GCSE Results Day 2017: Pupils in Ipswich jumping for joy after collecting long-awaited results
Follow our live coverage today as hundreds of students receive their long-awaited GCSE results, amid concerns over the new number-based grading scale being introduced for the first time in a generation.
We will provide updated school-by-school results from 18 schools in the Ipswich area, as well as analysis from headteachers and education chiefs.
New GCSE grades will be awarded for the first time, with just a small proportion of entries expected to score the highest result. School leaders across England have warn that GCSE reforms are already causing teenagers more stress and anxiety, and this is likely to increase as more subjects switch to the new system.
Under the biggest shake-up of exams in England for a generation, traditional A* to G grades are being gradually replaced with a 9 to 1 system, with 9 the highest mark. English and maths – key GCSEs for all teenagers – are the first to move over, with other subjects following until 2020.
The grading switch is part of wider reforms designed to make GCSEs more rigorous and challenging. A grade 7 is broadly equivalent to an A under the old system, while a 4 is broadly equivalent to a C. The new headline figure is the percentage of students achieving a grade 4 in English and maths.
The academy, part of the Active Learning Trust, has recorded its best ever GCSE results. Some 56% of students achieved a grade 4 or above in English and maths - an increase of 18% of last year’s equivalent grades. The results are the first time the government’s new GCSE grading measures of 1 to 9 have been used, with 9 the highest mark and 4 representing a standard pass - previously a C.
Principal Craig D’Cunha said: “I am delighted that the hard work of our students coupled with the support of the staff and whole community have led to the academy’s highest number of students reaching the expected standard.
“The grades will give students the freedom to make their own choices about the next stage of their education. This rapid improvement has been a real team effort and I am proud to be working alongside Chantry’s committed and talented staff and students.”
Gary Peile, chief Executive of the Active Learning Trust, added: “I am delighted for everyone at Chantry, specifically for the students and staff who have achieved this significant improvement in 2017.
“I want to thank Craig, his whole team and the parents at Chantry for their support for the students to enable them to succeed.”
Claydon High School
Of the 120 students to sit their GCSEs this year, 65% achieved a grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher Sarah Skinner said: “We are delighted with how well our students and staff have tackled the new set of English and maths exams; despite them being more challenging we are very pleased with the 65% of students who achieved good passes in both subjects. Many individuals have secured an excellent set of results and we would like to congratulate all of our students on their hard work and success and thank parents and carers for their support over five years.”
Copleston High School
Hard work and dedication by pupils and teachers at Copleston High School has led to 67% of students achieving at least a grade four in English and maths.
Principal Shaun Common said he was delighted – particularly as the shake-up in examinations this year has been demanding.
“We would like to congratulate our students, parents and staff on our GCSE successes,” he said. “There have been a number of wonderful individual performances at a time when the examinations are more demanding and this bears testimony to the incredible hard work of our students, supported by our dedicated staff. A total of 67% of our students have achieved at least a grade four in English and maths, and we are delighted with the progress our students have made over their five years at Copleston High School.”
East Bergholt High School
The school is celebrating after 70% of the 182 students to take their GCSEs achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher Colin Turner said: “The exceptionally pleasing results, in both English and maths reflect the hard work of a lovely cohort of students. The students were also fantastically supported by their parents. Credit must also go to English and maths teaching staff who worked hard to interpret the demands of the new, more challenging GCSEs. The success students have enjoyed in their GCSEs, across all their subjects, go alongside the many other achievements they gained in the arts, music, sport and much more, during their time at East Bergholt High School.”
Out of 208 GCSE students, 48% achieved a grade four or above in English and maths.
Principal Anthony Williams said: “We are all very pleased and proud of our students’ achievements. We are particularly pleased with the number of students who achieved the highest grade (9) in English and maths. I’d like to thank the teaching staff for their hard work and commitment in supporting our students.”
Hadleigh High School
Pupils at Hadleigh High School are delighted this morning – out of the 148 who took GCSE exams 65% of them secured a grade four or higher in English and maths.
Headteacher Caroline Gibson believes the good results are the result of positive partnerships between pupils, parents and staff. She said: “We are really proud of the efforts made by our pupils and staff in a time of great national turbulence in GCSE examinations. We believe that pupils’ commitment to their learning will place them in the strongest position to continue their future studies effectively.”
Almost nine in ten pupils (89%) achieved at least a grade four in English and maths for their GCSE results at Holbrook Academy.
This year’s results have been described as being “nothing short of spectacular” by headteacher Dr Simon Letman – 96% of 102 students taking the exams achieved a grade four or higher in English. Set against the national context, where English and maths courses are now significantly harder than in the past, these results are nothing short of spectacular,” Dr Letman said. Over 96% of students achieved a grade four or better in English and over 89% in maths. Last year, the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and maths was 70%, the best in the school’s history. This year we have exceeded this figure by a full 10%, consolidating our position as one of the top schools in the county.”
Pupils and teachers at the academy are celebrating the school’s best ever results this morning, according to headteacher Helen Winn.
Of the 106 youngsters entered for GCSE exams, 50.9% achieved at least a grade four (the old C grade) in English and maths.
Ms Winn said: “We are delighted that the students’ hard work has been rewarded with these results. The new exam formats and marking schemes makes comparison difficult, but we are confident that the percentage of students getting a grade four in English and maths is higher than A*-C last year – making these our best results ever. It is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the school that our progress has been this good.”
Ipswich High School for Girls
The school achieved its best A*-A and equivalent results in seven years, reporting that 70% of grades were in the top bracket. A total of 15% of students also gained seven or more A*s and equivalent in all subjects.
Oona Carlin, Head at Ipswich High School commented: “I would like to congratulate all our students for their effort and dedication which has gone into achieving these fantastic results. It is wonderful to see A* grades across such diverse and broad subjects which demonstrates that our students flourish as individuals in the senior school.”
More than three-quarters of exams at Ipswich School were graded A*-A in a range of subjects.
One of the largest groups of GCSE pupils in recent years at the school achieved a 100% pass rate at grade 4 in English and maths.
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We are very proud of these results, with the number of A* grades achieved being the highest for four years. Our pupils have done very well in giving themselves an excellent foundation at GCSE level to go on to further study and, ultimately, to the universities of their choice. We look forward to seeing record numbers enrolling with us in Year 12 at the beginning of September to continue their school careers.”
Nadia Mason achieved nine A* grades and two grade 9s in English - the highest possible scores in all her subjects. he said: “I was nervous but I knew I couldn’t have done any more work. When I opened the envelope I couldn’t believe it – I was speechless.”
Kesgrave High School
Out of the 285 GCSE students, 62% of them achieved a Grade 4 or higher in English and maths.
A total of 14 students achieved the new gold standard Grade 9 in English and maths. A school spokesman said: “We are delighted that so many students can now progress onto 6th Form, college and apprenticeships.
Northgate High School
Headteacher David Hutton said: “Despite changes making it impossible to compare some measures to previous years, the percentage achieving a C equivalent in both English and mathematics is up 3% at 71%. I would like to congratulate all pupils and staff on this fantastic accomplishment.”
Don’t complain, revise hard, and don’t think you can fail. That’s the advice on how to pass the tougher GCSE exams from one of top-performing pupils at Northgate High School in Ipswich. Asha Dey was one of 2.6% of pupils in England who achieved the highest grade 9 in English language. She also scored a grade 9 in English literature, 8 in maths (equivalent to an A*), and eight other A*s.
“I’m so overwhelmed and proud of myself,” she said. “It was very daunting on our first day (in September 2015) when they said ‘everything we’re doing is different’. There were not many past papers and we couldn’t ask our older siblings for advice. Learning all the poems was difficult. My friends and I were worrying before the exams. Some didn’t sleep well, but we have all done very well. So my advice would be to just put your head down. These GCSEs are not going away. Don’t complain, saying ‘they are too hard’. They are achievable. Revise, work hard, and you will be fine.”
Ormiston Endeavour Academy
Some 47% of students at the academy in Ipswich achieved at least a grade 4 in English and in maths.
Student Lauren Dedman achieved grade nines in both English exams and maths and six traditioanl A*s. She was decribed as an “exceptional student” by the school, which added: “She showed great commitment and dedication to her studies throughout her time at the academy. She worked particularly hard in Year 11 and supported other students with revision and exam preparation.”
Principal Christine Woods said: “I would like to congratulate our students today for their fantastic results. They have worked incredibly hard, supported their parents and our staff, and fully deserve the results they are receiving today.”
Royal Hospital School
A total of 91.7% of pupils gained at least a grade four in both English and maths.
The proportion of eight and nine grades, the equivalent of an A*, in English language and maths rose by 5.8% and 11.8% respectively compared with 2016. In addition, 25.6% of pupils gained a grade eight or nine in English Literature.
Headmaster Simon Lockyer said: “The results for English and maths were very hard to predict this year but, by continuing to stretch our most able, a significant number of pupils achieved the very top grades of 9 and 8 in the core subjects. I am also particularly pleased in an increased percentage of our pupils achieving the equivalent of A* and A (9-7) in English Language and English Literature.”
St Alban’s Catholic High School
Principal Colin Walker said the results are “encouraging” and reflects the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff.
He said: “It is a pleasure to see progress and development of our Year 11 cohort over the five years at the school.
“Today we celebrate the pupils’ success and we are delighted for them. At St Alban’s diversity is celebrated and all are encouraged have a positive outlook when planning their future. Many pupils will return in September to begin courses in the sixth form and that will bring a new set of challenges and we wish those moving on to other providers all our best wishes.”
St Joseph’s College
Danielle Clarke, principal, said: “It is enormously gratifying to post another increase in examination results, this time at GCSE. I am proud of our students’ academic achievement, including those who have achieved a clean sweep of exceptional GCSE grades, including the new Grade 9s – equivalent to double A*.”
A school spokesman added: “This is an exciting time for the college with the opening of a new £1m sixth form centre last year, the addition of BTEC and EPQ courses to the already popular A-level programme and a new head of sixth form, Dr Jennifer Stimson from Colchester Royal Grammar School, taking the helm this September.”
Stoke High School - Ormiston Academy
The school in Maidenhall Approach celebrated results which improved from last year. A total of 44% of students achieved a grade 4 or better in English and maths, up by four percentage points on the former C grades from 2016.
Despite the tougher maths exams this year, the pass rate was up by nine percentage points, reaching 55%.
Principal Glenn Mellor said students and staff responded “brilliantly” to the GCSE reforms. He said: “As a school we have always focused on the achievement of every student, including those taking the academic subjects, and these results bear out our commitment. Today is further proof of our improvement, and I look forward to us building on this next year.”
Progress is being made at Westbourne Academy according to bosses – almost 60% achieved grade four and above in English and maths.
Part of the Academy Transformation Trust, 58% of GCSE pupils at the school managed to reach the milestone figure.
Giedrius Banys, who arrived in the UK in 2012, was the highest performing student with the equivalent of five A*s and three As. He collected two top grade nines in both maths and English literature. Jade Archer scooped five A*s and three A grades – with a level nine in maths.
Principal Garry Trott said: “I am delighted with these results and the continued improvement that they demonstrate for the academy. It is testament to both the hard work of pupils and staff that results have improved at a time when both English and maths examinations are getting more challenging.”