PETER Symonds College has hailed its students for their A Level results.

As hundreds of students were eagerly awaiting there results, the college reported a pass rate of 98 per cent, slightly down on 99 per cent last year.

The college said in a statement: "We are immensely proud of our students and of their examination achievements published today. These results are being awarded under extraordinary circumstances and not circumstances that any of us would have chosen. However, it is important to recognise and celebrate the hard work and commitment of our students over the 18 months of their study with us.

"Whilst concerns about this years’ process for the awarding of grades are well known, today at Symonds is about celebrating our students’ considerable achievements and ensuring that they are in a position to progress. The last minute announcements regarding changes to the appeals process will have been deeply unsettling for many students and parents at a particularly challenging time, so our priority is to help them navigate the routes open to them so that no student is disadvantaged by this year’s extraordinary circumstances.

Principal Sara Russell said: “In some ways this year’s results are results like no others, but just as in any other year, the students have every right to be proud of what they have achieved, and what they will now progress to do.

“It will remain a source of huge regret for us that we have not been able to celebrate these results with the students in person. Class of 2020, we are extremely proud of you and your determination.”

A level results for 2020 at Peter Symonds College are as follows: pass rate 98 per cent; Grades A*-C 81 per cent; Grades A*-B 60 per cent.

Student stories

Student Olivia Mongomery has a place to study Psychological and Behavioural Science at Magdalen College, Cambridge. Olivia, who studied A levels in English Literature, Psychology and Sociology, was entirely home-schooled up until she began her A levels, and had never sat a formal exam until she started at Peter Symonds.

She said “My first few months at Peter Symonds were a steep learning curve after being self taught for five years. The teachers cultivated an environment in which we were all encouraged to debate our ideas such that no one would become too complacent with their own biases. This provided lots of fresh ideas and approaches to topics which really helped stimulate my own thought processes.”

Sara Al Soodi, who moved to the UK at the age of 10 and spoke little English, is also celebrating fantastic results and a place to study History at Oxford.

Here are the main figures in this year's national A-level results:
- The proportion of candidates receiving top grades is the highest on record. A total of 27.9% of entrants scored either an A or A*, up from 25.5% in 2019.
- Some 9.0% of entrants received an A*. This is another record high, and is up from 7.8% last year.
- The overall pass rate (grades A* to E) was 98.3% - again, another record high. It is up from 97.6% in 2019.
- Some 78.4% received a C or above, up from 75.8% in 2019 and the highest since at least 2000.
- Girls have extended their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of girls who got A or higher was 28.4%, 1.1 percentage points higher than boys (27.3%). Last year, girls led boys by just 0.1 percentage points (25.5% girls, 25.4% boys). Boys briefly took the lead in 2017 and 2018, following a long period in which girls had been ahead.
- The gap between the best-performing boys and girls has fallen slightly. The proportion of boys who got A* was 9.3%, 0.5 percentage points higher than girls (8.8%). Last year, the gap was 0.7 points.
- The most popular subject this year was maths. It was taken by 94,168 entrants, up 2.5% on 2019.
- Psychology was the second most popular subject, overtaking biology. It was taken by 65,255 entrants, up 1.0% on 2019. Biology slipped to become the third most popular subject, taken by 65,057 entrants, a fall of 6.0%.
- ICT (information and communications technology) saw the biggest drop in candidates for a single subject with more than 1,000 entrants, falling by 15.3% from 1,572 to 1,332.
- Computing saw the biggest jump in candidates of any subject with more than 1,000 entrants, rising by 11.7% from 11,124 to 12,426.
- There were 780,557 A-levels awarded, down 2.6% on last year's total (801,002) and the lowest number since 2004.