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GCSE success for Bracknell and Wokingham students

22 August 2019

95.9% of Activate Learning’s Bracknell and Wokingham College students taking maths and English GCSEs achieved a pass in this year’s exams.  

Many of the college’s GCSE students are learners who have had to resit maths, English or both to continue in education.  

These include mature students who need these GCSEs to progress in their careers, learners who may have missed the chance to go to university first time round and need these qualifications to get into a degree course, and also part-time students who have studied for their GCSE at evening classes. 

Esmé Raaths, 17, from Bracknell, one of the top performers in maths at Bracknell and Wokingham College, is celebrating an outstanding pass at grade 7.  

Originally from South Africa, Esmé did GCSEs in biology, chemistry, English, and physics alongside maths and achieved a grade 6 for biology, grade 7 for chemistry, 4 for English and 7 for physics.  

Esmé said: “When I came here, I was supposed to start with the first year of A levels but as a transition I thought GCSEs would be good for me as well, to improve my English. The staff are really helpful, I was impressed by the college facilities.” 

“It’s a good college and provides good first steps whether you’re going on to GCSEs, A Levels, an apprenticeship or whatever your next step might be.  

“My English teacher was really helping me to improve with English. I got all the support that I needed.” 

Esmé is going to do A Levels at Bracknell and Wokingham College in September and study maths, physics, chemistry and biology. After finishing her A Levels, she would like to do an apprenticeship in accounting or go to university to study accounting and management or something in science. 

Thrilled with her grade 5 in GCSE English, ESOL student Vanda Polgar, 18, from East Hampstead in Bracknell, said: “I was really surprised by the grade 5 for English. The college helped me a lot. The teachers are really helpful. 

“They helped me to develop new skills and push my limits all the time. The teachers are forcing you to learn, it’s not like in Hungary where you ask a question and they don’t care, they help you all the time.” 

Vanda studied GCSEs in English, maths, citizenship, psychology and sociology during the day at Bracknell and Wokingham College and achieved a grade 5 for English, 3 for citizenship, 3 for psychology and 3 for sociology. She also studied ESOL at entry level two on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the college.  

Vanda combined her studying with a part-time job working as kitchen and front of house assistant at Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Bracknell, and plans on studying GCSEs in business and psychology next year with the aim of opening her own coffee shop in the future. 

ESOL student Fernando Burda, 18 years old from Great Hollands in Bracknell, achieved a grade 6 in GCSE maths: “Both of my teachers were really good. They were really trying to push me and always supported me” 

Fernando studied ESOL entry level 1 alongside GCSE chemistry, maths, physics and psychology. He achieved a grade 4 in chemistry, 3 in English, 5 in physics and 2 in psychology. Fernando also worked part-time in Tesco in Wokingham while studying.  

He intendeds to study A Levels and GCSEs at Bracknell and Wokingham College and would like to go on to university to study Computer Programming with the aim of designing apps or games.    

Activate Learning Group Chief Executive Sally Dicketts MBE, said: “We are always excited at GCSE results day at Activate Learning. 

“Many of our students getting their results today have already sat these exams at school and failed to get the grades they require. So it is really pleasing to see them now significantly improving their maths and English results 

“I would also like to congratulate our many adult learners who collected their results today. Some of their stories are truly remarkable and I am delighted to see their hard work to improve themselves and their determination to change their lives has been rewarded.  

“These results are a testament to the student’s hard work and the approach we take to learning at our colleges. We understand that in order for our learners to succeed, we need to provide them with support and help them to get into a mindset where they feel they are able to do it.”  


Bracknell and Wokingham College teaches a wide range of A-levels including accountancy, fine art, politics and sociology, as well as degrees in Children’s Development and Learning and Educational Practice. Additionally, our extensive network of business partners means that we provide outstanding apprenticeship opportunities. 

This year we are providing information, advice and guidance at the college on the GCSE results day, and throughout the end of August and early September. Tutors and career advisers will be on hand to help anyone who is unsure as to what to do next after GCSEs, and we can also provide advice on funding and other student support services.