Fantastic results for Ark 6th Form students in Hastings

Successful A-level results for students at Ark 6th Form East Sussex 

Students at Ark 6th Form East Sussex had a successful year, with a 98% pass rate in their A levels.

These results would allow students to apply for a good university place, and with one student getting into Cambridge this year.

Mark Phillips, Ark’s Regional Director for Hastings Secondary Schools said:
“This has been another successful year for Ark 6th Form East Sussex and we’re very pleased with these results. We are an ambitious sixth form and we are very proud of our reputation for delivering excellent outcomes for our students in Hastings.”

Student Success Stories

Alfie Denness: Cambridge joy for budding politician

A student from Hastings who is hoping to one day go into politics has been offered a place to study history at Cambridge University. Alfie Denness who is a student at Ark 6th Form East Sussex got three A*s in Geography, English Literature and Sociology and an A in History.

He has been offered a place at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, which includes a roll call of famous political figures including Oliver Cromwell and former Foreign Secretary David Owen. More recently political journalist Andrew Rawnsley and cabinet minister Chris Grayling have studied there.

Alfie is the first in his family to go to university, benefitting from a sixth form bursary which has supported his studies allowing him to buy revision books and pay for school trips such as a Geography field trip to Swanage last year. At university, he will benefit from a bursary from the Reuben Scholarship Programme.

Alfie said: “It was a relief because it was quite stressful. I knew that I would get some of the grades, but some of the subjects could be subjectively marked, so I was a bit nervous that I had let myself down on at least one of them on the day. My Mum said she was very proud because of all the work that I put in and she thought I deserved it. All the teachers I had were really good, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Each year, the Reuben Scholarship Programme helps talented Ark students headed for top universities, who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education, with expenses like accommodation and subsistence.

Alfie has inherited some of his campaigning genes from his father, who is a trade union representative. He is already a member of a political party and hopes to get more involved in student politics at Cambridge. “I want to campaign for the same kind of opportunities that I had to be offered to young people across our country. I’ve had great help from those who believed in me at my school, but not everyone is so lucky.”

Lara McNeill: A future in medicine

For Ark 6th Form East Sussex student Lara McNeill, a passion for helping people has driven her to secure an ultra-competitive place to study Medicine at King’s College London – one of the country’s top medical courses. She got two A*s in Biology and Chemistry and an A in maths and a B in History.

Lara said: “I feel like all my hard work has paid off –  it’s a long process getting into university.”

“I feel like my hope of becoming a doctor is within touching distance now.” 

She says: “I wanted a career that would challenge me and push me beyond my comfort zone. Medicine is definitely that kind of career – there is so much responsibility, it’s literally a case of life or death.”

“I really want to go into paediatrics. I was an IVF baby and that’s given me an appreciation of how paediatrics can help people fulfil their dreams of becoming a parent.”  Lara has already done work experience at Conquest Hospital, volunteered at the local St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonard’s and worked with the Nuffield Trust, a healthcare policy think-tank.

Lara came to Ark 6th Form East Sussex to study for her A levels, having previously been a student at Claverham College in Battle: “Claverham didn’t have a sixth form, so I had to look elsewhere. I chose Ark because it’s a small sixth form, and the teachers really impressed me – it was really clear that they know all of the students individually. If I’d gone to a larger sixth form or college, I might not have had that individual attention.”

Having secured an offer from King’s College London, Lara started to consider how she was going to fund her course: “I was really worried about money because London is so expensive. I’ll get a student loan, but that won’t cover the cost of studying in London, especially since my course is five years and there are a lot of really expensive textbooks.”

Lara was awarded a Marshall Wace Bursary from Ark, to help with her expenses: “Getting the bursary is a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said. “It means that I don’t have to worry as much about money and I can get on with studying and doing the best I can at university.”

Each year, the Marshall Wace Bursary Programme helps 40 talented Ark students headed for top universities, who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education, with expenses like accommodation and subsistence.

Other students who are celebrating include Barnaby Catterall (A*, A, B), Charlotte Cavie (A, A, B), Steven Edmett (A*, A, C, C), Beth Hodges (A*, B, B), Mae Jackson (A, B, B), Laura Kent (B, C, C, C), Jessica Philips (A, A, B), Dan Saunders (A, A, B, B), Zach Walbrin (A*, A*), Ella Watson (A, B, B), Charlie Whyborne (A, B, B) and Becky Wickham (A, B, B).

Click on a thumbnail to view the slideshow below.