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Suffolk exam stars

PUBLISHED: 16:46 23 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

YOUNGSTERS in Suffolk have made the grade at GCSE, with schools across the county celebrating some excellent results today.

Students in the county have made improvements in results over the last few years - with overall results being well above the national average.

YOUNGSTERS in Suffolk have made the grade at GCSE, with schools across the county celebrating some excellent results today.

Students in the county have made improvements in results over the last few years – with overall results being well above the national average.

"Once again, we congratulate our Suffolk students on their GCSE results," said Chris Mole, leader of Suffolk County Council, today.

"I know that the young people have put in a considerable amount of hard work to achieve these qualifications and they are to be applauded."

Nationally there was a small improvement in the overall starred A to C pass rate this year, rising by 0.5pc to 57.1pc.

The figures also showed boys beginning to close the gap on girls, and one expert predicted they could draw level within five years.

The volume of entries was up this year, from 5.66 million to 6.192 million – and one entrant, a boy who was only five when he took the exam, has become the youngest person ever to pass a GCSE.

Arran Fernandez was five years and 11 months old when he sat the maths paper at Ryde College, near Watford, Herts, gaining a D grade.

In Suffolk, schools were celebrating some impressive successes. At Stowmarket High School, 251 students took five or more GCSE exams. Forty-eight percent gained at least five starred A to C grades, and 99.6pc gained at least five grade starred A to G grades.

A number of Stowmarket pupils achieved straight A grades at GCSE. Ella Ward gained six starred As and 5As, Sarah Prior gained five starred As and 5As, Jemma Cuff gained four starred As and six As, Jennifer Rickard gained four starred As, five As and one short course starred A, and Sarah Plumb gained one starred A, eight As and one short course A grade.

Another pupil, Jo-Ann Ciorra, gained four starred As and four As, despite being ill for most of the last year.

"Of course we are thrilled with these individuals and many others, but the raw statistics can in no way start to tell the story of the huge number of individual successes within the school," said headteacher David Oliver.

Meanwhile, Stowupland High School's head, Peter Richards, praised his pupils' "terrific performance" as sets of results achieving grades starred A to C rose one percent on last year from 59 per cent to 60.

"It's very, very good – our best ever," he said.

Some results bucked the national trend, however, with girls continuing to do better than boys. Nevertheless it was a boy who achieved a the most sparkling set of results. Jonathan Irving, 16, of Rattlesden, astonished with a glittering string of nine starred As and an A.

Another school celebrating today was Northgate High in Ipswich. Following its excellent set of A-level results, the school has also produced a record-breaking set of GCSE results.

Seventy-two per cent of entries earned grades starred A to C and almost 10pc of the whole 200-strong year group gained at least eight grades starred A, A or B.

The pupils who gained nine or more starred A and A grades were: Ewan Anderson, Laura Barber, Emily Doncaster, Josie Galphin, Ian Harris, Sophie Hawkins, Samuel Jacobs, Rachel Lister, Peter Solomon and Shilpa Zacharia.

"This year group have not only beaten the previous GCSE record, they have shattered it!" said headteacher Neil Watts.

At Woodbridge School, 100pc of candidates gained starred A to C grades, and the points scores were the highest for five years.

"To achieve these results in traditional academic subjects is a credit to a very talented year group," commented headteacher Stephen Cole.

A new record was also set at Ipswich School, where 58pc of all grades obtained were either starred A or A, with a 96.4pc pass rate at grades starred A to C. Sam Dixon and Sebastian Robins both achieved 12 GCSEs at the top grade of starred A.

And at Ipswich High School, the girls recorded97.7pc A to C grades, with 28.4pc starred As.

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