Vandyke A-levels up on last year’s record results at Leighton Buzzard school

Students across Leighton Buzzard found out their exam results on Thursday as A-level results envelopes were ripped open.

At Vandyke Upper School, headteacher Tim Carroll said there had been a terrific atmosphere in school and a great buzz as students collected impressive A-level results.

Vandyke A-levels 2019

Vandyke A-levels 2019

“I am delighted with the results and proud of students’ achievements,” he said. “Teachers have worked so hard to support students and students have developed a terrific work ethic. That all comes together to produce great outcomes – a further increase in results overall from last year’s outstanding record results. Results in physics, geography, product design, English and media studies are particularly impressive.

“Students have worked so hard over two years. Sixth Form courses are demanding and students deserve every credit for their achievements. This is an exciting time for them and they deserve our congratulations and best wishes.”

Abby Collins got A grades in maths, chemistry and biology and will be going to study medicine at the University of Newcastle. “I logged on to the UCAS site very early and it just popped up to say I’d got my place,” Abby said. “I was relieved of course then came into school to get my grades. I needed AAB to get in and am delighted to have got AAA. I have 7 years of hard study ahead now as a medical student but it’s what I want to do.”

Robert Beilby said: “It is crazy. I did not expect these results. The exams were really hard but it is a great feeling now to have my A* and A grades in maths, physics and chemistry. I will be going to my first choice uni at Keele to study forensics and then hopefully a career in the police. I’ve been so nervous waiting for the results I’m glad the wait is over.”

Vandyke A-levels 2019

Vandyke A-levels 2019

Neve Atkinson will be going to study history at Cambridge having got straight A* grades in history, English literature and media studies.

She said: “All of my teachers have been brilliant. I could not have asked for better. They all get it – they supported me and pushed me not to compromise and they looked after me. There is a lot of pressure but I tried to separate school work and life outside by staying to work at school until 7pm most evenings but then not taking work home. I sing in a choir and that has been good to do something not school-related. It worked for me!”

Joe Cairns got A* in English Literature, English Language and in geography and B in maths. “It was very stressful and waiting for the results was hard – I did not sleep at all last night. I came in a bit late to collect my results because I waited for my Mum who was at work.

“I was thinking the horrible weather yesterday was a bad omen! Once I arrived I saw my teachers’ faces and I knew it was all OK and once I opened my envelope I could celebrate.

“My teachers have been incredible and in the Sixth Form I have had such a close connection with them. It makes it work. I have enjoyed my five years at Vandyke and just want to thank everybody. I am going to university in Nottingham to study English literature and classics.”

Ella Fox will be going to university in Lincoln to study film production after a gap year after getting A in history, B in French and B in theatre studies. “I was pleasantly surprised by my A grade but I did work very hard,” she said. “I deliberately didn’t look at the UCAS website because I wanted to be part of the excitement in school this morning. I can relax a bit now because it has very much been on my mind.”

Director of Sixth Form Sean Downey said: “Nationally almost 25% of university offers this year were unconditional. Over 35% of offers for Vandyke students were unconditional which is a big increase.

“But contrary to what we have heard in some quarters I think that in only very few cases here did this affect performance. Students have worked incredibly hard and I am delighted that so many of them have done so well. Congratulations and good luck to all of our students.”

Mr Carroll added, “Students make strong progress in their time in the Vandyke Sixth Form. Today is about individual students but overall this summer’s results are even slightly up on last summer’s record results.

“They will again rank the Vandyke Sixth Form among the top performers nationally. Overall students have scored a 99.5% pass-rate at A-level with 49% at A*-B, 78% at A*-C and the average points per entry has increased marginally on last year.

“Some students who have achieved excellent results are choosing not to go to university but are moving on to advanced apprenticeships or employment. We wish them all every success.”