Celebration time for Eastbourne students

It's celebration time for these A-Level students at Sussex Downs College
It's celebration time for these A-Level students at Sussex Downs College

SUSSEX Downs College’s best-ever results saw 98 per cent of pupils passing their exams.

Teenagers at the Park College campus in Cross Levels Way were celebrating yesterday after 73 per cent of papers were marked A* to C across its 60 different courses.

Among those jumping for joy was Josh Babarinde, who managed a trio of A*s and one A.

The ambitious youngster is now off to the London School of Economics to read politics on his way to hopefully sitting in the House of Commons.

Speaking to the Herald moments after opening his results, Josh said, “I am delighted. There was so much pressure on us to do well this year because of the rising fees - now I can’t wait to start.”

Students who miss out on a university place this year are facing an estimated extra £20,000 in debt due to inflated prices - with many saying the riding cost is putting them off staying in education.

Another high performer at Sussex Downs was Beckie Thomas, who was over the moon with her A*, A, B, B results.

But she agreed the stress of looming tuition fee rises had taken its toll.

“There was a lot of pressure on us,” she said. “I would have worked hard anyway but it was definitely an added incentive.

“If I had not got the grades I needed I would have had to think about what to do.

“I would have still gone to university but I would have probably had a gap year first to earn some money.”

And Alex Hutchinson (A, A*, B) said he had been forced to rethink plans for a year out in light of the spiralling cost of a degree.

“I was thinking about teaching English as a foreign language but I had to rule that out,” he said. “Still, going to university is really exciting.”

Among other top pupils was Naomi Shepphard, who got A*, A*, A and is off to Southampton to do geography and Emily Vine who scored A*, A*, A and is off to do history at Exeter.

Tim Whitmore, Head of Park College said: “I am delighted with the results at Park College this year and I want to congratulate both the students and the staff on their excellent achievements.

“It is particularly pleasing to see so many good grades achieved, we have an overall pass rate of 98%, with 73.6 per cent achieving the high A-C grades.”

Melanie Hunt, head of Sussex Downs College, was delighted with the results and paid tribute to both staff and pupils. She said,

“These results reflect the fact that Sussex Downs College is one of the leading colleges in the region which promotes a culture of commitment, high quality learning and results.”

“I wish all the students well as they progress onto university or employment and I am confident that their time at Park College will stand them in good stead for the future.”


Elsewhere in the town there was more cause for celebration, with the local fee-paying colleges enjoying similar levels of success.

Sixth formers at Eastbourne College enjoyed a stellar set of results, with 17 per cent of grades falling into the new A* category for papers which score more than 90 per cent.

For the second year running, more than a third of the pupils gained three A grades or better, with superb individual performances from Yawen Yin (A*, A*, A*, A*, A), Chris Cheung (A*, A*, A*, A, A), Hannah Church, Joyce Xie and Max Winchester (A* A* A*, A) and Toby Addison, Camilla Freeman and Rebecca Hreben (A*, A* A*).

In total, 83 per cent of all grades were either A*, A or B and 57 per cent fell into the A or A* bracket.

Headmaster Simon Davies said, “I am thrilled for all those who have done so very well in their A levels. These results are a real tribute to the hard work of the students and teaching staff.”


At Moira House School 14 girls achieved three or more A to A* grades, including Mona Le (A, A, A*, A), Sophie Beland (A, A, A, A*), Georgina Cutler (A*, A, A), Victoria Howells (A*, A, A*,), Hannah McNamara (A*, A*, A,) and Natalie Bird (A*, A, A*, A*) who said, “I’m absolutely thrilled. All my dreams have come true.”

Overall 50 per cent of the pupils achieved A* or A grades and the overall pass rate was 98.8 per cent.

The school’s head, Lesley Watson, was delighted for the girls. She said, “These truly are tremendous and well deserved results. I offer my congratulations to all our students on their success and hard work. They have also had significant support from our staff, to whom I am very grateful.

“We are very proud of our girls and wish them every success in their future careers.”


Pupils at St Bedes had every reason to be cheerful after the school celebrated its best ever A Level results – with 70 per cent of exams taken being graded at A* to B.

Nearly half of all chemistry and biology students were awarded A or A* grades – amongst them Thomas Key and Stephanie Ketley, who will both be studying medicine at Southampton University.

There was also huge success from the school’s art department, which saw three quarters of students achieve A and A* grades. Adam Beevor secured an A* grade in history, having completed the entire course in one year.

Headmaster Dr Richard Maloney said, “This year’s results represent an outstanding improvement in our students’ performance at A Level and are testament to the invigorating effect that our ambition, innovation and commitment to academic excellence have had on our staff and students.”