GCSE Results Day 2017: Delight as east Suffolk students pick up their GCSE results
PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:49 24 August 2017
Follow our live coverage today as hundreds of students receive their long-awaited GCSE results, amid concerns over the new number-based grading scale being introduced for the first time in a generation.
We will provide updated school-by-school results from 37 schools in east Suffolk, as well as analysis from headteachers and education chiefs.
New GCSE grades will be awarded for the first time, with just a small proportion of entries expected to score the highest result. School leaders across England have warn that GCSE reforms are already causing teenagers more stress and anxiety, and this is likely to increase as more subjects switch to the new system.
Under the biggest shake-up of exams in England for a generation, traditional A* to G grades are being gradually replaced with a 9 to 1 system, with 9 the highest mark. English and maths – key GCSEs for all teenagers – are the first to move over, with other subjects following until 2020.
The grading switch is part of wider reforms designed to make GCSEs more rigorous and challenging. A grade 7 is broadly equivalent to an A under the old system, while a 4 is broadly equivalent to a C. The new headline figure is the percentage of students achieving a grade 4 in English and maths.
Alde Valley Academy
Of the 78 GCSE students. 62% of pupils gaining a Grade 4 or above in English and maths.
Michael Wilson, principal at Alde Valley Academy, said: “These outstanding results celebrate another significant achievement for Alde Valley Academy, building on our record-breaking GCSE results in 2016 as well as our excellent A-level results last week.
“We plan to continue this success and look forward to welcoming our returning students back to school in September, as well as our new Year 7 cohort. A huge well done to all our students!”
Among a number of students gaining exceptional results, Sadie Ellis achieved Grade 9 in English language and literature, an A* in science and two As in history and science. Maisie Debelgeonne also achieved a Grade 9 for maths as well as an 8 in English and two As in history and science. Evie Banham also achieved highly, gaining two Grade 7s in English and maths, a Grade 8 in English literature and 3 A*s in triple science, science and sports science. Ezra Taylor also gained an 8 in maths, a 7 in English language and literature, an A* in further science and an A in additional science and sports science.
Beccles Free School
Out of 33 GCSE students, 61% achieved at least a Grade 4 in English and maths.
Nigel Youngman, Headteacher at Beccles Free School, said: “I am delighted with the progress that our students have made and we are very pleased that many students have achieved top grades of 7, 8 and 9 (equivalent to A, A* or higher). The results reflect the hard work of our students, the commitment of our staff and supportive parents.”
Benjamin Britten High School
Of the students sitting GCSE results, 60% achieved at least a Grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher James McAtear said: “Benjamin Britten’s GCSE results are a credit to the school and its community. They have improved from 38% two years ago to 60% now. They are testimony to a talented and committed staff and a fine group of scholars. Well done to all of Lowestoft’s schools.”
Bungay High School
Out of 184 GCSE students, 56% achieved Grade 4 or above in English and maths.
Headmaster Angelo Goduti said: “We are extremely proud of the progress which our students make in the five years that they are with us. Despite the significant changes to examinations, the improvement in students’ progress in English and maths alongside their other subjects has been sustained.
“We are pleased that the hard work of students has been recognised through individual and collective whole school results. “The governors and I would like to pass on our congratulations to the students, staff and parents of Bungay High School on the results achieved this year.”
High achieving students included Mia O’Hanlon, Brindley O’Connell and Sophie Marler who achieved grades at A/A* or above Grade 7 for all of their GCSEs. Eleanor Cullen and James Hunt also achieved Grade 9s in maths with Eleanor attaining A** in further maths. Joseph Bongard, Orla Buck, Mitchell Cleminson and Matthew McCrone achieved 9s in English.
The academy, part of the Active Learning Trust, has recorded its best ever GCSE results.
56% of students achieved a grade 4 or above in English and maths - an increase of 18% of last year’s equivalent grades.
The results are the first time the government’s new GCSE grading measures of 1 to 9 have been used, with 9 the highest mark and 4 representing a standard pass - previously a C.
Principal Craig D’Cunha said: “I am delighted that the hard work of our students coupled with the support of the staff and whole community have led to the academy’s highest number of students reaching the expected standard.
“The grades will give students the freedom to make their own choices about the next stage of their education.
“This rapid improvement has been a real team effort and I am proud to be working alongside Chantry’s committed and talented staff and students.”
Gary Peile, chief Executive of the Active Learning Trust, added: “I am delighted for everyone at Chantry, specifically for the students and staff who have achieved this significant improvement in 2017.
“I want to thank Craig, his whole team and the parents at Chantry for their support for the students to enable them to succeed.”
Claydon High School
Out of 120 GCSE students, 65% achieved at least Grade 4 in English and maths.
Sarah Skinner, headteacher at Claydon High School, said: “We are delighted with how well our students and staff have tackled the new set of English and Maths exams; despite them being more challenging we are very pleased with the 65% of students who achieved good passes in both subjects.
“Many individuals have secured an excellent set of results and we would like to congratulate all of our students on their hard work and success and thank parents and carers for their support over five years.”
Copleston High School
Hard work and dedication by pupils and teachers at Copleston High School has led to 67% of students achieving at least a grade four in English and maths.
Principal Shaun Common said he was delighted – particularly as the shake-up in examinations this year has been demanding.
“We would like to congratulate our students, parents and staff on our GCSE successes,” he said.
“There have been a number of wonderful individual performances at a time when the examinations are more demanding and this bears testimony to the incredible hard work of our students, supported by our dedicated staff.
“A total of 67% of our students have achieved at least a grade four in English and maths, and we are delighted with the progress our students have made over their five years at Copleston High School.”
Diss High School
Out of 143 GCSE students, 71% achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths,
Headteacher, Jan Hunt said “Students and staff are to be congratulated on another excellent set of results which have come from dedicated hard work and supportive parents.”
Notable individual successes were: Joseph Davy with 12A*/9; Caity Adkins and Will Johnson with 11A*/9; Briony Greathead, Lily Harris and Sofia Chapman with 12A*/A; Natty Strange, Aimee Buck, Joseph Keeley, Eshrat Khan and Angel Ramstead with 11A*/A and Emma Carpenter, Ed Darrell, Sarah Hume, Lauren Dennis, Rohan Paterson, Hannah Shea and Lauren Smith with 10A*/A grades.
Debenham High School
Of 134 GCSE students, 88% achieved at least grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher Julia Upton said: “We are delighted with these results; students have surpassed themselves and more students than ever have the grades that they need to make the step to the next stage of their education. The changes to the English and mathematics GCSEs this year will of course mean that there is a spotlight on both these subjects’ results but we are equally delighted with the grades students have achieved across the full range of subjects.”
East Bergholt High School
The school is celebrating after 70% of the 182 students to take their GCSEs achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher Colin Turner said: “The exceptionally pleasing results, in both English and maths reflect the hard work of a lovely cohort of students.
“The students were also fantastically supported by their parents.
“Credit must also go to English and maths teaching staff who worked hard to interpret the demands of the new, more challenging GCSEs.
“The success students have enjoyed in their GCSEs, across all their subjects, go alongside the many other achievements they gained in the arts, music, sport and much more, during their time at East Bergholt High School.”
East Point Academy, Lowestoft
Of the 112 GCSE students, 65% achieved grade 4 in English and maths.
Principal Richard Dolding said: “These results confirm our students as being the very best in Lowestoft, building on last year’s fantastic results. Across all subjects, a quarter of students achieved the top grades of A*/A or equivalents. The hard work and dedication of the students and staff, combined with the support of the local community has ensured that we improved upon last year’s fantastic results.”
Farlingaye High School
Of the 294 GCSE student, 73% achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.
A quarter of all grades were at A, or equivalent, or better, with 26 of the new ‘super A*’ grade 9s secured in English and maths.
Headteacher Andy Sievewright said “Our students have coped extremely well with what has been a very challenging year. They and their teachers have had to prepare for brand new exams in a national atmosphere of uncertainty. I am delighted that so many of them have done so well and can now look forward to taking their studies further next year.”
Out of 208 GCSE students, 48% achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.
Felixstowe Academy’s principal, Anthony Williams, said: We are all very pleased and proud of our students’ achievements. We are particularly pleased with the number of students who achieved the highest grade (9) in English and Maths. I’d like to thank the teaching staff for their hard work and commitment in supporting our students.”
Hadleigh High School
Pupils at Hadleigh High School are delighted this morning – out of the 148 who took GCSE exams 65% of them secured a grade 4 or higher in English and maths.
Headteacher Caroline Gibson believes the good results are the result of positive partnerships between pupils, parents and staff.
She said: “We are really proud of the efforts made by our pupils and staff in a time of great national turbulence in GCSE examinations.
“We believe that pupils’ commitment to their learning will place them in the strongest position to continue their future studies effectively.”
Out of 139 GCSE students, 77% achieved grade 4 or higher in English and maths.
Headmaster Jim McAtear said: “These results are a testimony to the hard work of all our staff, governors and students and to the support given to them by their parents.”
Almost nine in 10 pupils (89%) achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths for their GCSE results at Holbrook Academy.
This year’s results have been described as being “nothing short of spectacular” by headteacher Dr Simon Letman – 96% of 102 students taking the exams achieved a grade four or higher in English.
“Set against the national context, where English and maths courses are now significantly harder than in the past, these results are nothing short of spectacular,” Dr Letman said.
“Over 96% of students achieved a grade four or better in English and over 89% in maths.
“Last year, the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and maths was 70%, the best in the school’s history.
“This year we have exceeded this figure by a full 10%, consolidating our position as one of the top schools in the county.”
Pupils and teachers at the academy are celebrating the school’s best ever results this morning, according to headteacher Helen Winn.
Of the 106 youngsters entered for GCSE exams, 50.9% achieved at least a grade four (the old C grade) in English and maths.
Ms Winn said: “We are delighted that the students’ hard work has been rewarded with these results.
“The new exam formats and marking schemes makes comparison difficult, but we are confident that the percentage of students getting a grade four in English and maths is higher than A*-C last year – making these our best results ever.
“It is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the school that our progress has been this good.”
Ipswich High School for Girls
The school achieved its best A*-A and equivalent results in seven years, reporting that 70% of grades were in the top bracket. A total of 15% of students also gained seven or more A*s and equivalent in all subjects.
Oona Carlin, Head at Ipswich High School commented: “I would like to congratulate all our students for their effort and dedication which has gone into achieving these fantastic results. It is wonderful to see A* grades across such diverse and broad subjects which demonstrates that our students flourish as individuals in the senior school.”
More than three-quarters of exams at Ipswich School were graded A*-A in a range of subjects.
One of the largest groups of GCSE pupils in recent years at the school achieved a 100% pass rate at grade 4 in English and maths.
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We are very proud of these results, with the number of A* grades achieved being the highest for four years.
“Our pupils have done very well in giving themselves an excellent foundation at GCSE level to go on to further study and, ultimately, to the universities of their choice.
“We look forward to seeing record numbers enrolling with us in Year 12 at the beginning of September to continue their school careers.”
Nadia Mason achieved nine A* grades and two grade 9s in English - the highest possible scores in all her subjects.
She said: “I was nervous but I knew I couldn’t have done any more work. When I opened the envelope I couldn’t believe it – I was speechless for a second!”
Kesgrave High School
Out of the 285 GCSE students, 62% of them achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and maths.
A total of 14 students achieved the new gold standard Grade 9 in English and Maths.
A school spokesman said: “We are delighted that so many students can now progress onto 6th Form, college and apprenticeships.
Northgate High School
Headteacher David Hutton said: “Despite changes making it impossible to compare some measures to previous years, the percentage achieving a C equivalent in both English and mathematics is up 3% at 71%.
“I would like to congratulate all pupils and staff on this fantastic accomplishment.”
Ormiston Denes Academy
The school recorded its best ever GCSE results, with 53% of students gaining at least a grade 4 in both English and maths.
Ormiston Denes Principal Ben Driver said: “These historic results are due to ongoing support from our parents and sponsor (Ormiston Academies Trust), the high quality and dedication of our staff, and most importantly the relentless hard work of a fantastic cohort of students. Many of them have achieved academic success as well as excellence outside of the curriculum. We are incredibly proud of them all.”
“As we look forward to the year ahead, and the sustained success of Ormiston Denes, we wish all of our leavers and their families the very best for their futures which we will follow with interest and anticipation.”
Ormiston Endeavour Academy
Some 47% of students at the academy in Ipswich achieved at least a grade 4 in English and in maths.
Student Lauren Dedman achieved grade nines in both English exams and maths and six traditioanl A*s. She was decribed as an “exceptional student” by the school, which added: “She showed great commitment and dedication to her studies throughout her time at the academy.
“She worked particularly hard in Year 11 and supported other students with revision and exam preparation.”
Principal Christine Woods said: “I would like to congratulate our students today for their fantastic results. They have worked incredibly hard, supported their parents and our staff, and fully deserve the results they are receiving today.”
Of students sitting GCSE, 50% who achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
Headteacher Anthony Walker, said: “I am extremely proud that, our students have performed so well, particularly in core subjects of English and mathematics.
“In the context of the introduction of more challenging and demanding new GCSEs it is incredibly impressive that our students have achieved double the national rate of the newly-introduced highest grade 9. I would specifically like to congratulate Kathryn Skazick who achieved thirteen grade A* and As and Maisie Wright, Laura Preece and Sophie Miller who each achieved eleven. Equally impressive was the achievement of Mia Dale who made outstanding progress - exceeding the national expectation by three GCSE grades in each subject.
“I would like to congratulate our students and staff on their commitment to learning, and thank our parents, carers and governors for their ongoing support of the school.”
Royal Hospital School
A total of 91.7% of pupils gained at least a grade 4 in both English and maths.
The proportion of eight and nine grades, the equivalent of an A*, in English language and maths rose by 5.8% and 11.8% respectively compared with 2016. In addition, 25.6% of pupils gained a grade eight or nine in English Literature.
Headmaster Simon Lockyer said: “The results for English and maths were very hard to predict this year but, by continuing to stretch our most able, a significant number of pupils achieved the very top grades of 9 and 8 in the core subjects. I am also particularly pleased in an increased percentage of our pupils achieving the equivalent of A* and A (9-7) in English Language and English Literature.”
Saint Felix School
Out of 37 candidates, 91% achieved grade 4 or above in both English and maths.
Headmaster James Harrison said: “It’s particularly pleasing to see exceptional maths grades again; Saint Felix received an award for the best A Level Maths results in the UK two years ago, and so we remain one of the country’s most outstanding maths departments.
“I am immensely proud of the exceptional grades this year.
“Constant tinkering with exams by the government has led to teachers and pupils being unsure about the intricacies of the new grading system, but at Saint Felix we always have and always will rely on good quality teaching across all of our subjects. The teachers are committed, the pupils are enthusiastic and they deserve all of their success.”
Saxmundham Free School
Out of 37 GCSE students, 65% achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
David Lees, Headteacher at Saxmundham Free School, said: “It is fantastic to see the strong progress made by our students, particularly in English and maths. This is our first group of students who started and completed their secondary education at Saxmundham Free School, and I would like to congratulate them all for their hard work and wish them every success for their future.”
Sir John Leman High School
Out of 237 GCSE students, 68% achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.,
Headteacher Michael Taylor said: I would like to congratulate the students and staff who have worked phenomenally hard together, enjoying the support of parents and families to achieve this brilliant set of results at GCSE level in 2017.
This has been achieved within a more challenging and changed context with different assessment regimes and in a year in which it is widely recognised that there will be much variability at school level across the country.”
St Alban’s Catholic High School
Of the 158 GCSE students, 67% achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
Principal Colin Walker said the results are “encouraging” and reflects the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff.
He said: “It is a pleasure to see progress and development of our Year 11 cohort over the 5 years at the school. Today we celebrate the pupils’ success and we are delighted for them.
“At St. Alban’s diversity is celebrated and all are encouraged have a positive outlook when planning their future. Many pupils will return in September to begin courses in the Sixth Form and that will bring a new set of challenges and we wish those moving on to other providers all our best wishes.”
St Joseph’s College
Danielle Clarke, principal, said: “It is enormously gratifying to post another increase in examination results, this time at GCSE. I am proud of our students’ academic achievement, including those who have achieved a clean sweep of exceptional GCSE grades, including the new grade 9s – equivalent to double A*.”
A school spokesman added: “This is an exciting time for the college with the opening of a new £1m sixth form centre last year, the addition of BTEC and EPQ courses to the already popular A-level programme and a new head of sixth form, Dr Jennifer Stimson from Colchester Royal Grammar School, taking the helm this September.”
Stoke High School - Ormiston Academy
The school in Maidenhall Approach celebrated results which improved from last year. A total of 44% of students achieved a grade 4 or better in English and maths, up by four percentage points on the former C grades from 2016.
Despite the tougher maths exams this year, the pass rate was up by nine percentage points, reaching 55%.
Principal Glenn Mellor said students and staff responded “brilliantly” to the GCSE reforms.
He said: “As a school we have always focused on the achievement of every student, including those taking the academic subjects, and these results bear out our commitment. Today is further proof of our improvement, and I look forward to us building on this next year.”
Stowupland High School
Of the 166 GCSE students, 64% achieved a grade 4 or above in both English and maths.
Headteacher Karen Grimes said: “Amidst national speculation over new specifications, Stowupland students are to be congratulated and should be justly proud of their results.
We are also delighted to see the top grades of 7, 8 and 9 being awarded in English, English literature and Maths. Our students have clearly risen to the challenge of terminal examinations and more rigorous content.”
Stowmarket High School
Out of 154 students 60% achieved at least a grade 4 in maths and English. Eight students achieved a grade 9 in maths, which is higher than the old A*. Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan said: “I know I speak for all staff and governors when I say we are so proud of what our students have achieved this year, particularly in the first year of these much tougher examinations.
“Despite the bar being higher, these results show a significant improvement. Students and staff have faced enormous challenges during a time of massive change, and they have proved that with a ‘can-do’ attitude and high aspirations, that they can write a new story of success.
“With the support of our parent body, Stowmarket students have achieved something special.
“It is natural to celebrate the high flyers, but I want to celebrate the significant numbers of students who achieved grades they thought were beyond them at the start of the year.”
Notable students were John Billingham, who achieved six A-A*’s including a 9 in mathematics, Kristen Bell who achieved the same but also one distinction grade. Isabel Garcia Pena who achieved three A*, two A’s, a grade 8 in mathematics and a grade B.
Stradbroke High School
Of the 62 GCSE students, 79% achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.
Head of School, John Axtell, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the results attained by the students at Stradbroke High School this year. They have been justly rewarded for the effort and commitment that they have put in during their time with us. These results are also testament to the dedication and hard work of our incredible teaching staff.
We are delighted for them, and wish them all the very best as they go on to further studies. We are confident that they will continue to be successful in all their future endeavours.
Thomas Mills High School
Pupils and staff are celebrating after 74% of 162 pupils achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.
Headteacher Philip Hurst said: “We congratulate the pupils on their fantastic achievements. They have made great progress. They are a lovely year group and we wish them continued success.”
He also singled out praise for the hard work of teachers. “They have worked tirelessly to successfully implement new qualifications.”
“We are delighted with these achievements whilst being able to maintain a wide range of option choices.”
This year the government will use a new measure to judge the performance of schools. The school is delighted that 54% of pupils achieved a Grade 5 or above in English and Mathematics. “I am pleased that this shows that we are reaching very high standards and that pupils have made great progress,” Mr Hurst said.
There were many high achievers including Annie Bones who attained the equivalent of 11A*s. Annabel Anderson achieved the equivalent of 8A*s including the top Grade 9 in English and Mathematics. Jessica Hollis secured the equivalent of 10A*s.
Progress is being made at Westbourne Academy according to bosses – almost 60% achieved grade four and above in English and maths.
Part of the Academy Transformation Trust, 58% of GCSE pupils at the school managed to reach the milestone figure.
Giedrius Banys, who arrived in the UK in 2012, was the highest performing student with the equivalent of five A*s and three As.
He collected two top grade nines in both maths and English literature.
Jade Archer scooped five A*s and three A grades – with a level nine in maths.
Principal Garry Trott said: “I am delighted with these results and the continued improvement that they demonstrate for the academy.
“It is testament to both the hard work of pupils and staff that results have improved at a time when both English and maths examinations are getting more challenging.”
Out of 86 GCSE pupils, 95.3% achieved at least a grade C in English and maths.
Neil Tetley, Headteacher of Woodbridge School, said: “We are thrilled to achieve our best results for a decade this year with one third of grades in all subjects being awarded A*. Well done to pupils and teachers for all their hard work and dedication.”
Woodbridge School pupils study IGCSE qualifications in English and maths, so the letter grades (A*-C) still apply for 2017.