Accrington and Rossendale College celebrates star students and 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate on Results Day 2021

Students from Accrington and Rossendale College are celebrating an outstanding 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate this Results Day 2021.

Many are now ready to progress onto some exciting and career-focused destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment opportunities.

Centre Principal for Accrington and Rossendale College Morag Davis said: “I would like to congratulate the Class of 2021 at Accrington and Rossendale College on their achievements at the end of a challenging academic year.

“We are seeing students progress onto a wide range of positive destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment, and we wish them every success in the future.”

Level 3 Sports Student Becky Holden from Haslingden High, 18, is progressing onto Liverpool John Moores University to study Sport Psychology as she pursues a career as a Sports Psychologist.

She said: “I enjoyed my time at College as the tutors are so supportive and are always there to help if you need it, no matter what it is.

“College was definitely more independent which was perfect for me as it allowed me to work more efficiently and the standard of my work was also significantly better.

“I would recommend Accrington and Rossendale College as it provides students with a wide range of great opportunities. The support you get from the tutors is amazing and they always push you to achieve you best.”

Students looking to study at Accrington and Rossendale College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Nelson and Colne College celebrates extraordinary results following an extraordinary year

Results Day may fall on a different day in 2021, but there is no change in the outstanding results and positive destinations of students who have achieved extraordinary grades at Nelson and Colne College.

The College – one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – has recorded an A Level pass rate of 100% in 2021.

This means the College will gain an ALPs 1 score which measures progress made, the best possible outcome, and this will place it among the very highest schools and colleges in the country. Nelson and Colne College already has the status of being the number one FE College in the country for A Level progress.

The College has also recorded a fantastic 100%* Advanced Vocational pass rate.

At A Level, the overall pass rates show 35.3% achieving A*-A grades,  66.6% high A*-B grades, and 85.6% A*-C. Broken down further, this shows:

Percentage of students who received at least one A*-C = 97%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-B = 86.5%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-A = 55.5%

Once again, the College is seeing students progress to some of the top universities in the country, including Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool and the University of Edinburgh, while other students have successfully gained Apprenticeships and employment.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton said: “I am absolutely delighted for our students. They have worked so hard in such challenging circumstances and it is great to see them achieve the results they deserve.

I would also like to thank our phenomenal tutors who have worked tirelessly, in an unprecedented year, to support our students to achieve their very best.

This hard work and dedication of both staff and students has paid off as we celebrate yet another year of exceptional results.”

Fionnuala Swann, Assistant Principal for Academic Studies at the College said: ‘We couldn’t be prouder of our students’ achievements. They have worked so hard, and it is wonderful to see them secure their dream places at university and other exciting destinations. We wish them all the best for their next steps – congratulations to the Class of 2021!”

Grace McWilliam, formerly of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, achieved A, A*, A* in her A Levels in Government and Politics, Philosophy Ethics and Religion, and Sociology. Grace will now progress onto the University of York to study Social and Political Sciences.

Grace, 18, said: “I have genuinely loved completing my A Levels at Nelson and Colne College and I cannot credit the Social Sciences department enough for instilling a lifelong love of philosophy, sociology and politics within me. Their endless encouragement and support has contributed to my ever-growing reading list.

“Classes are enjoyable, staff are extremely encouraging within classroom discussion, and assignments are relevant and returned promptly with detailed feedback.

“My teachers have shown genuine passion for the content which is infectious as a student and I think the department is unmatched in its subject material, revision resources and teaching staff.”

Jiya Mahmood, 19, formerly of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School achieved Triple Distinction* in her Level 3 Extended diploma in Science. Jiya is now progressing to Keele University to study Forensic Science and Human Biology.

Jiya said: “Studying at an accepting College that supports you in every aspect of your journey has really brought out the best in me. I have made new friends, it has helped secure amazing grades, and it has enabled me to pursue my passion for Forensic Science.

“Nelson and Colne College provides students with many opportunities – I have done the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Police Cadets, I’ve volunteered with the police and completed relevant work experience to my course. I also supported the Science department on open evenings, and would highly recommend studying here to others.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress.

Nelson and Colne College is also the number one college in the country for student satisfaction.

Students looking to study at Nelson and Colne College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Nelson and Colne College announce improved 100% A Level pass rate and increase in high grades following results U-turn

 NCC – the leading FE College in the country for A Level progress – was already celebrating another outstanding year of results, but revised figures now show an even greater performance by its A Level students after the Government’s decision to accept Centre Assessed Grades, where higher, than results already issued.

Revised figures show the number of students achieving A*-A grades has risen by a huge 12 percentage points to 37%. Those achieving high A*-B grades have risen further still by 14 percentage points to 69%, while the number of A Level students achieving A*-C grades has also increased to 91%.

The college has now gained an ALPS 1 score, as a result of the improved grades, placing it among the best of all UK schools and sixth forms for value added performance. This confirms the high-quality teaching, support, care and guidance that students receive at Nelson and Colne College and it means that A Level students at NCC perform better than those at just about any other school or sixth form in the country when starting with the same GCSE grades on entry.

Revised figures show the number of students achieving A*-A grades has risen by a huge 12 percentage points to 37%. Those achieving high A*-B grades have risen further still by 14 percentage points to 69%, while the number of A Level students achieving A*-C grades has also increased to 91%.

The college has now gained an ALPS 1 score, as a result of the improved grades, placing it among the best of all UK schools and sixth forms for value added performance. This confirms the high-quality teaching, support, care and guidance that students receive at Nelson and Colne College and it means that A Level students at NCC perform better than those at just about any other school or sixth form in the country when starting with the same GCSE grades on entry.

Once again, the College is seeing students progress to some of the top universities in the country, including the University of Oxford, University College London, Durham University, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, and the University of York, while other students have successfully gained Apprenticeships and employment.

Bethany Waterhouse, 18, from Trawden, saw both her Biology and Chemistry grades downgraded prior to the U-turn, but she has now been awarded the Centre Assessed Grades of A*A*A in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.

A former student at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, Bethany will switch the chemistry of dance for that of the laboratory as she decided a career in ballet was not her future. She will instead progress on to the University of York to study Chemistry, opening new doors in the science industry.

Bethany said: “I’m much happier with my results now as they are more representative of what I feel I would have achieved had I sat my exams. I was extremely disappointed with Chemistry before the U-turn as that is the subject I am going to study and I was planning to re-sit it to improve my grade before the decision to accept the Centre Assessed Grades was made.”

During her time at College, Bethany was part of a team of three students from Nelson and Colne College who finished third in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s national annual analytical competition in 2019.

Bethany added: “I have enjoyed my time at College because there is a friendly atmosphere, which allows you to develop as a person and narrow your focus onto the university course or career goal which is right for you.

“I would recommend Nelson and Colne College for the excellent student support network and for the staff who are always there to help you. There are also many opportunities available to enhance your studies and enrich your personal statement and CV.”

Assistant Principal for Academic Curriculum at Nelson and Colne College Group Fionnuala Swann said: “I am extremely pleased and grateful that students are now being awarded Centre Assessed Grades. We as a College feel these grades reflect far more accurately the ability of our students and our predictions of what they would have achieved, had they sat their A Level exams in summer.

“It should be highlighted that these updated A Level results are robust results in their own right, and the Centre Assessed Grades have been calculated using rigorous methodology with teacher assessment, and moderation by Heads of Division and the Senior Leadership Team.

“We are exceptionally proud of the Class of 2020, and how they have responded to an unsettling and unprecedented moment in history. We wish them the best of luck as they progress onto their next steps, be it university, an Apprenticeship or employment.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress. Nelson and Colne College is also the number one college in the country for student satisfaction.

LAL launches new FREE fast-track English and Maths courses and Essential Digital Skills offer

Lancashire Adult Learning is supporting the Red Rose County’s workforce to improve their employment prospects with the offer of free fast-track English and Maths qualifications.

The new offer, beginning in September, provides adult learners aged 19+ in Lancashire to complete Level 1 or Level 2 qualifications in just 10 weeks from the comfort of their own homes.

A range of resources, tutorials and 1:1 support from LAL’s expert team is also available to help learners along the way during the 10-week period of study.

Qualifications in English and Maths are highly sought-after by employers and are often crucial in securing employment and providing a stepping stone into sustainable careers.

Complementing LAL’s new fast-track English and Maths offer are brand new Essential Digital Skills courses available to learners across the county, complete with a qualification where needed.

Also free, these courses will equip adults with the digital skills needed for life, work and study. They are designed to cover key digital areas including communicating, handling information and content, transacting, problem solving and being safe and legal online.

Lancashire Adult Learning has extremely high achievement rates with learners on Functional Skills courses. In the 2018-19 academic year, 97.3% learners achieved their Functional Skills Maths qualification with 95.5% successful in Functional Skills English.

In total, in 2018-19 LAL had over 2,700 adults enrolled on to basic skills courses including English, Maths, ESOL and ICT.

Assistant Principal for Adult Learning, Andy Parkin, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to support adult learners right across Lancashire with our new offer of fast-track English and Maths qualifications, which can boost employment prospects in just 10 weeks.

“At LAL, we are committed to supporting people into sustainable careers and ensuring that our learners reach their full potential, become economically active, and help them to become positive members of the communities that they live in.

“I’m equally pleased we are able to support adult learners with courses in Essential Digital Skills – an integral part of the modern working world, as well as daily life.

“Our dedicated team at LAL has demonstrated flexibility and innovation to bring these new courses to adult learners right across the Red Rose County from September, and we are ready to support them in the new academic year.”

Learners can sign up to the fast track English and Maths courses by visiting the LAL website at www.lal.ac.uk, where they will also be able to find out more and register an interest in the new Essential Digital Skills offer.

Those starting on the English and Maths qualifications will not have already achieved a Level 2 qualification in these areas. An online assessment will also be required prior to beginning the fast-track courses.

Adult learners across Lancashire can also access classes and resources through LAL’s website after the organisation completed a switch to online teaching and learning in April.

Included in the activities offered online through the LAL website are Employability, Volunteering, Health and Wellbeing, Family Learning, Arts and Media, Languages and ICT resources, enabling adult learners to enjoy learning from the comfort of their homes.

Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at www.lal.ac.uk or by calling 0333 003 1717.

Accrington and Rossendale College celebrates star students and 100% Advanced BTEC pass rate on Results Day 2020

Students from Accrington and Rossendale College are celebrating an outstanding 100% Advanced BTEC pass rate this Results Day 2020.

Despite an unprecedented year amidst the Covid-19 outbreak,Nelson and Colne College Group – which incorporates Accrington and Rossendale College – saw a 100% pass rate for students completing BTEC qualifications, with a staggering 85% of students achieving high grades.

Many are now ready to progress onto some exciting and career-focused destinations, including university, an Apprenticeship or a job. They include Creative Media Production student Luke Moffat who achieved Distinction* and Double Distinction and is progressing to Edge Hill University to study Film and Television Production.

Luke, 17, formerly of Haslingden High School, said: “I would recommend Accrington and Rossendale College as the teaching and support for students is excellent. The qualification shows that I am suited to media, and as I advance through my education, I will be able to specialise in the industry and I hope to one day become a producer.”

Isaac Bradshaw, formerly of The Hollins, has completed his Auto Electrics qualification at Accrington and Rossendale College and has secured employment at ADS Automotive, in Preston.

Isaac, 18, said: “I’ve enjoyed College – I’ve really pushed myself and I have been given great opportunities here. My tutors have been friendly and supportive. I am working towards becoming a confident and knowledgeable technician.”

Centre Principal for Accrington and Rossendale College Morag Davis said: “Congratulations to the Class of 2020 at Accrington and Rossendale College, who are receiving their grades today at the end of an academic year like never before.

“We are seeing students progress onto a wide range of positive destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment, and we wish them every success in the future.”

Following a successful merger in 2018, Accrington and Rossendale College is now led by Nelson and Colne College, one of the highest performing colleges in the country. Students attending this College can now expect to receive the same quality that is offered at its sister college – including phenomenal teaching, strong industry links, extensive wraparound support and outstanding facilities, following a £4million redevelopment.

For classroom achievement, at all ages and levels, Accrington and Rossendale College now places in the top five colleges nationally. It is also a top 10 college nationally for student satisfaction, and now sits with its partner Nelson and Colne College as number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeships.

Commitment to our College learner and employers is a certainty

It feels rather surreal to be saying we are now officially in the Summer break here at Nelson and Colne College Group, having promptly had to move to remote learning earlier this year following the Covid-19 outbreak.

We marked the end of term at our tenth annual staff Health and Wellbeing Day a couple of weeks ago. The theme this year was ‘Apart but Together’, and we certainly honoured this with an array of Zoom activities, team 10K efforts (socially distanced, of course), and virtual picnics.

Looking ahead, summer is usually defined by celebrating the achievements of our A Level and vocational students who are heading off to university, employment or an Apprenticeship, and welcoming our new starters who are full of excitement about starting life at College, fresh off the back of GCSE Results Day.

Enrolment this year for our new starters is going to be different through an online portal, and we are currently communicating with all our applicants on how this is going to work.

There is one certainty that all colleges can all subscribe to, and that is a commitment that we will be there to support our 16-18-year-old applicants, as well as our adult learners and our employer partners.

Lancashire’s colleges believe that skills will play a vital part in the economic recovery, helping businesses and communities to thrive and that is why we at Nelson and Colne College Group are part of a dozen Further Education and Sixth Form colleges across Lancashire to make a joint commitment to:

  • deliver a wide range of exciting education and training opportunities for adults, from foundation skills to degree-level courses, to develop new skills and further their careers;
  • help young people achieve their full potential and to maximise their future opportunities as they make the transition from school to College;
  • work more closely than ever with employers, ensuring the workforce has the professional and technical skills needed to help businesses bounce back.

Lancashire’s colleges provide the highest quality education and training, critical in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost the local, regional and national economy.

I’m proud that Nelson and Colne College Group is part of sector that provides education and training to over 95,000 young and adult learners each year from entry level to postgraduate, including Apprenticeships, and work with over 10,000 businesses.

Come September, our primary aim is to support our students and Apprentices to get a good start to the year. All students will enjoy face to face learning from the start of their programme and it is essential that we help to settle them into College life as soon as possible so they are able to get the most out of their education and take the next steps towards their career aspirations.

I look forward to welcoming our new starters to College in the new academic year, and in the meantime I wish you a happy, healthy and safe summer break. Amanda.

New vision for the college of the future puts Further Education at the heart of investment and opportunity

A vision for the college of the future putting Further Education at the heart of investment and opportunity has been set out in a newly-published report.

The blueprint, published this week by the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, has been fully endorsed by Nelson and Colne College Group’s Principal and Chief Executive Amanda Melton, who sits on the Commission as representative of College Principals in England.

The report entitled ‘People, productivity and place: a new vision for colleges’ focuses on what the demands and needs will be of colleges in 10 years’ time and the changes that are needed in the sector in order to achieve this.

Issues the Commission has explored include demographic change, the climate crisis, technological revolution, and the changing demands of the labour market – and how colleges can be at the heart of meeting those challenges.

The report is accompanied by a collection of short essays from leading voices from across the education and skills system and case studies about the civic role of colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission, led by the UK’s National Statistician Sir Ian Diamond, believes the college of the future will be central to driving a fairer, more sustainable and more prosperous society:

● For people, colleges will be a touchpoint for everyone throughout their lives as the world changes.

● For productivity, colleges will provide strategic advice and support for employers to drive business change, innovation and future workforce planning.

● For place, colleges will have the resources and funding to play an even greater role in fostering healthy and connected communities.

Amanda Melton said: “For too long colleges in England have not had the recognition and investment that they deserve – representing a tremendous lost potential.

“The UK Government’s FE White Paper for England presents a critical opportunity for boldly affirming the role and mission of colleges, alongside universities, to meet the education, skills and training needs of everyone throughout their lives.

“The infrastructure and expertise are there, we just need to create systemic collaboration with employers and universities and provide colleges with a clearer role. Colleges should be home to training for young people and adults, offering IAG, business support and routes into work, and they must play their part in moulding the future workforce.

“The vision we have launched marks a moment when our sector is saying that, with investment and reform, we can together deliver more for people, productivity and place.”

The Commission is now taking feedback on its vision before publishing its final report in the autumn.

For more information about the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, visit the website at www.collegecommission.co.uk/

Nelson and Colne College Group is one of the leading College Groups nationally and consists of Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning, supporting 20,000 learners annually.

Applicants looking to apply to Nelson and Colne College or Accrington and Rossendale College for a September start still have the time. Visit www.nelson.ac.uk or www.accross.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.

For Lancashire Adult Learning’s wide range of courses, visit the website at www.lal.ac.uk or call 0333 003 1717.

Reopening our doors is a momentous step in the right direction

This week was a momentous week for Nelson and Colne College Group as we reopened our doors at our Nelson campus for the first time since lockdown. This was to a very limited number of students who need essential support or who need to achieve their qualification without disadvantage, and while it was fantastic to see familiar faces in person for the first time in over three months, it was far from a return to normal as our campuses remain closed to the vast majority of students and staff.

It was an important and necessary step, but one taken very carefully after stringent risk assessments in line with the latest guidance. We as a College Group have had to implement strict measures in order for this to happen safely, including sanitising points and social distancing signage throughout the campus, as well as classrooms limited to a maximum of six students.

We are currently busy planning for the new academic year and we are looking to welcome all of our students back after the summer break, but I think it is important to note that students are almost certain to be doing some of their learning online for at least the first term from September onwards.

While this is not ideal and will continue to be a major adjustment to normal circumstances, I am comforted from the feedback and the experiences of our current students who have successfully continued their learning during this period. I am also reassured that our brilliant teaching team, who adapted so quickly after lockdown, have been able to smoothly transition to alternative online delivery platforms to continue providing fantastic teaching and support to our students.

On the theme of alternative delivery methods, staff across Nelson and Colne College Group have been very keen for students not to miss out on our annual New Student Days and the experience these provide our September new starters. We have been working hard to replicate this in an accessible online format, and I’m delighted that this will happen in early July, with students receiving a personalised invitation to attend by email.

To provide the most authentic experience possible, there will be a video welcome from me, an introduction from each student’s respective Head of Division, and a virtual tour of our Nelson and Colne College campus – with interactive campus maps and panoramic photography. Students can also look forward to an exclusive course taster with resources and interactive quizzes, information on our support services and extracurricular programme, a live Q&A chat with our Schools Liaison Team, and more.

I want to finish this month’s column with a thank you to our team at Lancashire Adult Learning, who, since the end of April, have been supporting adult learners across Lancashire with online resources through the website (www.lal.ac.uk) and with a great, wide-ranging series of learning video sessions via Facebook.

With my degree in languages, I’m naturally thrilled that modern foreign languages are now part of the online offer too. Many of us will be enjoying staycations this year, but now could be the perfect time to learn a little French, Spanish or Italian in readiness for the tantalising prospect of a European trip in the not-too-distant future as the lockdown restrictions continue to be eased.

Stay safe and healthy, and arrivederci from me for now. Amanda.

We’ll be a greener and cleaner College Group post-pandemic

One of the striking things about the lockdown period, apart from the magnificent Spring we have been blessed with, is the many things we used to do in daily life that would have had a negative impact on the environment, that we have proven we can do in cleaner and more efficient ways.

The adaptation to using Zoom or having meetings on Microsoft Teams has been a smooth one, and it has brought with it environmental benefits – no travelling across the county, or country, from meeting to meeting. It has also meant a reduction on printing as departments across College have adjusted to the digital sphere, and I have now gone almost three months without printing a document.

Outside of work, I, like many others, have reconnected with nature through walking and cycling, and with World Environment Day on the horizon next Friday, the future of how we operate as a College Group is something that is on my mind.

I recently attended a meeting of the college’s Sustainability Group and I’m delighted that there are some very passionate environmental champions within it. I know last summer, in part as a result of attending Glastonbury, I returned to College with a climate changing fervour. I feel that we have a role to create good citizens, and that means encouraging our young people to care about the planet.

The virus has probably done more to support that cause than anything we could possibly have anticipated. It will be interesting to see how much of our new, more sustainable, behaviour under lockdown can be translated to what happens next, but my fervour to see a greener operating College Group has returned, and I’m encouraging colleagues to preserve the best practices when returning to normal in order to reduce our waste and environmental impact.

During lockdown, we have agreed that as a College Group we will no longer be purchasing any single use plastic bottles of water or other drinks. We will invest in providing additional water refilling stations for our students and staff, and this is essential progress and an overdue step forward.

Additionally, at our Nelson and Accrington campuses, we are undertaking development of wild flower meadows. Students will be involved in creating and maintaining these spaces to encourage wildlife and improve our environmental contribution. We are also considering the procurement of organic cotton clothing for student polo shirts and hoodies to reduce our environmental impact.

I feel re-energised to demand that we consider our sustainability credentials alongside the many challenges we face, and to consider the impact of the decisions we make going forward.

For now, continue to stay safe. Until next month, Amanda.

College life in lockdown


Since my last column, we all find ourselves in unprecedented times, facing challenges that we never planned for, and finding solutions we didn’t think we were capable of in such a short time. I am incredibly proud of the way the College has taken to its new virtual world. Credit has to be given to all staff for their flexibility, innovation and creative approaches to online teaching. 

My thanks also must go to our students, who continue to engage with learning despite the worries surrounding them. As well as those learning from home, right now, we have approximately 150 Apprentices working in care home settings Lancashire-wide, and we are enormously proud of the commitment and dedication they are showing to their future, developing skills and rising to the biggest challenge to face our nation since wartime. 


Many of our other students are taking part in virtual lessons – particularly important for those continuing with us next year – and this year’s leavers, despite their study being abruptly completed, are in touch, as we support them with their next steps after leaving us. Every year we see students progressing to some of the top universities across the country, progressing into employment aligned to their career aims, and taking on Apprenticeships, and while for many students the experience will be different this year, we are doing everything we can to ensure they are presented with the same opportunities.


On the topic of alumni, I have also read with admiration about some of our former Health and Social Work Professions students, who right now are using those skills they started developing at College to save lives on the front line. They truly are our heroes.
 

Of huge importance to us right now is making sure those young people leaving school and heading to college are being well supported and making important and informed decisions about their future studies. We very much remain ‘open’, taking applications, conducting telephone interviews, and supporting our applicants and feeder schools to prepare them for College life as best we can, through regular communication. We are also looking at delivering a virtual New Student Day – more details of which will be shared soon. If you require any information on applying to College, please contact our Admissions Team by emailing admissions@nelson.ac.uk or contacting 01282 440272.

Lastly from me, we are continuing to ensure there are learning opportunities for those looking to develop skills from home and improve their health and wellbeing during this time. For our adult learners, this includes a Business HNC, which can be started immediately – there’s 50% off until September – and a wide range of programmes across Lancashire Adult Learning, more details of which can be found in the accompanying news article.


For now, continue to stay safe. We are all in this together. Until next time, Amanda.

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