West Suffolk schools hail ‘superb’ set of A-level results

A-level results 2015. King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds.

A-level results 2015. King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

This morning A-level students in west Suffolk are learning whether they have made the grade.

A-level results 2015. County Upper School, Bury St Edmunds.

A-level results 2015. County Upper School, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Universities are offering a record number of places this year as the cap on student numbers in England is lifted.

King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds says it has had another “superb year”.

A total of 170 students sat A-levels this year, with 10% of grades at A* level and 84% C and higher (up from 80% last year).

The overall pass rate for A*-E was 98%, which was the same as last year.


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Headteacher Geoff Barton said: “This has been a particularly nail-biting exam season for students because of all the media stories about marking problems and tougher competition for university places.

“But our students have once again done themselves proud with more than ever gaining high grades and securing themselves places at some of the UK’s top universities.

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“I feel really proud of all our students, delighted for their parents, and privileged to work with such a great team of teachers who year by year deliver such stunning results. Congratulations to them all.”

At County Upper School in Bury, where 102 students took A-levels this year, a massive 92% of grades were passed A*-C, with 100% for A*-E.

Headteacher Vicky Neale said: “Yet again our students and staff have achieved a truly superb set of results at all levels. It is particularly pleasing that 30% of all our grades are A*/A given the reports that the number of top grades has fallen nationally.

“Our philosophy of ensuring our students have a broad extra-curricular experience alongside their academic studies has again seen our strong performers in debating, drama, Duke of Edinburgh award, music, sport and much else also achieve top A-level grades.”

St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury is celebrating its best ever set of A-level results, with 81% of grades passed at A*-C, while 99% were at A*-E level.

The school, which this year had 64 students doing A-levels, said the total points score per student stands at 1173, more than 80 points higher than in 2014.

Headteacher Hugh O’Neill said: “Our outstanding results at A-level reflect the tremendous work put in by students and staff to ensure that all our candidates achieve the best they can. They also reflect the very high standard of advice and support they receive throughout their time in the sixth form from head of sixth form Jack Gingell and his team.

“We have just looked again at national league tables for 2014. 1173 points would have made us the 14th highest school of any type, private or state, in the whole country- and the highest by far of any non-selective schools.”

He added: “As ever, we salute a wonderful group of students who have done superbly. They have also been a wonderful group of young people to inspire and set a leading example for the rest of the school.

“I congratulate all of them, and thank their teachers and their families for all the help and support they have given. They will now move on, mostly to universities, knowing that they can build on the very secure foundations that they have laid here at St Benedict’s.”

Students at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill are celebrating an “outstanding” set of results - the best the academy has ever achieved.

In total, the 61 students passed 79% of grades at A*-C, with 100% at A*-E.

Principal Andy Prestoe said: “I am incredibly proud of our students. These results have not happened by chance; they have been grafted for and are the result of a combination of high aspirations, resilience and commitment.

“I am delighted for them, especially as they can now go onto to study at university with confidence, including in the some of the most highly-rated institutions in the country. This is great news for them and their families, but will also act as inspiration for others in the Haverhill area.

“I would like to thank, on behalf of our students, anyone that has helped make this day possible, including their very supportive parents and incredibly dedicated teachers.”

Castle Manor Academy’s sixth form students collected an “excellent” set of A-level results.

They are among the academy’s best and see a wide range of students heading off to further study at universities up and down the country.

This year’s results show that the 48 students taking A-levels passed 92% of courses at grades A*-E, with the pass rate at 76% for A*-C.

Head of School Vanessa Whitcombe said: “We are all extremely proud of our students and their achievements, both academically and in the various ways in which they support our community.

“Our staff and parents have worked tirelessly with students to ensure they have the drive to get the best possible results and I would like to thank them for their continuous hard work. We would like to wish students heading to university, further study or in to work the very best and look forward to seeing them again soon.”

At Culford School 78% of grades were at A*-C level while 99.5% were at A*-E.

Julian Johnson-Munday, headmaster at the school, which had 71 students sitting A-levels this year, said: “We are very pleased with this excellent set of results, which contain many very good individual performances. Pupils and teachers can be proud of what they have achieved.”

Thurston Community College was delighted with its set of results: the pass rate for A*-C grades was 77.2% and for A*-E it was 99.5%.

Principal Helen Wilson said: “In our first year at Thurston Sixth: Beyton Campus, I am delighted to report some fantastic student achievement at Advanced Level. The grades attained by our students exceed those achieved last summer in every respect.”

She added: “Our cohort of 155 students sat a total of 438 examinations. This is the highest number of students and examinations for a number of years and reflects our inclusive admissions policy and strong retention of students from Year 12 into Year 13. So, despite a greater quantity of students sitting examinations, the overall quality of their performance has in fact increased. This is a phenomenal achievement.”

At Ormiston Sudbury Academy, known for its specialist performing arts department, the number of students earning places at the country’s top arts schools was described as one of their best ever years.

Principal Caroline Wilson said: “We would like to congratulate all students on their A-level results, which are a reflection of the hard work of our students and staff.

“This year students achieved 100% A* to E, 82% A* to C, 60% A* to B and 38% A* to A.

“Most students have secured their first choice university place and we also have students accepted at Rose Bruford Academy, East 15, Central School of Speech and Drama, Midland Academy of Drama and Dance as well as Trinity Laban.

We continue to deliver a broad curriculum, which allows our students to flourish to be the best that they can be.”

The school has 45 A-level students.

Performing arts student Holly Moory, 18, earned a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She said: “It has been a dream of mine for many years, I know that sounds clichéd but it has.

“The school have been amazing, I couldn’t have done it without the teachers here.”

She said she has been inspired to follow in her tutors’ footsteps, and plans to go into secondary school drama teaching after her course finishes. She earned two distinction* grades in BTEC Acting and in BTEC Musical Theatre as well as a B in A-level Food Tech.

At Thetford Grammar School, grades were generally up, with 90% of their 24 students achieving A* to C grades at A-level.

There were fewer A* grades this year, reflecting overall national trends. The overall A* to B figure of 69% was up on last year.

Leading the way was Harry Howell from Bury with one A* and three As, along with Anna Clement from Garboldisham with two A* grades and one A, Christian Wood from Bury with three grade As and Daniel Tatnell from Thetford with one A*, one A and two Bs.

The headmaster, Gareth Price said: “It has become harder to achieve the top grades at A-level which is probably a good thing if we are to maintain A-level as the gold standard in our education system.

“Consequently it is very rewarding that our overall results are up, reflecting as always the hard work of our students, supported by the positive academic environment that a small Sixth Form can produce.”

At Thomas Gainsborough School, in Great Cornard, 53 students sat A-level and other Level Three examinations this summer. 96% of students attained three or more passes at A-level with 83% of students attaining an A*-C grade.

Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said: “We are very pleased and encouraged by these results. They reflect the hard work and application of our students and the excellent support that they have received from their teachers. We wish them every success in the future”

Director of Sixth Form, Kenny Alexander, added: “It has been a fantastic year, I am very proud of the students.

“Sixth form education is changing massively and the future of learning at Thomas Gainsborough is very exciting. Our sixth form is continuing to develop and the success of the students is already showing the impact of this.”

Gainsborough pupils Callum Fuller, Jordan Higgins and Rachel Miller all achieved A*s in their subjects. Callum is now deciding which university to study at, while Jordan will be reading Criminology at The University of East London and Rachel is attending University Campus Suffolk to study Adult Nursing.

Thetford Academy achieved their best ever results at A-level this year.

Executive principal Adrian Ball said: “We are very proud of our students and their achievements. These are the best results ever for the academy and are a results of lots of hard work by students and staff.

“On behalf of the governors and staff I wish all of the students the very best for their futures.”

Their best performing pupil was Aliaksandra Baranskaya, who achieved three A*s and one A at A-level and has been successful in gaining a place a Birmingham to study Medicine.

More results to follow.

For full results news, see here

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