Mum cries as daughter able to pursue her dream to be a nurse after receiving her A Level results

A mum cried after her daughter achieved results that means she can now pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

Ellie Lane, who was also celebrating her 18th birthday on 17 August, was one of millions of people across the UK opening their A Level, T Level and BTEC results.

Despite grades dropping across the country, students at Birkenhead Sixth Form said they were “shocked” to find they did better than expected.

Getting a distinction and a merit in her BTEC means Ellie will be going to Liverpool John Moores University to study adult nursing. She said. “I am feeling really good. I am really made up and quite shocked, not what I expected at all.

“It’s a really big deal for me to be able to go off and progress. It’s all I have thought about.”

Kelly Williams, Ellie’s mum, said she was “so emotional,” adding, “I was crying before. I have always been so proud. She deserved it, she worked hard. She’s had her heart set on it and all the hard work’s now paid off for her.

As for celebrations, Kelly said, “We’ve got all the family coming around but obviously she wants to go out with her friends so god knows what time she’s coming in tonight.”

Ellie wasn’t the only one outperforming expectations. Harry Boffey was just expecting passes in his BTEC exams thinking he’d have to go through clearing if he missed out on his first choice at Bangor University.

After getting two distinctions and a merit, he’s now thinking of applying for Liverpool and keeping his options open.

He told the LDRS, “I had really low expectations of myself,” adding: “I incredibly underestimate myself and it means that my time in college was worth it. I’ve had a massive build up of my self esteem.”

“I did it on my own and that is something I am really proud of.”

Cam Woolley was told not to go to sixth form but now is off to do a degree apprenticeship with three Bs

Cam Woolley, head student at the sixth form college, is off to do a degree apprenticeship in digital marketing with Knauf Insulation in St Helens after receiving three Bs. He had been told not to bother with sixth form in the past.

He said, “I was told not to follow the academic route but I thought I would give it a go. I put my head down and worked as hard as I could.” Although he had already got onto the apprenticeship, he said: “Getting those results makes me think anything’s possible in my future.”

He added, “It shows you can do anything if you just set your mind to it and hard work’s going to beat talent every time and it’s just important to believe in yourself first of all.”

Kai Taylor is off to study filmmaking at Leeds Beckett and said she’s “really excited” for the next chapter

Kai Taylor said, “I am shocked. I wasn’t expecting three As. I would have been happy with one A. I heard they were marking down this year as well. I was really scared.”

Off to study filmmaking at Leeds Beckett, she said: “I am really excited and am ready for live and be independent and do my own thing.”

Kai’s mum Rachel said, “I am so proud, oh my god amazing,” adding: “She put everything into it. I left her follow what she wanted to do. If you left kids do what they want they will flourish.”

Niamh Huxley after getting three As is off to the University of Liverpool to study law, her favourite subject, though “it’s obviously going to be party central for the first few weeks.”

Having not sat exams for GCSEs because of Covid, she said, “It was very different. It was quite scary because obviously it’s a new experience. There’s a lot riding on A Levels and it’s really quite intimidating to go in feeling like you’re at a disadvantage.

Grades have dropped across the country but Mike Kilbride, head at Birkenhead Sixth Form, said they had their best year ever. In April the sixth form was chosen at the Further Education College of the Year for 2023.

He said, “I am extremely proud of the students considering this is a group of students who came through Covid, they didn’t have GCSE exams. They had central awards and this is the first full set of exams that they have done.

“There’s no mitigations, the full standards apply and they’ve got a set of results that for the college are probably the best we’ve ever had.”

It’s not just Birkenhead Sixth Form that has seen success. 74% of all grades awarded at Birkenhead School were A* to B while 60% of grades at Wirral Grammar School for Girls were A* to B.

Anoushka Kapoor, from Birkenhead School, got 3A*s when she expected 3As

Anoushka Kapoor from Birkenhead School will be off to Leicester following a gap year to study medicine after getting three A*s. She said, “I am absolutely overwhelmed. It’s like a big weight off your shoulders, because every time I came out of exams I would just think the worst and focus in the bad bits of the exam. I worried about my grades and whether I would then get into Uni. I literally haven’t stopped smiling”

Despite the successes, some will be disappointed as the proportion of top A* and A grades dropped from 35.9% in 2022 to 26.5%, a figure lower than pre-pandemic grades awarded in 2019.

For those who didn’t do as well as expected, Mr Kilbride said, “Don’t panic, go and talk to someone. There’s always options, there’s an ability for us to help you.”

Main image: Students Celebrate At Birkenhead Sixth Form College. Credit: Birkenhead Sixth Form

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Holly Hall (with dad Adam) will be off to study dentistry in Liverpool
Bridey Simpson is off to St Andrews to study an integrated masters in Physics. She said she was “pretty overwhelmed” by her results as “it’s such a big thing.”
Bradley Thrikawala from Birkenhead School got two A*s and 2 As and hopes to pursue his dream of working for Formula 1
Callum Griffiths got two A*s and an A and is off to Cambridge to study natural sciences and eventually go into conservation work
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