Essex pupils celebrate top grades

PUPILS across Essex have celebrated another stunning year of A-level success with record hauls of top grades for the county's schools.

PUPILS across Essex have celebrated another stunning year of A-level success with record hauls of top grades for the county's schools.

After a long and anxious wait for thousands of pupils, D-day finally arrived yesterday as they picked up all-important grades.

Results from the Chelmsford County High School for Girls were as strong as ever with 96% of all passes at grades A to C.

Headteacher Nicole Chapman said that although 59 of the school's 135 students had gained three or more A grades, it was important to celebrate the achievement rather than criticise the A-level format.

She said: “The increase in the percentage of high grades nationally should not be derided but celebrated. Such achievements are the outcome of exceptional dedication from young people themselves and from their teachers, who all deserve our admiration.”

Colbayns High School in Clacton had 66 students collecting their A-level grades yesterday and headteacher Nick Pavitt was delighted about the positive results for so many individual students, with every candidate passing at least one course.

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He said: “It is brilliant that we have seen our stay-on rates in the sixth form continue to be high and that Colbayns is meeting the needs of a wide group of students and helping to open doors and raise aspirations.”

Gerry Gurhy, deputy head of Hedingham School in Sible Hedingham, said: “All of the students should be commended for their achievements and their teachers congratulated for the support they have provided to help students to gain success in their future adult and working lives.”

The A-level students at Colchester Royal Grammar School were celebrating more outstanding results.

Headmaster Ken Jenkinson said: “I am delighted for the students in this year group. They made the most of their education, supported each other throughout and were actively involved in the wider life of the school. They can now progress with confidence to their chosen university courses.”

Sue Cowans, headteacher at Philip Morant School in Colchester, and Gareth Staines, head of college, congratulated all their students on yet another year of excellent results, with most reaching their individual target. The overall pass rate was 98%.

Almost all subjects achieved a 100% pass rate and the greater majority of students will be moving on to their first choice university.

The Sixth Form College, Colchester was also celebrating as the 1,100 A-level students achieved the college's best results ever with a pass rate of 98%.

The overall results were described by Ian MacNaughton, the college principal, as “superb - right at the top end of our expectations”.

The hard work clearly paid off at The Plume School in Maldon with an A to E grade pass rate of 97% for the 97 candidates, with many now heading off into higher education.

Head Sarah Dignasse said: “There is a great deal for our students to celebrate and hopefully they will enjoy the success that they have achieved after the hard work and the long wait over the last few weeks for the results.”

Students at New Hall School in Chelmsford set another year-on-year improvement with an overall pass rate of 100%.

Moulsham High School and Humanities College saw 117 students collect their results and together they set a 97.1% pass rate at grades A to E.

Headteacher Dr Chris Nicholls said: “I am delighted with this year's results. They continue to show a significant upward trend, particularly for the higher grades.

Dr Michael Walker, the new headmaster at Felsted School, paid tribute to its A-level students who each achieved the equivalent of more than three A grades.

He added: “Not only do the students deserve credit but I would also wish to acknowledge the substantial achievements of my predecessor Stephen Roberts, who was headmaster here for 15 years and who has achieved a great deal in the school.”

Nardeep Sharma, principal at The Colne Community College, said she was delighted that all students and teachers' hard work had culminated in a successful group of results with an overall pass rate of 98%.

Clacton County High School principal Jeff Bindle said students had recorded a “very pleasing” set of results and should be proud of their achievements. “Excellent results were gained across the board,” he said.

Each of the 139 students at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford passed every A-level with a 98% pass rate at grade A to C.

Assistant head Robert Birke said: “It's very pleasing to see. They have been with us for seven years, most of them, and to grow up from little kids to now go on and have the confidence to do whatever they want to is fantastic.”

Interim deputy principal Chris Hudson said that despite a year of change at Braintree College, the 62 candidates deserved congratulating for achieving an overall pass rate of 90%.

He said: “The last year has been one of change for the college but staff have worked extremely hard to make sure that students achieve their potential and enjoy their studies. The students can be congratulated on some excellent results and some outstanding individual achievement.”

The 31 students undergoing A-levels at the Harwich School recorded the second best results in its history and were congratulated by Tom Govan, head of sixth form.

Average UCAS points scored were up by 5% from last year at Thurstable Sports College and Sixth form Centre, producing the best results for seven years.

Tendring Technology College saw 82% of its A-level pupils gain the results to head off to their first choice universities.

Chris Moy, director of sixth form, said: “We now have more students than ever moving smoothly on to the university of their choice.”

Record results were also being cheered at St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School in Chelmsford after students achieved an overall pass rate of 99.2%

Headteacher Frank McEvoy said: “Over the last two years staff and students have worked incredibly hard to achieve these outstanding results.”

Simon Walsh, Essex County Council's cabinet member for schools, children and families, said: “All our hard-working students deserve our congratulations at this time.

“Many will be now taking the first steps towards further education while others will be looking forward to entering the world of work. Whatever their plans, I want to wish them the best for the future.”

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