THE A LEVEL examination results published on Thursday (Aug 18) by the WJEC indicate that very high standards are being maintained in the schools of Ceredigion.
97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 23.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.
Tables o f results show Ceredigion’s continuing trend of improvement and above-average achievement:
County Councillor Hag Harris, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, stated: “Once again Ceredigion students have excelled in their A level results and my sincere congratulations goes to all concerned. Their success places them in a strong position to move forward to higher education, training or employment and I wish them all the best for the future.
“Schools have had to deal with a great deal of change with new specifications and assessment arrangements in many subjects. They must be congratulated on their success in maintaining such high standards whilst managing these changes.”
Mr Barry Rees, Strategic Director for Learning and Partnerships , added: “These very pleasing results are the culmination of the hard work of students and their teachers , along with the invaluable support of their families.
“These achievements must be placed in the context of an extremely high number of entries once again due to the very high numbers in Ceredigion who stay in school to study in the sixth form. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing contribution the Welsh Baccalaureate makes to students’ achievements. In many cases, this has enabled students to access university courses of their choice.”
Hugh Thomas, Head of Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn , said: “The school is very proud of all the students, nearly all of whom have gained a place in their first choice university.
“I would like to congratulate all of our students and express my gratitude to the staff for their hard work and to the parents and the governing body for their support.
“We wish all our students every success in the future.”
“One hundred percent of pupils achieved the Level 3 threshold of at least 2 A Level qualifications or equivalent at A* – E. A total of 32% of grades were A* or A with 54% of grades at A* – B. 86% of grades were at A* – C,” Mr Thomas said.
“The school is pleased to report another set of excellent ‘A’ Level results.
“The consistent success over recent years is a tribute to our hard working students, the support of parents and the dedication of our excellent staff at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn.”
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education and Skills , Llyr Gruffydd , said: “My warmest congratulations to those receiving their results today, the fruit of years of hard work and study, despite the inevitable disappointment some will feel.
“We should also pay tribute to our teachers for the invaluable part they have played.”
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said: “Today is about celebrating the success of our pupils. I want to congratulate everyone receiving their results and thank them for all their hard work. This is such an important day and I wish them all the best as they make important decisions about their next steps in life.”
Staff and sixth form students were also celebrating outstanding A Level results at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi this week.
100% of students achieved the level 3 threshold (at least 2 A Level qualifications at grades A*-E or equivalent), compared to the Welsh average of 97.3%. 37% of grades awarded were A* or A. 60% of grades were at A*-B, and 82% of grades awarded were at A*- C.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification again proved very successful with 98% of candidates achieving the full Advanced Level Diploma at grades A*-B; and 68% of the Welsh Bac grades were A* or A.
Headteacher Nicola James said: “The staff and governors are very proud of these A Level results, which are richly deserved by our hardworking students. The fact that we have so many students achieving excellent results and gaining places at top Russell Group universities across the country in a variety of disciplines is a source of tremendous pride to us all, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to raising the aspirations of our young people and to serving our community well. Every student who applied to university is now successfully moving on to the next step in their educational careers, and they are well placed to lead fulfilling and productive lives. I congratulate the students on their achievements, and I wish them all every success for the future. I thank the staff for their hard work and commitment, and I thank all the parents for their support too.”
Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian
NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.
The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.
High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).
NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.
24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.
NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.
Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.
“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.
“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”
Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.
Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.
Major bequests for Aber research
TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.
The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.
Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.
The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.
The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.
“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”
Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.
The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”
In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.
Driving Wales to international skills success
AS SKILLS CHAMPION for Wales, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion principal Barry Liles is at the forefront of aspiring young people to develop high quality, world-class skills.
The vehicle used to drive this ambition are skills competitions, which are held on a Welsh, UK and international level.
Competitions in Wales begin with regional Welsh Government supported competitions which are events that culminate to find Wales’ top competitors who progress to take part in UKSkills national and WorldSkills international events.
This year, 36 competitors from the UK are competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, four of which are from Wales, two of which represent Coleg Sir Gâr, which is an impressive percentage of UK representation. These competitors have undergone a rigorous training process by WorldSkills UK, supported by training providers and employers.
Coleg Sir Gâr students have been selected for Team UK since 2009 when carpentry student Cliff Williams made the team in 2009 competing in WorldSkills Calgary. He was followed by web designer David Bowen who competed for in WorldSkills London, 2011. Carpenter Gareth Jones won gold in EuroSkills in 2012 followed by Simon McCall and Eleni Constantinou who won two silvers at EuroSkills in 2014 for hairdressing and carpentry with Eleni progressing to represent the UK and Coleg Sir Gâr in hairdressing at WorldSkills, Sao Paulo in 2015.
Last year, the college was ranked joint third place in the UK for its medal success in the Skills Show – the UK final, for achieving three golds, one silver and one bronze award. The show, held at Birmingham’s NEC every year, brings together medal winners from all nations to compete and showcase their skills and to hopefully continue their journey to the international arena, representing the UK in Worldskills which brings over 50 competing countries together and is likened to the Olympic games.
Barry Liles, Skills Champion for Wales said: “To have an impact on the economy and raise Wales and UK’s GVA, we must raise the skills of the UK population and we’re trying to do this from a young age and we’re significantly targeting industries that are important to Wales’ economy.
“The anticipated result is hoped to impact on young people and help them raise their ambitions and to find highly skilled work.”
In Wales, to help achieve this ambition, is a Welsh-Government funded project called Inspiring Skills Excellence (ISE), which is providing a supportive infrastructure to enable competitors from Wales to achieve success at national and international level.
“Much of our work is supporting competitors across Wales in their participation, training and mentoring to help them achieve excellence in skills relevant to economic growth and delivering medal winning success at national and international competitions,” said Paul Evans, ISE pan-coordinator for Wales.
“Using state of the art equipment we also engage with schools, providing hands-on and exciting experiences for young people to raise awareness of careers and the pathways available to them.”
Barry Liles added: “Being Skills Champion for Wales is a long-held ambition perhaps because I came from a vocational engineering background, I am very passionate about it.
“Industry skills are vital in our economy and I don’t want Wales to be left behind, in fact in the last seven years we have helped drive the nation forward to being one of the leading and successful nations in UK skills competitions.”
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