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In a league of its own

Sunderland College is celebrating another successful year after topping the league tables for a third successive year.

<p>The College has delivered the best results for ‘average point score per examination entry’ out of the major providers of sixth form studies, excluding the private school sector.</p>
<p>‘Average point score’ measures the quality of teaching, and shows that on average students who choose to study at Sunderland College achieve higher A-level grades than at any other provider in the city.</p>
<p>Pass rates for A-level and vocational students remained high, at 99%, with more than 93% of A-level students going on to secure places at university.</p>
<p>Nigel Harrett, Sunderland College’s vice principal for curriculum and student support, said: “The college is committed to delivering the highest quality of education. It’s a fantastic achievement to be top for the third year running. It’s testament to the hard work of our students and the support of our enthusiastic and dedicated staff.”</p>
<p>But Nigel is keen to point out it’s not just about the top results. He said: “Our aim is to help all our students achieve the best that they can, enabling them to reach their full potential.”</p>
<p>Last year Sunderland College scored 87% in the National Student Survey for its standards in teaching, student support and guidance, the top score by a college in the North East.</p>
<p>Nigel said:  “It’s about recognising the needs of individual students and giving them the support and guidance they need to achieve. And I believe that at Sunderland College we do this better than anyone else in the region. And clearly the students believe we do too, with the college receiving the top score for student satisfaction for support.”</p>
<p>Grant Hardy is one former student who benefited from this commitment to supporting every student to achieve.</p>
<p>Grant, 19, from Washington, had a tough time at school and left at 16 lacking self-confidence and with low GCSE grades.</p>
<p>Despite this Grant, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, wanted to take A-levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry so that he could continue to university to study astronomy.</p>
<p>Marianne Hill, curriculum leader for science and mathematics at Sunderland College said: “Grant’s GCSE results weren’t good enough for him to be accepted on to our A-level programme. But when the college tutors met with him we could see he was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about astronomy and we wanted to help him unlock his potential.”</p>
<p>The college put together a detailed plan of student support for Grant, which included assigning him a dedicated mentor who worked with Grant throughout his time at the college’s Usworth campus, as well as regular meetings to make sure he was achieving to his best potential.</p>
<p>Last summer Grant achieved A and B grades in all three of his A-levels and secured a place to study Natural Sciences, which includes a module in astronomy, at Newcastle University.</p>
<p>Grant said: “The support from the college was fantastic. My confidence grew and my grades improved dramatically. The result is that I am now studying the course I really wanted to. But, more than that, I now really believe in myself. I know I can do anything I want to, and I have the confidence to go for it!”</p>
<p>As part of this commitment to student guidance and support, personal achievement and success, Sunderland College is launching a survey asking parents in the region just what are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college.  Anyone who wants to take part can log on to <a title=”Parent”s survey” href=”http://www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk/survey” target=”_blank”>sunderlandcollege.ac.uk/survey</a> to complete the survey, and enter a prize draw to win £50 M&amp;S vouchers.</p>
<p>To find out more about our A-level subjects go to <a href=”http://www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk”>www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk</a> or call 0191 511 6000</p>
<p>Photo caption: Elisha Waller, Rebecca Musgrove, Claire McCarthy, Alexandra Johnson, Conor McCormack and Peter Brown celebrate their A-Level success.</p>

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