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Congratulations to all our Year 13 students for their success in A-levels and Level 3 qualifications after significant disruption to their education over the past two years, due to the pandemic. Our students have shown determination and resilience as they have faced multiple lockdowns and learning from home, as well as many being forced to isolate and some even suffering from Covid during their studies. 

Staff and students have both worked hard to adapt to new ways of working and learning, and our staff have been dedicated in their support, ensuring every student can achieve their goals and potential. 

The grades awarded are fair and accurate reflections of student performance and have been subject to a robust internal and external moderation process.  Many students are going to use these results to progress to a range of different and exciting routes in their education journey.

As always a large number of our students will be progressing to university. Among those going on to degree level study, Daniel Tierney is going to continue his love of maths at Newcastle University, Habibullah Shaphal is going to study accountancy at the highly competitive Durham University and Nelly Ochebiri is moving slightly further away as she progresses to Nottingham University to study Criminology.  

Excelsior College pupils also progress on to a variety of apprenticeship and employment opportunities. Among these, Anna Dunnova has secured an apprenticeship with St Cuthberts Healthcare. Three more pupils, Carlie Spearman, Shazza Sakout and Bethany Black have all been employed by local sector business, Merit Healthcare. 

Laidlaw Schools Trust also has a long tradition of offering apprenticeships to hard working and deserving students.  This year two young people, both called Marius Calin, have secured IT apprenticeships in the Trust and will be supporting Excelsior Academy and other schools in the Trust with our developing digital strategy. 

Excelsior Academy Principal, James Andriot, said: “Despite the challenges faced by these students during their Sixth Form studies, they have shown grit and stamina to achieve their grades and will be rewarded by going on to many exciting and valuable progression routes.  Under the exceptional leadership of Mr Smith and his team, our Sixth Form is thriving and has real impact in helping our students to achieve. As well as wishing our onward travelling students all the very best for the future we look forward to welcoming the new starters in September”.  

In addition to celebrating their results, students, staff and the whole community had another exciting opportunity on the day. The NHS provided a pop up vaccination centre at Excelsior Academy, enabling students to receive their Covid Vaccine prior to starting university and employment in September. As a community hub, Excelsior Academy also provided the opportunity for staff, families of students and anyone in the local community to drop in and receive their first or second jab. 

Ian Simpson, CEO of Laidlaw Schools Trust said, ‘We are incredibly proud of all of our students, who have overcome a difficult two years, for their success today. They have secured an exciting range of opportunities, from university studies, to apprenticeships and employment. I’m also pleased that we have been able to work with the NHS to allow our students to receive the vaccine ahead of their next steps, and to extend this opportunity to the local community.’