Pupils and staff at Rochdale Sixth Form College are celebrating today (16 August) as the institution receives its first ever set of A-level results since opening in 2009.
400 nervous A-level students found out their fate this morning as they opened those important brown envelopes; with many overwhelmed that their hard work had paid off.
18-year-old Alicia France from Falinge, a talented artist whose pieces have sold for as much as £600.00 and been exhibited in a London gallery, was overjoyed with her results.
Alicia said: “I got an A* in Art, B in Music and B in Psychology, so I’m off to the University of Newcastle to study Fine Art. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to move to Newcastle, the atmosphere’s supposed to be amazing.”
Alicia puts her success down to hard work and the staff at Rochdale SFC, saying: “I always wanted to come to this college and the two years have absolutely flown.
"I was the first person through the gates when it opened, which is quite a claim, and I’ve loved it. The staff are so helpful.”
Asia Jamil from Deeplish, who hopes to become a teacher, was also celebrating today. Asia said: “I got an A in P.E., an A in Psychology and a B in English Language and will be going to the University of Manchester to study English Language.
“I can’t wait to celebrate; it was my birthday last week and with Eid this weekend it’s going to be like a three-in-one party.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time here so much, I’m definitely going to miss it and all the friends I’ve made. I want to be a teacher, so I might even end up back here some day.”
18-year-old student Christian Turner is similarly-overjoyed with his grades, he said: “I don’t know what I’d have done without this college. The staff are great and work with all the students one-to-one.
“I got AAA and I’m going to Lancaster University.
"I didn’t even have chance to check my results on UCAS this morning; instead I was opening them live on national radio which was very nerve-wracking.
"I might even end up back here as a teacher one day, who knows?”
Christian’s mother Katey Turner added: “Rochdale gets such a bad press, so this is fantastic news.
“It might have seemed like a risk to enrol into a brand new college with no Ofsted history or background, but as soon as we met the Principal and staff we had such a feel for the place and just knew it was the right decision.”
No one is prouder of the college’s success on this big day than Principal Julian Appleyard, he said: “Today’s such a proud day for the borough; it’s really putting Rochdale on the map.
"It’s been a long process; I was appointed back in 2008, recruited staff and students in 2009 and to have everyone’s support for a new-build college is amazing.
“We’re the first new sixth form to have opened since 2004, and the hard work’s paid off. I’m so grateful to all our staff, governors, parents and students.
"Media interest from everyone from The Times to the BBC has also been unbelievable - it’s a real success story for our town.
“We pride ourselves on the close relationships we build between students and staff here and the buzz around the place. People always comment that we have that serious and hard-working yet fun, vibrant atmosphere.
“I really feel we’re getting a great reputation and gaining interest even beyond the borough. We can’t wait to enrol our next generation of around 500 students with the GCSE results next week.”
Dame Pamela Coward, Chairwoman of the Governing Body at Rochdale SFC, added: “I’m thoroughly delighted; we have wonderful students and today’s results are quite extraordinary.
“This gives the young people of Rochdale new opportunities, which is so important.
"We’re so humbled by both the parents and students putting their faith in a brand new college.
"The students have grabbed every opportunity with both hands, and today is all about our fantastic students and staff.”