News & Press
An unprecedented time in our history has seen the majority of Uxbridge College students receiving the A Level grades needed to progress to their chosen universities, including Durham, Bath, Warwick and York.
The college performed in line with last year’s strong results, with more than 70% receiving high grades A*-C and 98% achieving at A*-E.
No exams at all were sat this year, with grades awarded using school and college student data, which was then standardised under an Ofqual system formulated in response to the Covid crisis. Results were collected on site at college by students on a socially distanced basis.
Student success stories at Uxbridge in 2020 included:
Munraj Bhangra (top right) who was Uxbridge College’s top performing student with four A* grades in Maths, Further Maths, History and Chemistry, is going to Bath University to study Economics. He said: “I would have preferred to have done exams - the way they awarded the grades this year made me feel more anxious. You don’t really know how they have calculated it, it is a bit surreal. I am excited about going to university though.”
Joseph Hodgkinson, who got three A grades in History, Media Studies and Law, is on his way to Durham University to study Law. He chose to come to college instead of continuing at his school as he preferred the college environment.
Pawandeep Kataria (pictured second left) is going to Birmingham University to study Maths after achieving an A* in maths, an A in Further Maths, and a B in Physics. He said: “I feel good about getting to uni – I’m going to enjoy it - but I feel like I don’t know if I deserve the results I’ve got.”
Vlad Badicel (pictured far left) is going to York to read Physics after getting an A* in Physics, an A in Maths and a B in Biology. He said: “I think I could have done better, it was harder to work at home during lockdown and we did not get a chance to sit the exams. I am happy I am going to my first choice of university though”.
Hristina Grebcheva (bottom right), who has been at Uxbridge College for three years as she took her GCSEs there before progressing to A Levels, was expecting to study Business at Warwick University. She achieved A grades in Business, English and Media Studies and said: “It’s been a little bit stressful - you’re in less control than when you sit exams. It would have been much more social towards the end of term as well if we had been able to come to college too. It has been a real journey spending three years at Uxbridge College and it’s a little bit sad to be leaving. I’m really excited to be going to Uni though.”
Dr Darrell DeSouza Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC said: “I would like to say a massive congratulations to all our A Level students this year for all their hard work and achievements, despite what an unbelievably challenging time it has been for everyone. I am extremely pleased that so many of them are going to their first choice of university and also the college has performed strongly yet again. In a small number of cases, the college may be submitting appeals for individual students, but it is a tribute to the robust processes applied by Uxbridge College that we are seeing so much consistency in our outcomes.”
This year's A Level results put us in a strong position to maintain our place in the top 10% for ‘Value Added’ for A Levels for all schools and colleges nationally, and top 5% for colleges and Sixth Form colleges nationally. Value Added scores measure how much progress students make during their studies, compared to their peers nationally.
Uxbridge College is playing a starring role in a Government campaign to get the UK’s students back to school and college, as well as getting ready for all its own students to return to college in September, with enrolment now underway.
The Department for Education chose the college to be part of a short film being featured on social media. Students who had recently returned to the Hayes Campus were filmed around college, including arriving for classes, working in the hairdressing salons, and rehearsing in the theatre and dance studios. Dance student Laura Hogg and Hairdresser Brogan Hollyoak (pictured far right, along with the Design 102 film crew) appear in the film, being featured in their classes and talking about their experiences being back at college.
Social distancing and other precautions against the virus are being implemented in various ways, for instance with hairdressing students wearing face shields, and performing arts students maintaining distance between their chairs during classes. Students hand-sanitise on the way in and out of college, and are encouraged to wash their hands regularly, and must also follow signage and social distance around the site.
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC, who was also featured in the film talking about how the college was managing the current situation, said: “It was a real privilege to be chosen for this UK-wide campaign which shows not only that it’s possible to return to education safely, but that there is no question that this is what students want too.
“It was a real pleasure to hear how positive our students were about being back on campus even with all the new measures, and really encouraging for the autumn term.
“The last few months have been unprecedented times for everyone, and no doubt we will all have to continue to adapt - however, I am extremely proud of how all our students and staff have risen to the challenge and will no doubt continue to do so.”
In line with DfE requirements, the college is planning for all students to return on a full-time high quality learning programme in the autumn, with this initially expected to involve mainly onsite delivery of lessons, supplemented with some remote learning. Full guidance will be given around hygiene and distancing protocols in and around college to maintain safety.
Enrolment is currently underway for September courses, with this being done mainly online although students enrolling on ESOL, English and maths courses need to enrol on site.
Anyone who has applied online will be contacted regarding an interview to make sure they have chosen the right course, plus provided with details on how to enrol online and, if necessary, invited to enrol on site.
Online enrolment is ongoing but for a full list of dates and times for enrolment on site see: www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk/enrol
To see the DfE film go to https://design102.wistia.com/medias/83lqv4wqvq
Uxbridge College has continued to support its students and local communities in diverse and innovative ways as our country continues to respond to the challenges of the coronavirus.
Between official activity and individual volunteering efforts, the college has been supporting health workers, coronavirus sufferers and other members of the community affected by the outbreak, whilst ensuring it provides maximum opportunities for students through creative adaptations.
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal of Uxbridge College and the merged college group HCUC said: “I continue to be humbled by the sheer commitment and innovation of staff and students in continuing to support their communities and keep learning on track in the face of so much challenge and change. Like individuals, families and organisations across the globe, the college and its students and staff have been seriously impacted by the Coronavirus in so many ways, yet this has brought out the best in many. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for their continuing efforts.”
Activities for the community have included:
* Fashion Technician Marie Emerson, and Creative Studies Attendance Co-ordinator Sue Reeve, have been making scrubs, masks, hats and bags for NHS staff mainly at Watford General and Northwick Park hospitals, local care homes and Bluebird Care over the last 10 weeks. Using donated fabric including unwanted duvet covers - Marie set up a Facebook page to invite donations - they’ve made 275 scrub bags, 45 sets of scrubs, 120 scrub hats, and 310 masks for our critical workers and are continuing to sew. Marie has also made video tutorials and sent out patterns so people can help, as well as taking packs of fabrics and elastics to a few people so they can get involved.
Marie said: “It's been amazing to be able to use my skills to help so many people - it's been a real experience.”
* Harpal Lehal, Head of Apprenticeships and Skills for West Met Skills, the Employer Services arm of HCUC, the merged college group for Uxbridge College and Harrow College, has joined her daughter Carmel and others in collecting material and sewing 200+ scrubs bags for NHS workers as part of the national ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ campaign through the Hillingdon Work Group.
* In response to an SOS call from Age UK HHB (Hillingdon, Harrow & Brent) the college has provided overshoes, face masks, hand sanitiser, aprons and gloves. The PPE items will be used by home visiting teams, community physios and office staff on rotas, all involved in the charity’s work to support elderly people. The items would normally have been used by the college’s Health and Social Care students.
CEO of Age UK HHB Julian Lloyd said: “The last 10 weeks have been phenomenally challenging for Age UK in Hillingdon, as with so many local agencies, we have been doing our best to mobilise efforts to support the most vulnerable members of our society during the pandemic. For older people the key issues have been social isolation, access to food and medications and safe discharge from hospital. Age UK HHB has been providing support to older residents of Hillingdon in all these areas. Critical for our ability to safely support older people has been access to PPE. Uxbridge College offered us PPE free of charge at a time when PPE was like gold dust! This generous support ensured our staff, volunteers and older clients were kept safe whilst we delivered vital relief efforts in the borough.”
* Staff including Dental Nursing Tutor & Assessor Nicole Da Silva and Sue Reeve were among many who signed up as Royal Voluntary Services NHS Volunteers, with tasks including picking up shopping and medication and delivering it, and providing phone support to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sue has also been delivering food packs for Ealing Hospital.
Students and work-based learners such as Apprentices have also continued to learn and serve the community in a variety of ways, including:
* Dental Nursing Apprentice Saranjeet Kaur Soni who was selected to continue work on the frontline as her dental practice remained open as a central hub for referrals from other practices which were closed. Whilst continuing work at The White House Dental Practice in Southall, she has had to learn new methods of working in accordance with new regulations, seeing emergency patients for extractions and first stage root canal treatments referred by surrounding dental practices which are only open for remote triage.
Saranjeet said: “During these unpredictable times, it is sometimes overwhelming and scary to be a frontline worker, as we are getting a lot of exposure and risking not only our health but also the lives of our loved ones at home. However, no matter how hard times are, I am proud to be working in an Urgent Hub as we are helping patients that are in pain and have nowhere else to go.”
* West Met Skills has continued to maintain 654 live Apprentices on their books, with assessments and interviews being carried out remotely including through Zoom video link.
Across the college all areas have continued to provide high quality teaching and learning to students, adapting to the challenges of learning at home. Examples have included:
* Kelisse Whiting was among professional cookery students set tasks to cook full menus at home. The Level 1 - pre-GCSE - student designed and cooked a menu of fire-fried fish, Carribean coconut rice and kidney beans with fruits of the caribbean salsa, and deconstructed pina colada exotic cake for her family. Kelisse will be progressing to Level 2 in September.
* Feedback for Uxbridge College Sixth Form’s online teaching included: “a very high standard, both interesting and challenging, much needed qualities for studying at home.” Video calls were also on offer to go over work and check understanding.
* The college is also setting up a new website to showcase examples of the broad range of creative and academic work produced during the virtual teaching period.
* Uxbridge College has been running a series of Virtual Open Day events during June – for more details visit www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk/opendays
Plans are continuing to support the safe return to campus of as many students as possible in line with Government requirements.
* For information about The Love of Scrubs Hillingdon go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/356884778542439/