marco and ricci allen

Students resitting their GCSEs at Northampton College have recorded some of the best results in the region, with the college achieving more high-level grades than comparative providers.

Figures revealed an overall pass rate of 98 per cent across 1,898 exams, while the college recorded four per cent more higher level grades among students resitting their exams than equivalent schools and colleges across the region.

A total of 952 students out of the 973 who sat English Language secured a pass, while 893 out of 915 passed their maths GCSE.

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “We are thrilled to see so many people now able to progress and move on in their lives having achieved the grades they need at GCSE.

“We set high expectations of our students, making sure that they always attended their classes regularly and punctually and instilling a culture of hard work and determination. I am thrilled to see our students reap the rewards of months of dedication.

“We have increased the amount of support that was available for students to keep them on track and I am proud of our staff who have worked so hard to support their students throughout the year. They have made a real difference.”

Father and son team Marco and Ricci-Marco Allen both sat GCSE Maths and English together and both passed with flying colours. It was the first time dad Marco had sat an exam in his life, supporting his son after he was diagnosed with Asperger’s.

He said: “It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life but it’s already meant I’ve had lots of job interviews and now I’ve been offered a position working in mental health.”

Among those getting high marks was Anna Szmak, who achieved grade 8s in both English and maths plus an A* in biology. She said: “We don’t have GCSEs in Poland so I needed to get the necessary qualifications to work as a teacher with special needs children over here. This is the final piece in the jigsaw. I’m delighted.”

Bettina Knight, aged 45 from Duston, earned a grade 7 for GCSE English to pursue her dream of becoming a primary school teacher by studying at university in Derby.

She said: “I really enjoyed the course, it was good to see different teaching methods which I can learn from and there was a lovely group of us all willing each other on to succeed. We came from all different backgrounds but we were brought together by having one thing in common – needing to get that GCSE to move on in our lives.”

Phillip Brocklehurst saw his computer crash halfway through his GCSE English Language exam – triggering a panic attack caused by severe anxiety. Staff helped him regain his composure and he was able to finish the paper with seconds to spare.

He had been predicted a grade 5 but was stunned to discover he had been awarded a 9 – the highest possible mark.

He said: “The support staff were incredible. I thought it was ruined but they calmed me down and got me in a position where I was able to complete the paper. I must have worked 10 times harder than I ever thought possible to get it done in time.”

Philip, from St James, is staying on at Northampton College to pursue a course in integrated humanities and wants to eventually become a teacher at Booth Lane, using his experience to help fellow students overcome challenges and achieve the grades they need to get on in life.

For further information on the opportunities available at Northampton College, and to book and Advice & Guidance appointment if you are unsure about your next steps, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk/advice-and-guidance or call 0300 123 2344.

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