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Exceptional University Destinations follow A Level Success for Malvern St James Students

Published by Malvern St James Girls' School on Tuesday 18th of August 2015

Malvern St James Girls’ School announces an excellent set of A Level results and an outstanding university destination list achieved by its Year 13 students. In September, 6 girls of the 62 strong cohort will take up places at universities ranked in the Top 5 in the world (as rated by the QS World University Rankings); while a total of 17 will go on to Top 10 UK-ranked institutions. Three more will read Medicine and two will go on to prestigious Art Colleges. Overall 85% of girls have got into their first choice university or course. The list of courses is as diverse as it is long; with over 45% of the cohort getting into their first choice to read STEM related subjects; and this sitting alongside Arts and Language degrees and traditional choices such as Law and Accountancy. The breadth of subjects and university pedigree is shown in the following sample of leaver destinations: • English at University College, Oxford • Maths at Imperial College London • PPE; Natural Science; Anthropology & Sociology at Durham • Government and Economics; Management; Environmental Policy with Economics at LSE • Economics; Accounting & Finance at Warwick • Management Science at UCL • Classical Studies at Exeter • Mechanical Engineering at Leeds • Music at Royal Holloway, University of London • Economics and Management at Bristol • Architecture at Nottingham and Edinburgh • Psychology at Bristol and Durham • Animation Illustration at Kingston • Royal Marines Bands Service • Geography at Exeter • Real Estate at Reading • Computer Science at York • Art Foundation at Central St Martins • Law at Bristol and Kent • Bakery and Confectionary Technology at University College, Birmingham Of the A Levels grades which have delivered this prestigious list, 21% are A*, 79% are A*-B, and overall the pass rate is 98%. Nine girls achieved straight A* and A grades, with one student achieving straight A*s in all four A Level subjects. Some particular subjects stood out in particular, with Latin (again) and Extra Curricular Languages achieving A* and A across the board for all candidates. There is a similar picture for the PE BTEC which for the second year running achieved a clean sweep of A* Distinctions for all candidates. Geography, Art and Religious Studies achieved 100% A*-B grades. In their EPQs, 90% of girls achieved A*-B. This could be a vital statistic for some, as some universities may use them to distinguish between students with like-for-like A Level grades. Victoria Gawlik, from Ledbury, has gained a coveted place at University College, Oxford, to read English. She scored 100% in her English A Level. Victoria comments, “I’m in a state of disbelief, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relieved and happy in my life. It feels like every moment has been worth it; every moment in this school has brought me here. I know that I will be living in the subject I love for the next three years and that’s so exciting.” Mrs Gawlik, Victoria’s mum, added, “This is a ‘PPM’ – Proud Parent Moment! It’s been a roller-coaster ride all the way through, the emotion of it all, but she has done us proud, and I am so, so pleased for her because this is the university and course she really wanted.” Meanwhile, Kirsty Haines, a music scholar from Worcestershire, has fought off 16,000 applicants to achieve one of 22 places in the Queens Bands of the Royal Marines. Selection followed a gruelling week-long audition, based on physical and musical aptitude. She will start shortly on a Commando course, followed by two years studying in Portsmouth from January 2016. Kirsty says, “This has been my ambition since I was 12 years old. I am so pleased. I will be playing the saxophone and the violin, and as we are part of the Royal Navy, I will get to travel extensively. I feel very honoured that I am the first girl in the history of the School to do this.” Mrs Trish Woodhouse, Headmistress of MSJ, comments, “The School is delighted by these achievements. For the majority of students, the results are a means to an end and the bigger picture is whether they have secured first-rate universities and their chosen courses. Overall the picture is a very impressive one and reflects the exceptional preparation and support that the school offers at this critical point in students’ careers.” “The results are testament to the girls’ unswerving focus and dedication, and also to their teachers’ ambitions to achieve the very best result for each of our pupils.” “MSJ has brought in several new initiatives over the past year which are creating a positive impact on Sixth Form performance, and it is expected that results will go from strength to strength in the forthcoming years. We have put in place an Aspiration Programme which prepares girls for entry to some of the most demanding universities and courses in the world. Across the board we are focusing on academic rigour and aspiration, and extra-curricular breadth to produce students who are confident to embrace personal and academic challenge.” “This change is being delivered partly by the recent appointment of a Director of Sixth Form, Alison Kingshott, who raises the bar again in terms of academic aspiration, enrichment participation, and the university admission process. Mrs Kingshott’s mission is to see every individual student get everything she wants and needs out of Sixth Form life in readiness for life beyond MSJ. And partly by closer ties with our Old Girls’ Association which brings in the expertise and experience of leading lights in business, industry, Whitehall, Medicine and academia to assist the girls’ in making the right career and university plans. “We have also seen more girls becoming interested in application to American universities. We have been doing the required SAT preparation and testing for the past few years. We recently hosted a dedicated workshop which was very well attended, and feedback suggests that more girls will apply and take up places from 2016 on.” “We are very careful to stress that at MSJ students are far, far more than a set of examination grades. They are happy, resourceful, and capable young women, who will go on to make fantastic employees and leaders of the future. Whatever their next steps are, we are confident that they will go far.”
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