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GCSE Results Day 2017: Lasting legacy of Amanda Phillips felt as delighted pupils pick up 'fantastic' results

PUBLISHED: 14:21 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:30 24 August 2017

Amanda Phillips, who died in May. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Amanda Phillips, who died in May. Picture: SIMON PARKER

A dedicated principal who transformed the way children learned at Ipswich Academy was remembered for her legacy as delighted pupils picked up a "fantastic" set of GCSE results.

GCSE results day at Ipswich Academy. Pictured is Kelsey Denness. Picture: GREGG BROWN  GCSE results day at Ipswich Academy. Pictured is Kelsey Denness. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Amanda Phillips, who died after suffering a fall on holiday in May, leaves a lasting mark on the school she invested so much of her time and energy into.

That’s according to the staff members she inspired during her time there – as students take home envelopes containing some of the academy’s best ever results.

Helen Winn, current principal, said the foundations her colleague left have set pupils on track for even better results in years to come.

“I think the results are testament to Amanda’s legacy,” she said.

“The results went up significantly last year, they’ve improved again and that’s because of the solid foundations that were put in place and the high quality of teaching and learning that has taken place as a result of that has meant that the students have achieved so well – not only in the new GCSEs but in all of the other subjects.”

Out of the 106 pupils taking GCSE exams at the school, 51% achieved grade four (equivalent to the old C) in English and maths.

Kassem Ayandeji, who is hoping to pursue a career in marketing and advertising, secured two top grade nines in English language and literature.

He said: “I’m really happy, it now means I can get into college and focus on my career. “Apparently a nine is rare so getting two has made me very happy, I did work quite hard.”

Kassem Ayandeji celebrating at Ipswich Academy after receiving two nines in English language and English literature. Picture: EMILY TOWNSENDKassem Ayandeji celebrating at Ipswich Academy after receiving two nines in English language and English literature. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

Aspiring music therapist Kelsey Denness was also celebrating after scooping a grade nine in English.

She said: “I’m just ecstatic, I never thought I would get a nine. I screamed when I saw the grade this morning!”

• Tributes paid to Paradigm Trust chief executive and Ipswich Academy principal Amanda Phillips CBE

Former Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was one of the first to pay tribute to Mrs Phillips when she passed away.

Kelsey Denness jumping for joy after collecting her GCSE results - which included a nine in English language - at Ipswich Academy. Picture: EMILY TOWNSENDKelsey Denness jumping for joy after collecting her GCSE results - which included a nine in English language - at Ipswich Academy. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

The 62-year-old, who had been made a CBE, was the chief executive of Paradigm Trust which runs five school academies across the country.

These included Murrayfield Primary School in Nacton Road, of which she was the acting principal.

Mr Gummer said at the time: “Death of Amanda Phillips huge loss to her family, also to children of south-east Ipswich. She changed the course of many lives in our town.”

Chairman of the Paradigm Trust board David Willis added: “Amanda’s death is a dreadful tragedy.

“She led Paradigm Trust with enormous energy, tremendous skill and most of all an enduring passion to give every child an outstanding education.”

• Keep up to date with our Ipswich GCSE results coverage as grades roll in

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