Results day success at Coleg y Cymoedd


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Coleg y Cymoedd is celebrating another year of strong A-level and vocational results which will see learners head off to study at some of the best universities across the country.

The South Wales 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 100 per cent overall pass rate for 2021 across all 21 of the college’s subject areas including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Welsh and French.  

The number of learners attaining A*/A grades at A2 has also increased by seven per cent compared to last year. The results continue a trend of improvement for Coleg y Cymoedd, following three successive record-breaking years at the college. 

As well as exceptional A-level Results, the college has also seen an impressive performance from its vocational learners with over 4,200 learners completing qualifications during 2020-2021.

The last academic year saw the college once again adapt its teaching and pastoral care practices to support leaners with online lectures, virtual catch ups and continual check ins during coronavirus lockdown periods before learners returned to campus for a blend of in-person and virtual learning from April.

This year’s results have seen learners secure places at some leading UK universities. Successes include Leah Morgan, 18, who achieved an impressive four A* grades in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics, securing a place at Swansea University to study nuclear medicine.

Leah, from Bedwas, sadly lost two grandparents to cancer, but is now looking forward to her studies with the help of an NHS Bursary which will see her learn to work with radiation therapy to treat cancer patients as well as those suffering from neurological conditions. Such was her commitment to her chosen career, Leah even decided against applying for a place at the University of Oxford despite her amazing results.

She said: “I’d developed a love of science through school, and for the last few years I’ve wanted to work in a field that deals with cancer. My two grandparents had cancer which opened my eyes to it, before they unfortunately passed away.

“There’s only two places in the UK that do my course, so it’s a really niche subject. I thought about Oxford, but it would not be for the specific course I wanted to do. Nuclear medicine is really tailored to me.”

Leah is one of a few people in Wales to be chosen to receive a bursary to study the course, with her tuition paid for by NHS Wales and the Welsh Government, and a job guaranteed at upon completion of her degree.

Also securing top marks is Ciara Bibey, 19, from Maerdy, who will head to the University of Birmingham to study Dental Hygiene and Therapy after receiving two A*’s in biology and psychology and two Bs in chemistry and Welsh baccalaureate following a busy academic year.

As well as contending with the interruptions and uncertainty of the pandemic over the last year, Ciara also balanced college studies with a part-time job at McDonald’s where she worked to train new staff to help keep her community fed at a time when the restaurant was one of the only few open.

She said: “I was working full-time in McDonald’s while I was studying where I was responsible for training new crew. As we were one of the only restaurants open at one point, everyone was coming to us, so we had to get in loads of new staff and it was really busy. Trying to juggle shifts with college work was quite hard but worth it and my tutors were all really supportive.

“I’ve always wanted to do something with dentistry, but didn’t want to be an actual dentist because of the five years it takes at university. I was speaking to my orthodontist who said his wife was a dental hygienist and therapist and loved her job. I researched it and thought ‘I want to do that’.”

Flying the flag for Cymoedd’s vocational learners is Maria Francis Jones 18, originally from Llanidloes, Mid Wales, who has gained a contract with Manchester City Women’s Football Team alongside a place at Manchester Metropolitan University after completing a Level 3 in Sport, gaining two distinctions and merit. Maria was part of the college’s Elite Female Football Academy in partnership with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

Also celebrating success is Sarah Clode, 19 from Upper Church Village, who has landed a place at the prestigious Italia Conti Acting Academy in London after gaining a triple distinction in Level 3 Performing Arts.  Sarah hopes to pursue a career in TV and Film acting.

While learners have had the option to receive their grades virtually, results day has seen hundreds of them reunite on campus to celebrate their achievements with classmates and tutors. Teams of staff have been on hand to offer learners support, respond to calls and answer any queries on the day.

Karen Phillips, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We are enormously proud of our learners and staff who worked exceptionally hard this year in exceedingly difficult circumstances.

“I have been particularly impressed by the level of maturity and resilience demonstrated by our learners – I am sure that the experience of this year and the dedication they have shown to completing their education with us, will ensure their success as they progress to the next stage – whether that is university, a job or an apprenticeship.”

Established in 2013, Coleg y Cymoedd’s A-level Centre offers learners the choice of over 20 AS and A-level subject options. Coleg y Cymoedd is the largest post-16 education provider across Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Results day success at Coleg y Cymoedd



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