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.”

Francess Adlard

Francess Adlard now has four A levels after adding two passed in one year at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College to the pair she gained during previous studies.

She already had A levels in maths and biology when she arrived at Queen Alexandra in September 2017.

And Francess, from Whitley Bay, has now added A grade English language and chemistry, and an A grade EPQ to her growing list of achievements.

Francess now plans to sit a three-year biomedical science degree at University College London.

She said: “I wanted to do an extra year of learning – I really enjoyed my time at Queen Alexandra, it was a very good new environment.

“I got on with everyone I met there really well and the staff were always very supportive.

“My English teacher Helen Buchan made a big difference to how well I did, she really helped me to achieve.

“I didn’t expect to do so well as I was quite off the pace at the start of the year, but hard work and Helen’s help got me there.”

Charlotte Hamilton

Charlotte Hamilton excelled with an A* in maths and further maths, and A grades in physics and chemistry in her A level studies at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College.

She is set to start a four-year integrated master’s degree in chemical engineering at Newcastle University, the next step to achieving her ambition of being a chartered engineer.

Charlotte, from Whitley Bay, said: “I was very well supported by my teachers during my time at Queen Alexandra.

“They gave me all the encouragement I needed to sit and pass four A levels, their help greatly contributed to me doing so well.

“I’m naturally quite low in confidence and so it was a massive relief when I saw my results. I can’t wait to start university.”



Ben Rogers-Newsome and Laura Kirkpatrick

North East students Laura Kirkpatrick and Ben Rogers-Newsome are to remain inseparable - with both winning places at Cambridge University.

That is the reward for Laura and Ben, both 18, who have achieved outstanding A level grades at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, North Shields.

Laura, from Whitley Bay, plans to sit a six-year degree in medicine at the university’s Queens College.

She excelled with A* in biology, chemistry and maths.

And Ben, from North Shields, gained A* in physics, maths, further maths and additional maths.

He will take a degree in physical natural sciences at Trinity Hall, which will take a minimum of three years and could become four.

Laura said: “Studying at Cambridge is a great opportunity for me and I’m thrilled to have done so well in my A levels.

“I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I have – I’m extremely happy with my results. I’m very excited to be going to Cambridge.

“I surprised myself by getting a good night’s sleep last night and now feel relief to know I have got the grades I needed.”

Ben added: “Laura and I see going to Cambridge to study as a fantastic opportunity, and we are both very much looking forward to it.

“I do find physics interesting but I doubt I’ll do it as a career. I’m more likely to go into something like computers.”

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