GCSE results day 2020: Live updates from Ipswich schools
PUBLISHED: 08:27 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 20 August 2020
GCSE pupils across Ipswich are picking up their results after a year of hard work in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
We will be bringing you the latest news and pictures from schools throughout the town as students toast the end of their secondary education.
In the face of uproar about a switch to a controversial A-levels algorithm last week, the government announced earlier this week that the system will be replaced with teacher-assessed grades.
The system comes after no exams were sat as a result of the pandemic.
Pupils studying for Btecs have also faced frustration after their results were pulled at the 11th hour by exam board Pearson, as it looks to re-grade results in line with GCSE and A-levels.
The Ofsted good rated school has praised its pupils for their hard work and resilience amid the pandemic, with 62% of pupils achieving between a grade 9 (formerly an A*) to 4 (formerly a C) in English and maths.
Abbie Thorrington, principal at the school, said: “All the staff at Ipswich Academy want to say a big thank you to our Year 11 students, their families and our wonderfully supportive community today. “Navigating such an important year in their education through the coronavirus lockdown has been testing for all of us but their hard work, strength and resilience is demonstrated by the results today.
“They have all been amazing, we are incredibly proud and will continue to support them as they move into the further education of their choice.”
St Alban’s Catholic High School
More than 160 pupils found out their results this morning, with a high percentage of pupils finishing their secondary education with a grade 4 or higher in English and maths.
Headteacher Matt Baker said: “We are so proud of a wonderful group of students that they worked so hard throughout their time with us, enabling us to award these amazing grades. “This is the perfect way to finish their year – we look forward to welcoming them back into our Sixth Form in September.”
School principal Garry Trott said he is incredibly proud of his 177 students, and is delighted at the government U-turn to use centre-assessed grades.
Although the school is not releasing full percentages, Mr Trott highlighted the work of wonder pupil Naomi Lamb who secured six grade 9s and two grade 8s, while other students including Maisha Ali, Samantha Barnard, Erica Mendonca, Ola Jakubowska and Natalia Pawlik all made “astounding” progress at achieving good grades.
Mr Trott added: “This has been an unprecedented year in terms of examinations and I am delighted that the government has seen sense and have awarded GCSE grades based on school predictions.
“I would like to praise Year 11 students for the mature way that have embraced these challenging times. Many of them worked with commitment during their time here at Westbourne and I am relieved that this hard work has been acknowledged by their grades being upheld. “Particular thanks need to go to the caring and dedicated staff here at Westbourne, who have supported and encouraged this group of students during their time with us. I wish them well on the next stage of their journey.”
Academy trust regional education director Susan Byles added: “I would like to send my congratulations to all of the students receiving their GCSE results today at Westbourne Academy and to express my appreciation of the staff who worked so hard to ensure the students achieved what they deserved to.”
The school, just outside of Ipswich, has faced difficulties amid the coronavirus crisis like all others – however students and staff have both been affected by the loss of much-loved former headteacher Dr Simon Letman last year.
Overall, 81% of the school’s 107 students achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and maths – leaving acting headteacher Nicola Mayhew with “nothing but praise” for the year group.
Mrs Mayhew said: “The results reflect the hard work and focus that students committed to their studies. In addition, they have shown strength of character, resilience and maturity in handling the cancellation of examinations and school closure.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of them.”
Louise Cullen, chair of governors, added: “On behalf of the local community I would like to pay tribute to our outstanding acting headteacher Mrs Mayhew and acting deputy Mr Hart for their incredible work this year, following the sudden tragic death of Dr Letman.
“This year has been like no other for every school in the country, but they have led the staff and students of Holbrook Academy through especially challenging times. We are all exceptionally proud of our fantastic Year 11 and wish them the very best in the next exciting stage of their lives.”
St Joseph’s College
Staff at St Joseph’s College said students expressed their joy through smiles rather than the usual hugs this year – with the college again producing strong results. Former head girl Charley Hewitt even prepared individually boxed cupcakes for each pupil.
Of its 69 Year 11 pupils, Of the 69 students entered, 88% of students achieved five or more good passes including English and maths – with 98% achieving a grade 4 or above in English Language and 88% in maths.
Danielle Clarke, principal of St Joseph’s, said: “This is a wonderful set of GCSE results to follow our students’ record-breaking achievement at A-level, BTEC and EPQ this year. We were fully confident they would do well as all the data pointed that way, but it is a joy to share in their celebrations today.
“Our students join us with a range of academic abilities and other talents and we consider helping them to make the very best of those abilities to be pivotal. Adding value is absolutely key for us.”
Royal Hospital School
Staff at the Holbrook school said the class of 2020 had achieved results to be proud of, with 96.4% of students achieving grades 9 to 4 in their subjects and 45.4% leaving school with grades between 9 and 7.
Deputy head Catherine Stevens said: “We had high expectations for this year’s cohort based on their accomplishments over the past two years and their continued hard work right up until the day that it was announced that examinations would not take place.
“The centre assessed grades they have been awarded are an honest and rigorous assessment of individual performance and I would like to congratulate the whole year group on a set of results that they should be proud of, despite all the uncertainty in the run up to today.”
Kesgrave High School
Departing headteacher Nigel Burgoyne said he is leaving the school feeling incredibly proud of his students.
Although the school is not releasing results this year, Mr Burgoyne and incoming headteacher Julia Upton said the results represent the hard work of students.
In a joint statement, they said: “It has been a year like no other for these young people. We are incredibly proud of how the students of Kesgrave High School have coped with these unprecedented times.
“We hope that the students feel that the results that they have received represent their hard work and commitment to their studies.
“Over their five years at High School they developed into super young people, who will use these results as the stepping-stone to the next stage in their education. They can be proud of the young people that they have become.
“We are looking forward to working with many of them in our Sixth Form in the years ahead and wish all those going onto other pathways success and happiness for the future.”
The central Ipswich school recorded another fantastic year of results, with 99.2% of its 123 pupils achieving a grade 4 or higher in English and Maths, and 70.1% achieving grades between 9 and 7.
Among the school’s high achievers were twins Olivia and Will MacDonnell-Hannah who both achieved ten GCSEs at grade 9, while fellow twins Lewis and Paul Glancey achieved 18 grade 9s between them.
One of the twins, Will, said it was never a case of competition: “We’re not really competitive as we each have different interests,” he said.
His sister Olivia added: “It has been hard waiting for the results, but it shows that hard work pays off.”
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said he is “thrilled” with the results, adding: “I am so proud of our Year 11 pupils. They have had such an extraordinary six months and have risen to the challenge magnificently.
“These grades are the outcome of a robust and rigorous process involving all of our teaching staff, who approached the task with great application and integrity.
“These students have consistently engaged with their academic studies during their Ipswich School careers and this has clearly paid dividends for them. They migrated to remote learning with their characteristic maturity and commitment – adapting to the new style of teaching throughout their lessons which continued long after the public examinations had been cancelled.”
Suffolk New College
Now with sites in Ipswich, Leiston and Otley, 525 students at the college received a grade 4 or higher in English, Maths and Biology across all campuses.
Deputy principal Alan Pease said: “For the fourth straight year, our GCSE results for English and Maths have improved significantly. Over 500 students who left school without English, Maths and Biology have now passed these subjects thanks to the support of our staff.
“Within that, we have had many individual success stories relating to people of all ages - and we would like to congratulate everyone on these successes.”
Among the achievers was 25-year-old Bethany Cousins, who despite having left school at 14 with no qualifications has passed her GCSEs at the college – gaining an incredible grade 9 in English and 5 in maths.
Miss Cousins, who hopes to finish an access to higher education course to study English or Law, said: “I’m really happy as this is the first time I’ve ever had a qualification. I was apprehensive going back into education but the college has been 100% supportive. “My tutors made lessons fun and engaging. The way they explained things really helped me develop.”
Ipswich High School
The school on the River Orwell recorded an incredible year of results, with 100% of students passing their classes. More than 62% of grades awarded were between 9 and 7, with 68 of those being grade 9s.
Nicola Griffiths, the school’s acting headteacher during the spring and summer terms, said: “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of our pupils receiving their GCSE results today.
“We are absolutely delighted for our pupils that they have achieved such excellent results – level with our record-breaking results in 2019. These combined with our outstanding A level results last week, mark a phenomenal year in the school’s history.”
Among the happy pupils was Seren Baldwin, who achieved seven level 9s and three level 8 grades.
She said: “I would like to thank my teachers, they have always been incredibly supportive in my time here. I am very happy and relieved after a really challenging year.”
At Chantry Academy, full results were not disclosed although the school paid particular praise to Abbie Griggs who was awarded eleven grade 9s and Charlotte Tucker who received seven grade 9s and four grade 8s.
Principal Craig D’Cunha said he was incredibly proud of the “superb” results and high flying students.
He said: “These results demonstrate the consistent hard work and commitment our students have given to their studies throughout their time at Chantry Academy. I wish them all the greatest success in whatever they choose to move on to in the next academic year.
“I am also incredibly grateful to our dedicated teachers who inspire and motivate our students, and who have provided them with support throughout this period of change. The success of school would not be possible without their contributions and support.”
Copleston High School
Principal Andy Green said: “As a school Copleston continues to be very successful and has done extremely well” - but that: “We do not feel that this is a year for celebrating whole school statistics.
“It is a year for acknowledging individual students and the difficulties that they have all faced.
“We are very proud of our school and the results it achieves but we are even prouder of our amazing students who we wish every success in progressing to whatever their next steps may be.”
He added: “We would like to congratulate our students and their families on their successes in their GCSE results this year.
“Our students and staff have worked extremely conscientiously throughout the last two years, and we have a number of outstanding individual performances to celebrate.
“Throughout their time in the school, our students have made a huge contribution to the school, and we wish them every success with the next stage of their career.
This school is not publicising results this year.
Ormiston Endeavour Academy
This school is not publicising results this year.
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt tweeted: “Congratulations to everyone receiving their GCSE results today in Ipswich. You have worked so hard for this day and should be proud of your efforts. Well done.”
Stay with us for updates from each school as the day continues.
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