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East Suffolk: Celebrations for many A-level students but some schools report fall in results

09:32 15 August 2014

A Level results day at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham.
Robin Bendix -Hickman (A,A,A*,A) is going to Oxford and Tom Debenham (3 A*) is going to Durham.

A Level results day at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. Robin Bendix -Hickman (A,A,A*,A) is going to Oxford and Tom Debenham (3 A*) is going to Durham.

Months of waiting came to an end for thousands of anxious students across the region yesterday.

For many, results day opened the door to a place at their chosen university after two years of hard work.

A number of schools enjoyed record-breaking results and outstanding individual achievements.

At Farlingaye High School, in Woodbridge, a quarter of students gained at least one A* grade. Of the 184 who sat exams, more than a third achieved at least two A grades.

Headteacher Sue Hargadon said: “All the staff and governors are absolutely thrilled for this lovely group of students who have worked so hard and with such commitment.”

At Thomas Mills High School sixth form, Framlingham, 16 students achieved three or more As.

Headteacher Philip Hurst said: “There are some absolutely stunning individual performances and my congratulations to all the students.”

At Woodbridge School the share of A* grades increased, with 20% of pupils gaining three As or better.

Stephen Cole, retiring headmaster, said: “It is reassuring that such a very high proportion of our grades match the initial offers at first choice universities. These candidates deserve every congratulation.”

Sixth formers at Alde Valley School, in Leiston, marked a year of academic and personal achievement with a 100% pass rate.

Head of sixth form Anne Marie Oaten said: “We are pleased to see so many of our students achieving their places at a range of universities including Cambridge.”

At Felixstowe Academy, staff were delighted with the progress made in English – with all English literature students achieving A* to C grades, 75% gaining A*-A grade, and 68% of English language entrants achieving A*-C. More than half of maths students, and all further maths students, gained A* to C.

Principal Andrew Salter said: “Once again I am delighted that we have been able to support all our students in obtaining results that they thoroughly deserve, and wish all of them the very best of luck in their future education and career.”

The pass rate was 100% at Stowmarket High School. Keith Penn, headteacher, said: “They have done themselves proud.”

Stowupland High achieved its highest performance figures this year. Headteacher Karen Grimes said: “A day such as this is the best possible antidote to the criticism of education in Suffolk. Our students are an absolute credit to the county.”

Students at Hartismere School sixth form, in Eye, also achieved a 100% pass rate.

Headmaster, James McAtear, said: “These results are a testimony to the hard work of all our staff, governors and students and to the support given to them by their parents.”

Just north of the border, Diss High School performed well, with 100% of students achieving the overall pass rate (A*-E) – the same level of success as last year.

Student Declan Jones got five A-levels at A* or A grade, as well as an A* for an extended project – the equivalent of an AS-level – securing a place to study physics at Oxford University, meaning the school has now seen students secure places at Oxford and Cambridge universities for 10 successive years.

Headteacher Jan Hunt said: “Students and staff are to be congratulated on a fabulous set of results.”

Acting headteacher at Bungay High School, Catherine Wiltshire, congratulated students, staff and parents, saying results “reflected the hard work of our students and staff, despite the national picture of results being down.”

A spokesman for St Felix School, Reydon, said: “We are delighted with the results which are a testament to the students’ hard work and the data confirm exceptional value-added scores – 99% of our students have been accepted by their first choice universities.”

Sir John Leman High School, in Beccles, enjoyed an increase in the number of students achieving the highest grades, including Gregory Tate, who gained four A*s and will be joined by Saskia Baylis at Cambridge University. Senior deputy headteacher Michael Taylor said: “The school is delighted by the success of our students which this year’s results reflect.”

Meanwhile, eight out of 10 schools in the Ipswich area saw a fall in the proportion of grades awarded at A*-C amid changes to the exam system.

But Northgate High School bucked the trend as the only school in Ipswich to have reported an increase in the proportion of grades awarded at A*-C. It went up from 79% to 81%.

Headteacher David Hutton said he was “delighted” to report “genuine success” at the school. He said: “Pass rates are up; points per student are up; the number of our students achieving three or four strong A-level grades are up.”

But elsewhere results were down. Suffolk New College saw the proportion of grades awarded at A*-C fall.

It also fell at Ipswich School, Kesgrave High School, St Alban’s Catholic High School, Ipswich Academy, St Joseph’s College, One (formerly Suffolk One) and the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook.

It remained static at the Ipswich High School for Girls, staying at 85.7%. Meanwhile, the overall pass rate, fell at six schools, but despite the dip in results, headteachers praised their students.

Kesgrave High School headteacher, Nigel Burgoyne said: “Staff are very proud of all the students for their hard work and commitment.”

At St Joseph’s, principal Danielle Clarke said: “We are proud of all of our students and wish them every success for their future careers and university destinations.”

At One, 318 students took their A-levels, with 100% gaining A*-E. Principal Alan Whittaker said: “Last year was an outstanding year for us and this year we have repeated or exceeded this progress so we are naturally delighted.”

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