A-level results day 2020: Live updates from West Suffolk
- Credit: GOODERHAM PR
Schools have spoken of their pride in their students on A-level results day following an “incredibly difficult year”.
Today is the moment of truth for A-level students up and down the country - with young people across West Suffolk eagerly awaiting news of their results.
This year’s results day is very different from previous years, with exams cancelled in May and June due to the coronavirus crisis.
Students have therefore been graded by their teachers - but there are fears many results will be downgraded as part of exam regulator Ofqual’s plan to adjust grades so they are more in line with schools’ results from previous years.
It also means many will receive their grades electronically, meaning many will miss out of the ritual of visiting their school to open that dreaded envelope with friends and classmates.
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This live list of results from schools in west Suffolk will be updated as results come in to us.
PLEASE NOTE: The figures which will be shown are the percentage of A* to C grades students at school and colleges achieved in last year’s results, given purely as a guide.
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Comparing like for like can be difficult at the best of times and it is impossible this year as students have not sat exams.
Instead schools and colleges have effectively provided an assessment grade, which was fed into the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
They took that grade, looked at schools’ past performance and the overall assessment results nationally and then assigned a grade for each qualification. On this basis it’s not possible to make any comparisons with previous years.
St Benedict’s Catholic School
At St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds was receiving students today outside on the field.
Headteacher Imogen Senior said for most students the qualifications awarded were in line with their own assessments, but they were “disappointed” that in some subjects some students had been awarded a lower grade than the teacher assessments and mock exams - which the school will be appealing.
The percentage of students awarded A* to C grades was 87% and there were 35 in the year group.
Ms Senior said: “This has been an incredibly difficult year for all students and we are so proud of our Year 13 and the hard work that has led them to this point.
“We are relieved that for most of our students the qualifications awarded today are in line with our assessments and that will enable them to move forward with their studies to the destinations that they have planned; putting this odd and unsettling period of their education behind them.
“We are very pleased that on the whole the grades that our students have been awarded reflect the hard work and ability that we have seen from them and are very similar to those awarded to previous cohorts of students.”
Notable achievements include Alfie Dry (four A*s and an A), Will Harpur-Davies (three A*s and an A) and Thomas Bidewell (four A*s).
Ms Senior added: “We recognise the challenges presented by the pandemic on the awarding bodies, however we will support individuals whose grades have been lowered by a statistical modelling of results where we feel this has deprived them of the opportunity to prove themselves.”
County Upper School
Unity Schools Partnership, which is the trust that runs County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard and Haverhill Community Sixth Form, said it wouldn’t be publishing the usual results statistics this year.
Vicky Neale, the headteacher of County Upper School, said: “We were delighted to welcome students safely into the school to collect their A-level results.
“The most important statistic in any year is how many students are able to go onto the destination of their choice. So I am delighted that all those progressing to apprenticeships or specialist colleges have had their places confirmed and that 95% learned this morning that they are off to university. I know they would want to join me in thanking the staff for all their help in making this possible.
“In this most unusual of years, I would like to pay tribute to our students in this year group. They have always embraced the ‘County way’ and involved themselves hugely in the all-round education we provide.
“In their sixth form years, they have been excellent leaders and role models. They have reacted so well to the abrupt end to their year with its inevitable disappointments.
“They used the time to prepare for the autumn by working on reading lists that they sought from their universities and on their research skills using materials provided through our school. Many of them also volunteered alongside key workers and supported vulnerable members of their local community.
“They exemplify all that is good about young people and all the staff join me in wishing them the very best for their futures.”
Students collected their results in the school grounds.
Logan Pyle, 18, from Elmswell, said he was delighted to have achieved four A* grades in chemistry, physics, maths and further maths – which will now see him study physics at Imperial College London.
Logan, who was head boy at County Upper School, said: “I was hopeful, but I never expected to get four A* grades.
“It feels like a long time since we were at school and it has been a strange few months, but I am delighted with my results and looking forward to going to university.”
Scarlett Cutting, 18, from Bury, was pleased with her three As in English literature, history and art - and will now go on to study performing arts.
Tim Coulson, chief executive at Unity Schools Partnership, said: “The trust is delighted to see the strong record of County Upper School continue with so many students benefitting from the outstanding sixth form experience that it has provided over so many years. It is one of the strongest features of our trust and we look forward to it developing yet further.
“We are proud that school staff had prepared the students sufficiently well, before the unforeseen cancellation of examinations, that they have still been able to achieve the necessary grades to go on to university and other further education. We wish them well and thank all our school staff for their excellent work throughout this period.”
King Edward VI School
Lee Walker, headteacher of King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, said: “Since our sixth form closes this academic year, our current Year 13 cohort is the last to receive A-level results.
“I am immensely proud of our Year 13 students. They responded to the national school closures and the cancelling of their A-level examinations with immense maturity and resilience. I would like to thank them for their commitment over the years, both to their studies and to the wider life of the school. They have enhanced school life in countless ways, and we will always remember their magnificent contribution.
“I am also hugely proud of the excellent teaching and support our staff has provided these students during their time in the sixth form. Despite the uncertainties created by the current situation, our staff continue to work tirelessly to support these young people as they progress to the next stage of their education or employment.
Penny Quintero Hunt, head of sixth form, said: “We are delighted to report that of our 194 A-level students, the overwhelming majority of those who applied have a confirmed place at university or college.
“We congratulate all of our students on their achievements and hard work throughout the last two years and wish them all the very best for the future.”
More will follow on notable achievements.
Thurston Community College
Thurston Community College also made the decision to not release any data today as they felt “it would be inappropriate at this time”.
Paul Potter, vice principal and head of sixth form, said: “Every year, ‘results day’ is a special day of celebration.
“As in previous years, the results at Thurston Sixth were very strong and, although this year is clearly like no other, our students, parents and staff have enjoyed a morning of celebrating and reflecting on their astonishing work, sacrifices and achievements together.
“We are so proud of the way in which our students have responded to the uncertainty, frustration and adversity of recent months.
“Whilst we are delighted that so many of our students achieved the grades they need for their next step, we also share in the frustration of many others who have not received the grades they deserve. It has been a very hard day for those students and families.
“Our priority today has been to provide a safe space for us all to salute and recognise our students’ great work and to offer 1:1 support and care for those who needed it.”
Thomas Gainsborough School
A-level students at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard have been praised for achieving some top grades in the face of having their exams cut short due to the coronavirus.
Paying tribute to students and staff, headteacher Wayne Lloyd said: “This has been an unprecedented situation.
“We are delighted for our students who have been successful in moving to the university of their choice.
“I would also like to pay tribute to my staff for all their support of our students during this time.”
Among those picking up their results today, Gemma Deacon achieved three As and one A* (history, French, drama and EPQ), who will be studying history at St Cambridge University.
Ormiston Sudbury Academy
Ormiston Sudbury Academy is celebrating the achievements of its students after what has been an unprecedented academic year, with all its students securing places at their chosen universities, including many Russell Group, and many securing the top A* and A grades across a range of subjects.
Principal Caroline Wilson said: “I am delighted that all our students have been offered their first choices at university for next year and the success at the top levels of A*/A/Dist*/Dist is testament to our students’ hard work and the continued support from our committed staff here at Ormiston Sudbury Academy – another proud day. Congratulations to all our students receiving their results today – very well deserved.”
Haverhill Community Sixth Form
In spite of the challenging year that they have faced, there have been some excellent results at Haverhill Community Sixth Form.
Head of sixth form, Daisy Hopkins, said: “Our Year 13 students have consistently impressed the staff at the sixth form with their resilience and dedication to their studies.
“Their hard work has paid off. All of our students who wanted a university place have got one, 91% of them at their first-choice university.
“We are proud of all of our students. They truly are a credit to our school and our local community and we wish them the very best of luck for the future that lies ahead of them.”
Amongst the successful students was Abbie Smith who achieved A*, A, A, B and is now going to York University to study history.
Although most students take three qualifications at sixth form, Taylor Wood set himself the task of completing two A-levels as well as two double BTEC qualifications.
His hard work was rewarded as he received an A in photography, a B in PE and Distinction* in all of his BTEC qualifications and will be going to the University Campus of Football Business to complete a degree in sports and business broadcasting.
Headteacher Andy Hunter said: “This has been an extraordinary and difficult year for students in Year 13 and their teachers.
“We are disappointed that not all of our students got the grades that we felt they deserved, but I am very relieved that the sensible response from the universities has made sure that our students can progress to the courses and futures that they have been hoping for.
“I know they will make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead of them.”
At Thetford Academy 65% achieved A* to C grades.
Dan Carter, principal, said: “I’m full of pride and admiration for our Year 13 pupils as they collect their results today. The most important thing is that these grades enable our students to progress successfully to their desired destination.
“I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of our students have places at their chosen university, with an increased number going to top providers. The class of 2020 leaves us with some of Thetford Academy’s best ever grades.
“We are a rapidly improving school and these grades are fully deserved - I’m proud our students have worked so hard, especially considering the challenging circumstances around them.
“I offer my sincere best wishes to the class of 2020, they will be fondly remembered at Thetford Academy.”
Thetford Grammar School
At Thetford Grammar School 87% gained A* to C grades.
The school said: “Fourteen students were awarded A-level grades this year and we are delighted that so many of our students achieved excellent grades and are now going on to some of the country’s top universities.
“It is a pleasure to share in our students’ successes and excitement about their futures and to hear personally from them how big a difference attending Thetford Grammar School has made to their aspirations. These results reflect the tremendous diligence of our students, their scholarship and tenacity as well as the unstinting support and inspiration of their teachers.”