Gallery: Schools, colleges and academies are reporting strong A-level results in West Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 15:50 14 August 2014
Hundreds of students in west Suffolk are collecting their results today amid national predictions of a fall in top grades, changing exam conditions and tougher subjects.
Experts have said they are expecting to see the number of candidates awarded A and A* grades fall for the third consecutive year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as universities have revealed there are an extra 30,000 university places available this year and students could still get a place even if they miss their grades.
At King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, teachers and students said they are celebrating another “superb” set of A-level results. A total of 163 students sat the exams with 10% gaining A* and 28% achieving A to A*. There was an overall pass rate (A* to E) of 98% with 80% of grades at C or higher.
Headteacher Geoff Barton says: “Yet again our students have achieved stunning results. This is a nerve-wracking time for them, their parents and their teachers. Now the wait is over. Congratulations to them all.
“We are proud to have helped so many students gain places at the UK’s most prestigious universities, including Oxford & Cambridge, whilst seeing them do all the things that make being a Sixth Form student special – charity work, dressing-up days, music, sport, drama and debating.
“This year’s Year Group has exemplified a spirit of a character-building and leadership based on strong values. Their results show that they have done themselves and our school proud.”
He added: “My thanks to all the teachers – including those in our partner primary and middle schools - who have contributed so much to the success of the ‘Class of 2014’.”
Teachers at St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury said they are celebrating the school’s best ever set of A-level results.
This year the total points score per student stood at 1087, some 20 points higher than in 2013. Headteacher Hugh O’Neill explained: “Our outstanding results at A level reflect the tremendous work put in by students and staff to ensure that all our candidates achieve the best they can. They also reflect the very high standard of advice and support they receive throughout their time in the 6th Form from Head of 6th Form Jack Gingell and his team. Many of these students have had some difficult times along the way, but they have stuck to the task, and we have stuck with them.”
Out of the 63 students sitting the exam 100% achieved A* to E and 80% achieved A* to C.
Mr O’Neill added: “As ever, we salute a wonderful group of students who have done superbly. I congratulate all of them, and thank their teachers and their families for all the help and support they have given. They will now move on, mostly to universities, knowing that they can build on the very secure foundations that they have laid here at St Benedict’s.”
Students at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, formerly Sudbury Upper, continued to build on last year’s solid grades. A total of 80% of students achieved A* to C while 99% gained A* to E.
Principal Caroline Wilson said: “It’s with great pride and pleasure that I announce further improvements to our income. Last year we reported a first year increase since becoming an academy. This year we have built on our success to report a further impressive increase. Our students have excelled themselves – they have worked tirelessly with full commitment and motivation to surpass their expected level of progress.”
At County Upper School in Bury 88 students sat the exams, with 88% achieving A* to C and 99.6%% gaining A* to E.
Head teacher, Vicky Neale, commented: “These are another excellent set of results and I am particularly pleased that the results have held up at all levels despite this being the first year of the new tougher examinations system. Our philosophy of providing an outstanding all-round education, including all the extra-curricular activities, has continued to work and I thank all the staff here and in our primary and middle schools. The most important thing about today is that the students have the grades they need for the next phase of their lives and, once again, the overwhelming majority does. I thank them for their contribution to our school and wish them every success.”
At Mildenhall College Academy 70 students completed courses at Level 3 this year with half studying A-levels and half studying applied vocational courses.
The pass rate for Year 13 courses was 98%. Teachers said they were particularly pleased with a “considerable rise” in the higher grades achieved by students with just under 40% achieving A*-B grades and 67% achieving A*-C grades.
Principal Susan Byles’ said: “I am exceptionally pleased with this year’s results for our Year 13 students. They have all done well and have bright futures ahead of them. The continuing success of our Sixth Form is at the root of developing our new Sixth Form Centre, MCA6, which is due to open in September. When we get results like these it is further proof that investment in the new facilities that MCA6 will provide is money well spent. Young people in Forest Heath deserve excellent Sixth Form facilities and outstanding teaching and that is just what they are going to get at MCA6.”
Gareth Price, headmaster of Thetford Grammar School said he was “delighted” with the results “and especially with the fact that the vast majority of students achieved their first place university choice’.
In all 18 A-level students achieved 100% A* to E and 100% A* to C.
Teachers and students at Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill were toasting some of their best ever results today with 96% hitting A* to E and 60% hitting the A* to C benchmark. A total of 38 students sat the exams.
Matthew Gibson, Head of School, said: “I and all the staff at Castle Manor are very proud of the results achieved by the students today. They reflect the hard work, commitment and talent of the students and the dedication and support of all the staff that have worked with them during their time in the Sixth Form. We wish the students well with their future challenges, be they further study at university or college, work based apprenticeships or employment and know that they will make a positive contribution to their communities in the future as committed, determined and talented young people.”
Nick Froy, head of school at Newmarket Academy, formerly Newmarket College, said students are celebrating improved results this year, with every
student qualifying to go to their first choice of university. Overall, success rates were up by 4% from 2013. Mr Froy said: “We are very pleased with these results which are testament to Newmarket Academy’s students who, as a result of their own hard work, have secured places in some of the most prestigious universities in the UK”.
The percentage pass marks were not released by the academy.
At Thurston Community College 75% of students achieved A* to C grades, with 99.5% gaining A* to E.
Principal Helen Wilson said: “We have got quite a large cohort of students. We had 450 examinations taken between them and more than half of those examinations were passed with a grade B or above which means the vast majority of our students have gone on to achieve the next stage in their education they have applied for.
“I’m delighted with their progress and attainment and congratulations to them and my staff really for another wonderful set of results.”
At Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard more students achieved A*to C grades than last year. In total, 67% gained these high level grades, while 98% got A* to E.
Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said “We are very pleased and encouraged by these results. They reflect the hard work and application of our students and the excellent support that they have received from their teachers. We wish them every success in the future”
New director of sixth form Kenny Alexander added: “Sixth Form education is changing massively and the future of learning at Thomas Gainsborough sixth form is very exciting. A new type of sixth form is developing at our school and the success of these students is already showing the impact of this.”
Thetford Academy is celebrating its best ever results. The number of students gaining A* to C grades rose by 28% points, from 37% last year to 65%.
There was also a similar rise with the numbers achieving A* to E grades, which this year stands at 98%.
Executive principal Adrian Ball said: “We are incredibly proud of our students who are celebrating the best ever results seen at the academy. The hard work that they have put in this year has paid off with nearly all students gaining their first choice university placement.”
Teachers described scenes of success, relief and joy at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill. A total of 70% of the A-level results were A* to C grades with students doing particularly well in Maths, Chemistry, English Literature, Geography, Psychology and Sociology. The A* to E pass rate at A-level was 100%. Of the 59 students sitting exams in Year 13, 42 took A-levels.
Imogen Senior, head of sixth form, said: ‘These results are testimony to the hard work of the students and their teachers, as well as the support and encouragement of their parents. I’m really happy for them, especially as almost all of them have the grades that they need to go on to university. I would like to thank, on behalf of our students, anyone that has helped make this day possible.”
Mrs Senior added: “That students were successful in a wide range of areas is especially pleasing. It means that these students have made good progress and can go on to work and study in the fields that they are interested in. From all of the staff, I wish them the best of luck.”
Culford School saw 83% of its students achieve A* to C grades, and 61% of all grades were at A* to B level.
Headmaster Julian Johnson-Munday said, “We are delighted with this set of excellent results, which are just reward for the significant amount of effort pupils and teachers alike put into preparing for these important examinations. The high number of very good individual results is very pleasing, as is the value added.”
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