Swansea Sixth Forms
In Swansea, the overall pass rate (grades A* to E) of 97.4% is similar to the Welsh average of 97.5%. Swansea results in 2023 are excellent with an amazing 34.5% being the top A*-A grades (34.0% for Wales). Overall 78.5% of grades were C or better in Swansea.
Nearly 600 young people from the seven Swansea schools with sixth forms were waiting to find out how they’d got on in the results which are important to their ambitions of going on to university or other education and training.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, Robert Smith, said: “All our A-level student deserves huge congratulations for their achievements this year and I wish them 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 as students’ families, so I’d like to thank all who contributed to today’s success.”
Maths is again the most popular subject and is recognised as one of the toughest of the A-Level subjects, but in Swansea no fewer than 45.4% of the 174 entries got the top grades of A* or A with 76.4% attaining a C grade or above.
Further mathematics had a 94.4% pass rate with 83.3% attaining grades A*-C and 61.1% with the top A*-A grades.
Swansea’s schools made 1237 entries for A level with the WJEC this year in 32 different subjects.
In 17 subjects, there was a pass rate (grades A*-E) of 100% while in 14 different subjects, a third or more of all entries attained top grades A* and A.
There were 22 subjects where 75% or more attained grades A*-C, with 11 of these subjects having 90% or more with these grades.
In the three separate science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a third or more of entries gained A* and A grades.
In Welsh First Language 44.4% of entrants gained A* and A grades whilst 100% achieved a grade C or higher.
History was also popular with 88 entries and no fewer than 93.2% with grades A* to C.
Law had 75% with A*-A grades, and 100% with grade C or higher.
There were 91 entries for Psychology with 78.0% attaining grade C or higher.
Gower College Swansea
For students at Gower College Swansea, the overall A Level pass rate is 98%, with 1391 separate exam entries. Of these passes, 35% are at grades A*-A, 60% are at A*-B and 82% are at A*-C.
The overall pass rate at AS Level is 95%, with 74% of those passes being grades A – C and 53% being grades A – B.
There were 2119 separate exam entries for AS. The College’ said it’s vocational results were also strong again this year with a 97% pass rate across Level 3 Extended Diplomas, and 38% of those achieving the highest grades.
“We are really pleased with these results, which reflect so well on the hard work and dedication of our students over the past two years,” said Principal Mark Jones.
“It is also, of course, a huge testament to the dedication of our staff who are tireless in their support of our learners both in and outside of the classroom.”
And for any students who are unsure what to do next after their results, Mark has the following advice: “Come and talk to us! We have lots of staff at the College who can provide advice and guidance on potential next steps for individual learners. For example, we offer a range of higher education courses and we also provide employability support to those who wish to enter the workplace following completion of their studies.”
Carmarthenshire Sixth Forms
A total of 96.6% of A-level students in Carmarthenshire achieved A*-E.
Through a combination of exams and assessments, applicable to different courses, a total of 29.4% of A level students across Carmarthenshire have received A or A* this year; whilst 88.7% of the county’s AS students in Carmarthenshire achieved A-E grades.
On receiving her results today, Non from Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade said: “I got an A*, A, A and I’m going to study film and television at University of the Arts in London.”
Cllr. Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language said: “Congratulations to our young people that are receiving their results today, you are a credit to Carmarthenshire.
“Today belongs to you, your teachers, support staff, families and friends for all of your hard work and commitment, but I am also looking forward to hearing of your future achievements. Llongyfarchiadau bawb.”
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 and excellent results.
“The County Council is grateful for your commitment and perseverance over the last two years and also thankful to your teachers, support staff, families and friends for their support and encouragement to you.
“We wish you every success for the future, diolch.”
Coleg Sir Gâr
For A level qualifications, the College which has campuses in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion celebrated 30% of learners attaining A*-A grades, whilst 13% of entries achieved the top A* grades.
The college said that this was 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, Business Studies, English Literature, Further Mathematics, Geography, Government & Politics, Law, Mathematics, Physical Education, Psychology and Sociology.
Overall, 81% of learners achieved grades A*- C and 99% achieved grades A – E. This is in line with expectations highlighted by Qualifications Wales and the WJEC.
Mrs Angharad Mansfield, Head of Sir Gar 6 stated: “We are delighted and proud of all our A Level learners’; achievements this year. The increase in the number achieving the top grades reflect the dedication, determination and ambition of both staff and learners at Sir Gar 6. The vast majority of our students will now progress to studying aspirational courses such as Medicine and at the very best universities in the UK including Cambridge. On behalf of all staff at the college, we wish them every success in the future.”
Dr Andrew Cornish, Principal at Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion stated: “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 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.”
Neath Port Talbot Sixth Forms
Students at the two sixth forms in Neath Port Talbot – Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera–Bro Dur and St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Sixth Form Centre also received their A-Level results with 97.2% achieving grades A*-E with 70% of passes at the higher A*- C grades and 22.3% of outcomes at the top A* and A grades. Regarding vocational courses 32% achieved distinction or distinction star grades and 74.4% achieved A*- C grades in Welsh Baccalaureate with 30.1% of these achieving the highest A* or A grades.
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.
Congratulating students and school staff, Cllr. Nia Jenkins, Cabinet Member for Education & Early Years, 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.”
NPT Group of Colleges
The class of 2023 have achieved an overall pass rate of almost 99 per cent. A* – B grades are on a par with last year, with more than half of students achieving those grades. Almost a third of students achieved the top A*- A grades, and over three quarters achieved A* – C grades. For the students who followed the Gifted and Talented (GATE) programme, it is also good news, with 84 per cent achieving A* – A grades and 100 per cent A* – B grades.
Students sitting their Level 3 vocational qualifications also excelled with 70 students achieving distinction grades, and 24 students achieving the highest possible grade profile of triple distinction star which is equivalent to three A*s at A Level.
In addition, no fewer than 376 learners successfully achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate with an outstanding pass rate of 100 per cent with 58 per cent achieving between an A* and C grade.
Mark Dacey, CEO of NPTC Group of Colleges said he was delighted with the results. “The hard work of students and staff has paid off and they can’t be praised enough for the efforts that have been made to achieve these results.
“The results are incredible once again with an overall pass rate just short of 99 per cent and A* grades on a par with last year. Our students who followed the Gifted and Talented (GATE) programme, also did exceptionally well with 84 per cent achieving A*/A grades.
“Once again, our vocational students have also excelled with 70 receiving distinction grades and 24 students achieving the highest possible grade profile of distinction star which is the equivalent to an A* at A Level.
“In addition, a staggering 376 learners successfully achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate with an outstanding pass rate of 100 per cent with 58 per cent achieving between an A* and C grade.”
Minister congratulates learners
The Welsh Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles 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.”
Opposition politicians criticise Government’s education record
Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Minister, Laura Anne Jones MS said: “Congratulations to students receiving their results today and the teachers and support staff who got them there. Students and those supporting them have faced extreme challenges over the last couple of years, including a change to the curriculum, underfunding, pressures following Covid-19, and a reduction in teachers.
“Once again, it is extremely disheartening to see that results are down on last year, with the proportion of A and A* grades falling to 34% compared to 40.9% in 2022, along with the A* – E pass rate also dropping. With Labour’s shake up in what exams will look like going forward, I feel there will be further disruption going forward for pupils.
“Ultimately, there is more to education than just exam results and Wales deserves better than the underfunding from the Labour Government that has placed our schooling system bottom of the UK league table, with Wales continuing to take a different approach to our counterparts in England. The Labour Government must do better in providing top tier education in every school in Wales.”
(Lead image: Coleg Sir Gâr)
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