MORE students are choosing to study their A-levels and Btecs in the city after Portsmouth College saw a sharp rise in admissions.
Compared with September last year, 15 per cent more students aged between 16 and 18 have joined the college – up from 1,111 to 1,274.
We have noticed that the teaching and learning is improving. Pupils are more engaged with what they are studyingSimon Barrable
The college in Tangier Road, Copnor, is one of two places in the city that runs A-level courses alongside Charter Academy, which started offering A-levels last year.
This year saw the college achieve its best-ever results.
It was the eighth consecutive year the results have risen with 42 per cent of students achieving A*-B grades at A-level, with an overall pass rate of 98 per cent.
Deputy principal Simon Barrable said: ‘Quite a lot of A-level providers have been shrinking in size, partly because of the competition and the funding issues. But we have managed to keep growing.
‘That is partly down to some of the individual stuff we have done, particularly the schedule of the day which sees students have one lesson in the morning and one in the afternoon.
‘They have got time where they don’t have to be in college and they could be working or doing some sport or enrichment activities.
‘We have noticed that the teaching and learning is improving. Pupils are more engaged with what they are studying.
‘It forces teachers to think more about their planning and preparation.’
The number of students attending the college has almost doubled in the past 10 years. In 2005 there were 650 students.
Mr Barrable said it’s exciting to see that more youngsters have decided to either stay in the city, or travel further distances for their studies.
‘Our significant growth has come from more students in Portsmouth choosing to stay in Portsmouth for their post-16 education,’ he said.
‘It’s partly from us making some in-roads with the independent sector in Portsmouth.
‘They are small numbers but there is a slight growth there.
‘We are beginning to pull some students in from further afield including Gosport and the Isle of Wight.
‘We have got a good breadth of curriculum which does give students a good choice – that’s both A-level and Btec.
‘We’re beginning to see large groups of students moving on to the top universities.’
First Bus has started running two new services this year, one running through Southsea, and the other from Fareham bus station up through Portchester, Paulsgrove, Cosham and Drayton, right down to the college.