A-Level students enjoy superb results despite huge challenges

The Dereham Sixth Form College's Art department has been named one of the top performing teams in th

Students at Dereham Sixth Form College's art department, pictured in 2016. - Credit: Ian Burt

Students across the Dereham and Reepham areas have been celebrating their A-level successes after another challenging year which saw them separated from their peers and teachers for much of the year. 

Dereham Sixth Form College student Leila Guerrero, who achieved excellent GCSE grades at Swaffham’s Nicholas Hamond Academy, today learnt that she had received three A*s in Geography, Sociology and English Literature. 

Leila Guerrero

Leila Guerrero - Credit: Leila Guerrero

“In September, I’m going to the University of Manchester to study Law,” she said.

“In the future, I aspire to be a lawyer - though I’m not entirely sure whether to go down the barrister or solicitor route yet,” she added.

“I actually opened my results on my break at work this morning, and honestly I was shocked when I saw them - I really wasn’t expecting those results - but overall I felt so happy when I saw them, I couldn’t really contain my excitement." 

Reflecting on the year, she said: “Honestly, studying this year was quite difficult, especially mentally.

“Adapting to changing learning environments has proven to be stressful but considering the events in the past year or so, it’s something that myself as a student, and everyone else, has had to overcome quickly.

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“But overall, teachers have been supportive and understanding,” she said. 
DSFC teachers Zoë Galley and Duncan Hone said: We are, as ever, very proud of our students.
“Their hard work and diligence - and that of DSFC staff - has meant another extremely strong set of results."
Helen McGuinness, director of Reepham College said: “As we mark our twelfth year as an Ofsted-rated Outstanding college, we once again celebrate the tremendous results of our students particularly in regard to this year’s exceptional circumstances.
“This reflects two years’ hard work, the excellent level of pastoral and academic support provided by staff, and the unwavering support of their parents.
“Our students start the next exciting stage of their lives as capable, mature, and well-rounded young people.” 
Remarkable results amid testing times

DSFC student Rose Huish-Neave achieved three A*s in Biology, Chemistry, and History.

Rose Huish-Neave

Rose Huish-Neave - Credit: Rose Huish-Neave

“I’m planning to study Natural Sciences at Lancaster University with a focus on ecology and conservation.

“I’m unsure of what I want to do when I graduate, but I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough.

“This year was very different for me,” she said.

“I remember sitting at my desk from morning until night in Zoom calls, trying to make lots of notes, and revising.

“The motivation to revise was seriously low for everyone when we found out exams were cancelled, it kind of felt like ‘what was the point?’.

“My mum was put into a permanent care home at 46 and both my parents were admitted to hospital with COVID. It was difficult looking after a house and revising with my mum’s carers coming in and out of the house four times a day.

“I had Zoom calls with teachers to manage my anxiety and stress and am very thankful, especially to my teachers Simon Russell and Graeme Ashfield.

“I think the isolation helped me in some ways, as I was definitely less distracted by friends but this was often at the expense of my sanity.”