Learners across Swansea Bay are celebrating exam successes as A-Level results are announced.
Top grades have fallen, however the percentage is still higher than the last time results were based on students taking exams in 2019.
In Swansea, A-Level students achieved results above the Welsh and UK averages.
The overall pass rate of 98.2% is above the Welsh average of 98.0%. Swansea results in 2022 are excellent with an amazing 47.7% being the top A*-A grades (40.9% for Wales).
Nearly 720 young people from Swansea schools were waiting to find out how they’d got on in the results.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, Robert Smith, said: “Every student deserves huge congratulations for their achievements as A-Levels are tough at the best of times but they have studied against the backdrop of a pandemic and the disruption that brought with it making their results even more impressive.
“I wish all our students the very best for their futures and hope they will look back fondly on their time at our excellent schools in Swansea.
“Of course their achievements would not have been possible without the hard work and support of our schools and our teachers, as well students’ families, so I’d like to thank all who contributed to today’s success.”
Overall 88.8% of grades were C or better in Swansea, compared to 85.3% for Wales.
Maths is the most popular subject and is recognised as one of the toughest of the A-Level subjects, but in Swansea no fewer than 59.6% of the 223 entries got the top grades of A* or A with 85.7% attaining a C grade or above.
Further mathematics had a 100% pass rate with 97.4% attaining grades A*-C and 79.5% with the top A-A grades.
Swansea’s seven schools with sixth forms made 1581 entries for A level with the WJEC this year in 34 different subjects.
In 25 subjects, there was a pass rate (grades A*-E) of 100% while in 27 different subjects, a third or more of all entries attained top grades A and A.
There were 31 subjects where 75% or more attained grades A*-C, with 15 of these subjects having 90% or more with these grades.
In the three separate science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, over a half of entries gained A* and A grades.
In Welsh First Language a third of entrants gained A* and A grades whilst 100% achieved a grade C or higher.
History was also popular with 118 entries and no fewer than 94.1% with grades A* to C.
Gower College Swansea
Gower College Swansea said their overall A Level pass rate this year is 99%, with 1220 separate exam entries. Of these passes, 42% are at grades A*-A, 70% are at A-B and 87% are at A*-C.
The overall pass rate at AS Level is 94%, with 67% of those passes being grades A – C and 49% being grades A – B. There were 1631 separate exam entries for AS.
Over 1000 of its students will now progress to universities in September, including Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities across the UK.
“I think that the combination of students’ hard work and commitment together with the high quality of teaching and support available at the College – most of which was provided on a face to face basis throughout the past two years – is ultimately responsible for these excellent results,” says Principal Mark Jones.
“I’m particularly pleased to see the success within those top grades – with 64 students achieving straight A* grades across the board and 161 students achieving straight A*-A grades.
“It’s such an exciting time, with many of these learners now progressing onto top universities across the UK, into employment and apprenticeships.”
Neath Port Talbot Schools
Neath Port Talbot Council said the percentage of A-Level examinations passed by year 13 students at grades A*-E is 96.5%, 80% of A level passes are at the higher A*-C grades providing students with an extremely sound basis to pursue higher education or other learning opportunities. 32.3% of outcomes are the top A* and A grades.
Many students achieved outstanding results, allowing them to enter top university courses with confidence.
The council highlighted students Benjamin Condon, Josie Evans, Ffion James, Jacob Mapp, Shannon Mattocks, Antoni Wachowiak, Kiera Watkins, Sophie Welsh and Amelia Willn at St Joseph’s, and Jacob Hancock, Emma Jones, Seren Jones, Evie Rees and Owain Watts at Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera-Bro Dur. All the above achieved four or more A* or A grades or equivalent.
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr. Steven Hunt said: “This is another set of outstanding results for the county borough and I congratulate the students, staff and their parents for all their efforts. Again young people from Neath Port Talbot have achieved excellent examination outcomes that will allow them to continue their learning with confidence. We are all very pleased with their performance, considering the most unusual circumstances we have found ourselves in the last academic year.”
Congratulating students and school staff, Cllr. Nia Jenkins, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Wellbeing added: “The sound basis for learning set at Key Stage 4 has enabled more students to continue with their education beyond 16 with purpose, ambition and success.”
NPTC Group of Colleges
The college with campuses in Neath Port Talbot and Powys said the class of 2022 are the first to sit exams since the pandemic and despite the challenges faced over the last two years, they have shown an impressive resilience to achieve an overall pass rate of almost 99 percent.
A* – B grades exceeded those of 2019 when students last sat examinations, with almost 60 percent of students achieving those grades.
Almost a third of students (32.2 percent) achieved A*- A grades, and 83 percent A – C grades. For the students who followed the Gifted and Talented (GATE) programme, it’s also good news, with 84 percent achieving A* – A grades and 100 percent A* – B grades.
In addition, no fewer than 292 learners successfully achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate with an outstanding pass rate of 99.6 percent with 65 percent achieving between an A* and C grade.
Many students have secured places at top universities or gained the qualifications to land their dream jobs. The college says it is important to note that this year has not been like any other year. They add that staff have undertaken an enormous amount of work to welcome students back into the classroom and prepare them for exams in very difficult circumstances.
Catherine Lewis, Acting CEO and Acting Principal of NPTC Group of Colleges commented: “These results are outstanding. To exceed the A* – B grades of 2019 (pre-COVID) is an exceptional achievement. I am very proud of our students and our teaching and support staff for the very hard work that has unpinned all the hundreds of successes that lie behind the figures.”
While Pembrokeshire Council did not release details of A-level grades, the council’s Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham said: “We congratulate all learners on their achievements.
“This year the transition back to examinations has been challenging for them, as they have not previously taken external examinations.
“The achievements of learners are to be commended and celebrated. I would like to wish them every success for their futures.”
Director for Education Steven Richards-Downes said, “All learners will receive results today that open up new possibilities for them.
“We recognise the major challenges that they have faced and how through they have overcome them through determination, hard work and the support from education staff.
“Their commitment and that of education staff has been remarkable. I wish every learner continued happiness and success.
“We thank also today the families of students who have supported them through a very challenging period in their lives.
“We hope that all learners are able to proceed to the next phase of their lives or education with purpose, dignity and pride.”
Carmarthenshire County Council said that whilst this year has seen a return to exam-based results, following two years of assessment-based grading during the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers have still had to contend with the ongoing impact of the last 2 years.
A total of 98.6% of A Level students in Carmarthenshire achieved A*-E, which is higher than the 97.3% in 2019 when exams were last sat.
Across Carmarthenshire, a total of 40.1% of A level students have received A or A* this year, which is vastly higher than the 24.9% when exams were last sat in 2019.
After 2 years without examinations, students at AS Level also had the opportunity this year to show what knowledge they had learned and skills they had developed, through a combination of exams and assessments, applicable to different courses. 91.8 % of AS students in Carmarthenshire achieved A-E grades which, again, is higher than in 2019.
Cllr. Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language said: “Congratulations to every single student receiving their A-Level and A.S. results today. These young people and their teachers have worked extremely hard, within the uncertain climate that exists due to the pandemic, and they should be very proud, as am I, of their fantastic achievements.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students, teachers and support staff of Carmarthenshire as well as their families for their hard work over the last two years.”
In a joint statement, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters and Director of Education and Children’s Services, Gareth Morgans added: “Congratulations to our A-Level and A.S. students for their, well deserved, excellent results. The last two years have been very challenging for students, teachers, support staff, families and friends and we are grateful to everyone for their commitment and support to each other during this period.
“These young people are a credit to their schools and our county, and we wish them every success for the future.”
Coleg Sir Gâr
Sixth form college, Coleg Sir Gâr, which has campuses in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, said they have produced an outstanding set of A-level results this year, in what for many was their first time of sitting formal examinations at this level of study.
Following a period of awarding centre-assessed grades during the pandemic, the return to a formal examination-based assessment required extra support, guidance and care, provided by committed and specialist staff from across the A-level programme.
For A-level qualifications, the college celebrates 34% of learners attaining A*-A grades, whilst 10% of entries achieved the top A grades. This is an outstanding achievement and a testament to the hard work of all students and staff throughout the last two years.
Notable subject performances included biology, mathematics, further mathematics, physics and sociology. Modern foreign languages achieved a 100% A*-A pass rate.
Overall, 86% of learners achieved grades A* to C and 98% achieved grades A to E. These results demonstrate and improvement in the examination-based results of 2019 but are slightly less than the centre assessed grade assessment model used in 2021. This is in line with expectations highlighted by Qualifications Wales and the WJEC.
Some outstanding individual performances have led to learners going to study a range of disciplines including, medicine dentistry, engineering, law, geography, business, finance and economics, languages, journalism, art and architecture, all at top Russell Group and high performing universities.
Mrs Orla Williams, head of faculty for Sir Gâr 6 A-levels and access said: “We are delighted at the success of our students as this reflects the hard work and effort of both students and staff over the last two years; during and post covid.
“Staff have supported student aspirations, encouraging them to be ambitious and to apply to the best universities and degree apprenticeships.
“On behalf of all staff at the college we wish our learners every success as they go to the very best universities across the United Kingdom and into employment.”
Dr Andrew Cornish, principal of Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion added: “It is great to see our students performing consistently well and to a high standard.
“These A-level results along with an equally strong performance in the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will see our learners continue to progress to higher education, both locally at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and throughout the United Kingdom to pursue their chosen careers.
“Equally impressive is the high grades achieved on our vocational programmes. These results, coupled with tremendous success in national and international skills competitions, will enable our vocational learners to progress to university, apprenticeships, higher level apprenticeships and future employment.
“Overall, this excellent performance reflects the progression of students from the strong foundations laid in partner schools in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and beyond.
“On behalf of the college, I wish them the very best for the future.”
Welsh Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles visited Coleg Sir Gâr in Llanelli 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 you got the grades you’d hoped for.
“We know what a challenging couple of years it’s been for students and staff. For everyone involved in ensuring this year’s exams could take place, today is reward for all the hard work you have put in.
“A record number of young people from Wales will be going to university this year and have an exciting time ahead.
“For anyone who didn’t quite get the results you wanted, or you’re unsure of your next steps, my key message is – don’t be too disappointed and don’t be too hard on yourself. There are a wide range of options open to you, including university clearing, apprenticeships, even 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 be assured you have lots of choices in pursuing the career you want.
“I hope that everyone receiving your results today takes time to congratulate yourself, enjoy the rest of the summer and look forward to the exciting opportunities you have ahead of you.”
(Lead image: Rob Melen / Gower College Swansea)
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