There were more scenes of trepidation and celebration at Derbyshire Dales schools today, as Key Stage 4 students opened the fateful envelopes containing their GCSE results.
Highfields School’s ‘class of 2019’ posted some outstanding achievements, broadly in line with the positive track record of recent years.
Headteacher Andrew Marsh said “We are delighted for all of our students who got the results they so richly deserved.
“These results will enable them to progress, as planned, to their intended next steps in education, employment or training.”
Overall, 67 per cent of students achieved passes at grade 4 or above in the yardstick English and maths assessments—equivalent to the old A*-C grades—down four per cent on the 2018 results.
There were also numerous individual success stories, with 22 students gaining eight or more passes at grades 7-9 — equivalent to the old A*-A, with a grade 9 recognising exceptional attainment above the previous A*.
Three students each achieved seven or more grade 9s, with a further 27 students achieving at least one coveted top grade.
More than 40 per cent of the year group recorded at least one grade at 7 or above, while countless others demonstrated commendable progress.
Head of year 11 Lucy Hamrouge said: “These results represent the outcome of much hard work on the part of staff and students, and the support of parents. It is great to see so many of our young people achieving at the highest grades.
“Just as important is the pleasing progress that students from all starting points have made at Highfields, as we look to ensure we have given them the best possible platform for the future.”
Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth reported many students even higher grades than those initially expected, with the hard work of the final few months reaping rewards.
The headline figures included a 98 per cent and 100 per cent pass rate for students in maths and English respectively, while two students alone came away with 18 grade 9s between them.
Headteacher Malcolm Kelly said: “It has been a pleasure to see this group of youngsters grow and develop during their time at here.
“Their excellent GCSE results are an accurate reflection of how good they are. It was a delight to see so many happy faces this morning; as students celebrated their achievements with friends, family and school staff.”
He added: The results they’ve achieved today will enable them to take the next steps in their education with a great deal of confidence. It’s been a great team effort and one we are very proud of.”
“The staff have focused their teaching and their support in the right areas and this has allowed them to assist another group of talented young people to achieve so much. The students have learned a great deal and been challenged to excel in a supportive environment.”
With many schools nationally now being criticised for ‘shrinking’ their curriculum at the expense of subjects from the arts, languages or design, Anthony Gell was pleased to record at least a grade 5 as an average grade in 16 different subjects.
The upshot of it all will mean even more students starting 2018-19 in year 12 at Anthony Gell’s Sixth Form, while others have secured highly rated apprenticeships or alternative training pathways.
There were smiles all round at Lady Manners School in Bakewell too, as students recorded another excellent year.
227 Year 11 students took exams this year across a range of 25 subjects. 78 per cent attained at least a grade 4 in English and maths—down two per cent on 2018—and 56 per cent achieved grades 9-5 in both subjects.
There were particularly strong performances this year in art, business, biology, chemistry, physics, construction, drama, engineering, French, German, IT, and music, with 38 students achieving at least eight full GCSEs at grade 7 or above.
Headteacher Gary Peat said that “Students and staff have worked extremely hard and their successes are well deserved.
“My staff and I are delighted for the many students who have achieved the results they need to take their next steps in education and are now able to follow their chosen academic or vocational pathways.”
He added: We wish them all the very best of luck in their futures, whether they join us at Lady Manners School Sixth Form in September or continue their studies elsewhere.”