East Suffolk: Wait is over as thousands of students pick up GCSE results

THE wait is finally over for nervous students as they pick up their all-important exam results today.

Thousands of teenagers across east Suffolk are discovering their GCSE grades.

However the joy has been tempered with many schools concerned about a drop in English results and calling for them to be remarked.

At Debenham High School 70% of youngsters achieved A*-C grade, including English and maths.

Headtaecher Julia Upton said this was slightly down on last year but added they would be seeking an investigation into the English results.

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“Everyone has worked very hard and they should be incredibly proud,” she said. “A total of 37% of students were awarded A* and A grades which is very pleasing.

“The students have received grades that will put them on the path for the next stage of education.

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“We are 3% down on last year and were expecting a rise but like other schools we are very concerned over the marking, particularly English. We are going to ask for that to be investigated. It appears to be common across the country.”

At Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham 73% of youngsters achieved A* to C grade, including maths and English.

Headteacher Colin Hirst said the English results had held up well - with 88% of students achieving at least a C grade.

“The results are five point up on last year,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful to staff for all their commitment and hardwork and most importantly I’m delighted for the young people who also work extremely hard and have secured a super set of results.”

At Framlingham College 78% achieved five A*-C grades, including English and maths.

More than 30% of candidates secured seven or more A* and A grades, with over 14% achieving more than five A*s.

Headmaster Paul Taylor said: “We are again delighted to see so many very strong performances, providing further evidence of the outstanding added value that the college provides to a broad range of candidates.”

At Woodbridge School 97% of pupils achieved at least five A*-C grades, including English and maths.

A third of candidates achieved at least ten A*s or As, including Milly Hooper’s 12 A*s.

Headmaster Stephen Cole said: “Woodbridge pupils’ renowned teamwork approach has again brought a set of excellent results in prestige subjects.”

At Bungay High School, 52.4% achieved five A*-C grades, including English and maths. Like many schools across the county, Bungay will be contesting English results. The school’s overall A*-C rate was 80%.

Headteacher, Sean O’Neill, said: “We are contesting these figures with the exam boards and Ofqual. This is disappointing as the quality of teaching and preparation and the instruction of students is as strong as it has even been. We have seen a rise in the number of students achieving A*-A grades to 20%, with some excellent individual performances.”

One such performance came from Jessica Domiczew, who achieved 7 As and 2 A*s, while Hazel Honeywood was awarded 6 As and 3 A*s.

At St Felix School, near Southwold, 91% achieved five A*-C grades, including English and maths, with almost half the pupils getting A* and A grades. George Stannard managed an impressive 11 A*s, while Charlotte Hicks, Zoe Corcoran and Lizzie Nicolson-Lai achieved A and A* in all their exam subjects.

Headmaster, Dr Simon Letman, said: “This year we have not only maintained our impressive overall pass rate but have almost doubled the proportion of A* grades achieved compared with last year. Small independent schools like ours have much smaller teaching groups, allowing us to focus more on the needs of each individual and this allows us to buck these national trends year on year.”

East Point Academy, formerly Kirkley High School, recorded a 41% rate of A*-C grades, including English and maths. Principal, Liz Redpath, said: “When East Point opened in September 2011 a common, and perfectly reasonable comment made to me was, ‘sounds good, let’s see the results’. After one year we are on the way, and this is just the beginning. There are some wonderful individual results with the highest grades being achieved.”

Benjamin Britten’s A*-C grades, including English and maths, were unavailable but the school achieved 77% in five or more A*-C GCSEs in all subjects. Headteacher, Andrew Hine, said: “First indications of results are that the hard work by students and staff during the year has been reflected in another record year for students at Benjamin Britten High School.”

At Felixstowe Academy, 74% of students gained five A*-C grades, while for five A*-C including English and Maths the provisional figures - as appeals are expected over the English grades - was 50%.

“Almost 40% of our students achieved the highest grades of A*-B, which is a fantastic achievement for each of them,” said headteacher Andrew Salter.

“We are extremely proud of all of our students who have worked so hard to achieve good results this year in both GCSE and/or BTEC qualifications. We are really pleased that so many of our students achieved their targets with equally as many exceeding their own expectations.”

Keith Penn, headteacher of Stowmarket High School said that the situation regarding this year’s GCSE results was ‘wholly unacceptable’ after only 36% of pupils got five passes between A*-C, including English and maths.

“We are shocked and hugely disappointed with those results,” said Mr Penn.

“There appears to be a national problem with GCSE results, particularly in English but possibly across other subjects too. These are affecting overall school results, especially so in schools such as ours where large numbers of students were expected to achieve C grades across a range of their subjects.

“Although almost 60% of our students gained five A*-C grades, only 44% gained a higher grade in English and 53% in maths.”

Mr Penn said that the school had been expecting nearly 60% of students to be awarded five A*-C grades, including English and maths.

He said headteachers and national heads’ organisations would be asking for the grades to be investigated as a matter of urgency.

There was some good news though at the school after a number of students achieved excellent grades including Lief Bjornson who gained eight A* grades and two A grades.

At Diss High School 66% of students gained five A*-C grades including maths and English. Twenty students gained eight A*/A grades including Danielle Clark, Declan Jones and Jude Palmer who all gained 15 A* grades in their GCSEs.

Headteacher Dr Jan Hunt said: “We are delighted with these results, warm congratulations to both staff and students.”

At Sir John Leman High, in Beccles, 50% of pupils achieved A*-C grades with English and maths. Particular success stories included taekwondo champion Saskia Baylis who received nine A*s and two As, Connor Bligh who received five A*s and five As, Greg Tate who received six A*s and four A*s and Jazz Smith who got five A*s and six As.

Jazz, 16, of Oulton Broad, said: “I’m shocked, I did not think I’d get these. We’ve all seen the news and it was a bit scary, so I was a bit worried, but I’m very happy.”

She will be staying on at the school for sixth form, with the hope of going on to study medicine. Headteacher, Jeremy Rowe, said: “The last three years have been our best three years. Obviously the changes to English have affected us as they have all the schools, but overall I am very proud of our students. We carry on going from strength to strength and have an exciting couple of years lined up.” The Denes High School, Lowestoft, posted a 29% achievement rate for A*-C grades with English and maths. Headteacher, Mick Lincoln, said: “Well done to individuals for some excellent results. We are disappointed with our overall five or more A*-C with English and maths where results have been affected by results in one curriculum area.”

Andrew Bloom, headteacher at Stradbroke High School said he was ‘pleased’ with the results and praised the hard work of the students, the high quality teaching and supportive parents.

At the school, 50% of students achieved five or more subjects at grade C or above, including English and maths.

At Hartismere School 73% of students received five A*-C grades, including maths and English. Headteacher, James McAtear said: “95% got five A*-C grades which indicates our scholars will be at the top of the progress tables once again, performing far above expectations. Thank you parents and governors and well-done scholars and staff.”

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