Gallery: GCSE joy in Ipswich as several schools report increases in number of students reaching benchmark grades
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
The wait is over this morning for hundreds of school pupils across the Ipswich area as they finally pick up their GCSE results.
And there have already been a number of success reported at several schools.
At Stoke High School – Ormiston Academy, 45% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades including English and maths, which is a 5% increase from last year’s results.
Toby Salt, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust said: “Congratulations to staff and students at Stoke High for their first set of results as an academy. These are testament to the dedication of the principal, staff and students and we are delighted to see how well they have done. These results have been achieved despite the largest set of changes to exam criteria for several years.”
One of the biggest turnarounds has been at Westbourne Academy, where the number of students gaining the benchmark of five or more A*-Cs including English and maths hit 51.5%, a huge rise from last year’s 31%.
Dave Lee-Allan, acting principal, said: “I am chuffed to bits for the students and staff of Westbourne, who have worked unbelievably hard to achieve these record results.
“The scale of the improvement is exceptional. More students than ever before leave Westbourne with a fantastic set of qualifications, achieved at a time when GCSEs are the most demanding they have ever been.”
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Meanwhile, there was also a rise in the percentage of A*-Cs including English and maths at Claydon High School, with 62% of pupils gaining the benchmark.
90% of students also achieved their expected progress in English and 77% in maths.
Headteacher Sarah Skinner said: “After a very pleasing Ofsted these results really highlight that the hard work and commitment of all teachers and the wider school community has paid off for all students, regardless of their starting point.”
At Ipswich High School for Girls, in Woolverstone, 97% of pupils gained five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.
Headteacher Oona Carlin said “I am particularly pleased that our pupils have gained yet another set of solid exam results, in a year where the national trend is showing a decline. They should be very proud of their achievements.”
At East Bergholt High School, some 65% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths.
This is down from 69% last year, but headteacher Colin Turner said he was “very pleased with another strong set of results”.
He said: “In the core subjects of English and mathematics we have maintained the high levels of progress we achieved in 2013. Many other subjects also performed very well.
“The results reflect the hard work of a lovely cohort of students, who were fantastically supported by both parents and staff.”
At Copleston High School, 57% of students gained five A*-Cs including English and maths.
Principal Shaun Common said: “We would like to congratulate our students, parents and staff on our GCSE successes. 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.”
At Ipswich School, 100% of students attained the benchmark grades.
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We have seen fantastic results across the board and I am immensely proud of all our girls and boys for their all-round achievements.
“GCSEs are designed to test a broad range of subjects, and for pupils to do well over the whole breadth of demanding subjects can be challenging – I really would like to congratulate them all on a set of excellent results.”
Northgate High School saw a slight dip in the number of students achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and maths, with 64% of pupils gaining it this year, from 66% in 2013.
David Hutton, Headteacher said “We are very pleased with the success of this year’s pupils, who worked exceptionally hard. Three quarters of the year group achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, with many outstanding individual success stories. I congratulate Northgate’s Year 11 pupils on their well deserved achievements.”
St Joseph’s College celebrated its best ever GCSE results, with 78% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths.
This was a rise from 69% last year, and principal Danielle Clarke said: “I would like to commend all students and staff for their collective approach to achieving the college’s record year in GCSE grades, showing an impressive 9% increase in A*-C results from 2013.
“We are thrilled that we obtained 92% A*-C in mathematics and 91% A*-C in GCSE English.
“This epitomises the teamwork approach that is nurtured throughout the college and is a major reason for the continued success across both academic and extra-curricular activities.”
At St Alban’s Catholic High School, 69% of pupils gained five A*-C grades including English and maths.
Colin Walker, principal of the school, said: “Pupils at St Alban’s are a credit to the school. Their determination and perseverance has allowed them to gain excellent GCSE results again this year. Our pupils have worked hard with their staff to reach their potential. We are very proud of the way the pupils have grown over their time at the school so far. It is important to recognise also the enormous contribution the support and pastoral staff make to the success of the pupils as they grow into successful young people.”
Kesgrave High School saw a fall in the percentage of students achieving five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths. It dropped from 65% last year to 60% this year.
But headteacher Nigel Burgoyne praised the “hard work” of students in the face of policy changes to this year’s GCSE exams.
He said: “They were a lovely year group and we are very proud of them. There were some staggering individual performances, and 64 students achieved at least five A*-A grades.
“In addition, a quarter of all entries were graded at A* or A. We are delighted that their efforts have paid off in a time where examinations are in a state of such constant change.”
The Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, was another school in the Ipswich area to record a fall in their results. Some 81% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths, this year – compared to 89% last year.
But headmaster James Lockwood moved to praise his pupils after scoring some “significant achievements” across a wide range of subjects.
He said: “While the number of top A* grades awarded appear to have dipped across the board, here at the Royal Hospital School we have seen a rise in the number of pupils gaining A and B grades.
“I am absolutely delighted with the number of pupils for whom sheer hard work and commitment has paid off.”
Dr Simon Lettman, headteacher at Holbrook Academy, heaped praise on his students and staff after reporting a slight rise in their results amid a major overhaul of the qualifications system aimed at reining in over-marking.
He said 59% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths – up slightly from 58% last year.
He added: “Putting it in context, a 1.26% increase on last year at a time when we are assuming the national average dipped a little lower is a good step forward.
“There were a lot of changes to the exam system this year and it is pleasing to be able to maintain progress in such challenging circumstances.”
Felixstowe Academy principal Andrew Salter said the school will be resubmitting the English GCSE coursework for the whole year group for remarking.
He said the final adjusted results, which had been independently marked and graded, were lowered across the year group, and did not reflect the strong grades achieved through examinations.
As a result 58% of students gained grades A*-C in English – though the academy strongly believes that following the resubmission of coursework, this figure will improve.
Overall, 43% of students gained five A*-C with English and maths – the same as last year.
At Suffolk New College, where students study maths, science and English GCSEs, 81% secured A-C grades and 97% A-Es.
A spokesman for Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich said they are investigating how some exams were marked after their results fell.
A total of 44% students achieved five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths, this year – a drop from 50% last year.
The spokesman said: “We have seen a drop in our overall figure this year which we are disappointed with and are still querying some results.
“There are significant differences in the way exams results are being recorded and reported and we will rise to this challenge over the next year as all our students deserve the very best.”
She added: “We are, as always, very proud of the commitment and dedication of our staff and students.
“Nicola Beckett achieved 1A*, six A and four B grades and Joe Flude attained five A*, four A and two B grades.”
Attempts were made to gather results from Ipswich Academy and Suffolk New Academy, but they were not sent.