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From Architecture to Zoology: An A-Z of top university destinations

13 August 2020

Despite a challenging year we are delighted that the majority of our girls will take up a place at their first choice of university, with 85% accepting places at Russell Group universities. Over half of this year's results were A*/A grade and 83% A*-B grade. We are so very proud of all that our girls have achieved in these strange times. 

With the Covid-19 Pandemic putting a halt to the usual scheduled A-level exams this year, our girls have adapted and embraced a new set of challenges, rising above them admirably.

Beth Dawson, Head, commented:

“I am so proud of what our girls have achieved in such unprecedented circumstances. Their grit and resilience goes far beyond the excellent results they have gained today. They have committed to raising funds for charity, volunteering in the local community and supporting our younger girls, whilst fully embracing our university bridging courses and online learning programme to stretch themselves and develop exciting new skills. They have risen to the challenges that 2020 has brought with determination, warmth and true Sutton High spirit.”

Given our small Sixth Form classes and detailed understanding of each girl’s strengths, our teachers were well-placed to produce centre-assessed grades for each pupil. Every teacher worked hard to do this to the best of their ability. We understand that some results awarded this year may not be what girls had hoped for, and as a school, we will not hesitate to act on an individual’s behalf if we are unhappy with the grades they have been awarded by the exam board.

One of the joys of our Sixth Form is our approach to supporting our girls as they pursue their own varied career paths, which is reflected in the wide range of offers they have received today:

  • Archaeology at Durham
  • Architecture at Nottingham
  • Art Foundation at Central Saint Martins
  • History at Nottingham
  • Human Sciences at UCL
  • Law and Criminology at Manchester
  • Natural Sciences at Birmingham
  • Medicine at Leeds
  • Robotics at Loughborough
  • Social Policy, Crime and Criminal Justice at York
  • Sociology at Warwick
  • Zoology at Exeter

This year our Year 13 have faced uncertainty and excelled, they’ve been served challenges which have forced them to demonstrate agility and adapt, skills that will serve them well in their undoubtedly bright futures ahead.  We wish them all the very best.

Every journey is different

Kutloano - Architecture at Nottingham

Kutloano

(Pictured, second left, The Addams Family Production)

Inspired by DT lessons in Prep School, Kutloano has achieved her ambition to read Architecture at the University of Nottingham.

“I have always loved coming up with ideas and making it reality”, says Kutloano, whose studies in Product Design at A Level, alongside Mathematics and German, cemented her interest in this field.

Understanding the importance designers, especially architects, have in our everyday lives led her to further research for both her EPQ and German individual research project, which was about one of the most controversial buildings, built in East Germany during the Cold War, the Palast der Republik (Palace of the People).

“Sutton has well and truly felt like my second home, especially at the point when my older sister Lesedi was in Year 13, I was in Year 7 and my younger sister Kabelo started in Nursery. It makes me feel very old to now see Kabelo making the same dancing teddies with Mr Grant that I did!”

The opportunities that Sutton High has given Kutloano, from the Iceland trip, where she swam in the Blue Lagoon, walked on glaciers and rode Icelandic ponies, to following in her sister’s musical footsteps when she performed in ‘The Addams Family’ have helped develop what she knows will be life-long friendships.

“Sutton High teachers have been so brilliant to me, inspiring me to reach my goals and supporting me to do my best, especially in the Sixth Form.”

It’s been an exciting journey so far for Kutloano. Keen to work abroad, so she can keep up her German skills, we look forward to hearing about her future successes – and visiting a Kutloano-designed building one day.

Lauren - Liberal Arts & Sciences at Birmingham

Lauren - A Level story

(Lauren performing at a school dance show)

Every girl at Sutton High is an individual with a unique story and ambitions. Some seem to know instinctively, and from a young age, what direction their future will lead them in, others, like Lauren, realise that it is absolutely fine not to have a plan at the same point that all your friends seem to.

Joining us in Year 10, Lauren admits she was nervous at first, but found everyone so friendly and welcoming that these fears were quickly soothed.

“Lessons were so much more engaging and enjoyable – it was really nice to be able to learn without disruption from other pupils!”

It was performing in the Dance Show in the Spring of Year 10 which transformed Lauren’s confidence; the reception she received from the audience and other girls helped her feel truly at home and led numerous performances and choreographing roles over the next few years, most recently in ‘We Will Rock You’.

When it came to university applications, Lauren wasn’t quite sure where to start.  She had already started her EPQ on ADHD medication and knew that she was interested in both people and sciences. She was also an Editor the School Magazine and was enjoying the creative aspects of the role.  “I explored every option out there and although at first it was unsettling, considering most people had well thought out plans for their futures, I’ve come to realise this was not a bad thing!”

Her research - and a phenomena number of miles she logged up travelling to different universities – led Lauren to the Liberal Arts and Sciences course at Birmingham, which she is excited to be starting this autumn. “Natural Sciences will allow me to continue studying both Biology and Chemistry, rather than having to cut one of them out and also allows me to start studying Psychology and Pharmacology, which I also have an interest in. The Birmingham course is even more amazing to me because it allows me to pick up modules which are more Arts and Humanities based and there are Language options too.” Lauren literally will be able to ‘pick ‘n mix’ her degree, developing knowledge and skills which clearly reflect her wider interests and creating an experience as individual as she is.

Emilia - Archaeology at Durham

Emilia - A Level journey(Emilia exploring her passion for Archaeology at the highly competitive Peterhouse College, Cambridge Summer School in July 2019)

Follow your individual interests and develop real passion for a subject is a key message girls at Sutton High are given and Emilia is the perfect example of a student who has done just this. Following her A Level success, she will be starting at Durham University this autumn, reading Archaeology.

Emilia is utterly fascinated by the past and, as we always encourage girls to do, immersed herself in the subject by securing a place at the highly competitive Peterhouse College, Cambridge Summer School in July 2019. “That not only confirmed that I wanted to read Archaeology, but also that I wanted to go to a university with a collegiate structure – though I have to also say that, with my particular interest in Roman History, Durham’s proximity to Hadrian’s Wall was a bit of a factor too!”

Research was key to Emilia making her final course choices. “In terms of wanting to read Archaeology, I think the idea came from just how much I enjoy History, combined with a desire to do something a bit more practical. The opportunity to learn about ancient civilisations through material culture is very exciting to me as it helps create a physical connection to the past and makes events feel much more real.”

Attending the Oxbridge conference at Epsom race course, as well as university open days, also provided Emilia with the opportunity to find out what it would really be like to study the subject and allowed her to discover how varied the course would be. “I found it hard to pick between humanities and sciences when choosing my A Levels and discovered that this course could combine the two.”

Excited to be embarking on this new chapter of her life, she says:

“Before I entered senior school the idea of going to university at all seemed rather impossible to me, as I struggled so much with academic work due to my dyslexia”.

Support from staff and huge amounts of determination mean that this hasn’t been a barrier to success for Emilia and we look forward to hearing how her passion develops in the coming years.