Case studies

Megan Larkin

Megan Larkin will study pharmacy at Newcastle University after finding the elements for fantastic learning at Queen Alexandra.

Her A* in maths, A in further maths and B in chemistry, and an A in AS biology, exceeding the three Bs she needed to secure a place.

Megan, 19, said: “My teachers helped me in every way possible. If ever I was stuck, they were there for me.

“It was great to know that they were on my side and always very happy to help. I knew I could turn to them at any time.

“They always made it clear that they had confidence in my ability, which helped me gain confidence in myself. At first, I didn’t think I could do as well as I have.

“When I was choosing where to take my A Levels, I did consider Newcastle College, but as soon as I looked at Queen Alexandra I knew was the right place to be.

“The facilities are superb and the learning environment is suited to helping students make the most of their ability.

“I know that when I start at Newcastle University I am taking with me all the confidence that I have gained.”


Matthew Robson

Matthew Robson’s future is bright as he sets off to study history at Newcastle University.

He gained an A in history and Bs in media and sociology from his A Levels at Queen Alexandra – and may target a career in journalism.

Matthew, 18, from North Shields, said: “I wasn’t expecting an A in history, so that was a very pleasant surprise.

“I had two great years at Queen Alexandra and benefited from tremendous support – I was encouraged to put my head down and work hard.

“Gaining these grades has been very challenging, but there were always teachers around to help me when I needed it – their support was invaluable.

“I would recommend Queen Alexandra to anyone looking for the best place to study for their A Levels. The facilities, including the classrooms, are excellent.

“I did consider taking my A Levels at Whitley Bay High School, but it was only a fleeting thought.

“I came to an open day at Queen Alexandra and was very impressed by everything I saw and heard.

“I’m really looking forward to going to university. After that, journalism may be for me.”


Ciaran McClelland

Success at A Level has propelled Ciaran McClelland towards his goal of studying biochemistry at Newcastle University.

For Ciaran, 18, a combination of hard work and input from the teaching team at Queen Alexandra were key to gaining impressive results.

He secured the grades he needed - As in biology and chemistry, B in geography and C in physics – to win a place at the university of his choice.

Ciaran, from Wallsend, said: “Achieving these results was a challenge, but I like a challenge and was ready for this one.

“My teachers were excellent and were always available if I needed help, and the facilities at Queen Alexandra are really good.

“I’m motivated personally to do well but it certainly helps that the teachers have the same kind motivation and a great attitude towards their students.

“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do as a career, although I am thinking about working in research.

“Whatever I decide upon, I feel that coming to Queen Alexandra to learn has opened doors to many future opportunities.”


Sarah Wind

A career in banking could beckon for Sarah Wind, who gained exceptional results after two years of A Levels at Queen Alexandra.

Sarah, 18, from North Shields, will study maths at Durham University after gaining A* in chemistry, further maths and accountancy, and an A in physics.

Although undecided about her exact future career, she knows her amazing results open the door to the world of banking, should she choose.

She said: “I’m very happy with my results, and did better than I expected in chemistry.

“I’m very driven and have worked hard during my time at Queen Alexandra, and got the results I needed.

“I’m now going to study maths at Durham University, and although I’m not exactly sure of my future, I’m thinking that banking could be for me.”


Sarah Crane

Sarah Crane will study English literature at Leeds University after excelling at A Level.

Her hard work and dedication to learning saw her gain an A* in English literature and A grades in psychology and maths.

Sarah, 18, from North Shields, was inspired to succeed by a talented teaching team and support from friends.

She said: “I needed three A passes to get into Leeds, so I’m delighted with my results.

“I worked hard but I’m pretty driven and knew what I had to do. I’m really looking forward to university and I may go into teaching after that.

“I had great support at Queen Alexandra and couldn’t have asked for a better A Level education.

“I gained a real sense of independence by studying at Queen Alexandra, which I don’t think I would have got at sixth form at school.

“I really enjoyed my time here – I got great support from teachers and it was nice having friends around.”


Mason Banks

Talented Mason Banks rejected the chance to study chemistry at Durham University to return to Queen Alexandra to gain even better qualifications.

In 2016, he gained A* in maths, chemistry and biology, exceeding even his own expectations.

He will now study chemical engineering at Imperial College London, after returning to us for another year.

Extra studying allowed him to gain an A* in AS and A2 further maths, an A in AS additional further maths, and an A EPQ.

Mason, 19, said: “Imperial College has an excellent international reputation, it’s incredibly prestigious and I’m looking forward to going there.

“I worked hard throughout my three years at Queen Alexandra and I’m delighted with my results.

“I hadn’t really enjoyed maths at GCSE level and so I wasn’t sure I wanted to study it - soon after arriving at Queen Alexandra, I began to really enjoy it.

“Queen Alexandra has an environment that inspires learning, helped by the fact that each student gains a great sense of independence.

“You are made to feel that you can aim for whatever you want, and achieve it. There are no low targets and you get all the support that you need.

Mason’s achievements extended beyond the academic and his commitment to helping other students with their course work saw him named Queen Alexandra’s STEM Student of the Year at our FE Awards.


Owen Johnstone

The curtain will rise on a drama degree for Owen Johnstone after he gained the A Level grades he needed to join Northumbria University.

Owen worked hard to secure a B in media studies and Cs in law and English literature. From a third year of study, he also gained an English language C grade.

He is already planning to take a teaching degree after his three-year drama course – and even hopes to return to Queen Alexandra to teach.

Said Owen, 19, from New Hartley, Northumberland: “I’m pleased with my grades. I had to work hard and really put my back into my learning, but it has paid off.

“Studying at Queen Alexandra has been really enjoyable - it allowed me to gain a real sense of independence.

“I knew that the right academic support was always close at hand.

“It’s very much down to you how well you do, but the right teaching support is also there every step of the way.

“I’m leaving Queen Alexandra with a great attitude towards learning and I really feel that studying here has opened all the right doors for me.

“I plan to eventually get a teaching degree, and I would love to come back to Queen Alexandra to teach.”

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