City of Bristol College was celebrating last week as students opened their GCSE results.
In similar fashion to last year’s results, teacher assessed grades (TAGs) formed the basis of this year’s results for both the GCSEs.
The College offers a range of English and maths courses to students of all ages and backgrounds, from Entry Level through to GCSEs. Students are given the opportunity to attain a Grade 4 (C) and above, with the College offering the courses for free if the student has previously missed out on the passing grade.
For many of the learners, this has allowed them to reconsider their careers and to pursue future study opportunities.
One such student included 25-year-old Zach Baker who joined the College back in 2012 on a Personal Training and Sports Instructing qualification, before leaving and returning again in 2019 to begin his studies in English and maths.
Zach started with the English Level 2 Functional Skills qualification which he completed alongside his GCSE Maths, earning a passing grade in Functional Skills and a Grade 5 in GCSE Maths.
This year’s results, however, saw him ‘more than happy’ after he received a Grade 6 in his English Language GCSE.
He said: “I was more than happy with my English result considering I submitted a few of my final essays when I was ill with Covid-19. I cannot praise the hard work of my lecturer, Becky Miller, enough. She is one of the best teachers I have ever had and no one could hold a candle to her.”
Zach is planning to put his results to good use as he prepares to enrol on one of the College’s Access to Higher Education courses as he sets out on his dream to become a nurse and, eventually, a doctor.
He said: “I needed the fundamentals in English and now I have more than I need to continue my studies. Looking back at school, it was about how I viewed the course, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and education wasn’t my favourite thing”.
“For other people thinking about going back and getting their GCSEs, it has opened up my career opportunities for me and it is one of life’s fundamental skills.”
Principal and Chief Executive, Andy Forbes, said: “GCSE English and Maths are core skills needed for all types of career, so we offer these courses at City of Bristol College free of charge to anyone who needs to improve their grades. We are incredibly proud of what our students have achieved this year following months of disruption and these great results mean that our learners will be able to continue with even greater confidence on their journey of education or into the world of work.
“Thank you once again to all of our staff for their dedication to our students.”
One student, Alex Woodland, said his time on the GCSE Maths course was an ‘important experience’ for him after he struggled at school. He has now earned a Grade 5 (the highest available grade) and scored 88% on the foundation level exam.
He said: “I really struggled at school for various reasons and always regretted how I had done in school. Going back into College after 25 years was incredibly hard for me.
“It has not just been about learning maths for me, it has been about learning something which didn’t naturally click. Something I have never done before and I am used to just sponging up subjects I love instantly. It has been a very important experience to learn something where I have pushed through.“
City of Bristol College also offers a range of International English and ESOL GCSE routes for people whose first language is not English.
You can find out more about the English and maths provision offered by the College.
Enrolment for the upcoming academic year has now begun. Students who received their results last week who have already applied to the College can now input these online through the enrolment process. If you would like to study at the College but have yet to apply, drop into any of the College’s five Centres between 9am-4pm to enquire and enrol!