Another exceptional year of A level and vocational success at The College Merthyr Tydfil


Staff and learners at The College Merthyr Tydfil are celebrating after achieving another year of outstanding A level and vocational results.

The college has maintained its already high standards with an overall A level pass rate of 99.5%. The number of learners achieving grades A*-A has also increased by 4% showcasing the rising quality of teaching and learning at the college.  73% earned A*-C grades, a rise of 3.5% in comparison to the 2017 A*-C pass rate.

In addition the college has also attained a 92% AS pass rate, with an increase of 5% in the number of A grades and an overall 61% A-C pass rate (7% higher than our 2017 pass rate).

Vocational students have also performed exceptionally well in their academic studies, with a record number of phenomenal results across the board. 


Lisa Thomas, new Head of College commented: “This has been another hugely successful and encouraging year for both A Level and vocational qualifications at The College Merthyr Tydfil.  Not only have we achieved a fantastic 99.5% overall A*-E A level pass rate, but we have achieved our highest ever percentage of A*-A passes. At AS level, the number of A-C grades has increased by 7%, showcasing our commitment and determination to deliver an outstanding learning experience. It is also pleasing to see the increasing numbers of our vocational learners who are successfully progressing on to university, showcasing the effectiveness of the support we are providing to help raise levels of achievement, success and progression. This support not only includes that provided by subject tutors but also the specialised support provided by our learner welfare and pastoral teams, including our Additional Learning Needs and Inspire to Achieve Co-ordinators and teams.”

There were jubilant scenes at the college as students collected and opened their envelopes.

One of the college’s top performing students, Rebecca Jackson achieved 3 A*s in Art, English Literature and Government and Politics. Former Afon Taf High School pupil Rebecca, who has aspirations to eventually study a PhD into political literature and become an MP, commented “The highlight of college was spending every day with supportive friends and tutors plus trips with the Art department to galleries in London, Bristol and Birmingham. I particularly enjoyed my Government and Politics and Art courses, which were made interesting by energetic tutors. The extra guidance I received in my interviews for Oxford University was also inspirational.”

Rebecca has been accepted to study Politics at Durham University.

A level science student Bailey Wilmott also achieved 3 A*s in Chemistry, Physics and Maths. Bailey, who has been awarded a scholarship to study Mathematics at Swansea University commented “I am so pleased with my results. The support that I have been given by my tutors has been outstanding.”

Mathematics and Electronics student Owen Bennett also performed exceptionally well achieving an A* in Mathematics, A in Further Maths and an A in Electronics. Owen, a former Afon Taf High School pupil, commented “I have really enjoyed studying Maths, Further Maths and Electronics over the last two years. The tutors for these subjects were brilliant and helped me massively. I am now planning to study Mathematics at Cardiff University.”

Pictured alongside Owen, former  Afon Taf pupils James Hope and Josh Jones also performed exceptionally well. James achieved A s in Biology and Maths and a B in Chemistry and is now heading to study Biomedical Science at Bristol University. Josh achieved grades A, B and B and is now heading to study Maths at Swansea University. 

Kiera Spain, also from Afon Taf High School, achieved an A* in Maths, A in Further Maths and an A in Physics. Kiera has successfully gained a place to study Maths at Exeter University. Commenting on her results, Kiera said “I have really enjoyed doing Maths and Physics. My tutors have been amazing and so helpful when there’s things I didn’t understand. I’m now progressing on to study Maths at the University of Exeter.”

Pedro Caetano, former Cyfarthfa High School pupil, achieved an A* in Electronics and A in Computing. Pedro, who won an inspirational learner award at the college’s 2017 Prize Giving Evening, is now progressing on to study on the BSC Software Engineering degree at Swansea University. Celebrating alongside Pedro, Ffion Saunders achieved an A in Drama, A in Maths and a C in Computing. Ffion is also progressing on to Swansea University to study Mathematics. 

Kacper Wrona, arrived at the college from Poland in the summer of 2017. Kacper not only had to contend with getting to grips with the English language but he also challenged himself with completing 3 A levels in one year. Kacper has performed exceptionally well, achieving an A* in Physics, an A in Chemistry and a B in Mathematics. He is now progressing on to study Chemistry at Cardiff University.


100% of Psychology students passed with 35% of these learners achieving A*-B grades. Amongst these students, former Cyfarthfa High School pupils, Misha Kenning and Megan Lewis achieved A*s and Grace Thomas achieved an A. Grace, who also achieved A*s in Religious Studies and Sociology, will now progress on to University to study Psychology.

Also celebrating alongside their former school friends was Abigail Andrews who achieved A*s in Art and Photography and Sophie Price who achieved an A in her Art and Design course. Other Art and Photography students who performed exceptionally well included Kyle Talag who achieved an A* in Art and Design. Former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School Mia Crimmings also achieved an A in her Photography A level. 

Seren Clancy and Christophe Lehrondel-Davies were celebrating both their fantastic A level results and successfully being awarded a scholarship with DBD. Seren Clancy (former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School pupil) who achieved A’s in Maths, Further Maths and Psychology and Christophe Lehrondel-Davies (former Cyfarthfa High School pupil) who achieved a B in Chemistry and a C in Maths and Physics, will get their accommodation fees paid throughout the duration of their university degree, receive mentoring and advice and have the opportunity to take part in paid work experience at DBD Head Office in Warrington. At the end of their degree, both learners will receive a job offer.

Seren and Christophe pictured alongside Carwyn Chamberlain, Graduate Engineer at DBD and Mark Richards, Head of Science at The College Merthyr Tydfil. Commenting on their A level results, Graduate Engineer and ex Afon Taf pupil, Carwyn Chamberlain, said “DBD are dedicated to encouraging pupils showing talent for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at school. As a Merthyr boy myself and ex-Afon Taf pupil, I am delighted to see the excellent success and achievements of the students. I’m really looking forward to working with the college over the next few years to encourage and reward learners looking to progress into a career within the STEM sector”


Rachel Mahoney a former pupil at Cyfarthfa High School, achieved an A in History and a B in Maths, enabling her to successfully progress on to study Law at Swansea University. Rachel commented “I have through enjoyed working with all of my tutors throughout my time in college. Their support was so important for me to be able to my best and the level of understanding they all showed towards me was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better.

Budding vet David Dalley (former Cyfarthfa High School pupil) achieved an A* in Biology and an A in Chemistry. David commented ““I am so happy with my results and can’t wait to start my degree course. I have loved every minute of my time at the college and would like to thank my tutors for all of their help and support.” He will now progress on to study Veterinary Science at Glasgow University.

Former Cyfarthfa High School pupil Isobel Jones achieved a fantastic 3 As in Biology, Chemistry and Maths and is off to study Medicine at Southampton University.  

Humanities students achieved excellent results across the board.  Amongst the high achievers, Cerys Kirby (past Cyfarthfa High school pupil) achieved an A* in English Literature and an A in Religious Studies.

Finn Starkey, former Brecon High School pupil, achieved an A in Geography and a B in Chemistry and Biology. Finn will now progress on to study a Biology degree at Bristol University. Celebrating alongside Finn, Mathew Roderick, also from Brecon High School, achieved an A* in History, an A in Business and a B in Geography.

Katherine Hunnisett, former St John The Baptist pupil, achieved an A in History and a B in Law.

Sophie Brook-Thomas, past pupil at Cyfarthfa High School, achieved a B in Geography and Maths and an A in Biology. Sophie is now heading to the University of South Wales to study Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Zuzzanna Gwozdz, past Bishop Hedley Catholic High School pupil, achieved a fantastic grade A in English, A in Maths and B in Psychology and is off to study Psychology at Cardiff University. 

Sociology students were also celebrating some fantastic results with 100% of students achieving a grade A*-C. Seven learners achieved grades A*-A. Alys Wainright, former Brecon High School pupil achieved an A in Sociology, an A in Chemistry and a B in Biology.

Creative Industries Drama students were celebrating a 100% pass rate with 60% gaining grades A-B. Amongst those achieving a high grade, Ffion Saunders achieved an A and Naomi Linahan achieved a B. Naomi, a former Penydre High School pupil, is now progressing on to study Theatre and Drama Studies at the University of South Wales.  

The college’s Business students also achieved excellent results with 100% of students achieving a grade A*- D respectively. Ellie Burr, achieved an A in Business, B in Maths and a B in Welsh.

AS students also excelled with many achieving A grades across the board. Former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School student Lucy McKeon achieved an A in Sociology and a B in Psychology. Lucy was one of 27 students to achieve an A grade in AS Sociology – a phenomenal achievement.

To cap off two years’ hard work, that that has included amongst other things, representing the college cricket team and winning the Welsh Colleges regional competition, past Brecon High School pupil Daniel has another success to celebrate - his fantastic results.

Daniel, along with fellow students James Evans (former Penydre High School pupil) and Gareth Evans, past Aberdare Community School pupil, achieved a triple distinction star in their BTEC L3 Public Services course. 

Daniel, commented “I have enjoyed my time at the college. My course has been very varied and interesting and part of the course helped me to decide on my next career move. I am now looking forward to progressing on to study Criminology at Birmingham City University.”

Amongst other BTEC level 3 learners celebrating their achievements, Kate Gibson was celebrating her outstanding D*D*D* results on our BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science. Kate, who previously studied at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, commented “The BTEC Applied Science course suited my way of learning as the knowledge learnt was supported and reinforced by practical tasks. The support I received from the dedicated staff and college’s Bilingual Champion throughout the course was excellent and this eased the transition from a Welsh medium school into the college. This has helped me to achieve my goal of studying Physiotherapy at Cardiff University in September.”


Our second year General Dynamics Engineering apprentices Aaron, Niall, Rhys and Connor achieved double distinction stars, and will now progress further on their apprenticeship by combining studying one day a week on the HNC in Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Wales and four days in the General Dynamics workplace.

Outdoor Sports student Joshua O’Dea achieved a double distinction and has now successfully progressed on to an apprenticeship with Parkwood Outdoors.

BTEC Level 3 Sports also excelled across the board. Amongst those celebrating, Emily Nicholls, past Cyfarthfa High School pupil achieved a triple distinction in her BTEC L3 Sports course. She's successfully been accepted to study Sports Coaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University. 

Chloe Coombes, former Penydre High School pupil also achieved a triple distinction star enabling her to progress on to study a Sports degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University. 

Also celebrating alongside Chloe and Emily, were former Cyfarthfa High School pupils Dylan Davies and Liam Davies. Both of them achieved Distinction stars and are now progressing on to Sports Degrees. 


BTEC Level 3 IT student Jac Roache, a former pupil of Penydre High School, successfully achieved a D*D*D, providing him with the UCAS points he requires to progress on to study Computer Science at the University of South Wales.  

Jac commented “I am really thankful to the college for all the help and support they have given me the past two years and the opportunities that they have granted me and I would really recommend the course to anyone interested in Computing or Information Technology.”

Alongside Jac, students Dominic Berrington (past Cyfarthfa pupil) and Ryan Morris (past Penydre pupil) were also celebrating distinction star results in their BTEC Level 3 IT. 

Level 3 Hairdressing staff and learners are also celebrating after excellent pass rates. Hairdressing student Kate Delahay was very happy with her results. Kate has had a great year at the college and has participated enthusiastically in all of the hair and beauty enrichment activities, being awarded second place in the college’s annual Avant Garde Cut and Colour competition. She has now gained permanent employment at Diva Hair Salon.

Students studying on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Health and Social Care also achieved a number of distinctions across the board, rounding off an exceptional year of successes.

Sophie Jones, past Rhymney comprehensive school pupil, achieved D* D*D* in her BTEC L3 Health & Social Care.

CACHE Level 3 learners also achieved some fantastic results across the board. Georgia Jones, past Brecon High School pupil, achieved an A and 2Bs and has been successfully accepted to become a Norland Nanny. Well done Georgia!


Level 3 BTEC Business learner Ryan Bagshaw, achieved D*D*D* enabling him to progress on to the University of Staffordshire to study Event Management. Ryan, who previously studied at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun contributed fully to college life, taking part in a range of enterprise and enrichment activities to support his studies. Also celebrating alongside Ryan, was Kaiser Lee and Wesley Nig. Wesley, who transferred over to the college from St John The Baptist, is progressing on to study Business Management at Swansea University.

Kaiser, former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School pupil, achieved a triple distinction star in his Business course and is now progressing on to the University of South Wales to study Computer Science.


Dagmara Walczak, past Bishop Hedley Catholic High school pupil, achieved a triple distinction star in her Level 3 BTEC Business course. Dagmara is now progressing on to the Network 75 programme to study Business Management


Brother and sister Samuel and Lois Rossiter, both achieved a triple distinction star, providing them with the results they need to progress on to the college’s Foundation Degree in Business Studies.

Head of Business, Simon Evans, commented, “This is an exciting time for Business at The College Merthyr Tydfil. These results are the icing on the cake for the department which has gone from strength to strength over the last year. We hope that these fantastic results, together with our outstanding student support and enhanced course portfolio will help us attract even more students for 2018 entry.”

Retiring Principal John O’Shea, commentedThis is the fifth year on the run that our A level and vocational students have achieved outstanding academic results. These results reflect the high quality and inspirational teaching and learning and outstanding pastoral support that we provide at the college, but also the hard work and efforts of our staff and the students themselves. We say with confidence that we provide a first class learning experience for all our students and these successes and outcomes demonstrate this. Everyone has done exceptionally well. I am so proud of them and wish them all the very best for their future.”


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