School-leavers urged to look ahead

HIGH-achieving GCSE students in Essex were also savouring their results – but were last night urged to keep up the hard work to ensure they get the jobs they deserve.

This year’s set of teenagers walked away with an incredible haul of A* and A grades, with some gaining top marks in up to 15 subjects.

However, the harsh reality of the current employment market means their results will not necessarily earn them a well-paid job, prompting Les Glasby, assistant principal at Tendring Technology College, to warn school- leavers to look ahead.

He said: “We have been enrolling our students through the day and almost half have already signed up for sixth form.

“We always advertise our school as a seven-year school, so we expect most of our students to stay on.”

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Of those who choose to leave, Mr Glasby added: “They have worked hard for their GCSEs, but I am sure they appreciate it is even harder work getting a job.”

Yesterday, the records came flooding in as students ended weeks of nervous waiting.

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All results given below are for the percentage of pupils who gained five A*-C grades including English and maths, unless stated otherwise.

At St Mary’s School in Colchester, 92% of students gained the coveted five A*-C grade threshold. In addition, 41% of all exams were graded at A* or A and 27% of pupils notched up seven or more As and A*s.

School principal Hilary Vipond said: “We are thrilled and delighted with this year’s results. The girls have put in a tremendous amount of effort and their results are a credit to them and the staff who have worked so hard with them.”

The figure for neighbouring Colchester High School was an outstanding 90% and principal David Young said: “I am so proud of the achievements of our pupils, and these results are a real credit to them and the school. It is so pleasing to see that genuine effort and determination really does pay off in the end. I also want to thank all of the staff for their hard work which has made this possible.”

At Hedingham School, in Halstead, 45% of students gained at least five of the top grades, with one student, Jennifer Titterington, achieving 11 A* grades and five As.

Other top performers included Jake Ford, who achieved nine A*s and four As.

Honywood Community Science School, Colchester, are proudly boasting a 65% pass rate, while Notley High School, Braintree had a 53% success rate and neighbouring Tabor Science College had a rounded 50% pass rate at the top level.

Alec Hunter Community College, Braintree, notched up a 51% pass rate.

A joint statement from the four schools said: “We applaud the outstanding efforts made by our pupils to go above and beyond what we could expect of them - they thoroughly deserve these excellent outcomes.”

At the Philip Morant School and College, also in Colchester, 74% of students gained five or more A* to C grades (not including English and maths), matching last year’s GCSE performance.

Sue Cowans, the headteacher, congratulated students and staff and said: “We have maintained once again the high standards at GCSE our students have achieved over a number of years.”

Eight students got straight A* or A grades and 30 students gained all A* to B grades.

Meanwhile, pupils at New Hall School, in Chelmsford, are celebrating the school’s best-ever results. A record 83% of GCSEs were at A*-B, while 91% gained the benchmark five A*-C grades.

The highest two performers were Claire Blythe-Tinker and Catherine Crawley, wo were both awarded 11A*s and a distinction in critical thinking.

Principal Katherine Jeffrey said: “We are very proud of our students and it is great to see their delight – and relief!

“These record results are a testament to their ability and hard work and of course to the expertise and dedication of the teachers.”

The Gilberd School, Colchester, announced their best GCSE results ever with 70% of students reaching the benchmark.

Headteacher Linda Exley said: “These results are excellent; we feel they are a wonderful reward for all the hard work, effort and dedication of our students.

“We are also especially pleased that every student at the school gained a qualification.

“We are delighted with these results and feel they give our students a firm foundation for future success.”

It was another record-breaking year at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, where every pupil reached the top level and 87.9% of grades were either A*s or As - putting them in the top 10 of highest performing schools in the country.

Julian Dutnall, the deputy headteacher, said: “We want each girl to get the highest possible grade in each subject, it is about quality not quantity.”

Halstead’s Gosfield School recorded a marked improvement on last year’s results with 94% gaining the five or more A*-C grades, compared to the 79% figure from 2009. Headteacher Claire Goodchild said: “We are absolutely delighted for our young people, it is a reflection of their hard work and commitment to achieve the best grades possible.”

The Colne Community School and College, in Brightlingsea, also saw their figure rise – from 49% last year to 57%. Again a best-ever for the school.

Jake Zini gained A* and A grades in each of the 15 exams he sat, while four other pupils gained 49 A* and As between them.

Principal Nardeep Sharma said: “It has been another fantastic year for so many of our students – they have worked incredibly hard and rightly deserve to celebrate. We are very excited for all of our exam students.”

This year has been described as “highly successful” by staff at Colchester Royal Grammar School, where 100% of students passed five or more exams at the higher levels (not including maths and English).

Star performer was Joe Skornia, who despite being taken into hospital on the eve of his GCSE examinations with suspected appendicitis, managed to achieve 13 A*s.

Headmaster Ken Jenkinson said: “The GCSE students have done themselves proud and achieved some of the best results on record at the school.”

At Moulsham High School and Humanities College, Chelmsford, the percentage of students passing five or more with A* to C grades was 76 (not including English and maths).

Headteacher Dr Chris Nicholls said: “I am delighted with our results – congratulations to students and staff alike”.

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