Truro And Penwith College News Sept 2014

Truro and Penwith College tops the national league table for student progress

A key national value added measure which compares students’ grades when they finish college to their school GCSE scores when they start shows Truro and Penwith College to be the best performing A Level College in England.

The College’s latest Accelerated Learning Programme ‘ALPS’ value added data confirms that Truro and Penwith students achieve grades far beyond those predicted by their incoming GCSE results in their A level and AS examinations. They also achieve similarly high value added outcomes on vocational Level 3 courses.

Principal David Walrond explained: “Our ALPS value added performance is outstanding. Learners and staff here deserve huge credit for making this the top performing college for post-GCSE progress. Our aim is not simply for students to gain qualifications, but to challenge and support them to aspire to and then to achieve the highest possible grades. This is what opens the door to wider progression opportunities, whether into employment or to university. Simply promoting ‘aspiration’ and ‘employability’ as ideas will not actually deliver either of these things. What ultimately allows more Cornish students to progress into the most competitive jobs and onto to the most selective degrees is high achievement in relevant qualifications. When you show learners they can exceed both their own and others’ expectations you generate real and lasting aspiration. High levels of post-16 achievement require excellent specialist post-16 teaching, and this is what these value added scores reflect.”


Students through to National Science and Engineering finals!

Students from Truro and Penwith College participated in the Big Bang Fair South West to present their projects in the regional heats of the National Science and Engineering competition. Various awards were presented, including the chance to be selected to represent the South West region in the national final at the National Big Bang Fair in March 2015.

Three of the regional finalist projects chosen out of fifteen were from Truro and Penwith College, which is an outstanding accomplishment for their first year entering this competition.

BBSW 2014

Zara Shore receiving her CREST award.

Students produced a display outlining their project and presented their ideas to expert judges. They were asked demanding questions aimed at exploring just how well the students understood the underlying concepts of their projects. All projects were judged on the motivation, approach, outcome and skills development gained throughout.

Three projects were entered by students who had completed Nuffield Research Placements the previous summer and who had successfully presented their work to receive prestigious Gold CREST awards as a result. Two of these projects were chosen for the National Final. Zara Shore presented her project on ‘Muon detectors for volcano mapping’ carried out at Bristol University and won not only a place in the final, but was also awarded the CREST award for ‘Enthusiasm and understanding in a real world context’. Katie Carpenter also gained a place in the final for her ‘Rheumatoid arthritis drugs’ project which was carried out at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, part of the University of Exeter Medical School. She is commencing her studies in Medicine at Bristol University.

The other finalist from Truro and Penwith College was a team of 2nd year physics students (Michael Negus, Zara Shore, Joshua Tully, Seb Robarts and William Crarer). Their project: “Introducing TREVOR….”, was the College’s entry to the CERN “beamline-for-schools” competition. The team (mentored by staff from Oxford University) chose to design a muon radiography experiment – a technique that would allow them to form a precise image of an object that is hidden in a surrounding material. The motivation for this being medical imaging, such as the diagnosis of tumours. In the spirit of particle physicists at CERN they named their project the T9 Radiography Experiment Visualising Object Reality – otherwise known as “TREVOR”. The students learnt about the real-life applications of muon radiography experiments, from identifying contraband goods to medical diagnosis and treatment.

Matt Bennett, Lecturer of Physics who oversaw the TREVOR project, said: “This result is another example of the many fantastic achievements our students at Truro and Penwith College have accomplished. Their success in the competition is testament to their effort, enthusiasm and considerable understanding of a very challenging subject.”

Joshua Tully, Nuffield Research Placement student and “Introducing TREVOR…” team member, said: “The project was a real team effort and presenting at the Big Bang Fair has been a fascinating experience. The event has had a real buzz about it and it was great to share our project with others. The icing on the cake was winning through to the finals and we are optimistic in our preparations for the National Finals in the spring.” Joshua is now studying Chemistry at Warwick University.