Teachers hail Suffolk A-level success

WEEKS of worry came to an end for thousands of students yesterday as their A-level results were finally revealed.For most there was cause for celebration, with overall pass rates in Suffolk rising for the third consecutive year.

WEEKS of worry came to an end for thousands of students yesterday as their A-level results were finally revealed.

For most there was cause for celebration, with overall pass rates in Suffolk rising for the third consecutive year.

Patricia O'Brien, a member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, led the congratulations to students, teachers parents and others who have played a part in their success.

"We believe it's important that all young people are encouraged to reach their full potential, and vocational qualifications are an important step to achieving a fulfilling career," she said.


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It is hoped that by 2007 Suffolk's A-level students could be continuing their education at the proposed University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich.

Mrs O'Brien added: "I think it would be a great benefit to the young people who have just received their results to have the option of studying at a university in the county, and I hope a university campus here will encourage more students to continue with their education."

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There were celebrations at Stowupland High School as students achieved a pass rate of 98% from grades A-E, an increase of 4% on last year.

Headteacher Karen Grimes said the pass rate from grades A-C was 76%, a rise of 7% on 2004.

She added: "We are absolutely delighted with the results. We have two students off to Cambridge but it's not just those with just high grades who have done well because we have performed well across the board.

Meanwhile students at St Alban's Catholic High School in Digby Road, Ipswich, achieved the best results yet for the school. 

Deputy Headteacher, Sean Hayes, said: "We are delighted with the results again this year and congratulate the students on their achievements."

Valerie MacCuish, headteacher at Ipswich High School described their results as "magnificent".

"Something like 49% of our students achieved A grades and 74% achieved A-B," she said. "They are a bit better than last year and rank with some of the best years we have ever had."

Ipswich School announced a pass rate of 99.1%, its highest figure ever.

Twelve students achieved straight A-grades with 84.7% getting grades A-C, again the school's best ever results.

Headmaster Ian Galbraith said: "These results are very pleasing. Critics who suggest that academic standards are declining should remember that these days most sixth formers do paid work in their spare time and enjoy an extensive social life."

Howard Blackett, who has just completed his first year as headmaster at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook said he was "delighted" with the 100% pass rate.

He added: "They are fantastic results this year and very good news. We are taking day pupils from September 2006 and it demonstrates to everyone that we are school that offers a first class education."

Meanwhile at St Joseph's College, Ipswich, they were celebrating after 20% of students gained the equivalent of three grade As.

Deputy head Tony Newman said: "These excellent results will enable the students to continue to build on the strong educational and academic foundations laid during their time at the college."

At Woodbridge School, the percentage of A and B grades was the highest ever at 70%. The pass rate was 100% for the sixth successive year. 

Headmaster Stephen Cole said: "I am proud of the results, but prouder of the young people who have achieved them."

At Northgate High School staff and students were celebrating a pass rate of 98%. Headteacher Neil Watts said 51% of the grades were A or B.

He added: "These are an outstanding set of results for Northgate. Students have smashed all previous records for the second year running."

At Stowmarket High School headteacher David Oliver reported a 96% pass rate, with pass rate at grades A-C of 59%.

He added: "Raw statistics can in no way convey individual success stories and we look very closely at the value added to each student's education both in and out of the classroom. That said, we are delighted with the individual performances at all levels."

At Copleston High School in Copleston Road, Ipswich, the average UCAS points score per student 281 - a school record.

Deputy headteacher Peter Freeman said: "We are delighted with another record year for our students. The average points gained is the equivalent of two grade Bs and a C at A-level.

"Almost all of our university applicants have gained their first choice college and parents and student will be delighted by their success. The A-C pass rate of 69% is a record for the school."

Meanwhile Miles Bacon, deputy head at Chantry High School, also in Ipswich, said that the number of students achieving grades between A and C had increased by 10%.

He added: "It is really a reflection of the hard work that the students put in and the hard work of the staff. We accept a whole range of ability and is a testament to everyone that 75% of our pupils will go to their first choice university."

Dave Thomas, spokesman for Westbourne High School, in Marlow Road, Ipswich, said the headteacher was delighted with the school's performance.

He added: "We are very pleased with our overall results. They reflect the hard work of the students."

At Orwell High School in Felixstowe, students achieved a 95% overall pass rate.

Headteacher Peter Tomkins said 42 students from the school sat A-levels as part of the Felixstowe Sixth Form – which covers both Orwell and Deben High School – with 33% of the grades achieved being A and B.

"These are great results and demonstrate the dedication of both students and teachers," said Mr Tomkins.

Students at Kesgrave High School were also among those celebrating. The school reported a 96% pass rate with 43% at grades A-B.

Deputy headteacher Nigel Burgoyne said: "These are a fabulous set of results. We are an open access sixth form so have a range of abilities and it's very pleasing that in 27 subjects we have an 100% pass rate."

Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge had its best results ever with a 99% pass rate for all subjects.

Headteacher Sue Hargadon said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved outstanding results.

"While we always knew this was a special year group, they have exceeded all our expectations with an amazing 24% of students achieving at least three A grades."

Students and staff at Suffolk College were also celebrating, with many of the AS and A2 courses able to boast a 100% success rate.

At Great Cornard Upper School, there was a 96% pass rate. Headteacher Michael Foley said: "Critics of the rising pass rate have a very poor understanding of the high standards students have had to reach at GCSE and AS level before they ever get to sit an A-level paper.

"We should be celebrating the increasing numbers of young people who stay on in education beyond 16 rather than disparaging their achievements."

Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI Upper School in Bury St Edmunds where there was a 99% pass rate, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of the students, the commitment of their teachers and the steadfast support of parents."

Pupils at Thurston Community College were yesterday celebrating their best ever set of A-level results, with a 100% pass rate.

Headteacher Chris Bowler said: "We knew we had a very good year group and I think this shows that teachers are getting more exam-focused in combination with students doing well."

Vicky Neale, deputy headteacher of County Upper School, Bury, which had a 98% pass rate, said: "The overwhelming majority of students of all levels have done very well.

Elsewhere, Culford School's headmaster, Julian Johnson-Munday described the 96.2% pass rate as "terrific". He said: "We are delighted with the results and the standard pupils have achieved is testimony to their hard work."

Terry Lewis, headteacher of Mildenhall College of Technology, applauded the hard work of pupils and staff after celebrating record results for the third year running – with a 96% pass rate.

Newmarket Upper School headteacher Stephen Dart said he was delighted with the results - with record-breaking students shattering the previous best average points score of 265, with 317 points.

He said: "I am very pleased with these excellent results which reflect the hard work of the students and the teachers."

The results at St Benedict's Upper School, in Bury, were "better than anticipated" according to headteacher Paul Rossi, with a 98% pass rate.

He said: "We are pleased with another solid year and it's well done to all the students and teachers for their hard work."

David Forrest, headteacher at Sudbury Upper School, where the pass rate was 98%, said: "We are delighted with the results achieved by our students this year, which have set yet another record for the school with the highest points score per entry in our history.

Thetford Grammar School headteacher John Weeks said they were pleased with the 100% pass rate.

And Phil Thirkettle, assistant principal at West Suffolk College, where the pass rate was 95%, said: "We are pleased with the achievements of this year's A-level students. The majority of them were on adult study courses and they were very motivated to combine study with other aspects of their lives."

At Bungay High School headteacher Sean O'Neil said: "We are really pleased with our results and 69% of students received A to C grade passes."

It was a similar story a few miles away at the Sir John Leman High School, Beccles. Deputy head Sean Common said: "We look like achieving results above the county average and that is very encouraging."

In Lowestoft the sixth form consortium consists of pupils from Benjamin Britten High, Kirkley High and Denes High schools.

Trevor Osborne, head of Benjamin Britten High, said: "The hard work of pupils and staff has paid off with an excellent set of results.

"It will be a few days before the results for the individual schools are confirmed but overall it is a very encouraging picture."

At Hartismere High School, Eye, headteacher Richard Hewitt was delighted with the A-level results.

"Students of vocational and academic courses are all to be congratulated. There are some splendid achievements at all ability levels."

Ian Flintoff, headteacher at Leiston High School, said they had achieved a 97.3% pass rate. "The pupils have worked very hard to achieve such good results and the vast majority can look forward to continuing their plans for further education."

John Hibberd, deputy head of Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham, said pupils this year had maintained the high standards set in 2004, with a 98% pass rate.

At Framlingham College 64% of students achieved passes in either A or B grades.

"It is a magnificent achievement to have nearly two thirds of students achieving the top two grades," said headteacher Gwen Randall.

David Wood, headteacher at Saint Felix School at Reydon, near Southwold, said it had been another excellent year with 78% of students achieving A to C passes and 69% A or B.

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