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By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal, 18 August 2023

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Excellent Results

By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal, 17 August 2023

Well done to twins Joe and Tev – between there’s 7 A* and three A grades – an amazing achievement! Joe will now study Economics at the University of Nottingham, whereas Tev is off to Manchester to study Computer Science.

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester have achieved excellent results in their A level programmes in this summer’s examination and assessment series. In line with the planned national grade allocation in England instigated by the relevant Government agencies, over the piece 2023 grades are very similar to the strong results achieved by students at the College in 2019 (the last pre-covid year when a ‘normal’ profile of A level grades were allocated).

The year group of nearly 1500 students who studied A level programmes at the College in the 2021-23 period achieved a subject/course pass rate of approximately 97%.  100% pass rates were achieved in a large number of A level subjects including in Ancient History, German, Spanish, Italian, History of Art, Music, Electronics and Art and there were 99% or 98% pass rates in most other subjects.  Results were strong in the range of science subjects. 

For more details, including details for a number of individual students, please see our results page.

Congratulations to Jiya – she’s off to King’s College London to study medicine. She’s done an extraordinary job here and is leaving us with a grand total of one A*, three As and a B grade

Award & Reunion Event 2022

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal , 20 December 2022

Lucas, Amelie, Will, Jenny and Nathan smile for the camera

Yesterday, over a thousand students and guests gathered at Charter Hall to celebrate the success of the students who completed their studies at college in Summer 2022.

 As the Principal explained in his address to former students: 

We are tonight, recognising where students have worked and achieved, sometimes against a background of coping with difficult health, personal or domestic circumstances.  We are also recognising a number of students who did not have strong academic backgrounds at age 16, but have, through their determination and commitment, been very successful in their sixth form studies. 

We are also recognising achievements and contributions made in the fields of sport, performing and creative arts, science, technology and enterprise and we are also paying tribute to your contributions to both the College community and to the wider community in the area - particularly where you have helped others.  We are very proud that you as a group made a fantastic contribution to the wider community.  As a year group your positive attitudes and contributions in helping others were quite outstanding. 

The examination successes you achieved in the summer were really excellent – by both local and national standards.  The average ‘value added’ results you achieved – the comparison between your package of GCSE results on entry and your package of results on leaving, places your collective successes very significantly above the national average levels.  The highest achieving 100 second year students last year achieved an average UCAS point score equivalent to 2 A*s and 2 A grades at A Level - and we understand that this is a higher score than the 100 highest achieving students in any school in the country, including in all selective grammar and independent schools.  

A very substantial number of last year’s leavers successfully attained the grades necessary to progress to degree courses, including large numbers progressing to some of the very most competitive degree course areas.   Indeed over 1,100 of last year’s leavers have, or will next autumn after a GAP year, progress to a wide range of exciting and challenging degree courses, or other opportunities in the UK or abroad.  Others have found excellent employment or training opportunities either locally, in London and in other instances nationally or internationally.   Your levels of academic achievement were really outstanding.  Very well done to you.

 Details re students in photo


Lucas Chaplin - achieved the highest mark in History at College this year and he was also the outstanding debater of the year. Lucas takes the College Award for Debating and a College Academic Achievement Award. He is now studying at History at Clare College, Cambridge.

Amelia Bell - approached her studies course with total dedication, rigour and ingenuity.  She is still a key member of Friend Not Foes group, working with the refugee community.  She receives the College Academic Achievement Award, Department Award for English Language & Literature, Modern Languages Department Award for German and The Eddie Ross Award for Community Service. She is now at Cambridge studying History and Modern Languages

Will Ferguson - An exceptionally well-organised and conscientious maths student who worked hard over his two years.. His grades are an excellent achievement for someone who also took on two other A levels and an EPQ.  He takes a College Academic Achievement Award and is at Sheffield studying Theoretical Physics.

Jenny Chen - was  an enthusiastic student who showed great determination to succeed.   She was also a Biology mentor, supporting other Biology students. Jenny takes  Department Awards for Biology,  Chemistry  and Mathematics and she is currently studying Biology at Bristol.

Nathan Butcher - was always helping out other students and asking insightful questions from outside the syllabus. His achievements were outstanding- indeed award - winning - and he received top marks in chemistry in the year. Nathan takes a College Academic Achievement Award, and Department Award for Chemistry, and  Mathematics. He is now spending his year out learning A- level Further Mathematics.



By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal , 18 August 2022

Millie Fuller finds out that she's off to Cambridge, with A* grades across the piece

(Above: Millie Fuller finds out that she's off to Cambridge, with A* grades across the piece)

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester have achieved really excellent A Level results in this summer’s examination series, with grades which are well up from the strong A level results achieved by students at the College in 2019 - (The last pre-Covid year students sat ‘normal’ A Level exams) 

Well over 1000 of the upper sixth students from The Sixth Form College have now obtained the necessary qualifications to be able to proceed onto university degree courses including a very large cohort of students who have now achieved the grades required for offers for places on prestige degree courses including, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering, Maths, sciences, modern foreign languages, Economics, Architecture, Law, English and History, or have achieved places at Oxford or Cambridge or Russell Group Universities or Medical Schools or for other highly competitive universities or degree courses. Other students have achieved excellent opportunities in employment and training.

The year group of nearly 1400 students who studied A level programmes  in the years 2020 -22  achieved a grade  A* to E grade pass rate of over 98%, and an A* - B high grade rate of over 50%. Indeed, well over 90% of all the 18-year-old students at the College achieved 3 or more A level or equivalent Applied General Extended Certificate qualifications in their sixth form studies – a level of achievement which once again, will be very significantly above the national average level in sixth forms at school and colleges across England and Wales. 

100% pass rates have been achieved in a large number of A level subjects including in Philosophy, Politics, German, Spanish, Italian, History of Art, Music, Electronics and Art, with virtually all other subjects achieving 98% or 99% pass rates. The average level of achievement of the College’s top 100 upper sixth students is equivalent to grades A* A* A at A level and these ‘top end’ results, it is understood, will again match or exceed the results of the top 100 student achievers in virtually all of the selective grammar or independent schools in the country.


The Best in The Country!

By Clarissa Ford, Head of English, 18 August 2022

Lizzie Peck smiling with her results!

We were delighted to hear from the exam board that student Lizzie Peck achieved the highest score IN THE COUNTRY for her English Literature and Language A Level. This is well deserved;  Lizzie is a very talented English student, and the department are absolutely delighted that her creative and perceptive engagement with texts has been rewarded and recognised by OCR.  Achieving an A* in all five examined areas, plus the coursework, well reflects Lizzie’s extremely impressive skill set, her highly refined powers of analysis, interpretation and evaluation. It is a phenomenal achievement to be awarded the accolade of OCR’s highest performing English Language and Literature student in the country!  

The Sixth Form College Colchester receives prestigious Artsmark Award

By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal , 13 May 2022

College students at the end of the college drive celebrating the prestigious Artsmark Award

We are Gold Arts Mark Award winners!!

Pupils and staff at The Sixth Form College Colchester are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award in a momentous year for the programme as it celebrates 20 years of arts, culture and creativity in schools and colleges.

The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and colleges accredited by Arts Council England. It supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, putting creativity and wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum. Artsmark ensures every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.

The Artsmark Award, recognises the arts and culture provision at the college, as part of a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole college.

The College was supported by The Royal Opera House, who worked alongside the college at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement.

The Artsmark assessor commended the college on its commitment to raising the profile of arts and culture across all of its departments and pointed to the range of activities on offer at the college, including the radio station and record label, as clear strengths. Also highlighted was our work within the local community, local schools and arts venues, alongside an extensive programme of visiting arts practitioners, who work with and inspire our students, helping to guide future career choices. 

On receiving the award, Artsmark co-ordinator Fiona Bush said: “We’re extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Gold Award. We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and we look forward to continue to grow with Artsmark. I’m really proud of the work everyone does here, across the whole of the curriculum. A Gold Award is a fantastic achievement and real recognition of everyone’s commitment, especially in the context of the recent covid restrictions and lockdowns; colleagues worked so hard to keep our vibrant arts culture alive.” 

 Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said: 

“I would like to congratulate The Sixth Form College Colchester on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark institution demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum, every student can develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them throughout life.

Congratulations to all our Jack Petchey Award winners!

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 21 March 2022

Matthew, Ollie, Amy, Lucy and Abundance showing off their Jack Petchey Award


Here’s College Council Treasurer Sonny presenting the winners of this year’s award with a certificate and pin badge. The successful students were also awarded with £300 to spend on their chosen subject area. This year’s winners represented a broad spectrum of college life, with awards for outstanding commitment in biology, art, dance, sport and modern foreign languages. 

From left to right, Matthew, Ollie, Amy, Lucy and Abundance. 


By Jan Harker, Assistant Principal, 4 February 2021

Staff and students are celebrating the achievement of a prestigious Platinum Level Science Mark Award. 

We understand that we are the first sixth form college in the country to achieve such an award. It is quality standard designed to recognise and celebrate inspiring practice in science departments across the UK.  Science teacher Elaine O’Brien co-ordinated the process here at college and it involved many months of assessment in three key areas: “Teaching and Learning”, “Leadership and Management” and “Curriculum”, followed up by work, with staff and students conducted by an external assessor. 

Following a thorough review of the science provision at the college, Dr Yeasmin Mortuza of STEM Learning Ltd concluded that:

The Sixth Form College Colchester has an amazing science faculty, in which every effort is taken by staff to ensure that all students perform well; and this is done without cutting any corners. Staff and students enjoy a highly productive relationship in which the professionalism of staff, as well as their passion and expertise, ensure that mutual trust, respect, and hard work are nurtured and sustained. Their excellent student outcomes speak for themselves.  Students who study here gain a passion for science and move on through to a wide range of promising academic and career trajectories. The college is very well deserving of a Science Mark Platinum Award”

College Principal Ian MacNaughton was delighted to see the college achieve this national award, pointing out that this was part of a long tradition of recognising scientific excellence at the college that goes back many years; for example, in 2000 The College was also presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education. The award, which was most specifically for the Science and Technology Enrichment Programme, was presented by the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. 

He said that: 

“This recent further award of the highest Science Mark level ‘Platinum Status’ is fantastic – but very well deserved. This latest recognition highlights the continued strength of STEM provision and opportunities at the College. It’s great recognition for the hard work of staff and students in areas such as biology, chemistry and physics – but we must also take into account the excellent work that is done here at college in broader areas of scientific research such as geology, electronics, psychology and environmental science. Well done to all involved!”