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Toluwalase Lawale and DarreUxbridge College students are celebrating their hard work and commitment and looking to the future after receiving their GCSE results.

Controversies around this year’s academic and vocational results, which have been subject to major revisions under Government policy changes due to the Covid crisis, are not stopping the college’s students going from strength to strength and progressing on to the right programme of study for them.

Our 2019/20 students have continued a strong tradition of progressing in high numbers with the majority of students achieving the GCSE grades that enable them to continue to a Level 3 qualification. Many will be coming back to college to do A Levels or a Level 3 BTEC, often planning to continue to university.

Uxbridge College Sixth Form Centre, which offers a full-time one year GCSE programme for students who are either doing the exams for the first time or who didn’t fulfil their potential at school, achieved an 81% pass rate at GCSE grades 9-4 (equivalent to the old A*-C) and 99% overall pass rate, grades 9-1.

The college’s top performer at GCSE this year was Toluwalase Lawale (pictured left, doing the 'Covid handshake' with Principal Dr Darrell DeSouza after collecting his results), who achieved three grade 9s - the equivalent to what used to be A* - in Maths, Biology, and Chemistry, a grade 8 (formerly A*/A) in Physics, and a grade 6 in English (formerly B).

The 17-year-old, who studied in Nigeria before coming to the UK and plans to study A Levels, said: “I have had a fantastic experience at Uxbridge College and made really good friends. It was fine studying during lockdown but now it’s time to take a fresh breath and be chill - everyone gets to relax now.”

Marion Pinto (17), who achieved a grade 9 in Biology, and 8 in English, and 7s (formerly grades A* & A) will be going on to take science A Levels so she can become a doctor. She said: “I preferred coming to college than being at home during lockdown, but the study material the teachers gave me helped me a lot. I was a bit worried about the results because we did not know if our predicted grades were being taken into account, but I am happy with what I have got.”

Sumayya Noor, who came to Uxbridge College after studying GCSEs at school, got a grade 9 in Chemistry, 8s in Biology and Physics, and 6s in Maths and English. She said: “College is more relaxed than school and I am looking forward to coming back to study A Level sciences. I’m really happy with my results and my family will be happy too.”

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC said: “All our students have worked extremely hard particularly with the additional challenges of continuing their studies during lockdown, and I am extremely proud of the commitment both they and our staff have shown during this time. Congratulations to everyone.

“Uxbridge College is pleased to continue to run a successful full-time GCSE programme where students can either sit the exams for the first time, or study them again if they have not been able to fulfil their potential at school. This gives young people a chance to progress to higher study at A Level or join vocational programmes including Apprenticeships, which means they can then progress to University or into a career of their choice.

“As the college GCSE programme is completed across just one year, students normally take up to five subjects as opposed to the higher numbers taken at school, where this is part of the final two years of high school study.”

BTEC Levels 1 and 2 and some other vocational qualifications which would normally have been released on the same day as GCSEs, have been delayed due to changes in how they are calculated. A Levels and Level 3 vocational qualifications such as BTECs are also due to be re-graded.

collage 1An unprecedented time in our history has seen the majority of Uxbridge College students receiving the A Level grades needed to progress to their chosen universities, including Durham, Bath, Warwick and York.

The college performed in line with last year’s strong results, with more than 70% receiving high grades A*-C and 98% achieving at A*-E.

No exams at all were sat this year, with grades awarded using school and college student data, which was then standardised under an Ofqual system formulated in response to the Covid crisis. Results were collected on site at college by students on a socially distanced basis.

Student success stories at Uxbridge in 2020 included:

Munraj Bhangra (top right) who was Uxbridge College’s top performing student with four A* grades in Maths, Further Maths, History and Chemistry, is going to Bath University to study Economics. He said: “I would have preferred to have done exams - the way they awarded the grades this year made me feel more anxious. You don’t really know how they have calculated it, it is a bit surreal. I am excited about going to university though.”

Joseph Hodgkinson, who got three A grades in History, Media Studies and Law, is on his way to Durham University to study Law. He chose to come to college instead of continuing at his school as he preferred the college environment.

Pawandeep Kataria (pictured second left) is going to Birmingham University to study Maths after achieving an A* in maths, an A in Further Maths, and a B in Physics. He said: “I feel good about getting to uni – I’m going to enjoy it - but I feel like I don’t know if I deserve the results I’ve got.”

Vlad Badicel (pictured far left) is going to York to read Physics after getting an A* in Physics, an A in Maths and a B in Biology. He said: “I think I could have done better, it was harder to work at home during lockdown and we did not get a chance to sit the exams. I am happy I am going to my first choice of university though”.

Hristina Grebcheva (bottom right), who has been at Uxbridge College for three years as she took her GCSEs there before progressing to A Levels, was expecting to study Business at Warwick University. She achieved A grades in Business, English and Media Studies and said: “It’s been a little bit stressful - you’re in less control than when you sit exams. It would have been much more social towards the end of term as well if we had been able to come to college too. It has been a real journey spending three years at Uxbridge College and it’s a little bit sad to be leaving. I’m really excited to be going to Uni though.”

Dr Darrell DeSouza Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC said: “I would like to say a massive congratulations to all our A Level students this year for all their hard work and achievements, despite what an unbelievably challenging time it has been for everyone. I am extremely pleased that so many of them are going to their first choice of university and also the college has performed strongly yet again. In a small number of cases, the college may be submitting appeals for individual students, but it is a tribute to the robust processes applied by Uxbridge College that we are seeing so much consistency in our outcomes.”


This year's A Level results put us in a strong position to maintain our place in the top 10% for ‘Value Added’ for A Levels for all schools and colleges nationally, and top 5% for colleges and Sixth Form colleges nationally. Value Added scores measure how much progress students make during their studies, compared to their peers nationally.

DfE Filming June 2020 009Uxbridge College is playing a starring role in a Government campaign to get the UK’s students back to school and college, as well as getting ready for all its own students to return to college in September, with enrolment now underway.

The Department for Education chose the college to be part of a short film being featured on social media. Students who had recently returned to the Hayes Campus were filmed around college, including arriving for classes, working in the hairdressing salons, and rehearsing in the theatre and dance studios. Dance student Laura Hogg and Hairdresser Brogan Hollyoak (pictured far right, along with the Design 102 film crew) appear in the film, being featured in their classes and talking about their experiences being back at college.

Social distancing and other precautions against the virus are being implemented in various ways, for instance with hairdressing students wearing face shields, and performing arts students maintaining distance between their chairs during classes. Students hand-sanitise on the way in and out of college, and are encouraged to wash their hands regularly, and must also follow signage and social distance around the site.

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC, who was also featured in the film talking about how the college was managing the current situation, said: “It was a real privilege to be chosen for this UK-wide campaign which shows not only that it’s possible to return to education safely, but that there is no question that this is what students want too.

“It was a real pleasure to hear how positive our students were about being back on campus even with all the new measures, and really encouraging for the autumn term.

“The last few months have been unprecedented times for everyone, and no doubt we will all have to continue to adapt - however, I am extremely proud of how all our students and staff have risen to the challenge and will no doubt continue to do so.”

In line with DfE requirements, the college is planning for all students to return on a full-time high quality learning programme in the autumn, with this initially expected to involve mainly onsite delivery of lessons, supplemented with some remote learning. Full guidance will be given around hygiene and distancing protocols in and around college to maintain safety.

Enrolment is currently underway for September courses, with this being done mainly online although students enrolling on ESOL, English and maths courses need to enrol on site.

Anyone who has applied online will be contacted regarding an interview to make sure they have chosen the right course, plus provided with details on how to enrol online and, if necessary, invited to enrol on site.

Online enrolment is ongoing but for a full list of dates and times for enrolment on site see: www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk/enrol 

To see the DfE film go to https://design102.wistia.com/medias/83lqv4wqvq

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