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A strong set of “A” Level results has again been celebrated at King’s College, Taunton. The overall rate of 60% A* to B was in line with the high standards that have been set in previous years, and there were, as always, striking and very pleasing individual performances across the board. Star of the show was Marcello Visco, who joined the school in year 9. Marcello managed the impressive feat of four A* grades in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Design Technology. He is off to Imperial College to read Aeronautical Engineering.

In all, 14 pupils gained three or more As or A*s. Charlie Collins achieved A*s in Maths, Latin and English and an A in Economics. Matt Thorne (who came to King’s on a football and academic scholarship in year 9 from Maiden Beech Academy) was awarded A*s in Economics, Maths and Further Maths and an A in History. Matt is going to Cambridge to read Economics. Will Cashmore achieved A*s in Economics and Maths and As in History and English and is off to Oxford to study PPE. India Greenland gained A*s in English and History and As in Latin and Philosophy; Tessa Counsell A*s in English and Latin and an A in History; Sabrina Heimermann A*s in Art and Maths and an A in Physics; and Preston Tsao A*s in Biology and Maths and an A in Chemistry.

Charlie, Matt, Will and Tessa are all from Taunton. Another local pupil, Grace Albery, also did very well, with an A* in Biology and As in Economics and Maths. Grace has a choral scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford to read Psychology with Linguistics. She is the third Albery sibling to go to Oxford, following in the footsteps of Emily and Greg. Twins Tilly and Sam Everard each managed two As and an A*, but for different subjects! Tilly got an A* in Geography and As in English and Maths; Sam an A* in Design Technology and As in History and Geography. All four of the pupils who had been offered places at Oxford or Cambridge have achieved the results they needed. The great majority of pupils have secured their places at their first choice universities.

As is so often the case, the renowned King’s College Design Technology Department achieved remarkable results, with a quarter of pupils achieving A*s and 88% getting A* to B. The large Mathematics Department maintained an impressive 68% A* to B rate across both Maths and Further Maths, with 21% gaining A*s. The English Department had a particularly strong year, with 73% A* to B. In Geography, another popular subject at King’s, 70% of pupils gained A* to B grades. All pupils taking Philosophy gained A* to B grades, and all those taking Latin achieved As or A*s. The strong Art Department, recently enhanced by the addition of an excellent new art studio, achieved a rate of 68% of A* to B grades. Several of the art students are continuing their studies at art schools across the country. The Modern Languages Department also had a strong year: across the three languages (French, Spanish and German) 70% of pupils gained A* to B grades.

The school has also been celebrating the success of its first cohort of BTEC Sports candidates. The new BTEC option was introduced in September 2015 and the results of the first candidates have been excellent. Jasmine Lo-Ribeiro achieved an outstanding result, gaining the equivalent to three A* grades at A level, while three other students, Kayane Alencar, Karolayne Alencar and Austin Lui all achieved the equivalent to three A grades at A level and will be heading to universities to study Sport Science and Sports Rehabilitation.

Commenting on the A level results the Headmaster, Richard Biggs, said: “My first and happiest duty is to congratulate the pupils of King’s College warmly for achieving these strong grades and to thank their teachers for their support and hard work. I am delighted that we have done so well in the more challenging, rigorous academic subjects that the top universities prize. As is always the case, the real triumphs are in the individual details: pupils who overcame setbacks or who made outstanding efforts to raise their game. Also, as always, these results must be seen against a backdrop of quite extraordinary all-round involvement and achievement from the pupils. Throughout their Sixth Form years, these boys and girls have set a ferocious pace in terms of their engagement in, and enthusiasm for, the wealth of opportunities we offer at King’s College. They leave us not only with strong results under their belts. They also take with them a rich and life-affirming experience which will ensure that they thrive in the next stage of their lives. They are confident, interested, resilient, creative, resourceful men and women; we are proud of all they have achieved and we wish them every success for the future.  This was a particularly tricky year for A level candidates, with some subjects following the new linear model and some still on the old modular specifications. Teachers and pupils have worked hard to manage the transition and I congratulate them all on the excellent job they have done. Things will be more settled from now on, as most candidates will be on the new linear courses.”