STUDENTS at high schools across Warrington were today celebrating excellent GCSE results – particularly in view of the changes in the English and Maths examinations which, across the country have caused controversy and concern.
Lymm High School reported a “strong performance” at GCSE, following on from the excellent A Level results reported last week.
Eighty two per cent of students gained at least Grade 4 in both the new English and Maths exams, which is up from 77 per cent compared to the equivalent A*-C measure last year.
The government is trying to place a good deal of importance on the number of students gaining at least Grade 5 in both English and Maths and 65 per cent of Lymm High students met this benchmark, which is likely to compare extremely well with schools right across the country.
Performance at the top end was also impressive, with 27 per cent of students gaining at least five A* or A grades and 47 students gaining at least eight A* or A grades.
Headteacher Gwyn Williams said: “I don’t mind admitting to having been a little more nervous than usual in the run up to results day this year. Whilst things in school had felt good and we were pretty confident we would do very well, this was the first cohort to sit the new GCSE courses in English and Maths and, with all the uncertainties that come with such big changes, there was definitely tension in the air.
“In the event, we did not need to worry at all. The results are exceptionally strong in English and Maths, and we are absolutely delighted to see the headline figures continuing to rise. As with A’ level results, these are the best results the school has seen for many years.
“All in all, it has been a wonderful morning. Watching students opening their envelopes and seeing their faces as it dawns on them how well they have done is one of the best bits of the job and, from a headteacher’s perspective, it is just as rewarding to see the looks of pride on the teachers’ faces.
“Really well done to everyone involved; I know how hard people have worked and it is lovely to see so many students doing so well and to see more evidence that the school is improving all the time.”
At Birchwood High School, a crop of A*, A, 9 and 8 grade GCSE results had students jumping for joy.
Headteacher Moira Bryan, said: “I am incredibly proud of our learners who have achieved these great results. There are some stunning individual results. This is especially pleasing given the challenges that the new specifications and grading system in GCSE Maths and English has given our learners.
“The results are a reflection of the dedication and hard work of our learners supported by our committed and caring team of staff.”
Outstanding individual performances included head girl Fiona Baxter, who achieved two grade 9s, two A* grades, four A grades, one grade 7 and one grade B.
Emma Robinson achieved a fantastic six A* grades, oneA grade, two grade 8s and one grade 7 and George Dunbar shone with four A*s, two As, two grade 8s and one grade 7, along with Alisha Cheetham who gained four A* grades, three A grades and one grade 8. Also gaining a host of top grades were Bethan Swann, Ellie Butler, Georgia Cross, head boy Matthew Kersey, Daisy Wray and Katie Agnew.
Forty six per cent of learners achieved at least one top grade of A*, A, 9, 8 and 7 with 24 per cent achieving five or more top grades. Learners also performed particularly well in a number of individual English-Baccalaureate subjects. In the Triple Science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, learners achieved 95 per cent, 93 per cent and 90 per cent A* – C grades respectively. In Modern Foreign Languages 91 per cent of learners achieved A* – C grades in German and 71 per cent in Spanish.
In other subjects, 100 per cent gained A*- C grades in Music with a fantastic 59 per cent gaining the top A*-A grades. In Religious Studies, 88 per cent gained A*-C with 51 per cent gaining the top grades. In GCSE Drama 88 per cent of learners gained A*-C with 42 per cent obtaining the highest grades.
Mrs Bryan said: “The school has sustained the rapid progress made in the last twelve months and we are pleased to see that this has impacted on our results. Our thanks also go to our parents and carers who have worked in partnership with us for the last five years to achieve this success.”
Staff and students of Great Sankey High School were also celebrating outstanding results showing year on year improvement.
In a year of unprecedented change including grade changes, specification changes and nationally raised expectations the school has more than risen to the challenge.
This year’s GCSE results show an improvement across all subjects:
Eighty five per cent of students achieved at least a new “standard pass” in English
Eighty one per cent achieved at least a new “standard pass” in maths.
Maths has doubled the national average for grade 9s with English not far behind.
Executive headteacher Jon Wright said: “This shows our commitment to ensuring an outstanding basic education for all our students, these core subjects are the key to our students futures.”
Fifty per cent of the cohort achieved at least one A*/A grade (or equivalent)
Twenty per cent of the cohort achieved five or more A*/A grades (or equivalent)
Ten per cent achieved eight or more A*A grades (or equivalent)
In old measures students gaining five or more C grades including English and Maths rose by a further five per cent to 74 per cent.
Headteacher Paula Crawley said:“We are delighted with this year’s set of results. These will provide these young adults with real opportunities as they continue their educational journey. These results reflect the hard work of both our staff and our students coupled with our supportive parents”.
The vast majority of students will be joining the school’s sixth form Barrow Hall College to continue their education and they too celebrated outstanding results last week, there are some places still available and any students who would like to join the college in September should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Christopher Hunt, head teacher of Culcheth High School, said: “On behalf of the staff and governors , I would like to congratulate our Year 11 students on their excellent GCSE exam results. There have been some fantastic individual performances, which reflect the hard work of the students in their GCSE studies. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students for their efforts and wish them all the very best in their next steps.
“We are delighted and very proud of our students’ achievements and I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication, hard work and guidance of our students, which has supported this level of achievement. I would like to, especially, thank our English and Mathematics Departments who have supported students through the new rigorous GCSE specifications, with great success.
“Finally, a big thank you to all the parents and guardians who have supported the students and school to help our young people achieve this level of success in their GCSE examinations.
“Seventy six per cent of students achieved a ‘standard pass’, which is Grade 4 and above, in the new English and Mathematics specifications. Fifty six per cent achieved a ‘strong pass’ which is Grade 5 and above in the new English and Mathematics specifications. Given the changes to education, assessment and examinations in these new specifications, it makes this year’s results very pleasing.
“We would especially like to congratulate a number of our students for their individual academic success and some outstanding personal progress. They are: Carrie Divers, Davey Ashworth, Nicole Kubiena, Joseph Shaw, Olivia Hilton, Natasha Winstanley, Gabby Long, Ella Bleasdale, Alex Myers-Bennett, Nadia Cunningham, Emily Bedford, Zoe Fairfax, Ezra Mackay, Laura Slattery, Riya Kotecha, James Raftery-Morton, Abby Jones, Alicia Leavitt, Alex Rain, Jodie Sampson and Sam Watson.”
It was another successful year for Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School, where they are celebrating an excellent set of GCSE examination results. Even though there have been significant changes to the GCSE grading system and curriculum, students have managed to perform at a high level. This achievement is through commitment, hard work and dedication from all our students and staff.
Headteacher Beverley Scott-Herron said: “We are very proud of all our Year 11 students.
“We have had particular success in English and Maths, especially at a time of considerable change with the new 9-1 grading system and major successes in Biology at 96per cent A*-C, Chemistry 86 per cent A*-C and Music 75 per cent.
“We always pride ourselves on providing students with a broad and inclusive curriculum to ensure it gives them the best options for future pathways and careers.”
Mrs Scott-Herron said the school had many outstanding individual performances, but one in particular stood out head girl – Alice Davies who achieved a phenomenal set of results, achieving a Grade 9 in English, a Grade 9 in Maths and 7 A* grades.
“This set of results is as high as you could possibly achieve.”
Other successes were: Mollie Bennett who achieved a Grade 8 in English, Grade 9 in Maths and 7 A*-B grades; Madelane Foxall who achieved a Grade 8 in English, a Grade 8 in Maths and 7 A*-B grades.
“I could not be more proud of our Class of 2017, as they have exceeded all expectations in both their academic achievement and in their personal conduct and professional outlook. We wish them every success in the future and look forward to celebrating with them at their presentation evening on Thursday, November 9.
“We have had to work so hard to improve expectations, aspirations and standards from where we were in September 2014; our driver being improving the life chances of all our students. Sustainable improvement takes time and this is very evident in our results. The immeasurable progress that has been observed by so many external visitors to our school is now there for all to see.
“This year has not been without its challenges, with all the changes in education and cuts in funding. However, in the face of adversity we always find solutions to these problems and overcome any barriers in our way because we are a team. Everyone in our organisation counts and the students are and will always be our priority. They have all embraced the vision and live it through their daily practice. ‘High Expectations, High Aspirations and High Standards’ are the key to our success and really do matter. The Class of 2017 and the staff have put this mantra into practice and succeeded. We are confident that both them and us as a School will continue to go from strength to strength.”