Emotional rollercoaster for Sleaford St George’s Academy A-level students on results day

There have been emotional scenes as Sleaford area sixth form students receive their grades for A levels and equivalent qualifications this morning (Thursday) after a rollercoaster couple of years caused by Covid-19.

Heading for university - Leah Briggs, 18 and Harry Smith, 18, with their results.
Heading for university - Leah Briggs, 18 and Harry Smith, 18, with their results.

There were excited and tearful faces at St George’s Academy in Sleaford and Principal, Laranya Caslin said the staff team are “delighted with the outcomes” achieved by Year 13.

She said: “These students had Year 11 cut short in March 2020 and so these are the first public examinations they have taken.

"This also meant that these students started their Level 3 courses having not fully completed their GCSE courses. Every Year 13 cohort finds the step up to Sixth Form a challenge, but never more than this year’s Year 13.

Paralympic hopeful Thomas Talbot ,18, heading to UEA.

“Consequently, these results represent a significant achievement for all students and are the result of hard work, determination and resilience, combined with highly effective support from their teachers. We wish them every success in their future endeavours.”

The last couple of years have taken their toll on students, including St Geirge’s student Leah Briggs, of Sleaford, who was pleased to achieve an A in Geography, B in Technology and a Merit in Business.

She said: “I’ve been through a lot. I went through a really bad phase of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in March/April. I have always suffered from anxiety but people don’t know what triggered it to make it worse.

"Lockdowns massively had an effect on me. I struggled to walk anywhere and even getting changed was hard.

Former Head Boy at St George's Academy, James Askey, 18, got the grades he needed.

"The school had a back up where I could sit in a different room with a laptop if needed, to do the work."I am so proud of myself for getting an A grade.

"I am in counselling now but am so much better than I was and am now ready to live my myself away from home.”

Leah is excited to be able to start shopping for university after not getting her hopes up in advance. She will be heading for the University of the West of England, in Bristol.

"My boyfriend is going to Exeter University so I’m really proud of him too. I was worried sick beforehand as I wanted me and him to get in to university and now we’re very happy,” she said.

Luke Brookes, 18, has applied to join the RAF.

Fellow student, Thomas Talbot, of Metheringham, was equally excited to be getting on in his ambitions to succeed in the world of economics and as a Paralympian.

Thomas has cerebral palsy but is also a budding para-athlete with the England Athletics Paralympic Academy, competing in the RR2 class in frame running.

He has won two national senior disability championship events two weeks ago as well as getting a silver medal. He attended Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games as part of the England Futures Programme.

Thomas was “chuffed to bits” with his A grades in business and geography and an A* in Sociology, as he said: “It has been one of the most stressful times in anybody’s life.

Results day at St George's Academy, Sleaford, from left - James Colley, 18, Lana Midgley, 18, and Brooke Zealand, 18.

"The lead up to A-levels was a nightmare, as I train four times a week in the gym and on the track, while trying to get in the right amount of study, which is paramount.”

He is heading to read economics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and has been awarded an elite sports scholarship there for his frame running too.

Thomas said it is going to be interesting being away from home long term, but looking forward to it, saying that the university has spoken at length with him about providing the right accommodation for his needs and accessibility for his course.

Luke Brookes, of Heckington, has applied to join the RAF after achieving an A, a B and a Distinction in his exams.

He said: “I would like to fly and travel as much as possible.

"I think I’ve coped really well with the Covid restrictions. I am a hard working person and it has showed paid off. The teachers have been really good at this school and that has made a huge difference. They have been motivated to help us in and out of school.”

Mia Wilson, 18, with her results at St George's Academy.

Former Head Boy, James Askey, from Sleaford, was pleased to get the grades he wanted to study Management and Entrepreneurship at Nottingham Trent University - two Distinction * grades and a Distinction in his CTEC exams.

James said: “I want to go into business management and maybe business ownership in later life.

"We are going to celebrate all night in Lincoln. It has been stressful but I think most people have coped well with the changes and not having GCSE exams to take either. But being able to take the A levels, we were quite confident with all the support we have had from people.”

This is the first time A level students have faced exams since 2019. Because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021 pupils were instead awarded grades by their teachers, based on their coursework.

Coun Patricia Bradwell, the county council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “I’m confident that Lincolnshire’s students will have performed strongly in these difficult exams once again. Covid has caused significant disruption for schools over the last few years. However, with support from their teachers, the students have adapted well and worked hard – they thoroughly deserve to do well. I’m proud of all they’ve achieved during their time at school and look forward to hearing about our local success stories. I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Any students that are disappointed with their grades are being reminded that support is available to help them take their next step, whether that's university, employment, or training.

Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership have collated information about the excellent career opportunities available in the county. The information is available in the Careers, Training and Learning section of the Family Services Directory and Local Offer website at https://lincolnshire.fsd.org.uk

Alfie Dixon, 18, celebrates.