Students at Bilborough College have been celebrating their results today and are now looking forward to their next steps in education.
This year there was an impressive 99 per cent pass rate at A-Level along with an increase in the proportion of A*-B grades.
Among the students picking up their results was James Hickinbotham (19) of Kirk Hallam. He achieved a B in Drama, C in Performance Studies and a Distinction in BTEC Dance and has secured a place at the University of Derby to study Dance.
James was diagnosed with dyslexia whilst at Bilborough, something he was unaware of before he attended the college.
He said: “The courses were all really challenging but I love a challenge and particularly love performance. I’ve been dancing since the age of seven so I’m really looking forward to studying it at university.
“I was up at 6:30am to have a look at my email to check my results and they were better than I expected. I’ve put everything to the back of my mind during the summer and it was only the other day I remembered it was results day.
“I went through school not realising I had dyslexia. When I got here I did my first Drama assignment and straight away my tutor, Sharon, said she thought I might be dyslexic. I got tested and it was confirmed and it all made sense. Bilborough staff have been great. They put lots of support in place to help me and I can’t thank everyone enough for that. I’m nervous about starting university but also looking forward to it.”
Jasmin Verso (18) of Wollaton received 4 A* grades in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and is going on to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge University.
She said: “I’ve always had a natural ability for maths and enjoyed sciences. I really enjoy those subjects and knew what I wanted to do. I wasn’t quite expecting the results I got but obviously I’m really happy with them.
“I didn’t like waiting for my results. I was shaking this morning and thought I’d have to wait but when I picked my phone up my results were already there. I started thinking about going to Cambridge in year 12. The process to get in was quite daunting. I’m really happy to be in to be in and looking forward to going and living independently. I think the degree will help me develop my skills and I’m thinking about possibly going into finance afterwards.”
Millie Wheeldon (18) from Ilkeston got three A* grades in English Literature, French and History. She will now study English at Cambridge.
She said: “I’ve tried not to think about results day so have been just reading lots of books. I was up really early this morning as I heard the email ping through on my phone and saw that I had secured my place. I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with people with similar subject interests and living independently too.”
Eloise Rogers (18) of Ilkeston achieved an A, B and a C in Electronics, Computer Science and Physics and has secured a place studying Computer Science at Coventry University.
Half way through her A-Levels at Bilborough, Eloise had the upheaval of going into care, living semi-independently as a supported student.
She said: “My results were better than I’d expected. It has been a difficult year for many reasons. I tried not to think about my results too much and this morning even though I had them emailed to me I wouldn’t look at them. I came into college instead to find out.
“I was really nervous but was so happy to see what I’d got. I’ve always been interested in computers and would possibly like to go into teaching at some point. I’m really looking forward to starting university.
“I have experience of living independently having gone from living with my family to a care situation last year. It was a big change for me but I had lots and lots of support, especially from the staff at Bilborough.
“I don’t think I would have achieved the results that I did without that support so I’m really thankful for that.”
Lucas Burgess (18) of Borrowash got three A* grades in Biology, Chemistry and Maths which means he can now study Medicine at the University of Nottingham.
“It was very scary this morning knowing I had my results. Usually I just like to put things off. I wanted to get up, have a shower and have my breakfast but my Mum and Dad really wanted me to look at my results. I wasn’t sure whether I had done enough to get into Nottingham. I needed three A grades so I was still really unsure how it would go until I looked at them.
“Of course when I saw them I was very, very happy. I was shaking; it was more relief than anything. It’s really been on my mind as you spend so much time planning, looking at accommodation and the like but you’re not sure you’ll get what you need to get in.
“I had to go through quite a rigorous process, doing entrance exams and interviews. I also went on work experience. I spent a few days at the Royal Derby Hospital and then a week at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Bilborough, it was the right choice for me and they have been so supportive and given me lots of help with careers advice and helping me get work experience. They have specialist support for people wanting to apply for medicine and I think if that wasn’t there I wouldn’t have known what to do.”
Principal Chris Bradford said: “Along with the rest of the staff team here at Bilborough I’m delighted that once again so many of our students have performed so well. This has to be one of the most important days of the year for us all – students, parents and staff alike.
“When everyone has worked so hard it’s great to see that effort and dedication rewarded with excellent results. Of course, as well a chance to offer congratulations today is also about confirming students’ next steps. We’re wishing all of them well for their exciting futures and offering expert advice to anyone who might want to change their plans either because they’ve done slightly better than they anticipated or in some cases not quite achieved their target grades.”
A total of 52 per cent of grades were A*- B, a rise of two per cent from last year, and over 23% of students on an A Level study programme gained grades AAB or better. The overall pass rate has now exceeded 98 per cent for the 13th consecutive year.
A total of 671 students took A-Levels, including those taking two A-levels alongside a BTEC Diploma. A total of 623 students took three or more A-levels and 74 (or 12 per cent) of these gained three or more A and A* grades.
Pictured: James, Eloise and Millie.


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