GCSEs 2019: Students celebrate success at Bracknell & Wokingham College

ALMOST all students at Bracknell & Wokingham College who sat maths and English at GCSEs achieved a pass. 

In total, 95.9% of students passed and, like its sister college in Reading, many of them were learners or mature students who have had to resit maths, English or both to continue in education. Some were part-time students who have studied for their GCSE during evening classes.

Esmé Raaths

Among those celebrating was Esmé Raaths, 17, from Bracknell. 

Originally from South Africa, she was one of the top performers in maths at the college, celebrating an outstanding pass at grade 7.  

She also achieved a grade 6 for biology, grade 7 for chemistry, 4 for English and 7 for physics.  

Esmé said: “When I came here, I was supposed to start with the first year of A-levels but as a transition I thought GCSEs would be good for me as well, to improve my English. The staff are really helpful, I was impressed by the college facilities.

“It’s a good college and provides good first steps whether you’re going on to GCSEs, A-levels, an apprenticeship or whatever your next step might be.  

“My English teacher was really helping me to improve with English. I got all the support that I needed.” 

Esmé will stay at the college to study maths, physics, chemistry and biology at A-level, and is hoping to go on to do an apprenticeship in accounting or go to university to study accounting and management or something in science. 

Bracknell & Wokingham College
Vanda Polgar

Thrilled with her grade 5 in GCSE English, ESOL student Vanda Polgar, 18, from Easthampstead, said: “I was really surprised by the grade 5 for English. The college helped me a lot. The teachers are really helpful. 

“They helped me to develop new skills and push my limits all the time. The teachers are forcing you to learn, it’s not like in Hungary where you ask a question and they don’t care, they help you all the time.” 

Vanda studied GCSEs in English, maths, citizenship, psychology and sociology during the day at Bracknell and Wokingham College and achieved a grade 5 for English, 3 for citizenship, 3 for psychology and 3 for sociology. She also studied ESOL at entry level two on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the college.  

Vanda combined her studies with a part-time job working as kitchen and front of house assistant at Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Bracknell, and plans on studying GCSEs in business and psychology next year with the aim of opening her own coffee shop in the future. 

Bracknell & Wokingham College
Fernando Burda

ESOL student Fernando Burda, 18 and from Great Hollands, achieved a grade 6 in GCSE maths: “Both of my teachers were really good. They were really trying to push me and always supported me” 

Fernando studied ESOL entry level 1 alongside GCSE chemistry, maths, physics and psychology. He achieved a grade 4 in chemistry, 3 in English, 5 in physics and 2 in psychology. Fernando also worked part-time in Tesco in Wokingham while studying.  

He intends to study A-levels and GCSEs at Bracknell and Wokingham College and would like to go on to university to study Computer Programming with the aim of designing apps or games.    

Activate Learning Group Chief Executive Sally Dicketts MBE, said: “We are always excited at GCSE results day at Activate Learning. 

“Many of our students getting their results today have already sat these exams at school and failed to get the grades they require. So it is really pleasing to see them now significantly improving their maths and English results. 

“I would also like to congratulate our many adult learners who collected their results today. Some of their stories are truly remarkable and I am delighted to see their hard work to improve themselves and their determination to change their lives has been rewarded.  

“These results are a testament to the student’s hard work and the approach we take to learning at our colleges. We understand that in order for our learners to succeed, we need to provide them with support and help them to get into a mindset where they feel they are able to do it.”  

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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