Coleg y Cymoedd scheme to boost talented athletes

We are delighted to announce that we are the first FE college in Wales to have achieved the Talented Athlete Scholars Scheme (TASS) Dual Career Accreditation.

This scheme reflects the commitment to ensure that student athletes achieve academic and sporting aspirations without comprising either.

Available to current and incoming learners who perform in any sport, at county, regional, academy, national or international level.

The scheme will provide:-

  • Academic adaptability and flexibility, 
  • Access to a leading qualified and experienced personal development in sport practitioner
  • 1-1 lifestyle and personal development, well-being and welfare support, transition guidance and advice
  • Progression planning
  • Access to facilities and support staff as well as referral where necessary
  • Link building with other local sporting institutions.

For further information about this scheme, contact Alun Davies, Dual Career Coordinator on Alun.davies2@cymoedd.ac.uk

Record breaking exam results at Coleg y Cymoedd

Check out our Success Page for Results Week 2022

After two years of learners receiving their grades at home, Coleg y Cymoedd has welcomed back the return of results day on campus with a bang, rolling out the red carpet for hundreds of learners to arrive on site to celebrate their achievements with classmates and tutors.

The college, which serves learners across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly, has reported high grades across both its academic and vocational courses, with its Nantgarw-based A-level Centre achieving a 99.6% per cent overall pass rate for 2022. There was a 100% pass rate in 20 out of 22 subjects including all STEM subjects, English, History and Geography.

The number of learners achieving A*-C grades is up 28% compared to 2019 – the last time results were based on external exams rather than centre determined grades, as they were during the pandemic. The number of learners attaining the top A* and A grades at A2 has also increased by 22%.

The college has also seen an impressive performance from its vocational learners with over 1,200 learners completing qualifications. While full vocational results have not yet been confirmed, initial indications are that Coleg y Cymoedd will match its usual high levels of attainment for vocational provisions, based on the preliminary results received at the time of writing. 

Success stories from results day include 18-year-old Brooke Pothecary, from Porth, who achieved an impressive three A* grades in English, Drama and Religious Studies alongside an A in the Welsh Baccalaureate, securing her place to study Italian and Japanese at Cardiff University. The A* learner, who is passionate about exploring new places, has developed a love of languages during her travels over the years and dreams of becoming an Italian language teacher in Australia, where Italian speaking staff are in demand.

Brooke Pothecary

Brooke said: “I’m really passionate about languages because I travel quite a lot and know people struggle with the English language. It’s widely expected that everyone knows it globally but that is not always the case, so I try to learn some of the local language whenever I visit somewhere.

“The course at Cardiff University offers me the option to learn more than one language at degree level, and I’m really keen to learn as many as I can, so today’s results might be the first step towards the life of travel I’ve dreamed of.”

Also securing top marks today is history buff, Sam Wiener, 18, from Cardiff, who is set to study history at Warwick – ranked one of the top 10 universities in the UK to study the subject according to the 2022 Times Higher Education tables – after landing 3A*s and a B in his History, English literature, Drama and Psychology A levels.

SAM-WIENER

Sam said: “I’m not sure what I’ll do career wise after university, but I think that’s okay. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to know exactly what you want to do and to have your career planned out early, but that’s not always realistic. I’m looking forward to studying and developing my knowledge in something I’m truly passionate about.  The rest I can figure out along the way – I find that really exciting.”

Flying the flag for Cymoedd’s vocational learners is Maia Thomas, 19, from Methyr Tydfill, who is heading to the prestigious Italia Conti Academy to complete a Cert HE in musical theatre performance after securing a distinction* in her Level 3 in performing arts.

Maia, who has been passionate about performing from a young age, hopes that the one year-full time course, which provides singing, dancing and acting training, will be the first step towards a professional career as a performer within the industry. After completing the certificate, she aims to go on to study a degree at the academy.

Maia Thomas

Maia said: “I have been performing since I was four and have always known that theatre was something I wanted to pursue a career in. The whole industry inspires me and, after doing my GCSE in drama, I knew I wanted to continue my education in performance.

“I’m really excited to head to Italia Conti, which I chose as it is known for nurturing each person, giving them the space to improve themselves. This is something that is important to me as it will let me stay true to myself while learning there.”

Megan James

Also celebrating today is Megan James, 18, from Treharris, who is similarly on the path to an exciting career in theatre and film after becoming the first Coleg y Cymoedd learner to get a place at the London College of Fashion. After bagging a distinction in her Hair, Makeup, and Special Effects Extended Diploma, Megan has secured a spot to study Hair, Makeup, and Prosthetics for Performance at the world-renowned fashion college, whose alumni includes famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo.  

Looking ahead, Megan’s dream is to work on the costume design for period shows and West end stage productions. She said: “Although I would love to work in all parts of the industry and wouldn’t want to limit myself at this stage, I’ve really enjoyed wig making and dressing over the last year, which is another reason why I chose to study in London as I’d love to work on wigs in the big performances on the West End”.

Coleg y Cymoedd grows its own talent

With an increased reliance on I.T. across the college over the past two years, the workload of the IT department has grown immensely and the college has looked to its learners to bolster the team.

Two former learners Daniel Grandon and Ben Joseph studied at the college and are now employed by the college, as part of the IT team, supporting staff and learners across the four campuses.

Ben, aged 20, from Aberdare attended St John Baptist Church in Wales High School and after studying a year of his A Levels he realised this wasn’t the route that suited his learning.

After speaking to family and friends he visited the college and with a good understanding of computing he enrolled on the BTEC Level 3 Computing and Information and Technology course.

This two year course equipped Ben with a range of knowledge and skills from Creative Media, Gaming and Computing; and also helped with his confidence and social skills. The qualification provided Ben with options for his future, whether further studies at university or employment.

Speaking about his studies at Cymoedd, Ben said “The college has many benefits, the range of courses to choose from, the specialised rooms and facilities and extremely supportive tutors who are passionate about the subjects they teach. I would definitely recommend the college, and the course has helped me secure employment, in a busy IT team at the college; which I really enjoy”.

Daniel, aged 21 from Bargoed attended Heolddu Comprehensive school and after completing his GCSE’s felt the need to change the place of studying.  After hearing positive comments about Coleg y Cymoedd, from friends and family he decided to enrol at the college to see what opportunities it would open up for him.

Having a keen interest in computing, fixing problems, finding out how things work and having a general idea of IT, Daniel enrolled on the Level 3 90 Credit Diploma in Information Technology with Welsh Baccalaureate. Following the two year course he went on to complete the Foundation Degree Information Communication Technology.

Commenting on his studies and employment at the college, Daniel said “The course helped me decide what I wanted to do and what path of IT I wanted to follow but I had no clue what I wanted to do after college, I had no set plans. I didn’t want to go to university as I didn’t think it would have been right for me.

The tutors were extremely helpful, each individual lecturer pushed me in the way that I needed to, even finding methods that worked for me. I took on a part-time summer helper job within the IT department to assist with the replacement of computers during the summer break and things have gone on from there. I would 100% recommend studying at Cymoedd to anyone, the IT teaching staff helped me find out what I wanted to do for the job aspects. Studying at the college has impacted me massively as I’ve managed to stay and join an amazing team within IT and begin to build my knowledge with the experienced people around me”.

Aberdare

Wellington Street
Aberdare
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN

Nantgarw

Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff
CF15 7QY

Rhondda

Llwynypia
Tonypandy
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
Hengoed
CF82 7XR

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