Students praised for ‘dedication and perseverance’ as 75% gain top grades in A Level results

A Level results day

Students at City and Islington College (CANDI) celebrated as they overcame the challenges of the COVID pandemic to achieve a fantastic set of A Level results.

CANDI saw 23.2 per cent of students attain A*-A grades and 75 per cent gain A* C grades, with many going on to leading Russell Group universities or degree apprenticeships.

Students did not sit exams this year due to COVID-19 with their grades being determined by teachers’ assessment of their actual evidence-based ability rather than predicted grades.

Among this year’s top performers was Lily Burge-Thomas, 18, who achieved four A*s in Art: Critical and Contextual Studies, Fine Art, Photography and her Extended Project Qualification. She is going to study Architecture at Cambridge University where her mum studied Classics.

Lily said: “I’m totally ecstatic. Honestly, after these difficult two years it feels like all the hard work has paid off, and I’m really excited to be going to Cambridge and continuing my educational journey.

“My teachers have been amazing and really supportive. I came from a school where they really pushed you very hard to CANDI where you had to push yourself and be a lot more self-driven. I don’t know if it was the tough love of my old school or the kindness and support at CANDI but I got the results.”

Eman Ahamed, 18, attained A*s in Maths and Further Maths and an A Computer Science after being rejected by several other colleges. He is going to study Mathematical Computerisation at UCL.

He said: “I’m really grateful to CANDI because they treated me as an individual and not as a just a statistic. From the moment they gave me a chance, I knew I had to take it, it was my turn I had to show my best.”  

Muhsin Mahmud, 18, gained three As in Politics, Media Studies and English Literature and Language and is heading to City, University of London to study Journalism.

He said: “I had a difficult time during COVID with some of my family members seriously ill and in hospital. My teachers were exceptional and it was a privilege to be taken under their wing. The assurances I received from them during that period of deep uncertainty really helped me through it.”

A Level results day also saw the release of results for vocational qualifications.

CANDI runs many vocational courses including Accounting, Animal Care, Art and Design, Beauty Therapy, Business, Childcare, Computing, Digital Media, Engineering, Fashion, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Music, Performing Arts, Public Services and Science.

Freddie Cook, 18, achieved a triple Distinction in his Public Services diploma and is going to the University of Greenwich to study Criminology with Criminal Justice.

He said: “I am looking to work in border security but also considering teaching public services after the positive experience I‘ve had at CANDI. I went through some tough times while studying and my teachers really helped give me the support I needed. For me, CANDI was like a second family.”

CANDI also offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, higher education study and free short courses.

All ESOL courses and vocational courses up to Level 2 are free.

CANDI is part of Capital City College Group (CCCG), which also comprises Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provide Capital City College Training.

This year CANDI launched a new hub offering A Levels at CONEL’s Enfield Centre and is taking applications now for the first cohort to start in September.

Kurt Hintz, Executive Principal of CCCG, said: “We are very proud of the great results of our students after such a disrupted and difficult two-year period. Our students have shown huge amounts of dedication, perseverance and resilience in adversity, which has prepared them well for their future university education and careers.

“We congratulate all of our students on their results and wish them well in their next steps. We would also like to give special thanks to our teachers and support staff who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to secure the life chances of their students.”

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