Hundreds of Nottingham College GCSE students collected their results today (23rd August) from the College’s Maid Marian Way campus. Among the successful students were lots of adult learners who have returned to education for a change of career or to improve their prospects.
For most subjects A* to G grades have now been replaced with a new grading system 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.
Among those celebrating is Lisa Potter (pictured below, right), 43, from Clifton, whose life was turned upside down after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Lisa worked as an accountant for 17 years, but due to treatment and lasting damage from her illness, she had to completely change her career direction. Lisa is now an ambulance care assistant and the grade 4 in Biology that she achieved today means that she can now become a trainee ambulance technician and pursue her goal of eventually becoming a paramedic.
She said: “I feel like the whole world has been lifted off my shoulders. College was brilliant and supportive of my needs, especially Lauren Stott, my Biology Lecturer, who went above and beyond when I was ill.”
Tom Perry, 21, from Sherwood, discovered shortly after taking his exams that he has a condition called Irlen Syndrome, a form of dyslexia which affects the brain's ability to process visual information.
He explains: “It was my Maths Lecturer that spotted I had symptoms of dyslexia and he really supported me to get the formal diagnosis.”
Tom hasn’t let his disorder stand in his way - he recently achieved an impressive triple distinction star grade in his BTEC Extended Diploma in Business at the College, and today achieved grades 6 and 5 in GCSE English and Maths, which he needed to progress to the University of Nottingham to study International Business Management.
“He added: “I’m thrilled and massively relieved to get the result I needed. After falling short of grade 5 in Maths by just two marks last year, it feels like I’ve been to hell and back to get to uni, but all the hard work and sacrifices I’ve made along the way all seem worth it today, and now I’m really excited for the future.”
Eighteen-year-old Shelley Blake-Carey from Clifton achieved grade 5 in English to enable her to continue her A Levels at the College’s High Pavement Sixth Form. She said: “I felt sick before I got my results this morning but I feel overjoyed now. I’m looking forward to carrying on with my qualifications and working towards my career goal of becoming a politician.”
Ryan Burnett, GCSE English Lecturer, commented: “I am ecstatic for Shelley. She’s put so much work in, both at College and in her own time. It’s so inspiring to see a young woman already focussed on a career in politics. It’ll be lovely to see her in parliament one day.”
Nottingham College Director of Curriculum, Tom Dick, said: “It was wonderful to witness so many successful students here today and it’s been very inspiring to see so many mature learners celebrating, who have proven that it’s never too late to return to education.
“Today is a landmark day which opens the door to the next chapter in our students’ lives, many of whom are continuing their studies at the College, either through vocational options such as Diplomas and Apprenticeships, or A Levels, Higher Education and Access courses.
“I’m extremely proud of all our students and I wish them every success for the future.”