A-level and Vocational Diploma students have today (August 13) been awarded some of the highest grades ever recorded at Truro and Penwith College, in what has been an extraordinary finale to two years of study.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant a unique end of year for all the college’s final-year students, with no exams for A-levels or end of year assessments for Vocational Diplomas.

Along with all 16-18 institutions, Truro and Penwith College has instead followed national guidance in submitting Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) to exam boards. These grades have then been standardised using statistical modelling developed with Ofqual before awarding individual final grades.

These 2020 results have sustained the long-term high performance record of students studying at Truro and Penwith College, reflected in its Ofsted Outstanding status.

A-level students have collectively secured a pass rate of 99.7 per cent across the college’s 700 strong, final-year cohort.

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Luke Vogt from Penryn achieved two A* and 2 As in physics, electronics, maths and further maths and has now been accepted to study engineering at the University of Cambridge.

Some of the highest ever grades have been recorded, with 88 per cent achieving a grade A* to C, up again on last year’s figure and significantly higher than the national A* to C pass rate of 75.5 per cent.

The percentage of students securing successful pass rates is also a new record for the college, with 65 per cent securing grades A* to B compared to the national A* to B grade pass rate of 53.8 per cent.

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Matilda Harding, from Falmouth, received an A*and two A grades for A Levels in English Literature, Film Studies and Sociology.

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BTEC Sport Diploma student Mia Abbot-Smith, from Camborne, was delighted to receive her Sport diploma results of two tripe distinctions and a distinction

With nearly 2,000 individual A-level entries this year, Truro and Penwith College is one of the largest providers of the qualification nationally. This year’s results again see it confirmed as one of the best too. 

There is a 100 per cent pass rate for students in 37 A-level subjects in 2020, including English literature, maths and geography. 

The college’s role in STEM provision (Science, Technology, Maths, Engineering) was evidenced once more as well.

For example, 190 (41 in further maths) mathematics students gained an A-level pass, 114 passed biology, 108 were successful in chemistry and 80 in physics.

These successes followed earlier results in STEM subjects at the college on the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Many traditional ‘facilitating’ subjects also saw very high levels of entry, with 196 students gaining an English A-level, 127 passing geography and 95 history.

Truro and Penwith College principal David Walrond, who retires this week, said: “Despite this being such a unique and challenging year, these really are another outstanding set of A-level and vocational results for the college.

“The headline pass rate and higher grades data both see further improvements on last year’s strong performance. The college’s exceptional outcomes over many years, and particularly its track record of excellent student progress, have clearly been a factor this year in some external processes.

“However, the real essence of this latest success is what it always has been: exceptional teaching, learning and support, with students and staff working in real partnership towards the same shared goals.”

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Jade Wildgoose, previously of Truro High School, achieved two As in art and media and an A* in photography. She will be attending UWE Bristol in September to continue her photography studies.

Current principal designate Martin Tucker, who takes over the college principal role on August 17, added: “Following the success and high grades awarded to our A-level and vocational students I am really looking forward to welcoming both new and returning students to the college this September.”

This year was also unique in that the college’s Vocational diploma cohort of almost 900 students received their results after successfully completing their two-year Level 3 (A-level equivalent) vocational qualifications.

In this, the college has increased the success rate of students achieving the triple distinction grade, with 66 per cent receiving that result against an estimated national average of around 38 per cent.

More than 200 students achieved the highest possible triple distinction star on their BTEC Diploma courses. A further 100 students achieved the high distinction grade on their University Arts for London Extended diploma courses.