As students celebrated their success after a challenging two years of sixth form, they had the opportunity to receive a Covid vaccine from a pop-up vaccination centre at Excelsior College. 

August 11th, 2021 | Photo by Alan Sill

As students came in to collect results, the NHS provided a pop-up vaccination centre, 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. 

Year 13 students saw success in their A-levels and Level 3 qualifications after significant disruption to their education over the past two years, due to the pandemic. The 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 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 Cuthbert’s Healthcare and two students, both named Marius Calin have secured IT apprenticeships within Laidlaw Schools Trust. Three more pupils, Carlie Spearman, Shazza Sakout and Bethany Black have all been employed by local sector business, Merit Healthcare. 

Excelsior Academy Principal, James Andriot, said: “Our sixth form students have shown grit and stamina to achieve these grades despite the challenges they have faced. They have reaped the rewards as they progress onto exciting and valuable opportunities. 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”.  

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.”