Record A-level year for Essex schools

IT was another record year for A-level results across Essex with schools and colleges reporting excellent results.Hard work paid off for dozens of students who must now contemplate their next move.

IT was another record year for A-level results across Essex with schools and colleges reporting excellent results.

Hard work paid off for dozens of students who must now contemplate their next move.

Six students at the Philip Morant School and College in Colchester gained straight A grades, with 22 A grades between them.

Acting headteacher Sue Cowans said: "We are extremely pleased with these results and praise the hard work of students and staff in achieving this success."


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Terry Creissen, principal of the Colne Community School in Brightlingsea, was delighted with the 98% pass rate.

He said: "Students have left today safe in the knowledge that they can take the next step into adult life with confidence. Particularly pleasing this year was the wide range of passes in a broad cross-section of subjects. Some of the best grades were achieved in mathematics, English literature, languages and technology."

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Ten subjects received a 100% pass rate at The Harwich School while the average number of points per student was calculated at 215 – a significant increase on previous years.

Headteacher Jacky Froggatt said: "Congratulations to all of the students and staff who worked hard to prepare for examinations – it pays off in the end."

Nick Pavitt, headteacher of Colbayns High School, Clacton, described the 96% pass rate as "fantastic".

"Students have worked really hard to go on to do well – they were, of course, supported admirably by those often unsung heroes, mum and dad, and the terrific teaching staff."

Gerry Gurhy, deputy headteacher of Hedingham School, Sible Hedingham, was delighted after his pupils received their best set of results, with a 99% pass rate.

"Students should be very pleased with their achievement. Each year there is a chorus of criticism about falling standards. This is ill informed. Students know they have to work throughout the two-year course if they are to achieve success and teachers are very well organised to assist them."

The Rickstones School in Witham saw a 92% A-level pass rate.

Headmaster Terry Candy said: "We are very pleased with the year group performance which is very much in line with previous years. There were particularly good results in performing arts, media, IT and English."

The Boswells School in Chelmsford celebrated a 95% pass rate, with more than 38% of all entries at grades A and B. Notable achievers were Robert Cowlin and Joanna McKenna who received six and five A grades respectively.

Meanwhile, the Chelmer Valley High School in Chelmsford gained an overall pass rate of 98% with more than 66% of pupils achieving grades A to C.

Headteacher David Franklin said: "A-level examinations were taken in 19 different subjects and students and staff have again worked extremely hard to achieve these excellent results."

St John Payne RC School in Chelmsford is celebrating a school record in geography with 62% A grades. Four departments – business studies, economics, mathematics and geography - recorded 80% or more A and B grades.

Frank McEvoy, headteacher, said: "Over the last two years, staff and students have worked incredibly hard to achieve these outstanding results. Our emphasis on individual target setting and personalised support has proved very successful."

Two students who are also representing the UK in their chosen sports are celebrating brilliant A-level results at the Chelmsford County High School for Girls.

Melissa Mazcka, who is an ice dancer, achieved four A grades while Hannah Davies, the Welsh trampolining champion, received five grade As. Both hope to compete in the 2012 Olympics.

The school achieved a 100% pass rate and headteacher Veronica Curtis said: "Despite what one often hears, it is not easy to achieve a string of A grades. The good results achieved at this level lay the foundation for the rest of their lives."

Catholic girls' independent school, New Hall School, Chelmsford, also recorded a 100% pass rate.

Principal Katherine Jeffrey said: "The girls have worked hard for these results and we are delighted that every student has achieved the university place of her choice."

The overall pass rate was 96% at Helena Romanes School in Dunmow. Nearly 70% of the passes were at Grade C or higher.

"We are delighted that our results have improved once again this year," said Lee Bryant, head of sixth form.

At Felsted School, 57% of A-levels were passed at A or B grade standard.

Headmaster, Stephen Roberts, said: "The students have worked hard to achieve this success and the staff have taught and supported them very well to ensure they achieved good grades."

Braintree College recorded a 100% pass rate in a wide range of subjects, with all entrants gaining grades A to C in dance, drama and theatre studies, French, further maths and Spanish.

Central admissions and guidance manager, Sally Breen, said: "We have had another excellent year in terms of our A-level results, with a 100% pass rate in two thirds of the subjects and an increase in the number of subjects gaining 100%. This very high pass rate underlines yet again that our A-level academy is amongst the leaders in sixth form provision in the area."

Sarah Dignasse, headteacher of the Plume School, Maldon, said she was very pleased with this year's A level results, with several students getting three As or two As and two Bs and a 95% pass rate overall.

Girls at Thurstable School, Tiptree, achieved best ever A-level results this year, balancing out last year when they were outperformed by the boys. Headmaster Nick Hammond said: "The school wishes to congratulate all of its successful sixth form students who once again have achieved excellent results." There was a 91% pass rate overall.

Less than a handful of failed A-levels brought the pass rate at King Edward VI grammar school, Chelmsford, down to a still very respectable 99.8%. Assistant headteacher at the boys school, Robert Birke said: "As ever we are pleased. They are a very good set of results. Almost all of the students have got what they needed. They have all worked terribly hard to achieve what they achieved."

Students and staff at the John Bramston School, in Witham, were celebrating after a first class set of AVCE, AS and A-level results saw 70 out of 75 passes at the top A to C grades.

Principal Ted Rowley said: "Once again our students and staff have done extremely well following two years of hard work and commitment. The A-level results this year were very pleasing with students achieving an average points score of 231 and almost 70% of the passes being at the top grades including more than 11 being at the top A grade with a 92% pass overall."

At Colchester County High School, 60.6% of A-levels taken were given an A grade. In total 18 students achieved five As, 21 got four As and 15 were awarded three As. One failed paper brought the pass rate down to 99.7%, ending a run of 100% pass rates.

Headteacher Elizabeth Ward said: "Another excellent year, illustrating the hard work, commitment and motivation of our students, together with excellent teaching and guidance from staff and strong parental staff."

Four students from Colchester Sixth Form College got among the top five highest marks in the country. Robin Chatters, of West Mersea, got a top mark in computing, Daniel Pease, of Witham, was a top scorer in English, Emily Burn, of Walton-on-the-Naze, was in the top five in sociology, and Stevie Bolton, of Colchester, got one of the highest marks in general studies.

Principal Ian MacNaughton said: "Students have achieved outstanding A and AS-level results in this summer's examination series, the best overall A-level results attained by students at the college to date and the tenth consecutive year that the college results have improved."

Over 1,000 students brought in a pass rate of 98%, with 100% pass rates in 33 subjects including English Literature, computing, economics, art, German, further maths, philosophy and Spanish.

It was a record year for Colchester Royal Grammar School, with a 100% pass rate, 88% of all grades at A or B and an average point score per student of 520. 36 students have five A grades, one has six and the school's top performer, James Shepherd has seven.

Headmaster Ken Jenkinson said: "I am delighted with the achievements of this year's upper sixth. They have been a very happy, positive and supportive year group and fully deserve their success.

"I tend to see examination success as a by product of the whole school ethos rather than the result of specific preparation, and these students have happily pursued excellence in all they have done."

Students at the Adult Community College, in Colchester, achieved a 93% pass rate, including 25% at grade A.

Stephen Castle, Essex County Council's cabinet member for education, said: "On behalf of everyone at the council, I would like to express my heartiest congratulations to the young people of Essex who are today collecting an outstanding set of A-level results.

"Although at this stage we do not have the full picture, all the signs are that this is a tremendous year in terms of the work put in by students and the rewards they have earned.

"Standards in education continue to rise throughout the county and our students, and the school staff and families who have supported them, have so much to be proud of.

"Now as they head into higher or further education, or into the career of their choice, it is my passionate hope that their skills, experiences and ambitions will underpin a flourishing future for this county, or indeed further afield."

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