Thursday, 4 October 2012

A Brilliant Start to the Year

The new academic year is well underway and already planning has begun for the new Open Evenings, Parents' Evenings, Flyers' Evenings….Staff are incredibly busy ensuring that students are settled, have begun to work hard and are enjoying their experience at Wyke Sixth Form College.
I would like to outline our successes:
  • 99.9% pass rate at A2 level (only one student in one subject) out of nearly 1200 entries.
  • 94.7% pass rate at AS level with over 2500 entries.
  • At BTEC, out of 284 entries there were 152 distinctions or distinction*.
  • In the EPQ, 28 out of 45 students achieved an A*or A.
More recently, we have learned that two of our students from Wyke have received the Hull University Vice Chancellor's Award (worth £27,000 each); one student has been selected for the Helena Kennedy Award, and one of our existing A2 students has received the Student Award for International Understanding.
What a brilliant start to the year!  Our best set of results and with a record enrolment we have every reason to be very optimistic.
The following lyrics from Bobby Dylan come to mind:
"How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind."
With so many outstanding students at our College, our task is to ensure that you do reach for the sky, that we listen to you and we support and observe you going on to greater things.
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This is also the time when students in Year 11 begin to think about their options for the next stage in their academic career.  I would urge all prospective students and parents to be mindful of the following:
  • Schools that refer to themselves as a School and Sixth Form College.  There are only two Sixth Form Colleges in Hull and only 92 in the United Kingdom.  All of the sixth form colleges are members of the Sixth Form Colleges' Forum.
  • Research from the University of Southampton found that a sixth form college student was 7.2% more likely to gain an A or an A* at A level than a teenager of similar ability at a school.  This supports the findings of a report by the National Audit Office which concluded that sixth form colleges outperform school sixth forms in most areas.
  • Be aware of Year 11 events that are planned which "accidentally" clash with our Open Evenings, interviews and Wyke Start activities.  Clashes on such important events require "purposeful planning".
  • Negative advice about other post-16 providers needs to be treated with suspicion unless the other provider has the "right to reply".
  • Ask about the AS achievement rates on every occasion.
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Finally, I am delighted about how you, our new students, have settled in and the enthusiasm and interest with which our students and parents have embraced the "Wyke" culture.  It is even better than the wonderful start made by my beloved Leeds.