Double gold success for A levels at The College Merthyr Tydfil


Double gold success for A levels at The College Merthyr Tydfil

17 August 2016

Embargoed until 8.00am, Thursday 18th August

The college Merthyr Tydfil is celebrating a double gold success in true Olympic fashion after achieving a 99% A level pass rate for the second year running and a 3% rise in the percentage of students achieving grades A* and A grades. 

In addition the college’s AS pass rate has also increased to 91% - an increase of 6% on our 2015 pass rate.

Vocational students have also performed exceptionally well in their academic studies, with a record number of phenomenal results across the board.  Of the 561 Level 3 vocational learners who successfully completed their studies, 91% successfully passed with 57% achieving a pass grade, 20% achieving a merit and 23% achieving a distinction. Of this 23%, 13% achieved a triple distinction star – the highest grades possible. In addition, the college achieved a phenomenal 100% pass rate across nine vocational areas, including Barbering, Travel and Tourism, Performing Arts, Music, Business, Art and Design, Outdoor Sport, Public Services and Access to Higher Education.

Principal John O’Shea, commented “These results reflect the high quality teaching and learning and outstanding pastoral support that we provide at the college, but also the hard work efforts of our staff and the students themselves. They are the icing on the cake in what has been an exceptional year of achievements for the college, which include amongst other things, being shortlisted for the Times Education Supplement Further Education College of the Year 2016 - a fact reinforced by these latest results. I would like to congratulate each and every one of our students. Their results showcase the value added that the college is providing across Merthyr Tydfil and the surrounding area. I am so proud of them and wish them all the very best for their future.”


A Level Science students achieved a remarkable 100% pass rate, with 17 students achieving a grade A and 13 students achieving a grade A*.  Student Rachel McKeown is celebrating after achieving 3 A*s and an A in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Science. Rachel, who has been accepted to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge University will become the first person from Merthyr Tydfil to be accepted to read Science at Cambridge.

Rachel who previously studied at Afon Taf High School and lives in Aberfan, commented “I am elated 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.”


Science student Leah freeman also performed exceptionally well and has successfully been accepted to study Veterinary Science at the University of Surrey.

Other Science and Mathematics students also achieving fantastic results were Ben Hooper, Connor James, Kate Rees, Skylar May, Victoria Maidman and Angharad Hegarty.

Victoria Maidman has successfully gained enough points to be accepted to study Medicine at Cardiff University making her the first ever student from the college to progress into medicine. This is an excellent achievement for Victoria who is a former Cyfarthfa High School pupil.


Ben Hooper and Connor James, former Penydre students, both achieved A’s in Physics and Chemistry and an A* in Mathematics. Skylar, also a former Penydre High School pupil, achieved 4 A’s in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics and will now go on to study Biomedical Sciences at Reading University.


Kate Rees, who previously studied at Cyfarthfa High School, achieved 2 A*s and 2 As to secure a place to study Pharmacy at Bath University. Angharad Hegarty, former Penydre High School pupil has also successfully been accepted to study Pharmacy at Bath University.



Cameron Lewis, a former Bishop Hedley Catholic High School pupil, achieved an A* in Applied Science, an A in Mathematics and English and a C in Physics. Cameron, who is pictured below, is now planning to go on to study Civil Engineering at Bath University.

The college’s Business students also achieved excellent results with 80% of students achieving a grade A*C respectively. Rhys Toseland and Jacob Lloyd-Evans both achieved A grades. Rhys, a former Afon Taf High School pupil, will now progress on to study Accountancy at the University of South Wales.

Amongst some of the college’s high achievers, Humanities student Rhys Godfrey achieved 2 A’s in Geography and History and a B in Law to secure a place to study Law at Cardiff University.

Head of Humanities, Susan Taylor, commented “Rhys has been an excellent student, he is brilliant academically and has a wonderful attitude and work ethic.”

Lewis Rees also achieved an A in Geography and a C in Computing.

Jessica Cahalane is also celebrating after achieving A’s in Religious Studies and History and a B in English. She will now progress on to study Nursing at Cardiff University.

Sociology and Psychology students also performed particularly well. Sociology student Rhys Evans is looking forward to studying Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University after achieving an A* in Sociology and a B in Psychology. 

Sociology and Psychology student Grace Jenkins achieved an A* in Psychology, and A in Sociology and a B in Law. The former Cyfarthfa High School pupil will now progress to

Psychology student Jessica Clement has been accepted to study Psychology at Exeter after achieving an A* in Art, A* in Psychology and a C in Biology.


Art and Design student Eleanor Dalley and Photography student Curtis Reed also performed really well, achieving A grades. Curtis a former Aberdare Boys School pupil will now progress on to study Fashion Photography at the University for the Creative Arts. 


AS students also excelled with many achieving A grades across the board. Former Cyfarthfa High School pupil Elliott Phillips and former Bishop Hedley pupil Georgia Hewitt both gained 4 A grades and are now looking forward to progressing on to their A2 studies with us.


In addition to her excellent academic achievements, Georgia has also successfully taken part in a number of additional STEM opportunities and initiatives, including gaining a place on Oxford University's UNIQ summer school for medicine for 2016 and successfully beating off competition from over 3,800 other students to get on to the Sutton Trust US summer-school programme at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


To cap off two years’ hard work, that that has included amongst other things, being elected as Chairperson for the college’s Learner Assembly, becoming a Junior British Air Rifle Champion being scouted by the Welsh Air Rifle Squad, becoming part of the development programme for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, being named as the British College’s Sports Award – Runner up ‘Sports Performer of the Year’ in 2015 and 2016 and becoming a Gold Young Ambassador, Outdoor Sports student Jesse Frost has another success to celebrate; her fantastic results. Jesse, who achieved a double distinction star despite only being predicted to achieve a double pass, said “I am really so happy with my results. I have got what I need to pursue my ambition and go on to study Sports Conditioning at Cardiff Metropolitan University.”