Pupils celebrate GCSE success

By Danielle Nuttall, Rebecca Sheppard, Liz Hearnshaw, Lisa Cleverdon, Benedict O'Connor, David Lennard and David GreenSCHOOLS across the county are celebrating outstanding GCSE results, with many achieving record successes.

By Danielle Nuttall, Rebecca Sheppard, Liz Hearnshaw, Lisa Cleverdon, Benedict O'Connor, David Lennard and David Green

SCHOOLS across the county are celebrating outstanding GCSE results, with many achieving record successes.

Thousands of teenagers in Suffolk made the nervous journey to their school yesterday to discover their grades after months of hard work and revision.

Many schools reported improvements on last year and even record-breaking results, mirroring a national trend that saw the biggest rise in GCSE candidates scoring at least a grade C for 13 years.

Finborough School, near Stowmarket, achieved a 94.5% pass rate at five GCSEs at grades A* to C.

John Sinclair, principal, said: “It was particularly pleasing to see the 26% of pupils who receive learning support for dyslexia justify our faith in them in that they achieved almost seven A to C grades apiece.”

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Ipswich High School achieved its best results for a decade with 99.2% of pupils passing at grades A* to C.

Valerie MacCuish, headteacher, said: “We are delighted with our best results for 10 years with 39% of all entries graded A* and 77.4% A*/A grades.

“Five girls achieved 10 A* grades and 44% of the year group achieved nine A*/A grades or better.

“This success represents a great deal of hard work by students and strong commitment from their teachers.”

Westbourne High School in Ipswich is celebrating the achievement of record GCSE passes for the fourth year running, with the percentage of students gaining five or more A* to C grades rising to 50% - a 5% improvement on last year's previous record results.

Christopher Edwards, headteacher, said: “To achieve 50% 5+ A* to C and a new record for the 4th year running is obviously very pleasing.

“These results are the product of the high standards set by our teachers and the hard work put in by our students. I am delighted for our students as they have proved to be an excellent group of young people”.

At the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, 94.5% pupils achieved grades A* to C.

Howard Blackett, headteacher, said: “It was half a percent up on last year and we are very pleased. Overall, I'm delighted with our results. We had a very significant number of pupils with As and A*.

“The Royal Hospital School is known for giving outstanding education, but these results demonstrate that we not only give an excellent all-round education, but an outstanding academic one as well.”

Louise Amphlett Lewis, headteacher of Amberfield School, Nacton, was given a special retirement present - 92% of her pupils achieved five or more passes, with the percentage of A* and As at 44.4%.

She said: “I couldn't be more delighted and proud of each and every one of them. They have worked with real commitment and ambition throughout the two-year course.

“They've been a splendid example to those following on behind them and I have no doubt that Amberfield's new head, Helen Kay, will find excellent and committed staff and pupils ready for high attainments in the new academic year.”

At St Joseph's College in Ipswich, almost 90% of pupils gained five or more A* to C grades. It also reported a 4% rise in the number of A* and A grades - the best at the college.

Sian Grant, headteacher, said: “Each of them has worked very hard to achieve these grades and, along with their teachers, have every reason to celebrate their successes today.

“These excellent results continue recent trends at the college and, along with the hard work, reflect the success of the developments at the college over recent years.”

Karen Grimes, headteacher at Stowupland High School, said she was delighted with this year's set of results.

It reported a pass rate of 62% on five GCSEs with grades A* to C, up by 4% on 2004, and a 99% pass rate with grades A* to G.

“I am pretty ecstatic. We have exceeded our targets. The average points score per pupil is 364, up 10 points on last year. All students should be rightly proud of their achievements,” she said.

Students and staff were also celebrating at Orwell High School, Felixstowe, as its passes equalled the school's best performance.

A total of 53% of students achieved five or more passes at grades A* to C - an increase of 16% on last year's result.

Peter Tomkins, headteacher, said: “We are really pleased and some of our students achieved really highly.

“We are particularly pleased with the huge improvement over last year's results and are confident that the school will go from strength to strength serving the best interests of our students.”

At Woodbridge School, more than one in six grades were at A* and 98% of pupils gained five A* to C grades.

Stephen Cole, headmaster, said: “Pupils of all abilities have performed very well and the high proportion of As and A*s reflect that pupils are being motivated by first class teaching.”

The overall pass rate at the fee-paying school was 94%, with 43% of grades at A and A*.

At Ipswich School, pass rates were its best, with 67.5% of students achieving grades at A* and A and 98.7% of pupils getting grades A* to C in all the subjects they took.

Hannah Girling, 16, from Witnesham, was among the top 10 of almost 43,000 students who took religious studies GCSE and was one of six students at the school who achieved A* in all subjects.

Ian Galbraith, headteacher, said: “We are absolutely delighted with these results and with Hannah's outstanding performance.

“To gain high grades across the wide range of subjects we offer is a great achievement and reflects a lot of hard work by pupils and staff.”

At Northgate High School in Ipswich, headteacher Neil Watts said almost 30% of all grades were A* or A.

He said: “The average points score was 400 and 72% of pupils have received five or more grades at A* to C. I am absolutely delighted by the continued excellence of our results.”

At Stowmarket High School 291 students took one or more GCSEs and 99.7% of students gained at least one A* to G grade, an increase of 0.4% on 2004.

David Oliver, headteacher, said 60% of students had achieved five A* to C grades - an increase of 6% on last year - and 98% of students had gained at least five A* to G grades, an increase of 1% on last year.

“These results are the best ever in terms of five A* to C grades and demonstrate that we are continuing the improvement of the last few years,” he said.

Chantry High School in Ipswich was also among those reporting their best results.

Ann Rickwood, headteacher, said 50% of students gained five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C.

“I am thrilled to bits for our students and very proud of them. We always knew this year was academically able and they have exceeded all our expectations,” she said.

“This set of results endorsed the views of Ofsted that Chantry is a good and improving school.”

Holbrook High School reported a pass rate of five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C of 64.3% and of 89.8 at grades A* to G.

At fee-paying Framlingham College previous records were broken by this year's GCSE students with 99% achieving five or more passes at grade C or above.

Gwen Randall, head of the college, said: “Following last week's excellent A and AS-level results, we are delighted to congratulate our GCSE students on their fine achievements. They can look forward to progressing into the sixth-form with confidence.”

Results at Farlingaye High School, in Woodbridge, exceeded targets with 70% of the 242 pupils who took the exams achieving five or more A* to C grades.

Sue Hargadon, headteacher, said: “We are absolutely delighted with another set of super results. There are some exceptional results with 12 students achieving at least five A* grades.

“As a maths specialist school it was particularly pleasing that 12% of grades in maths were A* and 75% or results were A* to C grades.”

At Holywells High School, Ipswich, 21% of the 62 students who took the exams achieved five or more A* to C grades, with 91% achieving five or more A* to G grades.

Ruth Everard, headteacher, said pass rates had fallen from last year, but she was impressed with the work of her students.

“While the overall A* to C grades and A* to G grades pass rate is down on last year many subject areas improved their results and students performed well,” she said.

Ian Carrington, headteacher of Hadleigh High School, said it reported a pass rate of five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C at 64% and five or more at grades A* to G at 96%.

“We are thrilled with these results. They are slightly up on last year. The children and staff have worked very hard and we are consistently achieving a pass rate of 60% or more which is excellent,” he said.

Pupils at St Alban's High School in Ipswich were also celebrating. Sean Hayes, deputy headteacher, said 99% of the 134 pupils who took the exams achieved five or more passes, with 74% achieving five or more passes at grade C or above.

“We congratulate the pupils on their successes, which is a reflection of the hard work of both the pupils and their teachers,” said Mr Hayes.

“We now anticipate a greater number than usual staying on to the sixth-form as a consequence of these results.”

Debenham High School reported a pass rate of 86.9% of students getting five GCSEs or more at grades A* to C and 100% achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to G.

Michael Crawshaw, headteacher, said: “We are thrilled with these results. They reflect the hard work and dedication of pupils and staff.”

A total of 70% of pupils at Claydon High School achieved five or more A* to C grades, its highest rate.

Beth Soule, headteacher, said five students at the school had swept the board with straight A grades. “We are very pleased. It has not been easy, but everyone has worked hard,” she added.

Alan Whittaker, headteacher of Stoke High School, Ipswich, estimated just under half of pupils had gained five or more A* to C grades, a slight drop from last year.

He said: “They are really good results and one pupil, Nicola Airey, got the best results ever - 10 GCSEs and A*s in every one.

“The exam board wrote to us to say she got one of the top five marks in English Literature out of 47,222 candidates. She also got an A in an half GCSE. It was a really good performance and she was in tears.”

Mike Everett, headteacher of Thurleston High School, Ipswich, said he was also delighted with this year's GCSE performance.

“The results have exceeded our targets and, for the third year running, the pass rate has risen,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk College said it was delighted with the results achieved at the college this year.

“Many of our programmes have delivered a 100% success rate with a generous sprinkling of A and A* grades,” she said.

“Three of our languages students are amongst the group of candidates who scored one of the top five marks in their respective subjects nationally.”

At Copleston High School in Ipswich, 286 students who took the exams achieved a pass rate of five GCSEs or more - 58% at grades A* to C and 93% at grades A* to G.

Laurie Robinson, headteacher, said: “I am very pleased with this year's results. There was an excellent performance across the whole ability range.”

At the King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, pupils again performed well with 68% gaining five or more A* to C grades.

Geoff Barton, headteacher, praised the hard work of pupils and staff, who arranged special revision sessions for youngsters in the run up to exams.

“Whatever people say in the newspapers, GCSEs are important qualifications for students because they open doors to new courses and careers,” he said.

“We are delighted to see how well our students have done and look forward to welcoming many of them back into the sixth-form next week. These results mark the end of a very successful year for us.”

Vicky Neale, the new headteacher at the County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds said 74.6% of pupils had achieved five or more A* to C grades.

“The pupils have done brilliantly. For the fourth year in a row, every child got at least four GCSEs and I am really pleased about this consistency,” she said.

“We had two pupils, Andrew Bambury and Claudia Pichon, who achieved all A* grades and the overwhelming majority of youngsters got onto courses of their choice.

“I really thank the staff and congratulate the students and their parents who have all worked so hard.”

Terry Lewis, headteacher of Mildenhall College of Technology, was delighted with the performance of his pupils, who broke through the 60% A* to C threshold for the first time with 62% achieving five or more GCSEs at these grades.

Katheryn Hall, from Mildenhall, scooped 14.5 A grades, five of which were A*, and Michael Peachey, from West Row, achieved 12.5 A marks, four of which were starred.

“We have set another record for the third year running. Everybody is thrilled. It is a credit to the teachers and pupils for all their hard work,” said Mr Lewis.

At Newmarket Upper School, students were celebrating with 56% gaining five or more A* to C grades.

Stephen Dart, headteacher, said: “I am very pleased with the results which follow on from the excellent A-level results last week. All credit must go to the students and staff for this achievement.”

Samuel Ward Upper School in Haverhill achieved an A* to C pass rate of 62%, with headteacher Howard Lay praising pupils for their hard work.

“A large number of pupils who have joined the school with ordinary grades have achieved extraordinarily high results,” he said.

“Our success is down to the dedicated teachers at the school, the pupils who have all worked very hard and the parents who have helped and supported us so much.

“There has been a year-on-year increase in the level of GCSE grades at the school and we hope that this will continue to rise in years to come.”

Julian Johnson-Munday, headmaster at Culford School, was delighted with the 92% of students who achieved A* to C grades.

“The results are around 3% up on last year. It has been a very good year and there has been all-round high achievements and good performances from all the pupils in the year group,” he said.

At Great Cornard Upper School, 62% of pupils gained five or more passes at the top grades, compared to 59% last year.

Mike Foley, headteacher, said: “These results represent significant progress for us and follows on from last week's excellent A-level results.

“I was particularly pleased to see us achieving a pass rate of 69% at grade C or above in mathematics and 67% at C or above in English. Congratulations to students, teaching staff and parents on a fine achievement.”

It was a record year for pupils at St Benedict's Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, where 82% of pupils passed five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C.

Paul Rossi, headteacher, said: “I'm absolutely delighted with the results this year. My full congratulations go to the students and teachers.

“It's a record year for us. Last year 78% of pupils scored five or more at A* to C, so the standard is gradually creeping up. It's bound to level out at some point but it hasn't yet.”

At West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, 67% of pupils achieved A* to C.

Paul Thirkettle, assistant principal, said: “Once again, we couldn't be more pleased with the outstanding results achieved by our students in theses exams.

“The candidates represent a mixture of adult learners and students re-sitting their exams to achieve a better grade. English was a popular subject for re-sits and our results 32% A* and A and 86% A to C are extremely pleasing.

“Most candidates have attended classes, including adult education classes, while others have studied at home via distance learning. We are incredibly proud of these results, which are testimony to the dedication of students and teaching staff.”

At Thurston Community College, English literature students performed the remarkable feat of scoring the top five marks in the entire country.

Chris Bowler, principal, said: “I think it's absolutely fantastic. I've never come across anything like this before at any of the schools I've worked with - it's amazing.

“This is my last summer at the school and it has been a fantastic school to work in and these results reflect the hard work and dedication of the pupils and staff.”

The five English literature top-scoring A* pupils were Abigail Balmer, Annabel Star, Henry Golding, Kirsty McMillan and Megan Tatum. Pupils at the school as a whole achieved a 65% pass mark with five or more GCSEs grade A* to C.

At Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham, 84% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grade GCSE passes.

John Hibberd, deputy headteacher, said everyone was delighted that the high standard of previous years had been maintained and every pupil leaving the school had achieved at least nine GCSE passes.

The A* to C pass rate at Leiston High School was 62%. Ian Flintoff, headteacher, said: “This is a very pleasing set of results that reflects well on the whole year group.”

Sean O'Neil, headteacher of Bungay High School, said he was pleased with the 54% A* to C grade passes that provided a good platform to build towards achieving further success in the future.

The A* to C grade pass rate at Sir John Leman High School, Beccles, was 54% and Nigel English, headteacher, said he was “very pleased” with the results that were an improvement on the previous year.

The three high schools in Lowestoft all achieved good results with the A* to C pass rate at Denes High School 40%, Benjamin Britten High School 65% and Kirkley High School 45%.

At Saint Felix School, Southwold, the A* to C grade pass rate was 88% and Fran d'Alcorn, headteacher, said: “There have been some very pleasing results across all ability ranges with some pupils achieving 11 A or A* grades.”

About 68% of GCSE pupils at Hartismere High School, Eye, achieved five or more passes at A to C grades, the majority gaining many more.

Richard Hewitt, headteacher, said: “We are delighted with the performance of all pupils across the range of academic and vocational courses.”

Staff and students at Stradbroke High School were also celebrating its best set of results with 66% of students gaining five or more A to C GCSE grades.

Dave Shorten, headteacher, said: “As Ofsted said in April, we have moved into a new league. Congratulations to a brilliant bunch of students and well done to our staff.”

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