DESPITE disruption caused by Covid-19, students studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Bridgwater & Taunton College achieved outstanding results.

They are the only college in Somerset offering the internationally recognised alternative to A-Levels, designed for highly academic and motivated learners.

Students are required to study six subjects along with core elements, with a maximum total score of 45.

Collectively, this year’s students achieved an average score of 35.5 points, placing them well above last year’s global average of 32. As well as this, more than half of the cohort achieved 39 points or above, with one student achieved a score of 41.

Course leader, Bex Miller, said: “These students have faced considerable and unprecedented challenges during their two-year study programme. From lockdowns and changes to the syllabus, to the eventual cancellation of exams, they have had to overcome more than most.

“I’m delighted that they have received such an impressive set of results and have all secured university places at their first choices.

“This group of students have been an absolute delight to work with over the past two years and they have demonstrated enthusiasm, great humour, cheerfulness and resilience.

“They are the embodiment of International Baccalaureate learners and I have no doubt they will go on to achieve incredible things in their careers and beyond.”

Students received their results in July, meaning they are in a position to accept university places a month before their A-Level counterparts, and have been delighted to receive offers including studying medicine at Exeter and biomedical science at Plymouth.

Andy Berry, principal and chief executive of the College, said: “I’m really proud to offer this world-class programme and it’s great to see our students achieve fantastic results again this year.

“I’m delighted to see them progressing to celebrated universities and wish them all the best in all their future endeavours.

“The International Baccalaureate programme is engaging, challenging and highly regarded, and we firmly believe that students who study this are truly challenged.

“It enables them to become independent and individual thinkers, becoming the best they can be.”

Katie King, formerly of Backwell School, achieved 39 points securing her a place at Lancaster University to study biomedicine.

Reflecting on her time at BTC she said: “I feel an overwhelming relief. It has been a long time in the making, so to achieve high grades and get into my first choice of University has made it all worthwhile.

Praising her course leader, Bex Miller, she said: “Bex has been absolutely amazing, we couldn’t have done it without her.”

Katie’s parents, Sally Kitchker and Graham King, said: “We really appreciate the small group sizes.

“The rounded nature of the qualification has stood Katie in good stead for university, and we feel the College dealt very well with Covid providing online lessons to continue learning.”