GCSE successes after year of turmoil
MANGOTSFIELD School is celebrating the achievements of its GCSE candidates after months of lockdown and weeks of uncertainty about how to calculate grades.
After schools were forced to close and this year's exams cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, first A-level results and then GCSEs were thrown into doubt when the system chosen to standardise grades across the country was criticised as unfair.
After A-level results were regraded following an outcry, the government decided to use teachers' assessments as the basis for GCSE results for Year 11 pupils, with some adjusted up by a government grading algorithm.
The school said in a statement: "This year group have faced challenges not only of lockdown but also the uncertainty around how their grades would be decided.
"We are thrilled that the government has decided to award the Centre Assessed Grades, which were carefully calculated by teachers who have taught the students over several years.
"There are so many individual successes to celebrate within our results and we’re delighted by the personal achievements of the entire cohort.
"Whilst it is hard to select students to praise individually a few have exceeded expectations at a national level."
The school's five highest-attaining students were:
• Josh Chatten – Seven grade 9s, Two grade 8s, One grade 7
• Sam Courthold – Six grade 9s, Three grade 8s, One grade 7
• Ruby Beese – Two grade 9s, Four grade 8s, Three grade 7s, One grade 6
• Ayuub Iman – One grades 9, Seven grade 8s, Two grade 6s
• Abby Arnott – Two grade 9, Three 8s, Three grade 7s, One grade 6.
The number of Year 11s achieving a pass in both English and Maths was in line with the national figures from 2019, with 40% getting grades 9-5 and 66% grades 9-4.
Head teacher Hetty Blackmore said: "This year group were one of the nicest and hardest working I’ve ever come across.
"They fully deserve the successes they have received.
"Year 11 we salute you and wish you all the best in your bright and exciting futures.”
YEAR 11 students at Winterbourne Academy are praised for their “hard work and resilience” as they received their results.
Head teacher Jason Beardmore said: “This year’s GCSE results show that hard work and resilience in this unique and unpredictable year have won the day for Winterbourne Academy students.
“These are amazing performances from high-achieving students who have worked consistently hard.
“We all know that achievement can mean many things. It can be about starting points, the specific challenges we face and/or the determination we show to improve.”
Results at the school were higher than last year, with 77% of pupils achieving a level 4 and above in English and Maths, and 60% a level 5 and above.
The school singled out the achievement of Emily Rosenberg, who achieved 10 GCSEs at grade 9.
Other high achievers who were awarded nine or even ten grades 8 or higher were: James Bennion, Owen Cotgias, Kian Goodwin, Olivia Hussey, Sonny Reynolds, Eloise Salt, Hannah Sharp and Ben Simister.
Mr Beardmore also praised 11 pupils who had shown “grit, character and resilience”, making huge progress not only with their studies but also as young people. They were: Michael Heavens, Chloe Olds, Fliss Ounsworth, Chloe Dean, Amy Hewitt, Sam Pulsford, Mia Smith, Tom Hemsley, Josie Everett and Jamie Fricker.
• The Voice invited Downend School to share news of its exam results but none was received.