GCSEs update: Record-breaking year for schools in Ipswich and Felixstowe as GCSE exam results released

STUDENTS across Ipswich, Felixstowe and the surrounding towns are celebrating a bumper crop of results this year as they pick up their GCSE grades.

Thousands of youngsters at schools across the district queued up outside schools today to find out whether their two years of hard work was worth it, and whether they got the grades they need to go on to further study or employment.

Nearly one in four GCSE entries across the country has been awarded an A or an A* while the pass rate rises for the 24th year in a row.

Results are coming in from around Ipswich, with many schools reporting their best ever results.

More than three quarters of students at Northgate High School have achieved five or more A* to C grades including English and Maths, beating the school’s previous best performance by six per cent and seeing more than a third of all entries achieve an A or A*.

Headteacher David Hutton congratulated pupils on their “outstanding achievement”.

Meanwhile Stoke High School saw 40pc of pupils getting the coveted five GCSEs, including English and Maths, at grade C or above.

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Headteacher Janet Dickson said: “This represents an overall improvement on last years and a continuing upward trend for the school.

“We are very proud of all of our students’ achievements and acknowledge their hard work and the dedication and hard work of the staff.

Students from Ipswich School are also celebrating their best results in five years, with nearly a third of results being awarded an A* and five students gaining an A* in every subject.

And at Amberfield School in Nacton, headmistress Linda Ingram said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the girls’ results this year. In particular two of our pupils gained ten A* grades which is an outstanding achievement.”

Chantry High School has seen its best ever results with 39pc scoring a C or above in five subjects, including English and maths, and 61pc getting five or more C grades without those core subjects.

Headteacher Andrew Fell said: “These results are the school’s best ever and build on the improvements made over the last two years.

“We are delighted for the students at Chantry High School whose efforts have been rewarded. Yet again the results reflect the hard work and commitment of all staff at Chantry High School.”

A similar story at Kesgrave High School saw students breaking the school’s previous records, with a fantastic 70pc of pupils getting five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

Nigel Burgoyne, headteacher at the school, said: “The students are to be congratulated on their superb results, with a pass rate of 99.5pc and 26pc of grades awarded at A* or A.

“Twins Peter and Lawrence Rabone were both exceptionally successful, recording 17 A* and four A grades between them.”

St Alban’s Catholic High School head Dennis McGarry welcomed his pupils’ “best ever GCSE results” which have seen this year’s crop bring the five A* to C rate with English and maths up by 5pc compared to last year to 68pc.

He said: “This is a significant move forward demonstrating real determination on the part of our students and staff.”

More than 40pc of pupils at Westbourne Sports College have achieved the coveted five A* to C grades with the core subjects, with around a third getting ten or more exams at C or above.

Headteacher Chris Edwards said: “The students have worked very hard and should be very proud of their results.

“I am particularly pleased with the performance of our real high flyers. We have put a special focus this year on meeting the needs of the most able students and results have paid off.”

Results at Ipswich Academy, which is in its first year, outstripped those at predecessor school Holywells High School, where more than a third of pupils achieved the core of five C grades or higher including English and maths, and more than half of all pupils getting five A* to C overall.

Principal Nancy Robinson said: “There are too many successes for me to name individual students but our students have reached their targets and some have exceeded them.

“A tremendous amount has been achieved here by staff and students and my message to everyone is ‘watch this space’ as we continue to transform the school and drive improvement.”

East Bergholt High School pupils have also achieved some record results, with more than half picking up A* to Cs in five subjects including English and maths and 12 students getting at least ten As and A*s.

Colin Turner, headteacher, said: “We are extremely pleased with this set of results. The students worked extremely hard for their examinations and thoroughly deserve their success.

“We are particularly pleased that more than 28pc of all grades were A* or A, and that the overall school performance has improved from 2010.”

Meanwhile Shaun Common, headteacher at Copleston High School, said he was “truly delighted” with this year’s performance.

He said: “They have produced outstanding results, achieving the highest ever points per candidate, best eight GCSE points and the highest score for five or more A* to C including English and maths in the history of the school.

“Congratulations to all of our students.”

In the last ever year of the Deben and Orwell High Schools in Felixstowe, students achieved record results, with 70pc of students at Deben securing 5 A* to C grades and 73pc of students at Orwell receiving the same results.

Executive headteacher of both schools, Rob Cawley, said: “As these are the final ever results for Deben and Orwell High School I can think of no better way of celebrating the legacy we leave than with the highest grades achieved by our students ever in our histories.”

At Thurleston High School headteacher Mike Everett said boys were closing the gap on girls as 37pc students achieved five or more A* to C grades including English and maths.

He said generally 63pc of students achieved five A* to C grades, a 10pc rise from last year – the highest the school has ever seen.

“There are smiles on a lot of faces,” said Mr Everett. “The kids, parents and staff have all worked really hard to achieve these results.

“It is great to see the school moving forward as rapidly as that, and it is nice to see boys closing the gap on the girls.”

Meanwhile at Claydon High School 53pc of students achieved at least five A* to C grades including maths and English.

Headteacher Sarah Skinner said across the year students had achieved some “stunning individual” results.

She said: “We have seen fantastic maths, science and languages results and a number of students have achieved A* grades across the board.”

St Joseph’s College saw its pupils bring home a host of top grades, with a third of all entries achieving an A or A* and a whopping 84pc of students picking up five or more A* to C grades including maths and English.

Principal Sian Grant said: “The results are excellent and we are delighted that they have broken so many of the records set by different year groups in the past.

“Most importantly, the students have made tremendous progress in their time with us and we celebrate each success with equal value. The hard-earned grade C is valued just as much as the many A* grades.”

Ipswich High School for Girls is celebrating as three quarters of their students’ results hit the A and A* mark, with all of their students getting at least a C or above in their exams.

Meanwhile the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook also saw more than half of entries get an A or above. Headmaster Howard Blackett said: “I am absolutely delighted with these results and they reflect very positively upon our Year 11 pupils and upon their teachers, many of whom worked tirelessly during the course of the academic year on behalf of their pupils and tutees. Well done to all concerned.”

- Check www.eveningstar.co.uk and @eveningstar24 throughout the day for the latest results and pictures from schools around Ipswich.

- Pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Evening Star for four pages of coverage and pictures from the day.