GCSE results 2020: Live updates from schools across Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of high school pupils from across the UK are set to receive their GCSE grades today - so how have students in Suffolk fared?
This results day is like no other after the Covid-19 pandemic meant that students could not take their GCSE exams this summer.
A-level results day was shrouded by controversy last week with teachers hitting out at the government over grading systems.
However, students will be relieved that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson made a u-turn meaning that teachers predicted grades will be used today.
We will bring you news throughout the day from schools across Suffolk as the results roll in.
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At Woodbridge School 68% of grades were 9-7, or formerly A or A*.
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Headteacher, Shona Norman commended her pupils for their results.
She said: “I have complete admiration for our Year 11 pupils and these exceptional GCSE results, which are proof of all their hard work and dedication in the face of the considerable challenges of recent months.
“Exam grades are important, but the ability to show integrity, kindness to others and to demonstrate creative adaptability – something that our Woodbridgians excel at – is another thing altogether.”
Debenham High School
Debenham High School will not be releasing results today, however departing headteacher Julia Upton said she was “incredibly proud” of all of her GCSE students.
She said: “This has been a year like no other for the students of 2020.
“We are incredibly proud of how the students of Debenham High School have coped with these strange times.
“We hope that that students feel that the results that they have received represent their hard work and commitment to their studies.
“Over their five years at High School they developed into wonderful young people, who will use these results as the stepping-stone to the next stage in their education.
“They have every right to be proud of the young people that they have become and no-one can take this away from them.
“I know that they leave Debenham ready for the next stage in their lives and will have a positive impact on the world around them.”
Stowupland High School
No results have been released by Stowupland High School, however Headteacher Peter Whear did say that grades were a “cause for celebration at the school.
He said: “Our students have studied hard over the past 5 years and can be extremely proud of the grades they have been awarded.
“They are an admirable and distinguished group of young people with very bright futures ahead of them.
“The incredible support, expertise and encouragement they have received from their teachers and other staff cannot be overstated.
“I should like to thank every one of my colleagues for their ongoing commitment, particularly in meeting the exceptional challenges we have faced this year.”
He added that despite the government’s u-turn, uncertainty remains particularly with BTEC students.
Most of the Year 11 pupils at Hartismere School will be staying on at Sixth Form, but many others are progressing on to local colleges and apprenticeships.
Deputy Headteacher Adrian Hayton said: “Their achievements 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 exceptionally unusual situation”
Stowmarket High School
Like most Suffolk schools, Stowmarket High School have not released exam results this year.
However, Waveney Valley Academies Trust who run the school as well as Alde Valley Academy in Leiston and Sit John Leman School in Beccles praised their staff an students in a joint statement.
They 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 back in March, as schools were asked to close down.
“They contributed so much to our communities during their time in our schools and they exemplify all that is good about young people.
“Despite the distress caused by this year’s circumstances, todays 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.”
Claydon High School
Students at Claydon High School are celebrating an excellent set of results with many impressive individual performances.
Headteacher, Maéve Taylor, said, “We are proud of all of our students who worked hard for the duration of their GCSE courses to achieve excellent results.
“This year group has been an excellent cohort, demonstrating daily our motto of being the best they can be.
“They have acted as exemplary role models for younger students, leading the School Council, wellbeing groups and a Green Council as well as performing consistently strongly in sporting and musical events.
“Each and every one of these young people has contributed to the culture and community of the school and they will be missed.”
“We congratulate the Class of 2020 upon their many successes, especially in these
GCSEs, and thank them for all that they have contributed to the school and wish them every success in the future.”
Castle Manor Academy
Secondary schools across the Unity Schools Partnership have praised the resilience and hard work of GCSE students after they picked up their results today.
Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher at Castle Manor Academy, paid tribute to her year group describing them as “talented, kind, funny and sparky individuals who will go on to great things”.
She added: “Castle Manor students should be extremely proud of their achievements in a very challenging year.
“I would like to offer them my huge congratulations and best wishes for their next steps. I would also like to pay tribute to those around them supporting them to these achievements - teachers, school support staff and parents have all played a huge part.”
County Upper School
Vicky Neale, headteacher at County Upper School, said she was delighted to welcome students into school to collect their results alongside their Record of Achievement, following a virtual leavers’ day in June.
She said: “These summarise their all-round achievements and reflect a year group that has embraced the County ethos of giving their best, getting involved in a wide range of extra activities and demonstrating the qualities and values that make them an asset to their community.
“We celebrate the success at GCSE for which students and their teachers worked so hard and which allows them to look forward to the next stage of their education.
“For the majority that will be here in our sixth form and they were already certain of their place. In this exceptional year, we took the decision to give an unconditional offer to all who had applied to study in our sixth form.
“We know our students very well and were confident of their suitability, so we wanted to give them that reassurance. It also meant that they spent last term working with their teachers online and so have a head start on their chosen courses.
“I am confident that those leaving us today will have also done well enough to progress to their chosen destination. We wish them well and thank them for their contribution to County Upper School.”
At Newmarket Academy, headteacher Nick Froy said: “We were delighted to welcome back our Year 11 students to celebrate with them the results of the hard work they have put in over the last five years.
“This year has been a difficult year for our students. We had very high hopes for this group who have approached the last year with incredible fortitude, good humour and resilience. We are, therefore, very pleased that the students have received recognition of their efforts.
“Students got some fantastic results to enable them to go on to colleges and employment opportunities. We are proud of the way the students responded to lockdown and, above all, their reaction on results day.
“Many showed their incredible maturity in expressing their frustration at not being able to prove themselves and demonstrate their abilities in the public exams they had been working towards for so many years.
“We will miss them all and wish them all great success in their futures.”
Samuel Ward Academy
Samuel Ward Academy headteacher Andy Hunter said that following the government u-turn he had “no doubt” that the correct grades had been handed out.
He said: “This has been an extremely difficult year for Year 11, with no certainty over how their results would be calculated and no chance for them to influence their grades once schools had closed in March.
“It’s been a long, nailbiting wait for them so it was wonderful this morning to see their relief as they opened their results.
“There is no question in my mind that these are the right grades, and I would hate for anyone to think that these results are in any way less valid than in other years.
“All of the grades we submitted went through a rigorous process of checking involving teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders. This was a hard-working year group who took their education seriously and earned the grades they received.”
Sybil Andrews Academy
Sybil Andrews Academy also followed the government’s guidelines and elected not to release results.
Trenica King, headteacher at Sybil Andrews Academy, said: “I am delighted to see our students and celebrate their results with them.
“I am also relieved that students have received the higher of either the Centre Assessed Grade or standardised grade as I consider this best represents their achievements.
“I have been extremely proud of how our Year 11 students have coped with this situation and the hard work they have put into their studies prior to lockdown. I wish them all the best in the future”.
“Students have had a long wait for the results and were finally able to reflect on what they have achieved and focus for their next steps in education or training.
“This has been a very difficult time for our Year 11 students and we pay testament to their hard work and effort which has resulted in the grades they have been awarded these grades.
“We hope that all our students will keep in touch and join us for our Awards Evening in December.”
Thomas Gainsborough School has hailed the “many excellent performances” in this year’s GCSE results.
Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said “We are delighted to recognise all the hard work and excellence of our Year 11 students.
“We were able to present them with grades that reflect their successes and that are a true reflection on them.
“These have been unprecedented times and it is only right and proper that the class of 2020 should be able to celebrate everything they have achieved.
“We look forward to welcoming over 120 of them back into our sixth form in September.”
Saint Felix School
More than 99% of students at Saint Felix School achieved at least five passes at grade 4 or above including English and maths.
Headmaster James Harrison said: “We congratulate all of this year’s GCSE students for their hard work and commitment over the past two years.
“All of our pupils achieved at least 5 passes at grade 4 or above, and we are looking forward to welcoming many of them back to our Sixth Form in September in order to continue their studies at A Level.
“As one of very few schools in Suffolk that offer Latin as a mainstream subject we’re especially pleased that in line with previous years’ achievements, this year over two thirds of pupils were awarded grade 8 or 9”
East Bergholt High School
Students at East Bergholt High School have been praised for their achievements this year.
Headteacher Dan Woodcock said: “It has been an anxious wait for many; however, we feel that the Government’s decision to back the grades awarded by the school was the right decision and our students can now confidently move forward to their next stage of education.
“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.”
Royal Hospital School
Students at the Royal Hospital School achieved a 96.4% pass rate in this years GCSE results.
There was a 45.4% pass rate for 9 to 7 grades - the equivalent of the old A/A* grades - 41 pupils achieved at least six 9-7 grades and 16 pupils were awarded a 9 to 7 in every subject studied.
Catherine Stevens, deputy head, said: “The Centre Assessed Grades they have been awarded are an honest and rigorous assessment of individual performance and I would like to congratulate the whole year group on a set of results that they should be proud of, despite all the uncertainty in the run up to today.”
Headteacher, Simon Lockyer sent a personal message to all Year 11 students.
He said: “I am enormously very proud of you all. The last six months has been extremely unsettling, and you have shown resilience, determination, and strength of character.
“Every one of you who has worked hard, remained focused and risen to the challenges presented, should be pleased with what you have accomplished and I look forward to welcoming the majority of you back for Sixth Form at RHS.
“Those not returning, I wish you the very best in the next stage of your education and please do keep in touch.”
Emma Wilson-Downes, headteacher at Felixstowe Academy, congratulated both students and staff on their “resilience and commitment” during the past few months.
She said: “I am pleased that common sense has prevailed and that students will now be awarded their Centre Assessed Grades. My staff went through a rigorous grading exercise involving teachers, heads of departments, assistant headteachers and, finally, myself to ensure the final grades were a reflection of everyone’s hard work over the last two years.”
The school, just outside of Ipswich, has faced difficulties amid the coronavirus crisis like all others – however students and staff have both been affected by the loss of much-loved former headteacher Dr Simon Letman last year. Overall, 81% of the school’s 107 students achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and maths – leaving acting headteacher Nicola Mayhew with “nothing but praise” for the year group. Mrs Mayhew said: “The results reflect the hard work and focus that students committed to their studies. In addition, they have shown strength of character, resilience and maturity in handling the cancellation of examinations and school closure. “We couldn’t be any prouder of them.” Louise Cullen, chair of governors, added: “On behalf of the local community I would like to pay tribute to our outstanding acting headteacher Mrs Mayhew and acting deputy Mr Hart for their incredible work this year, following the sudden tragic death of Dr Letman. “This year has been like no other for every school in the country, but they have led the staff and students of Holbrook Academy through especially challenging times. We are all exceptionally proud of our fantastic Year 11 and wish them the very best in the next exciting stage of their lives.”
Stour Valley Community School
Students at Stour Valley Community School received their grades via e-mail today due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Students received top awards in a number of subjects including art, maths, English and drama.
Rachel Kelly, headteacher at the school said: “The past few months and weeks have been challenging for our students in many ways.
“It was a sad and abrupt end to our Year 11 students’ time at Stour Valley but we did the best we could to mark the occasion with a hastily organised leavers’ assembly and shirt signing.
“Waiting for examination results is always an anxious time and the uncertainty caused by recent events has not helped the situation.
“We are delighted that students have now been awarded Centre Assessed Grades.
“We join the students and their families in celebrating their achievements, which represent the culmination of many years spent studying.
“We congratulate all the students on their GCSE results.
“We are proud of their resilience in these unprecedented times and delighted to be able to finally give them the recognition their efforts deserve.”
SET Ixworth School
Of the GCSE pupils at Ixworth school, 74% achieved grades 9-4 in maths and English.
Pia Parker, SET Ixworth Head of School, said: “We’re immensely proud of all of our students for their hard work and success in their GCSEs.
“We strive to create a happy community where pupils are well prepared for adult life and that has certainly continued through Covid-19.
“We helped them to understand how important it is to use lockdown constructively, so they can continue to achieve their potential and be productive.
“This included continuing to focus on learning, with many Year 11 students undertaking additional educational opportunities online and completing preparation activities for their A-level and college courses.
“Additionally, many students worked with our teachers to offer their time to the community, including the delivery of shopping to shielding families and raising money for charity by taking on various running or biking challenges.
“I’m really impressed with how they didn’t just cope but embraced the anxious and uncertain time”.
SET Saxmundham School
Lizzie Girling, SET Saxmundham Head praised her students 57% of whom achieved a 9-4 in English and maths.
She said: “I’m delighted with the results achieved by all the students here at SET Saxmundham School.
“It is a small school with a fantastic range of opportunities for its students, including strong pastoral support, which we put to good use during Covid-19.
“The information, advice and guidance we were able to offer has ensured that our students responded positively to the Covid-19 crisis and worked together to strengthen our community.
“This ranged from students making soup for key workers to students baking for shielding neighbours and family members.
“I would like to personally say well done to each and every student for their achievements and we wish them every success as they leave us for their chosen post-16 destination.”