Students celebrate exam success

PUBLISHED: 15:27 16 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

CONGRATULATIONS! Suffolk students were today celebrating a brilliant set of A-level results – as all the hard work paid off for youngsters.

But there was agony for a handful of pupils at St Joseph's College in Ipswich, when an examining board failed to come up with their geography results … leaving them to face an anxious wait for news.

CONGRATULATIONS! Suffolk students were today celebrating a brilliant set of A-level results – as all the hard work paid off for youngsters.

But there was agony for a handful of pupils at St Joseph's College in Ipswich, when an examining board failed to come up with their geography results … leaving them to face an anxious wait for news.

Deputy headteacher Clare Osborne said she had not been able to speak to anybody at the exam board concerned, but had faxed them and was hoping it would be sorted out very quickly.

"I feel very sorry for the students," she said. "It is an emotional time for them anyway, and now they are coming in to find they haven't got the results they expect."

Mrs Osborne said she had worked for an examination board herself and could sympathise with the examiners, who faced a difficult job.

But she commented: "At the end of the day there is no excuse for letting down the students."

She said pupils would now face an anxious wait before they knew whether they had the results they needed for their university places.

Like many other schools across Suffolk, St Joseph's recorded very good results, showing an improvement on last year.

One pupil, head boy Will Oliver, was told he had achieved one of the top five papers in the country for general studies, out of more than 15,000 pupils.

Rasha Mohammed achieved A grades in four subjects, Chemistry, Biology, Arabic and General Studies, with a B in Maths.

Overall, the school recorded a 94.57 pass rate, with 30pc A and B grades. These figures are not complete because of the missing Geography papers.

Nationally, in the 50th year of the exam, the number of A-level passes hit a new record, with the 18th consecutive annual rise in the number of entrants awarded grades A to E.

Bryony Rudkin, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee with responsibility for children and young people, said: "I would like to congratulate all the students, teachers, parents and schools in Suffolk who have put in so much hard work to achieve these excellent results.

"They are a credit to our community. The County Council is committed to working with schools to improve standards to make sure that our young people have the best start in life, and these results demonstrate the kind of excellent work that is taking place."

At Northgate High School, delighted headteacher Neil Watts said: "There are lots of happy smiling faces this morning. They are record results – the best we have ever had, and we are absolutely delighted."

At the largest sixth form in Suffolk, the 237 students achieved an average points score of 19.2, along with a pass rate of 98 per cent.

More than 10 per cent of students achieved three grade As or even better, and five pupils gained places at Cambridge University.

"We have also received a letter saying that one student, Lara Hunt, gained one of the top five marks in human biology in the whole country," said Mr Watts.

He said the school's AS level results also looked very good, but added that 99pc of students were going on to take the subjects for A-level, making this an intermediate exam for them.

Nationally, the Institute of Directors once again attacked what it called "grade inflation all round" and claimed A-levels were not the "gold standard" of years ago.

But Mr Watts denied this and paid tribute to his students' hard work.

"I know the year group and I know how hard they have worked," he said.

He felt A-level exams today are even tougher than those of the 1960s, when he sat the exams, but said the students of today are better prepared.

It was a similar story at Copleston High School, in Ipswich, where deputy headteacher Peter Freeman said: "These are the best-ever results by far."

The school had a 94pc pass rate, and 60pc of the 114 students gained an A-level at grades A to C, with an average points score of 18.3.

"We had two students who gained five A-levels," said Mr Freeman.

"Muntasir Ali got three A grades and two Bs, and has a place at Cambridge to read physics and computing. Julie Ward got three As, a B and a C."

Copleston's sixth form only opened in 1996, so this was the third set of A-level results – and they have been getting better every year.

Nationally, the picture seems to be that girls have done better than boys, but Mr Freeman said both sexes had done very well at Copleston.

"We are still in the process of analysing the AS results, but they look very good and we have well over a 90pc pass rate.

"These are the best-ever results and I am absolutely delighted and thrilled for the students, the parents and those teachers who have been involved."

At Chantry High School in Ipswich, deputy headteacher Steve Wooldridge said they were very pleased with the school's results, and were still looking through them in detail.

"There are a lot of smiling faces."

He said that the GNVQ results had also been received today and the school was very pleased with these too.

Dennis McGarry, headteacher of St Alban's High School in Ipswich, commented: "I am pleased that we have been able to maintain the same high standard as last year. These are very pleasing results.

"Congratulations to all our students and many thanks to all the teaching staff who have worked so hard. It is also a great achievement to get our first two students into Oxford and Cambridge. This is another milestone in the development of our sixth form."

At Ipswich High School, the girls recorded a 99.4pc pass rate, with 39pc A grades, and 86pc passes at A to C grades.

Headteacher Valerie MacCuish said: "I am delighted with the excellent pass rate and the high number of passes at Grades A to C. This has enabled girls to take up places at university to read a wide of subjects including aeronautical engineering, medicine (four girls), history of art and law."

Eleven girls achieved straight As. Among these was Rosy Hunt, who gained A-levels in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and French, an AS in Further Mathematics and 'Outstanding' on her STEP Paper in Chemistry.

Another straight-A student was Rosalie Gorniak (A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, and AS in Further Mathematics) who is going to read Veterinary Science at Selwyn, Cambridge University.

And another was Eleanor Pickering (A levels in French, German and Music) who is going to read French and Spanish at Pembroke, Cambridge University.

Ipswich School in Henley Road also recorded outstanding results.

"The 98.2pc pass rate, with 78pc of students passing at grades A, B and C, reflects great credit on the students and teachers," commented headteacher Ian Galbraith.

One of the highlights of an excellent set of results was that sixth-former Mark Grimmer was awarded one of the top five marks nationally in the AQA History A level, sat by nearly 6,000 students around the country.

Altogether, 14 Ipswich School students who achieved A grades in three or more A-level subjects. David Chan, Ben Humphreys, Oliver Walker and Eleanor West achieved four A grades each.

The pupils gaining three A grades were Nicholas Ames, Annabel Beales, Elaine Cheng, Stephen Edwards, Thomas Friedlein, Mark Grimmer, Nicholas Jones, Sebastian Lazar, Daniel Roberts and Jack Saunders.

At the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, headteacher Nicholas Ward was delighted with a record-breaking set of results.

Altogether 55 pupils took A levels, achieving a 100pc pass rate not including general studies, or 97pc if general studies are included, with an average point score of 24.5 (21 not including general studies).

"The results have improved steadily over the last six years and these are the best to date," commented Mr Ward.

"This rewards the hard work and commitment by pupils and staff."

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