A brave student has defied a life-threatening illness to accomplish four top grades at A-level.
Aisling Lyle, 18, has suffered from rare pulmonary hypertension since she was 13 and was forced to overlook a month of faculty in her first term.
Despite this, she scooped an excellent A* in textiles, A in history, B in English literature and B in drama at Varndean College, Brighton.
Courageous Aisling was not alone in overcoming adversity to secure top grades.
Tom Woodward, 18, underwent three rounds of chemotherapy in the midst of his exams after being diagnosed with testicular cancer over Easter.
The Brighton College student went directly to achieve an A* in psychology and As in history and English to secure an area at Bristol University.
Aisling and Tomwere most of the thousands of A-level pupils in Sussex to be celebrating yesterday.
Sussex schools maintained their high pass rates, but top marks have slipped, per the national average.
Aisling told The Argus she now desires to become a teacher after being inspired by her grandparents.
She said: “I just can’t believe I got the grades especially as I missed lots to visit hospital appointments in London or for blood tests after which it may be exhausting then having to meet up with college work while being ill.
“Both my grandparents were history teachers and i’m so grateful to my teachers for the support they’ve given me.
“I think that has sort of inspired me to need to become a teacher.”
There isn’t a cure to Aisling’s condition and he or she must constantly have medication pumped into her heart through a tube.
The serious condition can damage the proper side of the guts, making it less efficient at pumping blood across the body and getting oxygen to the muscles.
She said: “It really affects my breathing and my heart can’t take an excessive amount of pressure and doesn’t function normally.”
Aisling is applying to Warwick University to read history in September 2014.
She added: “I would like to take a while out over the following year to target seeing my family and focus on my music.”
Rugby player Tom, of Lewes, told The Argus of the strain of tackling cancer and his exam.
He said: “It was pretty stressful but i did not have any choice and that i just needed to get on with it.
I’m pretty relieved now.
Celebratiing “I were given the all-clear and that i just must have check-ups done every three months.
“It wasn’t too bad because I had the chemo round my exams.”
School-leavers were celebrating yesterday after receiving above average A-level pass rates.
A standard of 98.74% within the city received passes within the exams – higher than the national average of 98.1%.
Greater than half grades achieved by A-level students in Brighton and Hove schools and colleges were inside the top grades A*- B range.
But per national trends the choice of students getting top marks fell.
While BHASVIC managed a 2% increase in pupils getting A*-B grades, Blatchington, Cardinal Newman and Varndean all recorded decreases.
Independent schools maintained impressively high standards with 100% pass rates and increases in top marks.
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA), that is undergoing a prime transformation, posted a 95% pass-rate, the bottom within the city.
Paul Shellard, Brighton and Hove secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “We would say the best way A-levels had been rubbished recently isn’t helping to nurture young people’s potential.
“I’m not likely surprised by the drop because loads is as a result political interference.
“It appears to be practicing an agenda and about doing something quickly and never in keeping with what the community and professionals want.”
The percentage of top grade A-levels has now fallen for the second one year in a row.
The most recent drop comes amid rising numbers of teenagers taking A-levels in science and maths – which was suggested because the explanation for the drop.
The University of Sussex said it was demanding better grades from students this year.
A spokeswoman said: “The A-level grades we ask for at Sussex have risen year on year because the quality of our intake has risen.”
STUDENTS IN A CATEGORY IN THEIR OWN
Thousands of pupils were waiting nervously for his or her A-level results yesterday.
Students lined up along the corridors of schools, huddling with friends, watching for the instant they may discover their fate.
But despite being the topic of a political debate and being told A-levels were “too easy”, grades remained high – albeit dipping slightly.
Greater than half grades achieved by A-level students in Sussex schools and colleges were within the top grades A*-B range.
The national breakdown of results shows the general pass rate rose marginally to 98.1% and this mirrors ends up in the city’s and county’s schools and colleges.
BHASVIC was one college which beat the national trend and posted increased top A-level grades.
Greater than 900 students sat the exams in June 2013, with 98% of scholars passing overall and 60% achieving the head A*, A and B grades.
Charlotte Hones, 18, of Worthing, got two As and two A*s.
She said: “I’m shocked. It’s quite a bit better than expected, i will not believe it. It hasn’t sunk in yet. The work has finally paid off.
“I’m going to name my parents now and tell them the excellent news.”
Alice Chapman, 18, of Lewes, got three As despite having glandular fever on the time.
She said: “I’m really relieved because i used to be quite ill on the time. I’m going to King’s College London. I didn’t have the center to envision online but I’m so happy now.”
Joe Powell, 17, of Brighton, got an enormous 100% in his maths and physics AS-level exams.
He said: “I’m so happy. i used to be hoping for high marks but I didn’t think it will happen. It’s really easy to make small mistakes. It’s still sinking in.
“I wish to stay alongside of maths and notice what happens.”
Not everyone was pleased though.
Student Amelia Torrens-Johnson, 17, said: “I’m not happy. I didn’t do brilliantly in any respect. I’m quite a calming out person but when i used to be sensitive it’d be very different.
“I’m going to need to try to visit another university.
“I did try really hard and located the exams really hard. i guess I’m quite a negative person on the subject of talking about myself.”
Principal Chris Thomson said: “BHASVIC has received national recognition for its ability to consistently deliver good quality teaching and learning.
“This is a thrilling and nerve wracking day and i’m proud that when again, BHASVIC students have achieved outstanding results.
“I wish to congratulate everyone involved – schools, parents and specially our excellent staff and scholars.”
Independent school Brighton College celebrated a record-breaking year.
The Sunday Times UK School of the Year is the sole school in England to enhance its results each year for seven years.
Nearly 100 pupils achieved AAA or better of their results with 20 securing places at Oxford or Cambridge.
Headmaster Richard Cairns: “I am delighted for the men and women of Brighton College.
“They have once more achieved the head grades in Sussex without ever losing their sense of fun or their commitment to life beyond the study room.
“So a lot of those celebrating places at Oxford or Cambridge today were top sportsmen, dancers, artists and musicians. That they have got found time to excel academically in addition is actually humbling and encouraging.”
Year 11 Dorothy Stringer students were celebrating a 90% pass rate yesterday – despite taking their AS-level exams a year early.
Headteacher Richard Bradford said: “We are committed to providing opportunities for our more able students to stretch themselves beyond what’s normally expected.
“Their success in these exams is all the way down to their exertions and that in their teachers and we’re all extremely happy with them”.
Sixth formers at Brighton and Hove Highschool for ladies were celebrating a 100% pass rate with almost half achieving A*-A grades and 79% B and above.
Meera Patel, 18, of Brighton, said: “I’m going to Imperial College to check chemical engineering. It’s a male-dominated field so I’m breaking the mold.
“I’m really hopeful for it. I don’t knowwhat to assert – I’m ecstatic!”
Ellie Thompson, 18, of, Brighton, said: “I’ve got a spot at Oxford to read law. i believe great but a piece weird.
“It seems like tons of exertions. i need to be a human rights solicitor.
I’ve got the summer off to celebrate then i must get packing.”
Headteacher Jennifer Smith said: “We was delighted with the girls’ exertions and commitment and each of the staff and governors at Brighton and Hove like to congratulate them on their achievements.
Delighted “We are so happy with our sixth form where girls have excelled in this type of broad range of subjects and from where we’re sending undergraduates to better education establishments starting from St Edmund Hall, Oxford to Imperial College and St. Martin’s School of Art.”
Varndean College was “delighted” with the success of its students who maintained a magnificent 98% pass rate with 48% achieving A*-B.
Emily Grimble, 18, said: “It feels really, fantastic. I’m doing an art foundation year but now i do know what grades I’ve got i will start taking a look at universities.
“I’m undecided where i need to head but probably one of the vital main art colleges in London.”
George Houghton, 18, of Brighton, told The Argus: “I wish to study history at King’s College London or Royal Holloway but I’m torn between the 2 because I’m just under my first choice but above my second choice.
“I thought I had got an A and 2 Bs though so it was a pleasing surprise.
“For two months it’s a concept on your head and this morning you awaken and think ‘oh God, it’s here’. It’s a relief to finally know.”
College principal Dr Philip Harland said: “We must keep in mind that behind these figures lie countless individual student success stories in any respect levels.
“Our A-level success follows our equally impressive International Baccalaureate leads to July.”
At Hove Park sixth formalmost 40% of A-levels and BTECs taken on the school were awarded an A*-B grade – up from 25% last year.
The whole pass mark was 99% – described as an important achievement for college kids and staff.
Headteacher Derek Trimmer said: “Even though nationally exams have become tougher, Hove Park School and sixth form continues to buck the fashion.
“We are always working to narrow the distance between our students and scholars within the top schools within the country and our sixth form has made an immense leap towards that this year.”
Blatchington Mill School had a 97% pass rate with 74% of grades A*-C – equal to its record achievement last year.
Deputy head Ashley Harrold said: “This was another excellent year for Blatchington Mill Sixth Form results. Building upon the success from 2012, where the college got the top result of the past five years, results are again the highest Blatch has ever achieved.”
Students at Cardinal Newman Catholic Sixth Form College were a “credit to themselves”, with one student achieving 4 A* grades.
Headteacher Dr James Kilmartin said: “The students are a credit to themselves, their families and the college. They fully deserve their success and that i know that they’re going to are looking to join me in thanking their teachers for the support and advice which has made a gigantic contribution to their success.
“We wish our students the best for the longer term, which for lots of of them will include taking on places at one of the crucial country’s best universities, including Oxford.”
Roedean Independent School had an overall pass rate of 100% with 94.9% getting A*-C.
Headmistress Frances King said: “I am delighted that our additional investment in teaching and learning is already paying dividends with regards to higher grades. Furthermore, our encouragement of independent learning – so prized by both universities and employers – is being acknowledged by some outstanding ends in the Extended Project Qualification.”
Meanwhile Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) got an overall A-level pass rate of 95% but a Btech pass rate of 100%.
As portion of the £12.7m refurbishment of its Chalky Road campus PACA would be opening a new sixth form centre within the autumn.
Principal James Fox said: “I wish to congratulate our students and want them well of their future careers.”
Councillor Sue Shanks, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s children and youth committee, said: “I am delighted with the outcomes achieved by the city’s students of their A and AS-levels, supported by their many able and talented teachers in addition to their parents or carers.
“It’s great to determine the ongoing improvement in ends in the college sixth forms, and the continued excellent ends up in the sixth form colleges which might be a cause for far celebration.
“I wish your entire students every success with their next steps to better education, to employment or training or during a niche year.”
Ends in . . .now clearing
Now that A-level results were announced, universities are receiving a surge of phone calls from students trying to secure a spot during the clearing process.
Both the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton have spaces available for added students, with the University of Sussex even doing away with an entire page advert within the Guardian yesterday.
Places are expected to be snapped up quickly with the University of Sussex expecting most vacancies to be filled by the top of the weekend.
Like other universities within the country, Sussex is now allowed by the govt. to recruit unlimited numbers of UK and EU applicants who achieve A-level grades of ABB and above.
This suggests the establishment now has a capacity of as much as 2,900 new students, 200 of which it hopes will come through clearing.
Additionally, due to the new government funding, the university may be capable of consider applicants who may fall slightly under the specified ABB.
Rob Evans, head of admissions for the university, explained: “For example, if an applicant has achieved BBB grades at a university where the typical A-level performance is solely BCC, we’d recognise the aptitude demonstrated by this student, even though they’re seeking entry to a course at Sussex that normally requires AAB.”
On the University of Brighton, a limited variety of places can be found across courses, although fewer places compared to last year.
The recommendation being given to students is to take time to examine the UCAS website.
A spokesman for the University of Brighton said: “They have the desire to make sure that they’re prepared for this, perhaps make the effort to seize some fresh air after which take a seat in a quiet space where you could really specialise in the telephone calls that they have to make.
“If you’re made a suggestion, attempt to get to go to the university before the beginning of term, at Brighton we’re running open days for those students that can be coming to us through clearing.
“The principal thing is they make the precise choice for them.
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