Students at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College exceed A-level expectations

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Oxford & Cherwell Valley College has been named among the country’s top performers for helping A-level students to exceed expectations after GCSEs.

“The added value measure is extremely important as it indicates how students are being stretched, challenged and supported to go beyond what they and many others would expect of them."

The college has been ranked in the top 20 per cent of providers for ‘adding value’ to students’ A-level performance. This takes into account what a student would be expected to achieve based on their GCSE results and national indicators, and what they actually go on to achieve.

Of 1,251 schools and colleges to submit their results for the last three years, Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) has been ranked at 197. This puts it into the ‘outstanding performance’ category set by ALPS (Advanced Level Performance Systems).

Ellie Melbourne, from Chinnor, is in her second year of A-levels at OCVC. The 17-year-old achieved six Bs and five Cs at GCSE and is predicted to achieve Bs in history, English and media in the summer. She has been offered a conditional place to study history at Lincoln University.

Ellie said: “I decided I wanted to do my A-levels at college rather than stay on at school as I felt I needed a change. I came here for an open day and found the staff and other students were really friendly and welcoming.

“I absolutely love studying here. It is a more grown-up environment and if you are prepared to do your bit and put the work in, the teachers really root for you. There is a good balance between support and independent learning, which means it makes a good stepping stone to university. Because the classes tend to be smaller than at school, you can get more access to the teachers’ knowledge and expertise.”

In 2012, 76 per cent of A-level students at OCVC achieved grades A* to C, up 6 per cent on the previous year. Of these 47 per cent achieved grades A* to B. Among the measures put in place to support students wanting to do A-levels, the college has launched a one-year GCSE re-sit programme to help repair poor GCSE performance.

Sally Dicketts, principal of OCVC, said: “Many educational ranking systems and league tables simply look at overall achievement, which show that getting a grade A is better than getting a grade C. What these systems fail to show is how well the school or college is helping the student to realise their potential and expand their horizons."

“The added value measure is extremely important as it indicates how students are being stretched, challenged and supported to go beyond what they and many others would expect of them. This maximises their chances of securing a good university place or progressing onto other higher education courses or into employment."

“This measure is also testament to the breadth and quality of teaching in further education colleges, which are often better known for their vocational rather than academic courses. Our A-level courses are taught by A-level subject specialists and we work hard to ensure that programmes are designed around the need of each student."

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Jonathan Goode
Oxford & Cherwell Valley College
01865 551890 51890
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