GCSE results day 2021 - live updates from Ipswich and Felixstowe schools

Students and parents were delighted with results at Ipswich High School

Students and parents were delighted with results at Ipswich High School - Credit: Anthony Cullen/ Ipswich School

Today is the day teenagers in Ipswich and Felixstowe have been waiting for - as they find out their GCSE results in a year like no other.

2021 has been full of disruption for schools and young people, who were forced to learn at home for long periods due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Exams were also cancelled, meaning that the grades young people receive this year are based on teacher assessments.

Overall across the East of England grades are up with 77.1% of GCSE students achieving a grade 4 and above compared to 76.2% in 2020 and 67.1% in 2019. 

A total of 28.5% of students had a grade 7 or above in the region with 25.9% getting the same results in 2020 and 20.5% in 2019. 

Keep an eye on our live story for how Ipswich and Felixstowe schools are faring as pupils open their results.

Northgate High School, Ipswich

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Northgate’s Year 11 students received their results this morning following an extremely difficult and challenging two years of GCSE studies. 

Mr Banham, deputy Headteacher, said: "We are delighted that our students are moving on to their post-16 pathways, both at Northgate and beyond. 

"As a year group, they have proven themselves to be adaptable, positive and incredibly resilient. They have been a very positive cohort who have risen to the challenges the pandemic brought."

Rowena Mackie, headteacher, said "Our students have shown real resilience in completing their studies and adapting to a new way of working. They have overcome obstacles over the last two years and remained determined and positive.

"These results are a testament to the students and to the teachers, support staff, parents and carers who have worked to support them over the last two years. This Year 11 have been a pleasure to teach and we wish them all the best for their futures."

Maisy Southgate, kacey Webb, George Hollands, Lina Khan.

Copleston High School GCSE students Maisy Southgate, Kacey Webb, George Hollands, Lina Khan. - Credit: Copleston High School

Copleston High School, Ipswich

Copleston High School GCSE students have achieved their best grades "ever". 

More than 74 per cent of the hundreds of Year 11 pupils at the school in Ipswich achieved high pass grades in both English and Maths.  

Top scoring students have included George Hollands, 16, who achieved exceptional grades with eight Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and one Grade 7. 

The budding film director was most proud of his Grade 9 in Music, after learning to play the drums over the last two years. 

He has dreams of becoming a film director just like Shaun of the Dead creator Edgar Wright. 

George is heading back to Copleston to study Film Studies, History, Maths and Psychology. 

He wants to go into comedy, after his mates have dubbed him the “funny one” in his group of friends.  

George said: “I was really pleased with my music result, it was definitely the most challenging. 

“It’s been hard this year because we just didn’t know where we were at even just a few months ago. 

“There’s been no consistency, and its been tough with lockdowns over the last few years, none of us knew what was going on. 

“But the teachers have helped, emailing us and giving us a lot of time.” 

Lina Khan, 16, from Landseer, scored top grades across the board, getting six Grade 9s, and five Grade 8s. 

The aspiring doctor will be studying Chemistry, Biology and Sociology, at sixth form, and wants to emulate the NHS heroes that have helped so many people during the pandemic. 

She said: “In the last few years doctors and nurses have been so important since the pandemic, but I am strongest at science subjects, and would love to help others.

“I was so shocked with my results, I didn’t expect to see so many 9s and 8s, but it was all the hard work that made it worth it.” 

Maisy Southgate, 16 from Nacton achieved top of the class grades with six Grade 9s, and five Grade 8s. 

Maisy was most proud of her Grade 9 in History, and said: “I’ve always struggled with it (History) and in the mocks I was really disheartened, but after that I really pushed myself and I got a good grade. 

“Me setting really high expectations for myself and when I get test results back I feel disappointed but that’s always been the main thing that’s been a challenge, its been my own personal high targets, but it seems like its worked out in the end.” 

Kacey Webb, 16, achieved one Grade 9, eight Grade 8s and two sixes. 

She dances most days of the week and performs in pantomines in Woodbridge every year. 

She said:” All the teachers have been amazing, they have helped me so much, and have been brilliant throughout everything. 

“I can’t thank them enough, and they’ve helped me get the grades that are going to hopefully help my dreams come true.”

She is now going to study Dance, Health and Social Care, English Language and History at Copleston. 

Principal Andy Green said: “The kids have done remarkably well after two extremely challenging years, the results are absolutely to their credit. 

“It’s the best results the school has ever seen and were incredibly proud of the students. 

“We’ve had 74 per cent of our students getting level 4-9 in English and Maths and very high progress scores. 

“We’ve done even better than last year based on a rigorous teacher assessment programme, where students sat a vast number or assessments in examination settings marked against very strict exam criteria. 

“They’ve all done brilliantly well, and it’s the best results we’ve ever had.  

“We’re incredibly proud of all the students who have risen to the challenge under very difficult circumstances.” 

Kesgrave High School, Kesgrave

Kesgrave High School headteacher Julia Upton has spoken of the trials her students have faced during the pandemic. 

Ms Upton said: "Our Year 11 students have faced many challenges in the last two years at school. No-one could have foreseen the passage of the last eighteen months and all that they have had to overcome. It is hence with great pride and a genuine sense of accomplishment that they received their GCSE and BTEC results today.

"The manner of the qualifications this year has been quite different but these students’ efforts no less great. Our students deserve every credit for what they have achieved. These results are a tribute to how they and their teachers worked through lockdown and once back in school. My thanks go to all our staff for the integrity, dedication and care with which they have approached the last year.

"Many students will use these results to take the next step into our Sixth Form, some to more vocational college courses, apprenticeships, or the world of work. Whatever their next step we wish them well and congratulate them heartily for all that they have achieved this year."

Ipswich High School, Woolverstone

Ipswich High School had nearly all of its GCSE students. 99%, get a grade 4 overall. A total of 100% of students in English, 96% in Maths and for both Maths and English 98% got their grade 4. 

Students and parents were delighted with results at Ipswich High School

Students getting results at Ipswich High School - Credit: Anthony Cullen/ Ipswich School

Mark Howe, the school’s Head, is impressed with the GCSE students’ academic performance: “Celebrating such incredible A-Level and now GCSE results with our amazing students and their families this week has been the highlight of a year where all these young people have overcome some significant challenges. 

"Today is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work and resilience displayed by all our Year 11 students and I could not be more pleased that this effort has been rewarded by truly outstanding results.

Students and parents were delighted with results at Ipswich High School

Students and parents were delighted with results at Ipswich High School - Credit: Anthony Cullen/ Ipswich High School

"As all members of our community know only too well, such high attainment is not possible without the close support of our parental community as well as the inspirational teaching delivered day in day out, both in school and during remote learning, by our hugely talented staff body. Congratulations Year 11 – we are so proud of you!’’

Ormiston Endeavour Academy, Ipswich 

Teachers at Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich was really "proud" of their students. 

Jamie Daniels, principal at Ormiston Endeavour Academy, said: “We are very proud of our students and the results they have achieved, which are hugely deserved. They have worked extremely hard over the last two years, and throughout their time with us.

“It has been another unusual year with the pandemic but our students have shown incredible spirit, resilience and motivation throughout and this has been supported by the efforts and commitment of our incredible staff.”

Shane Nessling, who has had a 100% attendance record since nursery, achieved 11 GCSEs including 7 at grade 9 and a BTEC at the highest grade of distinction star.  

Atiya Rahman achieved 9 GCSEs, eight of which were grades 8 and 9, and 2 BTEC qualifications at the highest grade of distinction star.

Jake White and Sky Welham had an average improvement of three grades in every subject compared to what they had achieved before. 

Stoke High School, Ipswich

Students at Stoke High School have been a "credit" to themselves, the headteacher has said.  

Andrew Robinson, principal at Stoke High School, said: "We are very proud of our students and the results that they have achieved. They have worked tirelessly throughout the past five years and its brilliant to be celebrating their achievements today.

“Our students have shown tremendous resilience throughout the past two years and have been a credit to themselves and our school. I would like to thank all our students, their families, our staff and the wider school community for their ongoing support and we look forward to seeing our students progress on to the next stage of their education.”

Lily Barker, Kellan Bilner, Dominic Blacker, Priom Dey, Gabirel Chaplin, Estelle Duarte, Sophie Laredo, Leah Falzon and Owen Wright all managed to achieve a number of grade 9s and grade 8s.

Suffolk New College, Ipswich

Suffolk New College helps mainly students aged between 16 and 18, who retake English and Maths whilst at college.

In total, 740 students, across their three campuses, retook their maths GCSE this year with 45.4% achieving a grade of 4 or above. This was almost a 20 percentage point improvement on the results in 2020 where the 4 or above pass rate was 25.9%.

A total of 772 learners resat their English GCSE with almost half, 48.5%, achieving a grade 4 or above. In 2020, this pass rate figure was 34.5%.

Director of English and Maths at Suffolk New College, Chris Gilbert, said: “Compared to last year, we have shown remarkable progress by achieving some fantastic grades and these results have been richly deserved by learners who have worked so hard during such extraordinary and challenging times.

“As a college, we are delighted that we have been able to help hundreds of students gain a grade 4 or above in their English and maths GCSEs, having previously not been able to do so whilst at school.

“I’ve been really impressed by the resilience and perseverance that our learners have demonstrated. I couldn’t be more proud of our students and staff for their incredible efforts this year.

“I wish all of our learners the very best in the next stage of their lives as they look to continue with their educational journeys or enter the world of work.”

Charlotte Barker

Charlotte Barker, student at Suffolk New College - Credit: Suffolk New College

Charlotte Barker from Ipswich retook her GCSE English language and secured a grade 7 this time after getting a grade 3 last time.

The 18-year-old painting and decorating student, said: "I was in disbelief - I thought they had got it wrong. I worked hard to get this and I think this will help me in the future."

Caymen Hammond from Ipswich gained a grade 4 in English after five times doing this subject. 

Caymen Hammond

Caymen Hammond, student at Suffolk New College - Credit: Suffolk New College

On his success, the 22-year-old said: "I'm glad I got it after all the hard work. It's a relief. Passing this will help me in the future. The college has been helpful and supportive."

Chris Gilbert

Chris Gilbert from Suffolk New College - Credit: Suffolk New College

Mr Gilbert, added: “Suffolk New College merged with Suffolk Rural in January 2020 and during this time staff and students have shown a real determination to succeed. This can be seen via the huge progress we have made in terms of GCSE results. At our Rural campus, the data for those gaining a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths has risen from 17.2% last year to 52.7% this year.

“Similarly, at Suffolk Rural, 43.9% of students gained a grade 4 or above in their GCSE English course compared with 20.3% last year. These results help demonstrate that the English and maths department at Suffolk New College continues to go from strength to strength.”

"If there is anyone out there who is thinking about brushing up on their English and maths skills or retaking a GCSE, then do get in touch as it’s never too late!"

St Alban's Catholic High School, Ipswich

A total of 73% of all students achieved both English and Maths at grades 9 to 4.

St Alban's Catholic High School has celebrated the results of its students 

St Alban's Catholic High School has celebrated the results of its students - Credit: St Alban's Catholic High School

Matt Baker, headteacher at St Alban’s Catholic High School said: “Year 11 have been an amazing year group. It was only right for them to do so well – we look forward to welcoming them back into St Alban’s Sixth Form in September”

Chantry Academy, Ipswich

Students and staff at Chantry Academy, part of The Active Learning Trust, are celebrating yet another year of GCSE success.

Executive principal of Chantry Academy, Craig D’Cunha, said: “We are incredibly proud of our GCSE students who have once again achieved such excellent results. There can be no doubt that their consistent hard work and dedication over the last few years has paid off, despite all the challenges they have faced.”

“It is also great to see these results have been achieved in such a wide variety of subjects, and we have our wonderful teaching staff to thank for that. They truly have gone above and beyond for our young people these last couple of years, and our success would not have been possible without them.”

Chantry Academy

Chantry Academy pupils getting their GCSE results. - Credit: Chantry Academy

Head of school at Chantry Academy, Rick Hanson, said: “Congratulations to all our students receiving their results today. We are delighted that so many attained the grades they require to move on to their next stage of education.

“The last two years have seen unprecedented disruption and rapidly changing expectations. This has however led to students developing resilience, determination and versatility, skills that will undoubtedly support them throughout their life.”

Particular achievements included those of Natalia Cesarska who achieved four grade 8s, three grade 7s, two grade 6s, two grade 5s, and a distinction.

Fellow student, Ellie Forder received one grade 9, four grade 8s, one grade 7, two grade 6s, one grade 5, and a distinction.

Additionally, Alexander Fotheringham achieved four grade 8s, one grade 7, three grade 6s, and three grade 5s.

Chantry Academy

Chantry Academy pupils getting their GCSE results. - Credit: Chantry Academy

While Lasma Orlova received four grade 9s, four grade 8s, two grade 7s, one grade 6, and a distinction.

Emma Taylor was another top performer and achieved four grade 9s, three grade 8s, one grade 7, one grade 6, and a distinction.

Charlie Bird was another and received three grade 9s, three grade 8s, one grade 7, two grade 6s, and one distinction* and distinction.

Finally, Victoria Kessel achieved three grade 8s, four grade 7s, two grade 6s, and one distinction* and merit.

Ipswich School, Ipswich

Ipswich School headmaster, Nicholas Weaver, was delighted with his students GCSE results.

Of the 138 students doing GCSEs, 100% achieved 5 or more GCSEs at grade 4 or above and at least a grade 4 in English and Maths.

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results - Credit: Warren Page/Ipswich School

A total of 28.3% had GCSEs at grade 9, 49.4% at grades 9-8: and 71.2% grades 9-7. 

Nicholas Weaver said: “I am very proud of our brilliant Year 11 pupils, who have met the challenges of the last 18 month, with focus and good humour, and who have achieved such excellent results across our wide range of subjects.

"This is our largest ever cohort of GCSE students and they have done fantastically well, especially in such a testing time.

“Once again, our pupils have applied themselves and staff have worked with great integrity through the process. I am thrilled that 62 pupils achieved 9 or more GCSEs at grade 7 or above, with 10 pupils achieving the top grade 9 in 9 or more subjects. I’m delighted to celebrate with all of our students today.”

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results - Credit: Warren Page/Ipswich School

Andrew Bradshaw, head of middle school, said:  “I am immensely proud of this wonderful cohort of Year 11 students and their achievements. They are a remarkable group of young people with a strong work ethic and a genuine sense of camaraderie.

"Ipswich School’s GCSE students have faced each of the lockdowns and the challenges of learning during the pandemic with resilience and maturity; they have consistently applied themselves, both online and in school, and have supported one another through this unique time.

"They epitomise the Ipswichian student and I am sure that they will flourish in the Sixth Form.”

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results

Ipswich School pupils have reacted with delight to their results - Credit: Warren Page/Ipswich School

Some examples of student successes include Lizzy Merrigan and Rehaan Husain, who both achieved 10 grade 9s in their GCSE subjects; Archie Allen, Albert Newton, Joshua Scoote and Aisam Raja who all achieved nine grade 9s and one grade 8; Luke Davison and Alex Van der Pluym, who each achieved eight grade 9s and two grade 8s, and Olivia Walker, who achieved seven grade 9s and three grade 8s in her GCSE subjects.

St Joseph’s College, Ipswich

St Joseph’s College had 94% of its 68 candidates get a grade 4 and above,  93% of students achieving five GCSEs at Grade 4 and above (including English and Mathematics) and 44% of all grades at 7 to 9 (A -A*A*). 

Nearly all of its students had a grade 4 or above in English, 98.5%, and in Maths, 93%.

St Joseph’s College

A happy day for Carys and her family at St Joseph’s College - Credit: St Joseph’s College

Mr Cinnamond, deputy principal, said: "The impressive headline statistic of 93% of students achieving five GCSEs at Grade 4 and above (including English and Mathematics) only tells part of the story for a cohort who have shown great resilience and have brilliantly learnt to adapt to the challenges of online learning.

"This was undoubtedly a very successful year with most students equalling or beating their personal targets. As ever, we celebrate students achieving their own 'Everest' and clinching those all-important Grade 4s or 5s in Maths and English, whilst also being incredibly delighted by the record-breaking 44% of all grades at 7 to 9.

St Joseph’s College

Amelie Clarke celebrates with her mother and principal of St Joseph’s College Danielle Clarke - Credit: St Joseph’s College

‘We are extremely pleased that the vast majority of this cohort will be staying on with us to complete A-levels, BTEC and CTEC courses at St Joseph’s College Sixth Form.

"Indeed, we look forward to seeing great things from this talented group of young adults who will be shortly joined by a large number of other excellent recruits both from the local area and beyond.’

Holbrook Academy, Holbrook

A total of 64% of Year 11 students achieved a grade 4 in both Maths and English, 72% achieved a Grade 4 or better in maths with 77% achieving a Grade 4 or better in English.  54% achieved at least two Grade 4's in science, with 97% of entries in triple science being awarded a Grade 4 or better.

Headteacher Tom Maltby, said: "We are incredibly proud of all of our students at Holbrook Academy and wish them every success with their brilliant futures."

Holbrook Academy's Rawson has nine GCSEs all at Grade 9,

Holbrook Academy's Sam has 10 GCSEs all at grade 9 - Credit: Holbrook Academy

Outstanding student Sam, got 10 GCSEs all at Grade 9.

He said: “I found the GCSE years enjoyable at Holbrook; the community feeling really helped support my learning”.

Joining Sam was Lottie, who achieved Grade 9’s in all but one of her ten subjects. Lottie did this while also getting a Music grade 8 on the saxophone and representing Suffolk Ladies U18s in cricket.

She said: “I enjoyed every second at Holbrook Academy."

Felixstowe School, Felixstowe

Students at Felixstowe School have been praised for showing “remarkable determination and resilience” after collecting their GCSE results and Level 2 BTEC qualifications.

Emma Wilson-Downes, headteacher, said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for young people, and our students have been incredible in rising to the challenges they have been presented with.

“The work ethic they have built and continually demonstrated will serve them well in future and the grit and determination they have shown throughout has been nothing short of inspirational.

“This year, we are thrilled that so many of our year 11 students have chosen us as their further education provider and we know they will continue to impress us as they enter the sixth form.

"For those leaving us, we are delighted to have been able to support you this far on your journey and look forward to seeing you make a success of the next phase of your education. We really are very proud of you all."

One of the best results was Evie Wheddon, deputy head girl, who achieved nine Grade 9s, a distinction-star in business studies and an A grade in AS Level Maths as well as an A grade in FSMQ Maths.

Another great result was from Aimee Payne who achieved eight grade 9s, two grade 8s, and an A grade in AS Level in Maths as well as an A grade in FSMQ Maths.

While Hannah Barrell had three grade 9s, a distinction-star in business studies, three grade 8s and two grade 7s. Migle Racyte achieved a grade 9, four grade 8s, three grade 7s and a distinction-star in business studies.

Alex Harwood also achieved three grade 9s, a grade 8, four grade 7s and a distinction-star in business studies. 

Claydon High School, Claydon

Claydon High School said students achieved excellent GCSE results.

Headteacher, Maéve Taylor, said, “Congratulations to this year group who have worked hard to achieve excellent GCSE results. Despite the challenges the last two years have presented, these individuals have shown a mature and positive approach to their learning which has enabled them to achieve strongly across a range of subjects.

“We are incredibly proud of each student in this year group for their hard work, which has been supported by a wonderful group of parents and carers and wider family networks.

“Teachers and other staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that all students have been challenged and supported through this unprecedented period of education to achieve a set of grades which will allow them to progress and succeed in their future sixth form studies, college courses and apprenticeships.

"We wish them every success in the future.”

The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook

A total of  97% of the 121 GCSE students achieved a 9-4 pass rate at Royal Hospital School in Holbrook with 54 pupils achieving at least 9-7 grades in six or more subjects and eleven pupils awarded an 8 or above in every subject studied.

A total of 11 pupils gained straight 9s and 8s. 

Catherine Stevens, deputy head, academic, said: “There is no doubt that the cancellation of public exams resulted in increased anxiety for pupils nationally. I am extremely proud of this year group who have showed resilience and determination against adversity and am pleased that so many seized the opportunities presented through their assessments to show us what they are capable of.

"These results reflect the hard work of pupils throughout the past two years, and I am very grateful to our teachers who have been so diligent in the marking and moderation of assessments as we have gone through the TAG process.”

Simon Lockyer, headmaster, said: “Overall, the results for this cohort are very positive and reflect the considerable hard work, tenacity and resilience of the pupils. This year group has encountered almost two years of disruption and the associated anxiety this will have caused.

"Therefore, I am immensely proud and pleased of all that they have achieved both academically and through their wider commitment to life at RHS. We look forward to welcoming the vast majority back to join the Sixth Form and all that offers in the way of new opportunities”.

Noah Arulampalam and siblings

Royal Hospital School's Noah Arulampalam and siblings - Credit: Supplied by Royal Hospital School

Best performing student Noah Arulampalam achieved nine 9s in 2021. 

He said: “I enjoyed French so much because of my teachers, they were so helpful during lockdown when we were online learning.” 

“I would have rather been in school, but we have been really lucky compared to other schools with our system.

"We had the best of a bad situation!”

As well as Modern Languages Noah loves Sciences and has decided to study A Level French, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths.

Noah added: “I’m not too sure what I want to do at University, so I decided to take a mix of subjects for my A Levels. I will probably take something around Science as both my parents work in the NHS and I have always found that area really fascinating.” 

He is the fourth of five siblings to have attended RHS from Year 7, all achieving exceptional grades so far, with his younger sister starting in September 2023.

Westbourne Academy, Ipswich

Out of the 196 students receiving GCSE results, Westbourne Academy had 70 % achieving a grade 4 or higher in English and Maths. 

Mark Bouckley, principal at Westbourne Academy said: "We are very proud of all of our students and the way they have overcome the challenges that Covid has presented. 

"Students have, once again, been supported admirably by Westbourne Academy staff, our trust together by our parents and carers. We are delighted that our teacher assessed grades have been confirmed as they are a robust reflection of the hard work and talents of this group of students.

"A wide range of students secured some strong grades that will help secure the next stage of their education. Eurig Elis (Colville) achieved grade 9s across the board in 9 subjects.

"Fahima Mehzabin 9 grades at 7 and above, including 4 grade 9s in English, maths, geography and business. There was some amazing progress from students when we look at their original starting points. Charlie Knights, achieved 9 grade 7+ including 2 grade 9s in maths and religious studies.

"Beatriz Pereira who has overcome language barriers to achieve 9 grades of 4 and above, and a grade 7 in maths and grade 5 in English."

Susan Byles regional education director at Secondary East academies which Westbourne belongs to said: "The work of the students and staff to ensure that learning continued in its fullest possible way during the past two years should never be underestimated when looking at the achievements of this cohort.

"We need to keep in mind that although the students were not able to sit traditional examinations, they carried on learning during extended periods of lockdown, isolation and partial school closures. Some suffered illness and bereavement caused by the pandemic.

"Coping with all of this shows the determination and resilience of the students and the expertise and commitment of the staff. Everyone who has contributed to this set of results must be proud of what they have achieved. I wish all of the students every success as they embark upon the next stage of their lives."

Ipswich Academy, Ipswich

At Ipswich Academy, 65.4% of pupils achieved between a grade 9 and 4 in English and maths - up 2.4% on 2020, despite an unprecedented final year due to the coronavirus. 

Principal Abbie Thorrington said: “Yet again we are super proud of our Year 11 students, who thoroughly deserve these fantastic results.

Principal of Ipswich Academy Abbie Thorington in the centre with Year 11 students on GSCE Results Day. 

Principal of Ipswich Academy Abbie Thorington in the centre with Year 11 students on GSCE Results Day. - Credit: Ipswich Academy

"The majority have worked their socks off, demonstrated confidence, resilience and taken every opportunity to make the most of their time with us.

"I also want to thank our staff, the student’s families and our community who have all gone the extra mile to provide support.”