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Education

Top university destinations for Pembrokeshire College students

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OVER 200 Pembrokeshire College A-level and Diploma students are heading off to some top university destinations including Cambridge, Veterinary Medicine and Medical School after achieving outstanding results this summer.

A-level student Madeleine Draycott (AAA) will be taking up her place at the University of Cambridge to read Psychology while Timali Jayathilaka (AAA), is heading to Cardiff University to read Medicine.

A-level successes also include: Joseph Jenkins (AAAA), University of Bath to read Maths and Computer Science; Ella McKernan (AAA), University of Bristol to read Chemistry; Jay Coombe (AAA), University of Bristol to read Biochemistry; Jasmine Morris (AAB), University of Nottingham to read Neuroscience and Psychology; and Leon Delaney (AAA), Swansea University to read Mechanical Engineering.

Further A-level student university destinations include: Leicester, Durham, Exeter, King’s College London, and Liverpool.

Proving that the Diploma route is a credible alternative to A-levels, BTEC Applied Science learner Anya Thomas achieved Distinction* grades and is heading to the University of Central Lancashire to read Veterinary Medicine while Amy Wilson, who also achieved Distinction* grades, is heading to Cardiff University to read Architecture.

Other vocational success stories include Evie Berridge who is heading to Stella Mann College of Performing Arts to study Performing and Professional Dance and Ciaran Craig who is heading to the University of Gloucestershire to study Paramedic Science with fellow Diploma students taking up places across the UK to study a range of subjects including Nursing, Criminology, Animation and VFX, Veterinary Medicine, Cyber Security and Forensic Science.

After receiving this year’s results, College Principal Dr Barry Walters commented: “We are incredibly proud of both our A-level and our vocational learners who have worked extremely hard to secure their places at university.

“The exam period saw levels of extreme anxiety but the perseverance and commitment of our learners, supported by an exceptional team of teaching and support staff, has paid off with more than 200 learners now progressing to universities across the UK, to study a vast array of programmes.

“Our results are on par with the national averages and are higher than the national comparator for A* grades. An incredible achievement for our learners and one which we hope will set the course for their university studies.

“We wish them all the best of luck and hope that they will keep in touch as they progress through their studies and into their future careers.”

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has congratulated learners across Wales as A-level, AS, Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate and vocational qualification learners received their results this morning.

A-level and AS Levels exams and assessments took place this year with extra support being provided including some advance information of exam content and a supportive grading approach.

This year results are broadly midway between the results awarded in 2019 (the last year before the pandemic) and 2022 (the first year that students sat exams following the pandemic).

Many vocational learners also received their Level 3 results today.

This year’s GCSE results will be announced next Thursday, 24th August.

The Minister visited Coleg Gwent in Ebbw Vale this morning, where he met students collecting their results. He said: “I want to wish a big congratulations to everyone receiving their results today. It’s a huge day for you, the culmination of years of hard work, and I hope today is a reward for all your efforts.

“We know what a challenging time this has been. Our aim in providing extra support this year was to make sure the exams were fair, despite the difficulties you’ve faced.

“For anyone who didn’t quite get the results you wanted, or you’re unsure of your next steps, don’t be too disappointed and don’t be too hard on yourself. There are lots of options open to you, including university clearing, apprenticeships, maybe starting your own business. Careers Wales is a great place to start for advice and your school or college will be there to support you too.

“Our Young Person’s Guarantee provides everyone under the age of 25 with the opportunity to enrol in education or training, find work or become self-employed, so you have lots of choices to pursue the career you want.

“I hope all staff and students are proud of their hard work, enjoy the rest of the summer and look forward to the exciting opportunities you have ahead of you.”

Dr Nick Smith, course director and founder of The Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “This year it was anticipated that A-level grades would be lower than expected for students, with results lowering to pre-pandemic levels.

“However, students should still be incredibly proud of their achievements, and today should be a day of celebrations for everyone. For those who don’t receive the grades
they had initially hoped for, there are a number of options available to help them achieve their future goals.

“We know it can be a stressful time, so the first thing to do is look at the UCAS clearing systems, as this will show you which institutions have places available.
Many institutions will still be accepting students, so have a look on the UCAS website or give them a quick call to check if your course is on offer elsewhere.

“If you feel like the grades you’ve received are lower than expected, you are allowed to appeal them by contacting your school, who will pass this onto the
examining board. Once evidence has been examined, the board will decide whether changes to your results are needed.

“Alternatively, you may feel that now is the right time to look at different paths for your future, such as work experience placements, apprenticeships or
even taking a gap year. There are plenty of opportunities available, especially for those looking to continue their learning through distance learning or potentially resitting you’re A-levels. Distance learning is an incredibly flexible approach to education
as everything is online-based, giving you the option to learn wherever and whenever.”

Education

Phoebe-Lily shines in Royal Opera House design challenge

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE says it is proud to announce that Phoebe-Lily, a Graphics & Illustration student, has been awarded a ‘Commended’ judgment for her outstanding set design entry to the Royal Opera House Design Challenge. Phoebe’s entry was based on the production of ‘Barber of Seville’ and showcased remarkable creativity and skill.

Phoebe-Lily Williams was among ten Further Education students commended by the judges for their exceptional contributions.

The Royal Opera House Design Challenge provides a platform for young talents across the UK to demonstrate their creative abilities in set design. Phoebe’s commendation reflects her commitment to excellence and innovation in her field.

Upon receiving the commendation, Phoebe expressed her gratitude for the support she received from her tutors at Pembrokeshire College. She remarked, “I was more illustrative, and my tutors were very supportive. I want to go on to study set design and production, so Lou showed me the design challenge and said it would be okay to do that instead of a packaging brief.”

Phoebe chose Pembrokeshire College for its tailored modules that aligned with her career aspirations. She found the course to be conducive to developing the skills necessary for her desired path. “I enjoyed the process as it felt very liberating and positive, knowing that my tutors were encouraging and supportive of my career and study goals,” she added.

The Royal Opera House has invited the twenty winning, highly commended, and commended students, including Phoebe, to attend an awards ceremony on June 4, 2024. This event will provide them with an opportunity to interact with professionals in the field and gain insights into the day-to-day workings of the Royal Opera House.

Additionally, the public will have the chance to view the winning, highly commended, and commended works at an exhibition in the Linbury Foyer at the Royal Opera House from May 27 to June 10, 2024.

Amy McGann, Head of National Schools Programmes at the Royal Opera House, commended the participants for their creativity and expressed excitement about providing professional feedback to students from various educational settings. She stated, “The level of creativity from the young people across the country in this year’s Design Challenge has been high. As well as celebrating the Winners, Highly Commended, and Commended, we are looking forward to delivering professional feedback to students from an ever-widening set of participating educational settings.”

Phoebe-Lily Williams and her fellow commandeers represent the future of set design and production, and their achievements are a testament to their talent and hard work.

To find out more about the creative courses available at the College please visit www.pembrokeshire.ac.uk

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Education

Pembrokeshire schools achieve milestone for careers award

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32 schools in Wales have successfully completed the first stage of the new Careers Wales Quality Award, including Pembrokeshire Learning Centre.

The award supports schools and settings with learners aged 3-16 with the development of purposeful and relevant careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) across the curriculum.

The schools are taking part in the pilot of the new award and are working closely with dedicated curriculum coordinators from Careers Wales to develop a CWRE model that works best for the individual school and its pupils.

This stage forms the first of three stages, each with a different focus. Titled leadership, it forms the basis for the required ongoing development of pupils’ careers learning. 

WALES NEWS SERVICE

Jeremy Miles, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy & Welsh Language, said: “Well done to all the schools taking part for their commitment to their pupil’s future career and work-related opportunities.

“It’s so important for children and young people to learn about the different pathways available to them to ease the transition from education to successful employment, and each school’s work-related experiences action plan will support this continuous development.

“We want to do everything we can to help our children and young people achieve their full potential. By developing work related experiences across the curriculum our schools can support their learners to go on to play their full part in our economy and society.”

As part of the leadership stage, the schools have worked closely with Careers Wales to create an action plan, a vision and strategy for CWRE, and have planned for the regular monitoring and review of this activity.

This stage has also seen the school identify the roles needed to facilitate effective development of CWRE and commit to allocate sufficient resources.

Jo Thomas, Teacher in Charge at Pembrokeshire Learning Centre, said: “The award has helped us enormously and has enabled us to develop best practice within the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre. We now have a robust policy in place, with clear aims as to the breadth of Careers Education.

“By doing the Quality Award, we are beginning to embed CWRE into our curriculum in a way that it incorporates all pupils.”

Nikki Lawrence, chief executive at Careers Wales, said: “A huge congratulations to all the schools who have completed the leadership stage of the Careers Wales Quality Award.

“Each school’s commitment to the award illustrates their ongoing dedication to provide their pupils with high quality careers and work-related experiences.

“Quality careers support equips young people with the vital skills, knowledge and resources to succeed, as well as benefitting the local community and economy in Wales with a capable, confident and motivated future workforce.

“We look forward to progressing through the award process alongside the participating schools. Together, we will achieve our shared objective to empower pupils with the ability to make informed decisions about their futures and take steps towards success.”

Following a successful pilot, the award has been designed to be launched nationally across Wales.

For more information on the award, visit the Careers Wales Quality Award pilot webpage.

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Education

Exciting visit to France for Pembrokeshire school pupils

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LAST week, 60 children and 16 teaching staff visited the Bassin d’Arcachon in France as part of a Taith funded project. 

The children, representing Pennar Community School, Neyland Community School, Prendergast Community School, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi and Haverfordwest High School, engaged in a week of activities with French school children. 

They visited lessons, took part in dancing, art, maths and playground games, all with the aim of developing modern foreign language skills, exploring cultural similarities and differences as well as having an overarching theme of sustainability in schools and caring for the environment. 

The children explored the Dune de Pilat, the largest natural sand dune in Europe, and Biscarosse beach where they undertook beach and environmental studies.

The town of Neyland has had a twinning connection with the town of Sanguinet for more than ten years and this trip allowed these friendships to develop further and pave the way for a return visit by up to 20 French children next year.

The group was hosted by the twinning committee and the mayor at a reception in the town hall where the children had the opportunity to sample local dishes.

The children and staff were excellent ambassadors for their schools and for Pembrokeshire, laying the foundations for future collaborations.

Taith is Wales’ international learning exchange programme, with taith being Welsh for journey.

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