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Celebration at city schools as majority mark strong A-level results

PUBLISHED: 13:34 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:34 16 August 2018

Mohammad Ali, 17, celebrates getting four A* with fellow medical students, Jess Scarlett, 17, left, and Ella Regester, 18, as students collect their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mohammad Ali, 17, celebrates getting four A* with fellow medical students, Jess Scarlett, 17, left, and Ella Regester, 18, as students collect their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

There were celebrations in most corners of Norwich as students at city schools shook off tougher exams to score top grades.

Mohammad Ali, 17, celebrates getting four A* with fellow medical students, Jess Scarlett, 17, left, and Ella Regester, 18, as students collect their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMohammad Ali, 17, celebrates getting four A* with fellow medical students, Jess Scarlett, 17, left, and Ella Regester, 18, as students collect their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The majority of students and staff were enjoying strong results, with many even noting improved scores on last year.

Hellesdon High School saw their figure increase from 76pc to 86pc, which sixth form director Richard Taylor said was one of its highest results.

“There have been some outstanding grades achieved across a range of subjects and this is particularly impressive considering this year’s cohort have had the challenge of studying new and reformed qualifications,” he said.

But they weren’t alone - City College Norwich, City of Norwich School, Jane Austen College, Sprowston High, University Technical College Norfolk, Ormiston Victory Academy and Taverham High all recorded increases on last year, despite a particularly challenging climate.

Students Hannah Peart, 18, left, and Hannah Pentney, 18, celebrate their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStudents Hannah Peart, 18, left, and Hannah Pentney, 18, celebrate their A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

At Thorpe St Andrew, the rate of A* to C grades rose from 78pc to 81pc this year. Principal Ian Clayton said he was “very proud” of the students, praising their “magnificent results”.

He said: “Individual performances are what count today with so many smiling faces because they got their places at university, they’re clear where they’re going, or they’ve got their places going on to work which is really important.”

Among the students celebrating was Marc Mills, 18, who said: “I got into Cambridge to study archaeology. I got an A in biology, history and archaeology. I’m speechless – I thought I messed up some of the exams but obviously not!”

Mohammed Ali, 17, said he got four A*s and was “lost for words”.

Lucy Spratling, 18, collects her A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School before she heads off on a gap year, and then will start at the UEA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLucy Spratling, 18, collects her A-Level results at the Thorpe St Andrew High School before she heads off on a gap year, and then will start at the UEA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Even where results dipped, it was only up to three percentage points for most schools, with the Norwich School recording 94pc A* to C grades and Norwich High School for Girls achieving 88pc.

At INTO University of East Anglia’s Newton programme, 96pc achieved the top grades, and at Open Academy 73pc of grades were A* to C.

At Notre Dame High School’s sixth form, 81pc of grades were A* C, while at Sir Isaac Newton, three quarters of grades fell in the top bracket.

Principal Chris Jennings praised students’ “exceptionally strong results”.

Marc Mills celebrates an A* and two A grades in his  A-Levels at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMarc Mills celebrates an A* and two A grades in his A-Levels at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MORE: Live list of results from Norfolk and Waveney



While most Norwich schools saw their results improve, or stay on an even keel, one noted a larger dip.

The Hewett Academy saw its percentage of A* to C grades drop from 61pc last year to 52pc this year.

In 2016, the school’s A-level results were 76pc.

Marc Mills celebrates an A* and two A grades in his  A-Levels at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMarc Mills celebrates an A* and two A grades in his A-Levels at the Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It comes during a time of flux for the sixth form, with plans afoot to introduce new courses for students starting this September.

Principal Rebecca Handley Kirk said: “I would like to congratulate all our students on their results, and their many individual achievements. We look forward to building on them with our new BTEC Plus courses starting in September.”

The BTEC Plus programmes, which were announced in November, which see students study a two-year BTEC course and an optional matched A-level. They will be equivalent to three A-levels.

A-Level results day 2018 at Norwich School. Photo: Keith WhitmoreA-Level results day 2018 at Norwich School. Photo: Keith Whitmore

An 18-year-old kayaker achieved four A-levels while training for his sport’s world marathon championships.

Luke Shaw, of Norwich School, gained an A* in maths, A grades in chemistry and politics and a B in further maths.

He has an unconditional offer to the University of Nottingham where he plans to study economics.

Mr Shaw, from Bramerton, will compete in the junior men’s category for Great Britain at the kayak marathon world championships in Portugal next month.

A-Level results day 2018 at Norwich School. Photo: Keith WhitmoreA-Level results day 2018 at Norwich School. Photo: Keith Whitmore

“I’m hoping to get top 10, but hopefully better than top 10, we’ll see,” he said.

Head of school Phoebe Crane, 18, achieved an A* in biology and A grades in chemistry and maths despite missing weeks of study due to glandular fever.

She will study chemical engineering at Birmingham.

The Norwich School celebrated strong results overall, with 94pc of grades between A* and C, only a slight dip on last year’s 96pc.

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