De Aston A-levels: Success after a ‘difficult and disrupted’ year

A-level students have again faced a difficult year, but in Market Rasen and Caistor they have risen to the challenge and have been praised for their hard work and well-deserved achievements.

A-level results at De Aston Eva Finney, left, and Amber Brown EMN-211008-094252001

De Aston School head teacher, Simon Porter, was pleased to report some outstanding achievements by Year 13 students in their A levels and Vocational Qualifications.

Multiple pupils achieved a string of top grades across the full range of A level and Vocational courses.

Mr Porter said most of the students have spent seven years at the Willingham Road school and they now go off to “make their mark in the world”.

A number of the students are heading to universities, having secured their places, others are taking on apprenticeships, while for others it is a chance to take a year out before continuing their studies.

This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher-assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards.

The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.

De Aston’s grades were subject to sampling by one of the largest exam boards prior to release.

A-level results at De Aston - Kyle-Philip Friend, left, and George Fox EMN-211008-094314001

Mr Porter said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.

I want to pay tribute to the hard work of the heads of subject, the exams’ office team (Paula Young, Beth Tooby and deputy headteacher, Vicky Davies) and of course the students.

“ I taught a Year 13 A level English Literature class this year and I know first hand just how hard De Aston students worked to get those qualifications.”

A-level results at De Aston From left: Ellie Moore, Mollie Donner, Davey Wallace, Lily Merrigan and head teacher Simon Porter EMN-211008-094303001

While everyone agreed students had faced a difficult year, at Market Rasen’s De Aston school those collecting their results agreed it had just been a case of dealing with the situation and doing the best they could.

Kyle-Philip Friend said: “There was no good complaining, we just had to get on with it.

“We have all done well and people seem quite happy.”

Kyle-Philip is going on to study film at Lincoln University.

George Fox, who gained AAB to secure his place at Leeds University to study civil engineering, said: “It has been hard, but people have put the work in to get their grades.”

Also heading to Leeds are Eva Finney and Amber Brown, who will both be doing a foundation course.

Eva, who achieved ABA, will then look to go into a science-based course, while Amber (BAA*) will be looking at something more technical, such as graphic design.

Reflecting on the past year, Amber said: It hasn’t been too bad, although it was a bit of a struggle at times.

“All in all, it wasn’t the worst it could have been and I am really pleased with my grades.”

Eva agreed, and added: “It was a different way of working, but as long as you did the work and stayed focused it was fine.”

Both Eva and Amber thanked the school for the support they had received.

Leeds University has been a popular choice for De Aston Students this year and they are all looking forward to stepping on to the next part of their education and careers.

Lily Merrigan heads to Leeds to study paediatric nursing, while Davey Wallace is also off to Leeds, but for him it is to take up a civil engineering apprenticeship.

Mollie Donner has also secured an apprenticeship, but closer to home in North east Lincolnshire, while Ellie Moore will be heading to Harper Adams to study agriculture with farm business management.

While many students have firm plans of what they want to do, for some it can take time to decide.

Cameron Lord took a wide range of a-level subjects to give him options going forward.

He said: “I did subjects I had enjoyed and been good at in GCSE - biology, English and sport - as I really don’t know what I want to do.

“I am going to look for a job or apprenticeship opportunity for a year to see if I can find what would interest me.

“I won’t be sitting doing nothing - I want to get some experience before I narrow down my career.”