Thousands celebrate GCSE success

THOUSANDS of Suffolk's teenage students were jumping for joy today as they received some of the best GCSE results ever.As the all-important brown envelopes were opened by nervous pupils up and down the county, many of our high schools reported record-breaking grades.

THOUSANDS of Suffolk's teenage students were jumping for joy today as they received some of the best GCSE results ever.

As the all-important brown envelopes were opened by nervous pupils up and down the county, many of our high schools reported record-breaking grades.

Weeks of worry came to an emotional end, with education chiefs, headteachers and parents heaping praise on our hard-working youngsters.

And the celebratory mood among 16-year-olds who had rushed into school to receive their results was not dampened by claims the exams are getting easier.

Students in Suffolk have made considerable improvements in GSCE scores over the last few years, with overall results being well above the national average.

Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services, said: “I would like to congratulate all Suffolk students who are getting the results of their GCSE and vocational exams today.

Most Read

“I know students will have put in a considerable amount of hard work to achieve these very good results for the county.

“I would also like to thank the teachers, families and others who have supported and encouraged these young people.”

In Felixstowe, students at Orwell High School were celebrating impressive results, as they outperformed their predicted grades.

In total, 99.3pc passed at least one GCSE, half of them achieved at least five grades at C or above and 96pc achieved five or more passes at any level at GCSE.

There were several highlights too, including Emily Adams who passed ten GCSEs at A or A* grade, while Emma Annis, Rosie Boulton, Adam Dalby, Helen King and Gail Mackie all passed nine GCSES at A or A* grades.

Peter Tomkins, headteacher, said: “We are really pleased that so many of our students have achieved so highly.

“They have really worked hard and deserve this success. Over the last two years the schools results have risen from 37pc of students achieving five or more grades at C to 50pc of them doing this well.”

Jo Dyer, head of year 11, added: “This was a fantastic year group who worked hard, but also had an excellent time at school. I wish them all well for the future.”

At Woodbridge School results were the highest ever, with exactly half the grades at A* and A, and more than one in five at A*.

In all, 100pc of pupils gained five A* to C.

Headmaster of the fee-paying school, Stephen Cole, said: “Excellent teaching has been the catalyst for a very positive learning culture.”

More records were broken at Northgate High School where 73pc of the 225 pupils who sat the exams gained five A* to C grades, while 25pc of all grades at A8 to A.

Results in English, maths and science were strong, far exceeding the national average.

Neil Watts, headteacher, said he was delighted with the excellent results across all subjects and he highlighted the efforts of pupils, teachers and parents.

He said: “It has been a great summer of results for all of us at Northgate and reflects the hard work of the whole school community.

“We should be proud of all these youngsters - well done to all concerned.”

Students at Ipswich High School for Girls also achieved record-breaking results, with almost half getting straight A* or A grades.

The students achieving A to C was 99.9pc - the highest ever at the Woolverstone-based school, with 72pc of passes at A* to A grade.

Elaine Purves, headmistress, said the school had plenty to celebrate following the success of its A level students last week.

She added: “We are especially pleased for our maths and modern languages departments who have surpassed themselves, with the maths achieving 99pc of passes at A* to B grades and modern languages achieving 95pc of passes at A* to B grades.

“It is a real reflection of the hard work and determination that the girls have shown throughout their studies, the inspiration given by our teaching staff and support from their parents.

“We are extremely proud of our students' achievements and look forward to welcoming them back in September and seeing them flourish in the next stage of their education.”

There was more jubilation at Ipswich School in Henley Road as pupils achieved the school's best ever results.

In all, 70pc of the grades were A* or A, and 99.3pc of achieved grades were between A* and C in every subjects they took.

No fewer than 29 students have achieved A* and A grades in all subjects. One of them, 16-year-old Will Harrison, scored one of the top five marks nationwide in physics in an exam sat by almost 14,000 candidates.

Ipswich School's headmaster, Ian Galbraith, said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“There are 119 students in this year group - the largest Year 11 that Ipswich School has ever had - and they have achieved record results.”

At Stowmarket High School, 240 students took GCSEs, with 61pc gaining at least five A* to C grades - up 2pc on last year.

The school reported that 100pc gained at least one A* to G and 96pc gained at least five A* to G grades.

Among the high achievers were Katherine Pattle, who got nine A* grades and one A, and Lisa Burch, who was awarded seven A* grades, five A grades and one B.

Headteacher David Oliver said: “These results demonstrate that we have maintained the improvement of the last few years.

“We are thrilled with the individuals who have earned their brilliant A*s, but the raw statistics can in no way start to tell the story of the huge number of individual successes within the school.”

At Stowupland High School, 50pc of students gained five or more A* to C grades, with particularly strong results in art, drama and religious education.

Naomi Froude, received nine A* grades and one A, while Will Tasker achieved seven A*s and three As.

Headteacher Karen Grimes said: “We are delighted that more than 95pc of year 11s secured five or more A* to G passes. This opens up real opportunities for these young people and provides a firm base from which to build.”

Staff and students were also celebrating at St Alban's Catholic High School.

Headteacher Dennis McGarry said 99pc of students gained five A* to G grades.

Mr McGarry added: “This is an excellent set of results. The percentage of pupils achieving five A* to C grades is in the upper 70s.

“The average point score also marks a five point gain on last year. Almost a quarter of the grades were A* or A grades.

“There were outstanding performances from Jenny Badcock and Danielle Whiting, each achieving seven A*s and four A grades, Hannah Collins with six A* and five A grades, and Anthony Johnson with three A*s, seven As and one B.

“These results have been an improvement on last year's results and reflect a lot of hard work on behalf of staff and pupils.”

Kesgrave High School also reported their highest-ever results.

Headteacher George Thomas said the school was waiting for results of 80 students' applied science coursework, but expected the final statistic to show the school had achieved 80pc of students achieving five A* to C grades.

He said: “We are absolutely thrilled about the results which are our best ever.”

Holywells High School headteacher Ruth Everard said the school's results showed a significant improvement.

She added: “We are delighted with individual results which reflect real team work from students, teacher and parents.

“These combined with our SATS results give further evidence that we are an improving and effective school.”

Copleston High School reported 64pc of its students achieved at least five A* to C grades - up from 58pc last year.

Headteacher Laurie Robinson said: “This has come after other record results in Key Stage Three results and A levels.”

Year ten student Emma Spurling sat her Spanish GCSE a year early and finished in the top five nationally out of 35,000 candidates.

At Deben High School in Felixstowe, last year's high standards were maintained with 56pc of students gaining five A* to C grades.

Headteacher Terry Ring said the school was very pleased with its pupils.

At Suffolk College deputy principal Marilyn Watsham said: “We are delighted with this year's results.

“We have had exceptional results in languages, particularly Italian where one student was in the top five nationally.”

Claydon High School headteacher Beth Soule reported results of 63pc of students gaining at least five A*s to C.

She added: “We are very pleased with the results of our students who met their targets.”

Emotions were running high at Westbourne High School as students celebrated a pass rate of 87pc from grades A* to G.

Headteacher Chris Edwards said: “This is record results for the sixth year running, we are absolutely delighted. The pass rate is up 6pc from last year, 53pc of pupils achieved five A* to C.”

Ann Rickwood, headteacher at Chantry High School, said students had easily surpassed their targets, achieving outstanding results.

She said: “I'm absolutely delighted.

“This year 11 have smashed the targets set for them by more than 13pc.

“We are delighted with some outstanding individual results, with some girls achieving 12 or 13 A*s and As.

She said the total number of pupils achieving five A* to C grades was about 48pc.

At Holbrook High School staff and parents were delighted with the results which were up from last year.

In all, 66pc of students achieved five A* to C grades, 97pc achieved five A* to G and 98pc achieved at least one A* to G.

Rob Sherington, headteacher, said: “The 66pc with five or more passes at grade C or above is an increase on the past three years. “These grades are a direct result of the very real hard work, commitment and the effective partnerships between teachers, pupils and parents.”

At Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, 27 per cent of grades were A* or A with 22 students achieving at least five A* grades.

Headteacher Sue Hargadon said: “We are absolutely delighted with another super set of results.

“We have achieved our best ever results at the top end with 27pc of grades at A* or A and 66pc of students have achieved five A* to C grades.

“There are some exceptional results with 22 students achieving at least five A* grades. Following on from our superb A-level results last week, this has rounded off a great summer. As a maths and computing specialist school, it was particularly pleasing that 66pc of grades in ICT were at A*/A.”

The trend for outstanding performance continued at Hadleigh High School where students achieved the school's best ever results.

In all, 70pc of students gained five or more GCSEs between A* to C.

Cathy Tooze, headteacher These results are a reflection of the extraordinary supportive and dynamic school environment where the dedication of the staff and commitment of students have shown what a good school this is.”

Students at St Joseph's College were also celebrating another year of impressive GCSE results, maintaining the high standards of last year and also showing an increase in the percentage of A* and A grades.

In addition to this, there was an improvement in the average points score per candidate.

Mrs Grant, the college principal, was delighted. She said: “The results reflect the commitment of our students and staff and have built on the excellent inspection report the college received earlier this year.”

What do you think about our students' achievements? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter