Sixth form college students win places at several Russell Group universities

Delighted students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.
Delighted students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

Hartlepool Sixth Form College students have been delighted with the results, with a number of high flyers on their way to the country’s leading universities.

The Brinkburn sixth form - which released figures in February that showed it was leading the way when it comes to student attainment for top grades - will wave goodbye to young people heading to Cambridge, Durham and Oxford universities, among others today.

Ben Thornley, 18, from Peterlee achieved three A*s in maths, further maths and physics.

He said: “It’s fantastic. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pretty confident I could get into my second choice uni, but to get to Durham is amazing.

“I’m really looking forward to moving to Durham to start my studies in maths and physics. I’m not too sure what I want to do yet when I leave college, but I have time to figure that out.

“I had a very good time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. The teachers were brilliant. They push you hard but without over-pushing and making you get sick of the course. They’ve been fantastic.”

Ella Dixon, 18, from West Park in Hartlepool is off to Leeds University to study Natural Sciences. She achieved three A*s in maths, physics and chemistry.

“I cried when I opened my exam results. I was shaking, I was so happy. I didn’t expect it at all.

“I felt good after my exams but I didn’t think there would be any A*s in there.”

She added: “The college has been great and the teachers have been so supportive. It’s definitely helped, studying here.

“The teachers have been more supportive than any I have had – they’ve always gone above and beyond to help. I’m really looking forward to taking my next steps and moving away for university.”

Ben Londesbrough, 18, is from Lindon Grove in Hartlepool and achieved an A* in Physics and two As in Chemistry, and Maths.

He said: “I’m very happy. I was hoping for three As, so when I saw the A*, I couldn’t believe it. I was so nervous coming in but, thankfully, the results were great.

“I am planning on taking a gap year and am hoping to fundraise and go to Africa to support a community out there. I’m trying not to think too much about university just now, but eventually, I want to study medicine.

“My time at the college has been really good. The teachers are really supportive. If you ever I need help or support, you know you can just ask. Even on weekends, they come back to you really quickly.”

And high achiever Lauren Howells, 18, is now set to study Human, Social and Political Sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge University. She achieved an A in History and two A*s in Politics and Sociology.

She said: “I am so relieved and overwhelmed. I have been so stressed, so it’s nice to be able to relax now.

“When I got the offer for Cambridge, I thought I might not be able to do it, but I have made the grades I need to get in, so I am so happy.”

Principal and chief executive of Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Sunderland College, Ellen Thinnesen, said that results day is a highlight in the sixth form’s calendar, and seeing students go on to secure places at the country’s leading universities is special for staff across the college.

She said: "We are extremely proud of our students’ achievements and today is a chance to acknowledge their fantastic effort. However, along with the ambition, determination and hard work of our students, their teachers and support staff have worked equally hard to stretch and support each student to reach their full potential. It’s such a highlight for us all of us at the college to see students finally celebrating their success.

“To watch the delight as they open their results and find they have done enough to secure a place at their chosen university, or to take the next step of their educational journey, is a pleasure for the whole team. We’re thrilled to see another set of spectacular results, and look forward to welcoming our next cohort of students in September, who we are sure will go on to have the same fantastic experience, just like this year’s leavers.”

Hartlepool Sixth Form College tops performance charts in the area, with last year’s results showing more than 11 per cent of students achieved AAB grades or higher, including at least two ‘facilitating’ subjects, which are used to determine progression into higher education.

The sixth form also saw its applied general performance leading the way, with an average grade of distinction+, which is above national average and higher than all neighbouring colleges and sixth forms.

The sixth form - which offers courses ranging from music and performing arts to maths, sport to science, and law to psychology - boasts an impressive track record when it comes to progression into Higher Education, with 87 per cent of students who apply to Russell Group universities, which includes the likes of Durham, Oxford and Cambridge universities, making the grade and receiving an offer.