Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Pupils Go from Strength to Strength

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Pupils Go from Strength to Strength

Article excerpt

Byline: Kim Carmichael Dan Warburton

ANEWCASTLE school is celebrating a set of remarkable Alevel results. It was only two years ago that All Saints College in West Denton sent its first student to university - now 25 are going.

College principal David Scott said: "We have seen a dramatic rise in the numbers of students staying at school after 16 in recent years.

"In 2002 we only had four students in our entire sixth form and this September we expect that to increase to 130.

"The first four All Saints students ever to go university only went in 2006. This year we're celebrating more than 20.

The school is situated in an area which includes some of the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England. A third of pupils have special educational needs and 36% are entitled to free school meals.

The city as a whole celebrated recorded A-level results that combined higher pass rates with record numbers of students staying on at school.

Newcastle's pass rate rose 0.9% to 96.5%, with the number of students gaining A-C grades also up by 1.9% to 65.4% At Kenton School, Harry Bell, head of post-16 education, said: "Our pass rate was 95%. The most encouraging thing is that we've got nearly all of the pupils going to their first or second choices of universities.

"This is pleasing because the school is in a tough area in terms of students going on to higher education and we're breaking through the barrier, with the pupils often being the first in their families to go on to university."

And pupils at Sacred Heart High School in Fenham, Newcastle, ensured the school came out with top marks after achieving a 100% pass rate.

Chinese schoolgirl Tong Zhao, from Fenham, Newcastle, spoke no English when she came to the UK seven years ago, but she secured a place at Cambridge University with As in maths, biology and music, and a B in English literature.

She said: "It's been pretty tough since the beginning but now it's getting better, I had to start from scratch.

"I was expecting to do well, but seven years ago I didn't speak a word of English.

My family have been really supportive through all my time here. …

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