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First Choice University Destinations for Malvern St James

Pupils at Malvern St James Girls’ School are celebrating achieving places at their first choice university destinations on A Level Results Day.


It’s the long-awaited A Level results day and pupils at Malvern St James Girls’ School in Malvern, Worcestershire, have been celebrating achieving places at some of the top universities in the country on the most competitive courses.

This includes Medicine at Bristol and Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Biomedical Science at York, Biological Sciences at Exeter, Rural land Management at Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, Psychology at Manchester, International Business Management at Exeter, Modern Languages and Culture at Durham, History at Exeter and Graphic Design at Loughborough.

Sixteen per cent of the cohort achieved a very impressive clean sweep of A*s and As. Across all A Levels and equivalent qualifications taken, grades show 31% of pupils achieving A*-A; 62% achieving A*-B and 81% achieving A*-C. Subjects which have a particularly strong showing, in line with MSJ’s reputation for its excellence in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) and its cross curricular approach to combining these disciplines, include Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science achieving 50% of grades at A*-A and Art achieving 67% at A*-A.

Pupils taking BTECs in Sport achieved a clean sweep of Distinction Star (D*), the top grade available; and those taking BTEC Food Science and Nutrition all achieved Distinction Star (D*) and Distinction (D), the top two grades, in this subject.

Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty comments, “It is of course the individual success stories that count so much. The pupils who have worked their socks off to achieve these results and have had little public exam experience to go on.”

The breadth of interests of MSJ pupils is demonstrated in the courses they have chosen for university study, from Anthropology & History of Art, Real Estate, and Law to History, Japanese Studies, Architecture, and Nutrition. Some are also exploring apprenticeships as an alternative to university, as well as studying in other countries. One MSJ sports scholarship student has already taken up her place as a prestigious Sports Scholar at Wingate University, North Carolina, from where her aspiration is to be a professional triathlete.

MSJ's Founders’ Award bursary scholar who joined for Sixth Form with fee assistance has achieved her ambition of studying Business and Management at Oxford Brookes University.

Mrs Olivera Raraty continues, “This day ends a long period of anticipation for our Year 13s and they can be exceptionally proud of the results they have received. This year group was impacted at GCSE level by Covid, so they have no experience of sitting formal public examinations in the traditional way. They have been thrown in at the deep end with A Levels, which is tough. They have also been more generally adversely affected by an unsettling period of online schooling and physical isolation from their peer group at a critical point, and having to find their feet again on the usual school trajectory. I could not be more proud of how well they have risen to these challenges.”

“Added to this, it was expected to be a tight year for university places, with UCAS warning in advance that pupils should be ready to explore Plan Bs in terms of their university aspiration so we are very pleased that the majority of pupils have secured their first choice place.”

“It has still been a deeply unsettling time for 18 year olds as they navigate the extraordinary circumstances that have been thrown at them.”

“All pupils across the country should be commended on their resilience and maturity in responding to the continuing Covid fall-out.”

“On a separate note, one trend we are starting to see is more pupils considering apprenticeships, degree level and otherwise, as an alternative route to university. I’m sure that this will continue to grow as it becomes a more popular and financially sustainable option.”

“We wish all of our MSJ girls the very best in their onwards paths. They have been a fantastic cohort, hard-working and fun, and superb leaders and role models for younger girls in the school. We will continue to follow with interest all of their journeys and preferred routes to careers.”

August 2023