[H]igh-achieving sixthformers were reunited for the annual awards ceremony as Barrow Sixth Form College celebrated its best-ever year for A level success.
More than 40 top performing students were awarded their prizes by guest speaker Jackie Arnold who was educated in Barrow and is now head of strategy at BAE Systems.
The college on Rating Lane, which recently merged with Furness College, achieved a pass rate of 99.1per cent in the summer with 50 per cent of students achieving A*A and B grades.
Jackie, who chairs the college’s business advisory board, said the results had been ‘phenomenal’ and congratulated the students. She said there was a wealth of opportunities on the doorstep for young people to use their education and skills and take up highly skilled jobs.
“You are a brand new generation. Having the talent developed locally is a massive benefit to us as a business and all the members of the advisory board. As a board, we want to support your development and, where you want to, to play a central role in our futures.”
She said they could choose to be part of the most complex engineering programme in the world, help introduce brand new pharmaceutical technology to the UK, get involved in the largest offshore windfarm projects or develop technology to deal with nuclear waste.
Head of Sixth Form Jeff Chadd also congratulated the students saying the academic progress they had made at sixth form put them in the top 25 per cent of achievers nationally.
“Your year group has achieved better at A level than your GCSE results suggest you were going to. These results and the calibre of young people coming out of here is something we should be rightly proud of.
“I ask you to remember just how good you are and do not be fazed by your peers who may come from more privileged backgrounds – remember, you are at least as good as they are.”
The prize winners – from across Barrow, South Lakes and Millom – include those that have gone on to start careers with local employers, many of whom sponsor the awards. Others are now at universities across the country studying degrees in a range of subjects across maths, sciences, humanities, business and the arts.
James Gallagher, who is now studying natural sciences at Cambridge University, won prizes for outstanding performance at A level and the Kimberly-Clark prize for A level maths while India Grace, who is now studying geology with physical geography at Edge Hill University, picked up four prizes for outstanding performance, geography, the Cumberland Geological Society prize for geology and the Martin Longstaffe Memorial Prize in honour of the geologist and former student who was killed in the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster.
Matthew Dodd, who is studying a degree in film production at the University of Salford, won the Principal’s Prize for Service to the College and the prize for A level Film Studies. Chloe Rowe who achieved 4 As and is studying biomedicine at Newcastle University won prizes for chemistry, best Extended Project Qualification and outstanding performance. Jennifer Managh is studying history at the University of Manchester and won awards for outstanding performance, English language and the Elizabeth Mauchline Roberts prize for history. Kori Tomkinson won the Governors’ Award for Service to the College and the Community.
Tyler Bircher and Robbie Simpson, who have both taken higher apprenticeships in nuclear and project management respectively, won prizes for outstanding performance with Tyler also scooping the physics prize.
Alice Hewson, Hannah Hunter, Euan Lee, Joshua Read and Alyah Saltiga also won prizes for outstanding performance at A level with Alyah securing the biology prize. Katie Neill scooped the Risedale Estates Prize for A level Health and Social Care, Ryan Postlethwatie won the Philip Geddes prize, Robyn Holden was awarded the Sharon Lamb memorial prize. Laura May won the Rfm Chartered Accountants Prize for A level Accounting and foundation art student Kerry Kosak won the Derek Lyon prize for adults.