MA.16 sixth-form students at Merchants’ Academy overcame the challenges of Covid disruptions to achieve some excellent results this year.
A number of students earned high grades in BTECs, which are equivalent to A-levels, with two students gaining triple Distinctions in Sport and six gaining triple Distinctions in Health and Social Care.
Evie Gan turned the challenges of the pandemic into an opportunity. Her two starred Distinctions in Computer Science and a Distinction in Business have earned Evie an apprenticeship with global services and wealth management company AON. She will work in the firm’s Bristol city centre office and study via an online provider for qualifications up to a master’s degree.
Evie, who has studied at Merchants’ Academy for seven years and became Head Student, said that having to work at home during the lockdowns meant she was well prepared for future remote learning.
“During Covid, you had to organise yourself. You had to take responsibility to wake up and get online and do the work, so I am used to it,” she said.
“My teachers were great too. They have known me since Year 7 and seen me grow and thrive and take on the opportunities I have been given.”
Georgia Mae Dean also praised staff at Merchants’ Academy and its sixth form MA.16. for the support she had received, which encouraged her to apply to UWE Bristol for a degree apprenticeship as a paramedic and to be chosen from more than 1,000 applicants.
She achieved three Distinctions in BTEC Health & Social Care, two of which were at Distinction* level and a Distinction and a Merit in Applied Science.
“I love this school. The staff are amazing and are the main reason I was able to apply to uni,” said Georgia, who plans to get experience working in a care home before starting her course in February.
Josephine Gyamfi is also set to pursue a career in healthcare. She is off to the University of Birmingham to do a Nursing degree after gaining three Distinctions in BTEC Health & Social Care, two at Distinction* plus an A-level in Biology.
Logan Horlock will embark on a Building Surveying degree at UWE Bristol after achieving two Distinctions in BTEC Construction and a Merit in Business Studies.
Overall, the percentage of grades achieved was higher than last year and higher than 2019, the last time grade boundaries were pre-Covid.
Interim Principal David Powell said: “Merchants’ Academy has seen some fantastic individual performances, such as Georgia’s success in securing a very competitive paramedic position at university.
“We are proud of our students for the effort and resilience they have shown through four difficult years and we wish them all the very best for the future. The success they have achieved is a mark of their hard work and of the unwavering support of their teachers and families, who have encouraged and supported them every step of the way.”
Robert Bourns, Chair of Governors, said: “Many of our students faced extraordinary challenges during the pandemic, but instead of allowing this to hold them back, they grew even more determined to succeed. This strength of character and sense of purpose has resulted in some fantastic outcomes today and I feel certain that these young people will go on to achieve great things.”
Merchants’ Academy and MA.16. are part of Venturers Trust which is sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol. As the sponsor, the University of Bristol provides a guaranteed reduced offer (a grade reduction of up to two grades below the standard entry requirements) or interview, depending on the course chosen, for all MA.16. students with the potential to study there; and the Society of Merchant Venturers provides an extensive range of work experience programmes available to all MA.16. students, as well as delivering career talks, mock interviews and mentoring.