Teenagers across the borough celebrate A-level success

Winstanley College students Sophie and Ellie celebrate
Winstanley College students Sophie and Ellie celebrate

Hundreds of borough teenagers were celebrating today as annual A-levels day came round again.

Nationally more than one in four entries scored at least an A grade this year as the proportion of exams awarded the highest results rose for the first time in six years.

Our photographer caught up with students at Winstanley College first thing and it is an establishment which can once more expect to be high on the national league table as far as top grade performances are concerns.

There were also many successes at St John Rigby College in Orrell, the Deanery Sixth Form in Wigan and Astley St Mary’s High.

National figures show that 26.3 per cent of A-level entries scored an A* or A this summer, up 0.5 percentage points on 2016.

It is the first time the A*-A pass rate has risen since 2011.

The rise comes amid major changes to the qualifications, with the first grades awarded in 13 subjects that have been reformed, with a move away from coursework and modular exams throughout the course, making them more challenging for students.

The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) also show boys have pulled further ahead at the highest grade while girls remain ahead in terms of A*-A grades.

The statistics, for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, also show:

The overall A*-E pass-rate has fallen by 0.2 percentage points to 97.9 per cent;

The proportion of entries awarded the highest result - A* - has risen 0.2 percentage points to 8.3 per cent;

Among the 13 reformed subjects only, results are down slightly compared to the equivalent subjects in 2016.

When comparing 18-year-old results, the proportion of A* grades for these courses is down 0.5 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, A*-A grades have dropped 0.7 percentage points to 24.3 per cent and A*-E results have fallen 0.5 percentage points to 98.1 per cent.

The 13 reformed subjects are: art and design, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, English language, English language and literature, English literature, history, physics, psychology and sociology.

Figures showed a huge spike in the number of entries for a small range of subjects, including computing, with a 33 per cent rise in the number of A-level students sitting the exam in 2017, compared with last year. This included a 34 per cent increase in female students - 816, up from 609 in 2016.

There was a 12.8 per cent increase in the number taking political studies, and a 1.7 per cent rise in those taking Spanish at A-level.

But there were dips in the take-up of other languages - with a 2.1 per cent drop in those doing French and a 4.7 per cent decrease in students sitting German.

Elsewhere, entries for history - one of the most popular A-levels by number of students - fell by 8.1 per cent.

Data showed a 3.3 per cent increase in entries for maths, but there was a significant drop in those sitting English.

This included a drop of 10.2 per cent in English language, 4.7 per cent for literature, and 11.1 per cent for the combined English language and literature subject.

Overall, entries for English subjects saw a 7.2 per cent decrease.

For a full round-up of success stories and results see Friday’s Wigan Post and next week’s Wigan Observer.