The College of West Anglia reached new heights with the number of students who have achieved Norfolk Scholar status.
Norfolk Scholar status is awarded to Norfolk students achieving top grades in A-level or vocational examinations each year and in 2015 no fewer than 224 students achieved this accolade, an increase of more than 25 per cent on the previous year, and far more than any other school in West Norfolk.
Student nurse Caitlin O’Donnell is one example of a successful CWA Norfolk Scholar.
Caitlin is currently studying adult nursing at the University of East Anglia (UEA) having chosen to complete the level 3 nursing and paramedic academy programme at CWA rather than take A levels at sixth form after she’d done her GCSEs at Fakenham Academy.
Caitlin said: “I chose to study at college rather than sixth form as I wanted to study in an environment which allowed for more practical learning and gave me the opportunity of job placements rather than just academic learning.”
Principal David Pomfret said: “It is really encouraging to see so many of our level 3 students achieving high grades, especially in vocational courses.
“Many of these 224 students have gone on to study at university level or have moved into employment.
“Young people and their parents are often under the illusion that they need to study at 6th form in order to go on to university. That is not the case and, in 2015, the college had the largest number of students going on to university from any institution in West Norfolk and Fenland.
“More than 300 of our students went on to higher level study, with many attending top Russell Group universities such as Cambridge, Warwick, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow.
“We also recently saw the release of the government league tables for performance at level 3 (A level and vocational).
“This showed that CWA was the top performing further education college in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire at level 3 in terms of value added scores, which measures the progress students make during their time with us.
“It is important that young people and their parents consider all options after Year 11 and these statistics show that CWA offers a realistic choice for all students, whether they want to take an apprenticeship, pursue a career in a vocational area or follow an academic route to university.”