Sixth-formers in the resort are celebrating their A-level results in the wake of a turbulent year of Covid lockdowns and home learning.
At The Blackpool Sixth Form College in Blackpool Old Road, students on 59 courses achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with the college’s overall pass rate standing at 99.6 per cent.
The percentage of students achieving the highest grade possible also increased for the third consecutive year, despite the disruptions to learning Covid has brought over the last 18 months.
Jill Gray, Blackpool Sixth Principal, said: “We are delighted with these wonderful results and are extremely proud of our students. We cannot underestimate the significant effort that they have shown in achieving these exceptional outcomes.
Students jump for joy as they celebrate outstanding A-level results. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
“The results truly reflect the hard work, adaptability,resilience and determination that students have shown during such an unsettling time in their education. We are also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support and understanding of our parents and carers.
“Of course, none of this would have been possible without the passion, dedication and professionalism of our amazing staff, who continually give their all and inspire our students to thrive and succeed.
“We wish our students every success and happiness as they move onto the next stage of their education or career.”
Across the UK the proportion of top grades handed out to students increased to 45 per cent this year.
Blackpook Sixth students and principal Jill Gray celebrate their grades and overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
The record-breaking results saw 37 per cent of all A-level students in England get three As or better – which is more than double the 17.9 per cent in 2019, the last year exams were held.
Students and staff faced myriad challenges while adapting to home learning during the pandemic, but their determination and dedication cemented thousands of university places nationwide.
Formal exams were cancelled this year for the second year running, after education settings were closed in January due to Covid.
Grades were set by teachers this year instead, which were then quality-assured by exam boards via an evidence-checking process – but fewer than one per cent of grades were amended.
Maisie Green will choose an apprenticeship with her grades, to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
Bruno Eaves, 18, from Wrea Green, came to Blackpool Sixth from AKS Lytham and achieved four A*s in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
Bruno is heading to University College London to study for a maths degree, which he hoped would open doors to a variety of potential careers.
He said: “I haven’t really decided what career path I want to go down yet, but I really enjoy maths so I chose to study that at university as a more general subject.
“There are so many things I could do with maths such as teaching or accounting, and I’m hoping to do drama in my spare time as well.
Bruno Eaves is heading to UCL to study maths. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
Maisie Green, 18, from Hambleton, achieved two A*s in economics and geography and an A in business studies.
Instead of going to university, Maisie has chosen to undertake an apprenticeship in a bid to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking.
And she already has three apprenticeship options to choose from – with offers from Ernst and Young, J.P Morgan and RSM.
Maisie, who came to Blackpool Sixth from St Aidan’s High School, said: “To be honest, the lockdown was absolutely fine. We felt like we were with our teachers anyway while we working at home, and that got us through it.”
Lewis Melville, 18, achieved three distinction stars for BTECs in travel and tourism and musical theatre.
Lewis hoped his grades – which he will be taking to Manchester Metropolitan University to study international tourism management – will allow him to jet-set around the world with his sights set on America first.
Andrew Speight is going to work for Blackpool Council after achieving three A*s in modern history, psychology and sociology. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
He said: “I’m really excited about moving to Manchester, I really love it there. I’m hoping to do a placement overseas and of course America is the first place in mind, but I’d be happy anywhere.”
Hannah Doyle, 18, from Staining, collected her results with her Nan Heather Perkins, who said she was “extremely proud” of her granddaughter’s success.
Hannah achieved two A grades for music and music technology and a B in photography, which has secured her place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to study sound technology.
Hannah, a former Hodgson Academy pupil, said: “I did BTEC music first and on our course there was only four of us, so when I was in lower sixth we had to join up with upper sixth. I think there are fewer people taking music at A-Level because there aren’t as many taking it at GCSE anymore.
“I’m hoping to go into either live sound or studio recording in the future.”
Andrew Speight, 18, from South Shore, is pursuing a different path in life after sixth form – and has secured a new role as a youth advisor for Blackpool Council.
Andrew said he is passionate about encouraging young people to stay in the resort to build their careers, and will be advising the council on their strategy for youngsters who are not in education, training or employment.
He said: “I’m serving at the moment as member of youth parliament and the chairman of Blackpool youth council. So I have experience in the voices of young people already and I gave a speech in the House of Commons in 2019.
“I didn’t want to go to university, so I’ve had experience of job-hunting myself, and I’ve realised how hard it actually is of not having experience when all the jobs are asking for it.
“So I want to work on making sure there are opportunities for young people in the town, and help to create employment for young people, so they don’t need to move out of the area.”