Oxbridge history is made at Portsmouth College as popular headteacher departs

HUNDREDS of students across the city are celebrating with friends, family and teachers after finding out their A-Level results yesterday.

Friday, 17th August 2018, 9:17 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:08 pm
Principal Steve Frampton with students, from left, Adam Lowe, Michael Hirst and Nathan Clark. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

But two pupils from Portsmouth College have made themselves, their families and their teachers especially proud as the pair have achieved places at Oxford and Cambridge '“ which marks the first time the college has had students get into Oxford and Cambridge in the same year.

Last year Nathan Clark was worried if he would reach his dream of getting into Oxford after getting an E in a physics mock.

The 18-year-old, formerly of Cams Hill School in Fareham, said: '˜I was really nervous the night before and could not sleep but when I opened the envelope and saw I got two A*s in Maths and Chemistry and an A in Physics I couldn't believe it and I am so happy.'

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Principal Steve Frampton with students, from left, Adam Lowe, Michael Hirst and Nathan Clark. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Nathan will now study Chemistry at Keble College, Oxford, in September.

He added: '˜I keep having to pinch myself and it just shows that if you do put the effort in and work really hard then you can go from an E to an A and get into Oxford.'

Fellow pupil Michael Hirst has secured a place at Cambridge to study Maths but hopes to defer his place to September 2019 and spend his gap year working at Portsmouth College as a Science Technician Teaching Apprentice.

The 18-year-old, from Ghana, said: '˜I am really pleased with my results and I want to thank the amazing staff and opportunities at the college.'

Michael, who moved to England two years ago with his family, achieved an A* in maths, A* in further maths, A* in physics and A in chemistry.

Cambridge has previously been criticised for not admitting many pupils from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background.

It was after the Financial Times found that some Cambridge colleges didn't take in any black students from 2012 to 2016.

Michael said: '˜I think my place at Cambridge is testimony to the fact that it doesn't matter your ethnicity, or where you're from or your background, if you are determined and you work hard then you can achieve everything you want to achieve.'

It also comes after rapper Stormzy announced yesterday that he will be funding two black British students to go to the University of Cambridge as part of The Stormzy Scholarship.

He will pay for tuition fees and provide a maintenance grant for up to four years of an undergraduate course.

The college has previously only had one other student, Aimee Wragg, gain a place at Cambridge back in 2016.

This year also marked headteacher Steve Frampton's last results day as he retires after 13 years at the college,  ready to take up his new role as the president-elect of the Association of Colleges.

Mr Frampton MBE said: '˜I am extremely proud of all the students and staff who have both worked hard to get the amazing results we have today.

'˜It is also amazing that in my last year we have achieved the Oxbridge and got a pupil into each prestigious university in the same year.

'˜Both have worked extremely hard and I wish them the best in their futures.'

Incoming Principal, Simon Barrable, was equally delighted.

He added: '˜This is a fantastic day for the students, staff and governors of Portsmouth College.

'˜We have all worked tremendously hard over the past two years to secure another set of strong results and we make sure that Portsmouth College students have an excellent experience during their time here and this allows them to thrive and reach their potential.

'˜Most importantly of all, hese qualifications allow our students to move on to a wide range of fantastic new opportunities, on the road to successful, productive and happy futures.'

Other students at the college who achieved high grades included Thea Bautista from St Edmund's School who achieved three A grades in physics, mathematics and biology and is off to King's College, London, to study Biomedical Engineering.

Former Priory School student Jack Banfield is going to Bath University to study mathematics, having achieved A*, A and B in mathematics, further mathematics and physics.

Adam Lowe, from Springfield School, achieved A*, A*, A*, A in his mathematics, further mathematics, physics and computer science and is off to the University of Warwick to study Mathematics.

The 18-year-old added: '˜Results day is not as bad as it seems and for future students I would say don't worry about it as that point there is nothing else you can do.'

It was a particularly special occasion at Portsmouth Grammar School where, after 18 years of service, head-teacher James Priory is leaving his post.

Mr Priory said: '˜To see the results achieved is a real cause for celebration. It is a really good day on which to finish.

'˜Despite the changes to the new tougher A-level format, we have performed even better than last year in terms of A* and A grades.'

One student who had particular cause for celebration is 18-year-old Finley Bacon.

After attaining an A* in biology and three A's in chemistry, maths and history, Finley is set to take his place at Oxford University where he will be studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oriel College.

'˜I am really happy to get in as I was not totally confident I would get the grades,' said Finley.

'˜The pupils have worked incredibly hard to achieve these results.

'˜It is an opportunity for them to celebrate their achievements and we wish them every happiness and success for the next stage in their lives,' added Mr Priory.  

Students at Portsmouth High School were in similar celebratory mood.

Charlotte Foster, 19, achieved all A grades in biology, chemistry and psychology and is going to Sheffield University to study medicine.

Charlotte said: '˜I am so pleased I didn't expect it.'

Head Girl Nancy Fenton performed better than she anticipated after attaining an A in history and two Bs in history and politics.

Nancy said: 'I have done better than I expected and so I am now rethinking about where to go to university.

'˜I am so grateful for the support and teaching I have had at Portsmouth High School.'

Mum Vanessa added: 'I am so proud. Nancy has worked really hard.'

Head-teacher Ms Prescott said: '˜I am really pleased with how we have done, particularly under the new linear format.

'˜I am particularly pleased with our geography results which were all A or A*.'