County celebrates record GCSE results

By James HoreTEENAGERS across the county have been celebrating after another year of record-breaking GCSE results. All the students at Colchester County High School for Girls passed five or more subjects with A* to C grades, regarded as the benchmark statistic.

By James Hore

TEENAGERS across the county have been celebrating after another year of record-breaking GCSE results.

All the students at Colchester County High School for Girls passed five or more subjects with A* to C grades, regarded as the benchmark statistic.

There were 10 high-fliers who managed 10 A*s and an A, but top of the class was Jing Zhang, 16, who achieved A*s in all 11 subjects.

“I wanted it, but you can never tell with these things - I did not revise that hard, I kind of revised as I went along. I am ecstatic about this, but it really annoys me when people say they are easy,” she said.

Elizabeth Ward, headteacher, said: “The students have excelled themselves this year, not only with the excellent results, but in sport, music and drama.”

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Students at Colchester Royal Grammar School were also celebrating its best set of results. Their pass rate of five A to C grades was 100%, with more than 79% achieving an A* or A grade.

Top performer was Alex Woolgar, from Kelvedon, who achieved 12 A*s thanks to studying for GCSE drama outside his normal timetable.

“I still can't believe it, I really did not expect it. I think it is because I did not put too much pressure on myself and tried to relax,” he said.

Four other students - James Craig, Ritwick Ghosh, Stuart Sheppard and Conrad Steel - all scooped 11 A*s, with Stuart named as one of the top five candidates for science in the country.

Ken Jenkinson, headmaster, said: “I am delighted with this year's GCSE results. The year 11 students have set new records at the school and have been a very positive and supportive year group throughout.”

All the students at Chelmsford County High School for Girls passed with five or more A to C grades, with 86% achieving passes at A or A*.

Monica Curtis, headteacher, said: “These results certainly have the 'wow' factor. Everyone worked tremendously hard and we are all overjoyed at such a happy outcome.”

The students at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford also all achieved five A to C grades, with 82% achieving A*s or As and seven students managing A*s in all 11 subjects.

Highlights included identical twins Andrew and Nicholas Howlett who managed 20 A*s and two As between them.

St Benedict's College in Colchester also enjoyed its best results with the pass rate of more than 80% of students achieving five or more A* to C grades.

Alan Whelan, principal, said: “We have our best ever results this year as St Benedict's goes from strength to strength.”

The Gilberd School in Colchester achieved a 62% pass rate at A* to C grades with six students passing all 10 with As or A*.

Linda Exley, deputy headteacher, said: “We are delighted that these results show one side of the success of our students and look forward to seeing the value-added scores which will be published later this year.”

Students at Philip Morant School and College, Colchester, were delighted after 71% got five A* to C grades, up 4% on last year.

Sue Cowans, acting headteacher, said: “Students, as always, worked hard to achieve this magnificent level of success and staff shared the delight witnessed within the student body as the result envelopes were opened.”

At the Stanway School, 62% of students passed with five grades A* to C, up 11% on last year, while students at Alderman Blaxill School, Colchester, achieved 38% of passes at A* to C, up 4%.

St Helena School in Colchester celebrated with a 50% pass rate at A to C grades, up 4%.

Clive Waddington, headteacher, said: “The school is proud of the achievements of all its pupils, the vast majority of whom reached their targets and are ready to move onto the next stages of their careers.”

The Colne Community College in Brightlingsea saw its pass rate at A* to C grades fall to 56% from 59%, leaving principal Terry Creissen a “bit disappointed”.

He added: “I am always delighted by the hard work and dedication of my staff, but on results day you really see the fruits of their labour.”

At Colbayns High School in Clacton, 33% of students achieved five A* to C grades, a 4% improvement.

Nick Pavitt, headteacher, said: “Headline news will, of course, focus on the five A*s to C benchmark.

“Here at Colbayns we consider it a great shame that the achievements of students who gain grades at D to G are overlooked as many of our students exceed their own expectations to get these grades and have done very well to do so.”

Tendring Technology College in Frinton enjoyed its best results with 54% of students making the benchmark grade of five A* to C grades.

Bob Allen, vice-principal, said: “We have an outstanding set of results. I am delighted to congratulate all the students who have performed so well.”

GCSE results at Manningtree High School showed it again pushed the 60% A* to C grades mark, with seven students achieving seven or more A* or A grades.

Deborah Hollister, headteacher, said: “Top grades of A* and A are above the national average, showing that at Manningtree we support students making progress across the ability range.”

At the Harwich School, 40% of pupils achieved five or more passes at grade C or above.

Student Eleanor Chilton Knight was also commended by the AQA examinations board for achieving one of the top marks out of 12,587 candidates for German nationwide.

Jacky Froggatt, headteacher, said: “I am pleased to be able to report a set of highly encouraging results at GCSE.

“As always, exam results reflect the co-operation between student, teacher and parents and all of our successes should be shared.

“Individual students should be rightly proud of their success - clearly the result of effort and commitment towards their studies.”

At the Thurstable School in Tiptree, 58% of students achieved five or more A* to C grades and the total of A* grades was more than double the previous year.

Nick Hammond, headmaster, said: “The school would like to congratulate all of its hard-working year 11 students who achieved excellent results in their GCSE examinations.”

Stephen Wyatt, headteacher of the Alec Hunter Humanities College in Braintree, said he was delighted 55 students had achieved five or more of the top grades.

“I am very pleased by the strong performance of our specialist subjects in English and history. This is a very good beginning as the school starts its specialist status as a humanities college in September,” he said.

“The improvement in our results is very encouraging and bodes well for the future.”

Students at The John Bramston School in Witham were celebrating after 47% of them left with five or more passes at the top grades.

Ted Rowley, principal, said: “The results achieved by our students are very pleasing and exceed the expectations we had of this particular year group.

“We are very pleased with these results which compare well with last year's results and reflect the hard work and commitment of students, staff and parents to the school's continuing academic success.”

St John Payne School in Chelmsford recorded a 71.2% pass rate for students gaining five or more A* to C grades.

A record 10 students received 10 or more A*/A grades, with twins Caroline and Sarah Fost achieving 11 A* grades and nine A grades between them.

Frank McEvoy, headteacher, said: “With the recent concern expressed in the media about the take up of languages at GCSE I am delighted with the outstanding results achieved by my language students - 100% A* to C grades in German and 88% in French.

“The impressive results across so many subjects indicates how hard the students and staff have worked over the last two years.”

Specialist engineering college Chelmer Valley High School in Chelmsford saw 63.5% of its year 11 achieve five of more passes at grades A* to C.

David Franklin, headteacher, said: “Everyone in the year group takes one of the technology subjects. Virtually every student achieved one of the higher grades.

“The benefits of having specialist status is evident across the school with science and mathematics percentages up on previous years.”

At New Hall School, Chelmsford, 97% of the students gained five A* to C grades and Katherine Jeffrey, principal, said: “We are delighted to see the students enjoying the recognition and reward for all their work.”

Hedingham School achieved a 61% pass rate of five A* to C grades and John Panayi, headteacher, said: “I am delighted with these results - they are testimony to all the hard work by both staff and students throughout the year and I would like to congratulate them. Our students thoroughly deserved their superb results.”

At Felsted School, 18 students gained five or more A*s, including Sam Burrett, 16, who combined his studies with his role in the England under-16s hockey team to gain 10 A*s.

“I am really glad that all the hard work paid off. I am very lucky to have had some really inspiring and supportive teachers, particularly when trying to balance hockey training with assignments,” he said.

The Honywood School in Coggeshall enjoyed a benchmark pass rate of 76%, the best it has achieved.

A spokeswoman said: “These results are just reward for the tremendous effort put in by pupils, many of whom regularly exceeded 15 hours study at home each week on top of their work in school.”

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