GCSE results day 2021 - live updates from across Suffolk
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
After another year of disruption for hard-working schoolchildren, today is the day hundreds of young people in Suffolk and north Essex find out their GCSE results.
2021 has been a challenging year for pupils, with coronavirus restrictions meaning they have spent much of the year learning from home.
Exams were scrapped for the second year in a row, amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19 - with grades instead being awarded based on teacher assessment.
Today, youngsters will find out their results - keep an eye on our live story for updates as they come in.
St Benedict’s Catholic School, Bury St Edmunds
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151 students at St Benedict's Catholic School sat their GCSE's this year with 79% of students achieved 9-4 in English and Maths.
Overall almost 40% of the student cohort achieved one or more grade 8 or 9 (A**/A*) and 7.2% of students achieved 9 or more grade 8 or 9. However students across the ability range have performed well.
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Imogen Senior, headteacher, said: "This has been an incredibly challenging time for students and I think it is testament to the commitment and resilience of our students that they have performed magnificently despite those difficulties.
"Their application to their studies, conscientiousness and hope for the future have shone through and we are exceptionally proud of this cohort of young people. The results that they have achieved are, we believe, an accurate reflection of the grades that they were working at and show a continuation of the strong performance this year group has had throughout their time in school.
"Our students attended online live lessons throughout the lockdown and we were fortunate that we did not have any ‘bubbles’ out at any point. This meant that our students studied their complete programmes of study and showed their knowledge in assessments across the full courses.
"Our students should have confidence in these grades as a true reflection of their abilities and that they are more than capable of going on the next steps that these grades qualify them for.
"We are delighted that so many of them will be returning to us in the Sixth Form and we wish them all success in the next phases of their lives as they continue to make the world a better place."
Colchester County High School for Girls
Executive Principal, Gillian Marshall said: "This year, following the cancellation of exams, GCSE grades were awarded through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards. The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.
"We congratulate all our students on their exceptional GCSE results and join with their families in celebrating their outstanding achievements, which represent the culmination of many years spent studying.
"Year 11 students have demonstrated their strength of character and good humour in the most challenging of circumstances. We would also like to recognise the way in which, as a Year Group they contributed to life at CCHSG and inspired younger students. We are hugely grateful for the committed and positive way that everyone at CCHSG has supported each other throughout the year, and worked in the best interests of the school community.
"We are also very grateful to our teaching staff, who have worked tirelessly this year and thank the whole school community for their unfailing support, and determination. These superb examination grades have truly been earned and the students have an amazing journey ahead of them. We look forward to welcoming the majority of Year 11 back in the Sixth Form in September."
Farlingaye High School
Headmaster Andy Sievewright said: “The Y11 students from Farlingaye High School have worked very hard during an immensely challenging 16-month period, and have been rewarded with excellent grades overall.
"These grades will allow the vast majority of students to move on to the destinations of their choice.
"We are very pleased for them and are very proud of their efforts. We are also grateful to the staff whose professionalism and commitment has helped so much to generate these results. We look forward to working with many of our Y11s in the Sixth Form next year, and wish all the students the best of luck in their next steps.”
Principal at Gosfield School Guy Martyn said: “We are so proud that despite not having the chance to show what they could do in the exams, our students have been rewarded for their hard work and desire to improve and achieve beyond expectation.
“The level of focus and industry from these young people has been exceptional, and is well worth rewarding with the grades they have received today.”
Gosfield pupil Will said gained all grade 9s and 8s in his GCSEs, he said: "I'm so relieved, it has been a really difficult year and a bit because of everything going on.
“So the fact I have managed to get more than I thought I would do, despite everything is fantastic.”
East Bergholt High School
Headteacher Dan Woodcock said: “We are incredibly proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year. Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.
"We would like to thank our parents for their ongoing support during these incredibly difficult and uncertain past few months and wish our students the very best of luck with their future.”
King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds
Lee Walker, headteacher of the school, said: "We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.
"They have taken everything in their stride, learning both remotely and in school. They have tackled all of their work with real grit and determination.
"I would like to thank all of our staff, who have worked tirelessly to ensure students are able to progress onto further education and study."
St Felix, Southwold
At Saint Felix School students 100% of students achieved grade 9 - 4 in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics.
Overall, 99% of entries across all GCSE subjects were awarded grades between 9 – 4. The school also saw 100% 9 – 4 grades across the many science, humanity, language and arts subjects.
Polly Chan who gained 10 grade 9s, Indira Gopee who gained 7 grade 9s and Marcus Moscuzza who gained 6 grade 9s.
Bruce Yang who gained a grade 9 in Further Mathematics.
Headmaster James Harrison, said: “These are extremely impressive results from a very able cohort. Each individual grade is a triumph over adversity and rightfully the students celebrated with their teachers and parents at school this morning.
"It is pleasing to see such success not only in the core subjects but also in humanities, languages, arts and the sciences, reflecting well upon the wide range of talents of the individuals within that year group.”
Clacton Coastal Academy
The north Essex school has praised its students for their results - including Keevy Piztpatrick, who achieved grade 9 in all her GCSEs.
David Lees, executive head of the school, said: "I am delighted for our Year 11 students – students at Clacton Coastal Academy have worked so hard, both this year and last year, despite all of the challenges and disruption that Covid brought.
"They deserve these grades and I am incredibly proud of what each and every one of them has achieved."
Stowupland High School
Peter Whear, the school’s headteacher said: “Students have performed exceptionally well this year under uniquely challenging circumstances.
"We are proud of the way they remained positive and determined throughout. Their achievements are just reward for their hard work. Parents and carers, too, played their part in supporting home learning and providing invaluable emotional support all along.
"Last but by no means least, I wish to pay credit to the consummate professionalism and integrity of our teachers and other staff who have ensured that our students are well-prepared for their post-16 education and training.
"We wish our students every success for the future and look forward to watching them thrive as they make their next big steps in life.”
Ellen Davies, from Stowmarket, achieved seven 9s, two 8s and a 7 in her GCSEs and is set to take A-levels at Stowupland High School in September.
She said: “I want to go to university. I’m not sure where yet but I want to keep learning.
“It has been a difficult year but you just have to make sure you take in the advice of teachers – they have been really helpful.
“I want to get into teaching for a career – I have always wanted to work with children.”
Edem and Elorm Kaye-Essien, from Needham Market, said they were really happy with their results.
Elorm said: “I think there has been a lot to overcome but we have had a lot of support throughout it.”
Edem said she plans to become a paediatrician in the future, while Elorm wants to become a psychiatrist.
Ben Langley, 16, from Combs, achieved 6 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s, a 6 and a 7.
He said: “I am really pleased, but they were the results I was expecting to be honest.
“I am looking to do A-Levels next in Maths, further maths, computer science and physics.
“I want to go to Cambridge University next.
“After this we are going to Prezzo to celebrate – and then we’re having a family barbecue tomorrow.”
Hadleigh High School
Nicola Shingleton, headteacher at Hadleigh High School, said she was "very proud" of the students who picked up their results after a challenging year.
She said: "We are very proud of our students for their success, which highlights their adaptability and strength in character in what has been an unprecedented time for everyone.
"I would also like to recognise all the other achievements that this year group should be congratulated on, and how they have developed many skills through enrichment activities, helping to shape them into young adults of whom we are very proud."
Castle Manor Academy, Haverhill
Year 11 students at Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill have received their GCSE results this morning following an extraordinary time in education during the last two years.
Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher, said: “Our class of 2021 have shown amazing resilience and determination in uncertain times.
“I am incredibly proud of all of our students at Castle Manor. They have worked so hard, in very challenging circumstances, and have achieved excellent results.
“Our huge congratulations go to all of them, along with best wishes for their next steps.
“Students have been supported in these achievements by teachers, support staff and parents, and I would like to thank everyone involved in helping our students in their achievements.”
Debenham High School, Stowmarket
Simon Martin, headteacher at Debenham High School Students said pupils had achieved a fantastic set of results.
"A number of students have achieved Grade 9’s across the board in up to 11 subjects but equally importantly the vast majority of students have made excellent progress in their time with us and go on to their first choice courses as they leave Debenham," said Mr Martin.
"In a very difficult final two years for students they have shown commitment, resilience and an ability, which those who work with young people have always known they possess, to respond robustly and sensitively to their changing landscape.
"I want to thank all of the staff at Debenham for doing the very best for our students in challenging circumstances and ensuring that all students met their potential and leave Debenham ready for the next stage of their lives."
Ormiston Sudbury Academy
The Sudbury school was one of many that chose not to release their results this year.
Caroline Wilson, principal of the school, said: "Everyone at the academy is incredibly proud of what our students have achieved since they joined Ormiston Sudbury Academy, it has been fabulous for us all to celebrate their determination, resilience and excellent results.
"Of course, it has been an unusual year for everyone at the academy, but it has been inspiring to see the tenacity of our students rightfully rewarded."
Sybil Andrews Academy, Bury St Edmunds
Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds were pleased to be able to celebrate and commend students’ personal achievements on the receiving of their GCSE results today.
Ben Woods, 16, from Bury St Edmunds, said he felt GCSE students this year should be even prouder of their achievements following the pandemic-hit last two years.
Ben, who achieved six Grade 9s, four Grade 8s and one Grade 7, said: “I am very happy – they are better than I had hoped for.
“I have been quite calm, but the nerves started when I cycled to school this morning.
“The last 18 months has been hugely challenging for everyone. I just kept trying to motivate myself and think about the results I wanted.
The teachers were really supportive and it was nice to finally get back to school and finish my GCSEs.
“I am very proud of what I achieved and every student should be. It is a big achievement for everyone.”
Ben is now studying maths, further maths, chemistry and physics A-levels at Abbeygate Sixth Form.
Head boy Dylan Marsh, 16, from Bury St Edmunds, said he was pleased with his results – a Grade 9, two Grade 8s, four Grade 7s, two Grade 6s and a Grade 5.
Dylan said: “It has been an uncertain couple of years for students so it is actually a bit of a relief to pick up the results today.
“I was nervous this morning but I am pleased with the results that I have got.”
Dylan, who hopes to be a vet, will now be studying three A-levels, in biology, chemistry and physics, at Abbeygate Sixth Form.
Trenica King, headteacher, said: “We are delighted to celebrate students’ results, which reflect five years of hard work.
“We have been extremely proud of our Year 11 students - their motivation, resilience and positive approach has been rewarded after a difficult period of learning and education and we wish them all the best in the future.
“Students have had a turbulent journey with lockdown learning and Covid restrictions. We pay testament to their hard work and effort which has resulted in the fantastic grades they have been awarded.
“The final note of thanks is to the students’ families - their support throughout the course of their children’s time with us has never been more deeply appreciated.”
Thomas Gainsborough School, Great Cornard
Helen Yapp, headteacher at Thomas Gainsborough School, said they were delighted to be celebrating the Year 11 results.
She said: “They have worked hard under the most challenging of circumstances during the last eighteen months and we are very proud of how they have responded.
“Their positivity, resilience and commitment has been commendable and they all deserve the grades they have achieved. We wish them every success in their chosen next step.”
Executive headteacher, Nick Froy paid tribute to his pupils' resilience and good humour in the face of a difficult year.
“It has been great to celebrate with our Year 11 students today," he said.
"They have received the just rewards for all the hard work they have put in over the last five years.
“This year has been another very difficult year for our students, but they have approached the last 12 months with incredible fortitude, good humour and resilience.
“We are, therefore, very pleased that the students have received recognition of their efforts and results which will enable them to go on to colleges and employment opportunities.
“The school is so proud of the way they responded to lockdown and, above all, their reaction on results day. We will miss them all and wish them all great success in their futures.
“The school would like to thank and acknowledge the commitment of the students and the support of the parents and carers and wider community.”
Samuel Ward Academy, Haverhill
Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, paid tribute to the hard work of the 227 students who collected their results.
He said: "This group of young people has genuinely been an example to us all this year.
"They have approached their studies with incredible maturity and taken a very challenging 18 months completely in their stride.
"I don't recall in all my years in education working with a Year 11 as focussed and determined as this one.
"They have earned their results many times over. We are all extremely proud of them."
Stoke College, Sudbury
At Stoke College 60% of grades in the top 9-7 bracket and 95% at 9-5.
Star performers were Patrick and Molly who each achieved seven 9s, an A* and an 8, placing them among the highest achievers nationally.
Patrick, alongside classmates Jack and Oscar , an overseas boarder, also achieved A grades in their Further Mathematics, a level 3 qualification.
Principal, Dr Gareth Lloyd said, “I am so proud of our students and staff. These results are evidence of the success of our online learning programme – our students were fortunate to miss very few lessons, even in the early stages of the pandemic and received daily live teaching as if they were in school, through the lockdowns. A big thank you to my staff and ever-supportive parents, and sincere congratulations to our students.”
Hartismere School, Eye
Staff at Hartismere School in Eye said they were particularly pleased with the school's GCSE results this year.
Headmaster, James 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 families in this particularly challenging year."
Stowmarket High School
While the school opted not to release results this year, headteacher Dave Lee-Allan paid tribute to the students.
He said: "We are delighted with this year’s results on numbers of levels.
"Not only have a record number of students qualified for their next level of study, but some key individuals have faced enormous challenges on top of those faced by all students during the pandemic, and they have fought through and succeeded.
"We have also had the enormous efforts of staff validated by not having a single grade changed. The combined efforts of students, parents/carers and staff have been rewarded today."
County Upper School, Bury St Edmunds
Headmaster Vicky Neale, overseeing her last set of results before retirement said: “Everyone is aware of the exceptional circumstances surrounding this year’s results and, as a school, we are very proud of the way our Year 11 students rose to the challenges, accepted the changes to the way they were to be assessed and really worked hard to ensure they did themselves full justice.
“Above all, they worked with their teachers and fellow students in an atmosphere of mutual respect and support to help everyone do their best.
“Staff, who always do an excellent job, have certainly gone the extra mile during the pandemic. I also thank our parents and carers for their support and congratulate the students - they certainly deserve to celebrate their achievements today.”
Mrs Neale said the school was delighted with this set of GCSE results and, right across the ability range, students should be very pleased with the grades they have achieved.
She added: “Once again, our policy of encouraging our students to take the rigorous English Baccalaureate, a creative subject, and to engage in a wide range of extra-curricular activities has proven to be the right one.
“On a personal note, it has truly been a privilege and an honour to serve County Upper School and the local community for the last 29 years and I wish the school every success in the future.”
A total of 246 students collected their GCSE results at the school.
Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham
Headteacher Philip Hurst praised his students after they "worked their socks off" to produce evidence required for their grades.
A total of 87% of students achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and mathematics, with one pupil - Olivia Pickup- achieving grade 9 in 11 subjects.
Olivia said: "I'm very pleased. I was slightly shocked by them, but I'm very happy.
"There has been a lot of uncertainty this year, but I'm grateful for the school and the teachers' hard work."
Mr Hurst added: "Although the school’s attainment is very high, equally pleasing is the progress that students have made. Whatever their starting point, they have all moved forward. This is just brilliant.
"This year group have consistently worked hard and engaged with their learning. Although they worked well during the national lockdowns they missed being with their friends and the wider social opportunities within school.
"They thoroughly deserve their success and I’m sure that many more achievements will follow."
Lizzie Girling, SET Saxmundham Head of School, said: “I am absolutely delighted for all Year 11 students and staff, they have all worked really hard under the circumstances and have achieved extraordinarily well across the full breadth of the curriculum.
"This year has been academically and emotionally challenging for everyone, but students’ wellbeing has been prioritised and I am proud that they have overcome these challenges and really pushed themselves to reach their full potential. They should all be incredibly proud of their individual achievements.”
Jasmie Benham, age 16 from Walberswick, was “over the moon” with her top GCSE grades.
Jasmine said: “I’m a lot happier than I expected, I’m really proud to achieve two Grade 9s and five Grade 8s.
"I really loved Music and Sciences at SET Saxmundham, obviously lockdown learning was quite an experience but the school did absolutely everything they could to make it better for everyone. I’m now heading to Thomas Mills Sixth Form to study Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English Literature with the aim of studying either medicine or teaching at university.”
Olivia Hammett from Halesworth achieved four Grade 7s and three Grade 6s at GCSE, and was particularly proud of her achievements in the sciences.
She said: “I’m so pleased with my results after working so hard this year. I absolutely love Biology and, through the experience of Covid, I’ve been inspired to work towards a career in Pharmacology and drugs development, that sounds really fascinating.”
Daniel Lobega achieved three grade 7s and two Grade 6s at GCSE. Daniel loved studying practical subjects like Design and Technology and is now heading to Lowestoft Sixth Form to study Business and Economics.
Pia Parker, SET Ixworth Head of School, said: “Congratulations to every student for their superb achievements on GCSE results day. Despite the challenges, students have worked with outstanding commitment and have received bespoke support to achieve individual highs and reach exceptional grades in a wide range of subjects, from Maths, English and Sciences to creative arts such as Drama and Photography.
"10% of this cohort achieved at least one top Grade 9 (A**), which is a fantastic achievement in any year. I am delighted that all our students leave SET Ixworth confident in their journeys to the next stage of their education.”
Heidi Philpott, SET Beccles Head of School, said: “Every Year 11 student at SET Beccles should be proud of their hard work and achievements this year.
"We have delivered a strong learning experience across all subjects despite the pandemic, including challenging and interactive online lessons, personalised support and equipping students with resources for practical subjects at home.
"The students’ commitment to learning in this uncertain time has been reflected in every grade, and they should all feel proud of what they have achieved as they reach their post-16 destination.”
IES Breckland, Brandon
Pupils were praised for their exceptional work at at IES Breckland in Brandon.
Of those taking GCSEs 74% scored levels 4-9 in English and Maths.
Principal Jon Winn said: "I am delighted that the exceptional performance of our Year 11 students reflects and rewards their unwavering commitment towards academic achievement, highlighting their resilience and character demonstrated during the most challenging of Key Stage 4 experiences.
"Congratulations to all the students and I wish them every success as they progress to the next stage of their academic career."
Woodbridge School was one of the first schools to release its results this morning.
Of the grades achieved at the school 35% of grades were grade 9, 50% of grades were grade 9-8 and 69% of grades were grade 9-7.
Seven pupils scored straight grade 9s and 11 pupils scored only grades 9-8. More than two thirds of the pupils scored at least one grade 9
Shona Norman, Head of Woodbridge School, said: “I am delighted with these outstanding results and proud of everything that this talented cohort has achieved. As with all pupils across the country, our Year 11 pupils faced such a tumultuous and ever-changing period but they rose to the challenge, and did so whilst honouring their many co-curricular commitments, adding so much value to the School during this difficult time.
"I am grateful to our educational community for all the support that they bestowed upon Year 11. Our teachers worked tirelessly to ensure that the environment remained purposeful and calm, which, in conjunction with the continued support of our parent body, ensured that our pupils were prepared for all that came their way.
"With such strong GCSE results behind them, and superb independent study skills already in evidence, I am excited by what this talented group of individuals will achieve for Sixth Form.”
Alde Valley High (Waveney Valley Academies Trust)
The trust is not releasing exam results this year.
However, a joint statement from Stowmarket High headmaster Dave Lee-Allen, Alde Valley High head Dan Mayhew and Jeremy Rowe, chief executive of the Waveney Valley Academies Trust, said: "As a group of schools, we would like to congratulate and praise the students across our schools who reacted so well to the abrupt end to their studies.
"They contributed so much to our communities during their time in our schools and they exemplify all that is good about young people.
"We will miss them, and we are delighted that record numbers have stayed within our schools to continue their sixth form studies.
"As everyone will be aware, this year’s A-level and GCSE results have been awarded based on moderated lists of the grades our schools feel that each student would have achieved.
"Each grade was decided based on a rigorous process, involving teams of teachers analysing school work, assessments and results in ‘mock’ exams where appropriate, with these suggested grades being decided by the exam boards, using statistical data they hold about each school.
"Despite the distress caused by this year’s circumstances, today's results have rewarded our students for their dedication and commitment to their studies.
"Although they have been generated in an atypical way, captured in today’s grades is a recognition of the accumulation of considerable knowledge, understanding, skill and experience.
"Students should go forward with confidence in their grades, reassured that their endeavours have been recognised and rewarded."