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Connor Aug 29

Oxford-bound A* student Connor hails York College teaching and diversity

Oxford University-bound Connor Clarke believes he made the right decision to study at York College after achieving four A* grades in his A Levels.

Connor, who gained his top marks in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, chose College for his Further Education due to the “good teaching” and “diverse environment” he feels is provided at Sim Balk Lane.

He also explained how a tour around campus persuaded him that a 60-mile round-trip commute from Thirsk for lessons would be worth it.

Connor travelled in from his old Boarding School Breckenbrough, who allowed him to keep his room, as he also opted against enrolling at a College closer to his family home in North London.

Nobody can question that judgement now, after Connor’s grades were rewarded with a place at Oxford’s Hertford College to study Maths.

“The school I went to was very small and I wanted to go somewhere bigger,” Connor pointed out. “I heard that York College had good teaching and, with the secondary school that I went to being all boys, I wanted to go somewhere that was mixed and had a more diverse environment.

“That’s what I felt I found when I went on a tour of York College and really liked it. I’m happy I made that decision, because I really enjoyed my two years at College.

“I also think that, if I’d stayed at my school, the transition to university would have been scary, but it doesn’t seem as daunting now I’ve done my two years at College and I’m really looking forward to going to Oxford.

“I love the city and the university’s academic reputation is obviously so good that it feels like a massive achievement and somewhere that it’s very nice to say you have been.”

Connor added that, while he felt his own work ethic and the quality of the College’s teaching gave him every opportunity to succeed, he did approach Results Day with a touch of trepidation due to the predicted deflation of grades to pre-Covid levels.

“I worked really hard and the teaching was very good, so I did feel well-prepared and that my exams had gone well,” he added. “I wasn’t unconfident because of all that, but I was really surprised and happy with my results because I didn’t think I’d done that well.

“I was also a bit worried by the national news stories suggesting that it would be harder to get the grades you wanted this year.”

Explaining why he selected the courses he did at A Level, Connor said: “I chose the subjects because they were my favourites at GCSE. I’m strongest in the STEM area, so I was playing to my strengths really – I’m more logical than creative.”