon the year-on-year increase in A Level success rates at the college, highlighting the college’s commitment to providing the highest quality A Level provision for all learners.
Vocational learners added to this success, with a record number of top grades awarded across the board.
Lisa Thomas, Principal commented: “I am delighted to see so many of our learners achieve such outstanding results during what has been a difficult time for them. These learners are the first cohort to sit formal exams in the last two years and I am so proud of the way that they have come through these challenges to achieve such excellent outcomes. They have shown incredible resilience, strength and determination and I wish them all the very best for their future.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff across the college who have worked so hard to support learners and ensure that they have had the best teaching and learning experience possible over the last two years.”
Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip was present at the college to witness the jubilant scenes as learners received their results. Dawn, who is also MS for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, commented, “I am so pleased to be here this morning to see first-hand the excellent results that learners have achieved, despite the challenging few years they have had. It is wonderful to see that their hard work has paid off and that they are now able to progress on to the next stage of their education and career journey.”
One of the learners eagerly awaiting her results and confirmation of her place at Cambridge University was past Brecon High School pupil Jenna Welch. Jenna achieved an outstanding A*in History, A* in Biology, A in Chemistry and a B in Maths, enabling her to now progress on to study Archaeology at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Commenting on her results, Jenna stated, “I’m so grateful for the help and support I’ve received from Merthyr College, from writing my personal statement to the interview process for Cambridge University.”
The college’s STEM learners were amongst some of the college’s top performers.
Abbie Williams, former Cyfarthfa High School pupil, achieved an outstanding A*A* A* A* in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology and is now looking forward to enjoying a gap year prior to going on to study medicine at university.
Former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School pupil Joseph Hopkins, one of the college’s Panasonic Trust Future Engineering Ambassadors, achieved 3 A*s in Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, providing him with the grades he needs to progress on to study further maths at Bath University.
Commenting on his experience at college, Joseph stated, “The college were really supportive and their style of teaching was very personalised. I never felt worried about asking for help.”
Celebrating alongside Joseph was former Cyfarthfa pupil Jacob Cummings and former Afon Taf pupil Ieuan Chamberlain. Jacob achieved 3 As in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.
Ieuan achieved A*in Computer Science, A* in Physics and an A in Further Maths, enabling him to now progress on to study Physics at University.
Commenting on his results, Ieuan stated, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying A Levels at The College Merthyr Tydfil. Over the last 2 years, I have been supported by staff both in and outside of the classroom, especially throughout exam season. I now have the grades I need to start a degree and subsequent career in Physics.”
Celebrating alongside Ieuan was also former Afon Taf pupil Megan Davies. Megan achieved a fantastic A* in Psychology, A in Drama and an A in English Literature and Language. She commented, “My time in Merthyr Tydfil college was amazing, my experience is something I will never forget I had all the support needed and if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have come this far! Thank you for all the support I have received over the last 3 years!”
Ben Matthews, former Heolddu pupil, achieved A*s in Maths and Chemistry and an A in Physics.
Josh Aquino, past Bishop Hedley pupil, achieved A* in Sociology, A in Business and an A in Maths. Commenting on his time at college, he said, “Studying Maths, Business & Sociology has been amazing over the past couple of years. The staff here at Merthyr College have been very supportive, and they have adapted well to the unforeseen circumstances. I am now looking forward to studying an Accounting & Finance Degree at the University of Bath.”
Erin Mitchell, former Brecon High School pupil, achieved a fantastic A* in Biology, A in Chemistry and an A in History, providing her with the grades she needs to progress on to study Veterinary Medicine at Nottingham University.
Speaking about her results, Erin commented, “From writing my personal statement to the interview process for veterinary medicine, I have received endless help from the college. I’m especially grateful to Carolyn who has supported me every step of the way. My tutors have always gone above and beyond to assist me with my studies, I couldn’t be happier!”
Humanities learners also performed exceptionally well across the board. Past Idris Davies pupil Hollie Morgan achieved an A in History, B’s in Sociology and Psychology and a C in Law. Hollie, who has also been the chair of our Learner Senedd during her time at college, commented, “Since joining the college in September 2020, I have found it to be a welcoming, inclusive and nurturing environment to learn in. The staff at the college have provided both academic and well-being support to all learners. I’m now looking forward to progressing on to study Law at university.”
Amongst dedicating her time as a member of the college’s Learner Senedd, former Cyfarthfa High School pupil Niamh Broad achieved fantastic results gaining an A in History and B’s in English Literature, Government and Politics and Computer Science.
Commenting on her experience at college, Niamh stated, “While studying History, Politics, English lit and Computer science at the college, I’ve received the best support from all the tutors that have taught me throughout the last two years I’ve spent here. Knowing that they are just one knock away really made a difference. I am now progressing to study a History and Politics degree at Exeter University.”
Also celebrating alongside Niamh was Jennie Evans. Jennie, also a former Cyfarthfa High School pupil, achieved an A in Psychology, B in English Language and Literature and a C in Biology.
Speaking about her time at college, she said, “I have really enjoyed my time at Merthyr College, despite the challenges of COVID. I have successfully studied Biology, Psychology, English Language/Literature and EPQ and have been well supported by my tutors. I am looking forward to commencing a Degree in Speech and Language Therapy at Cardiff Metropolitan University”
Menna Owen, past Bishop Hedley pupil, achieved an A* in Sociology, A in Business and an A in Psychology. Commenting on her results, Menna said, “I really enjoyed studying A - Levels at the college over the last two years. The support I received was amazing and has prepared me well for university.”
AS learners at the college also celebrated excellent results with an overall A-E pass rate of 95%. This compares to 94% in 2021 and 91% in 2019.
AS learner and past Bishop Hedley pupil Ava McMenamin, who is also one of the college’s Panasonic Trust Future Engineer Ambassadors and a MAT learner achieved A in Maths, A* In Further Maths, B in Physics and a C in Chemistry.
Ava, who successfully gained places on the Scholars Brilliant Club programme and Oxford University Summer School during the last year, commented, “I have really enjoyed my first year at college and have really valued the opportunity to take part in opportunities like the Scholars programme. I feel that they have benefited my understanding of what it would be like to study at university, and have helped prepare me to undertake research at an undergraduate level.” Ava will now continue with her A2 studies next year with plans to go on and progress to be an Aeronautical Engineer.
Former Cyfarthfa pupil Emily Strudwick also achieved excellent results, receiving an A in Welsh, B in Further Maths and a B in Law.
Leah Hudson, past Brynmawr Learning Community pupil achieved A*s in Drama and Sociology and an A in English Literature.
Vocational learners also performed exceptionally well with many gaining the highest distinction star grades.
Former Afon Taf School pupil Thomas Gray achieved DDM in his Level 3 Engineering course.
Celebrating alongside Tom was IT learner Harry, also a former Afon Taf High School pupil. Harry achieved D*D*D in his level 3 IT course. Commenting on his time at college, he said “My time at the college was spent studying the BTEC Level 3 course from 2020-2022, and it's a time that I will look back on fondly. I was able to study and learn about an area of immense significance in our lives but also a subject that has numerous areas of interest for me. Overall, I'd say my time at the college was really enjoyable, has given me valuable skills and finally, I was able to achieve grades that I initially thought would be too tough to achieve.”
Also achieving D*D*D* on the level 3 IT course were David Shakut, past Cyfarthfa High School pupil and Keiron Williams, past Penydre High School pupil.
Commenting on the course, David said, “The ICT Level 3 course was everything I needed to learn in order to get a taster of what I've wanted to progress in to, for my future.”
Other IT learners also scooping up excellent results were first year Games Design learners Adam Trinidad, Rhys Lewton and Dylan Parry.
Adam, former Bishop Hedley pupil, commented, “I chose Games Design because I saw that it was a good opportunity to pursue my dream job. All my tutors are fun to be around, and it is good to know they're available when I need guidance. The knowledge I gained from the first year was very eye opening to me and was very interesting. With everything I learned in the first year, I am confident I can do Year 2 and move onto University as well.
BTEC Health and Social Care learners performed exceptionally well. Amber Longford (former Afon Taf pupil), Grace Davies (former St John the Baptist pupil), Lois Davies (former Bishop Hedley pupil), Skye Maxwell and Olivia James (former Gwernyfed pupils) all achieved Triple Distinction stars, enabling them to now progress on to university.
Commenting on her results, former St John The Baptist learner Grace Davies, said, “Following on from when I completed my GCSE’s, I had a real ambition to work in the health service, specifically working as an Operating Department Practitioner within the NHS. I was therefore looking for the next steps and the educational opportunities that would best prepare me and provide me with the educational qualifications to meet this goal. Having considered various educational routes and institutions including undertaking my A Levels within my existing school, I discovered the Level 3 Health and Social care programme was available and delivered at Merthyr Tydfil College.
Completing this course during the pandemic was always going to be difficult with various restrictions including remote learning. However, through the uncertain times the blended approach undertaken and the continuous support from all the tutors that I have been provided with, has really helped me to achieve my full potential. This course has been challenging involving completing a number of varied topic, but I have overcome this through hard work and dedication. I have found the programme both stimulating and enjoyable and has provided me with the development and support that I needed to move onto the next stage of my education and I hope to take what I have learnt into practice within my future role. I am now looking forward to going on to study Operating Department Practice at the University of South Wales.”
Former Penydre High School pupil Ethan Scriven achieved a D*D*D in his BTEC Level 3 Travel and Tourism course.
Past Rhydywaun pupil Amy Jones and former Cyfarthfa pupils Morgan Thomas and Natalie Kyte all achieved D*D*D* in their BTEC Applied Science course. Morgan, who also plays for Merthyr Town FC is now heading to study Physiotherapy, Natalie is going to study Zoology at Aberystwyth University and Amy is going to Swansea to study Nursing.
Amongst successfully being selected to represent the Wales Women’s Under 18 Six Nations Rugby squad, past Afon Taf High School pupil, Lucy Isaac achieved a D*D*D on her BTEC Applied Science course and has successfully achieved the results she needs to progress on to a Local Government apprenticeship scheme.
Science tutor, Mark Richards, commented “Amy, Morgan, Natalie and Lucy are just some of many of our BTEC Applied Science learners to receive an offer to study at University, showcasing the value of the course and the opportunities it can open up for learners.”
Former Cyfarthfa pupil and Welsh Valleys Engineering Ambassador Josh Jones achieved a MMM in his level 3 BTEC Engineering course. Commenting on his results and achievements, Josh’s dad Neil Jones stated, “I have been so impressed by the opportunities and support that Josh has received at college. Not only has he had excellent support from his course tutors but he has also had the opportunity to be part of the college’s Sports Academy, leading to him being selected to represent the U19s Welsh Colleges Football Team.”
Other past Cyfarthfa High School pupils and Royal Academy of Engineering and Panasonic Trust Future Engineers Awardees celebrating their results included Sam Paske, who achieved DDD, Jessy Jones who achieved DDM, Finley Dummet who achieved a MMM and Elis Thomas, who achieved a D*DD.
Creative Industries learners received some excellent results with 33% of Performing Arts learners achieving the highest Distinction grades. Former Cyfarthfa High School pupil Bethan Howells was one of these learners achieving a distinction grade. She will now progressing on to study a BA Hons in Acting at The Academy of Live and Recorded Art (ALRA).
Art and Design learners also performed really well with many gaining high level grades to support progression into higher education.
Skye Foxtrot, former Cyfarthfa High School pupil, also achieved outstanding vocational results, achieving a D*D*D* in her BTEC Level 3 Public Services course. Celebrating alongside Skye was Lawrence Maximus. Lawrence, a past Christ College learner who also achieved D*D*D*.
Business Studies learners also performed really well with many achieving the highest D*D*D* or D*D*D grades.
Simon Evans, Director of Data and Performance, commented “Year on year we are continually improving upon our results and outcomes, achieving a higher percentage of the very top A level grades and a higher number of Distinction Stars across our vocational courses. This continual upward trend in outcomes reflects the college’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of teaching, learning and support, ensuring that all learners achieve their very best with us.”
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