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Top marks for Cardiff sixth form.

ST DAVID'S has become the first institution in Wales to achieve excellent ratings in the two overall judgement categories made by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education in Wales, Estyn.

In the report (available from www.estyn.gov.uk) St David's gained praise for being one of the highest performing colleges in England and Wales.

The new inspection framework has been noted by the education sector for its rigour, in particular for the difficulty in achieving the coveted "excellent" judgement.

To achieve this judgement an institution has to demonstrate that it is "sector leading" in its provision. In this St David's has achieved an unprecedented 10 excellent judgements out of a possible 14.

The inspection report states: "The success rates on most courses are above or well above those in other further education colleges in Wales. The college has sustained this high level of performance over the last three years. Its overall performance places it among the highest-performing colleges in Wales.

"The college also performs very well when compared with outcomes for sixth-form colleges in England."

Estyn judged the learning experience at the college to be excellent; this is backed up by the college's strong tradition of high performance at A-level. In 2011, 41% of students gained a grade A* or A, with 58% of candidates gaining an A* to B grade. As a result more than 330 students progressed on to higher education this month.

All members of the college community are inspired by its Catholic mission which seeks to discover and realise the full potential of all, in an atmosphere of love and respect inspired by Christ. Visitors often remark how the college's ethos is palpable and witnessed by all those they encounter.

St David's is an inclusive college and readily accepts students of all faiths.

Consistent with its mission is the college's excellent rating for student 'care and support'. St David's provides three hours of pastoral support a week, at its core is the wellbeing programme which equips students with the social and emotional intelligence required for the challenges of higher education and employment. The Catholic mission and wellbeing programme complement in developing the whole student. Tutors also encourage students to play a full part in college life with opportunities in sport, creative arts and community participation.

The honours programme which assists more able students in applying to top universities is also noteworthy. The Programme Director Dr James Siemens inspires students to realise their full potential as evidenced with an incredible 61% of honours students gaining A* or A at A-level.

With more than 50 courses and programmes on offer St David's is the perfect choice for 16-19s in Cardiff. The college begins its 2012 recruitment with open evenings on the 10th and 17th of November.

For further information and to apply for a place please consult the college website www.st-davids-coll.ac.uk. You'll be pleased you did; to quote a recent parental survey: "Sending our child to St David's was the best decision we could have made".
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 29, 2011
Words:501
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