December 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The nervous wait was finally over this morning, as pupils across central Norfolk opened their GCSE results.
The picture was mixed, with some schools reporting improved results and others down on last year.
At Neatherd High School in Dereham, there was an increase in the number of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades - from 67pc last year to 73pc this year - but a decrease in the number of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including maths and English - from 57pc last year to 55pc this year.
Headteacher Peter Devonish said the school had a great English department and that “staff and students could not have worked harder”.
“Unfortunately the results mirror a national pattern that is emerging,” he said.
The number of pupils at Northgate High School achieving five or more A* to C grades including maths and English has stayed the same - at 59pc. But the percentage of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs with A* to C grades decreased from 71pc to 61pc.
Headteacher Glyn Hambling said: “The results represent a tremendous performance at Northgate, with another set of results that pay testament to the wonderful learning partnerships that exist at the school. 83pc of pupils met their expected levels of progress in English, and 65pc in Maths.”
Fakenham Academy saw its second best ever set of results, which according to principal Matthew Parr-Burman were “not far off last year’s record results”.
The percentage of pupils with five or more A* to C grades dropped from 58pc to 56pc and the percentage of pupils with five or more A* to C grades falling from 67pc to 64pc.
There were a number of outstanding performances, including some pupils who managed to overcome difficult personal situations.
Fakenham Academy pupil Liberty Hull achieved seven A and four A* grades at GCSE, despite having had six weeks off school for a back operation.
Liberty, 16, cried when she opened her results, having not expected to do as well as her classmates because she missed so many lessons.
She was diagnosed with scoliosis after a teacher noticed a lump in her back in a woodwork class in Year 9.
The condition, which is an abnormal curvature of the spine to the sides, started causing her back to ache and in the first year of her GCSEs, Liberty had to go into hospital for an operation to straighten her spine.
“I was really worried about school, I thought I was going to miss out on what everyone else was doing,” she said.
“I didn’t think I was going to do as well as everyone else. But when I was in hospital, I got a teacher and even though I wasn’t well enough to do the work everyone else was doing in class, I tried to keep up.”
Liberty worked so hard, she even managed to complete her English Language GCSE a year early.
“I got some text books and did some work while I was at home recovering,” she said.
“When I got back to school, I was determined to catch up and I did. I didn’t expect to do this well. I was crying when I got my results.”
Liberty says she is excited about studying chemistry, biology, psychology and Spanish at A-level and thinks she would like a career in science when she is older.
Northgate High School in Dereham saw a raft of high-achieving pupils including Abbie Currington, from Market Street in Shipdham, who scored 12 A*s and one A grade.
The 16-year-old said: “I am relieved and really happy. It is what I hoped for, but I wouldn’t say it was what I expected.
“I want to study natural sciences at Cambridge eventually, so it meant I had to do really well with my GCSEs. I think it is because I have always wanted to be the best that I can be, and Cambridge encapsulates that.”
Among the students celebrating at Dereham’s Neatherd High School was Abby Miller, from Gorse Close in Scarning, who scored eight A* grades and three As.
The 16-year-old will now go on to Dereham Sixth Form College where she hopes to study for A Levels in biology, chemistry, maths and art, craft and design.
“I am speechless,” she said. “I thought I was going to be awful at some of them. I am very surprised, and just really pleased that all the hard work has paid off.”
Although she has no exact career path in mind yet, she said she needed good GCSEs to give her a better chance of securing a place at one of the country’s top universities in two years’ time. “I was born in Cambridge, so there is a possibility I might want to return,” she said.
One of the standout pupils at Swaffham’s Nicholas Hamond Academy was Zoe Chen.
Having learnt English as an additional language she has gone on to get some of the top marks at her school and is pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer.
She said: “I am happy. I wasn’t sure what I would get so I was very nervous.
Zoe achieved two A*s, four As, three Bs and a C and will be attending Springwood Sixth Form, in King’s Lynn, next term.
ALDERMAN PEEL HIGH SCHOOL, WELLS
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 50pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 69pc
“Staff have worked tirelessly with these children who have made excellent progress. Congratulations to all involved. We have requested many papers to be remarked and fully expect the figures to rise.” Alastair Ogle, headteacher.
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 56pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 64pc
“This is the second best ever set of results – we are really pleased. We were not far off last year’s record results. Results in English have been very good, with 71pc of students gaining a C or better. I am really proud of our students, staff and parents. There have been some amazing results – including Alex Caesari who achieved 10 A*s and one A grade, while a further six students have achieved 10 or more GCSEs with A* or A grades.” Principal Matthew Parr-Burman.
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 58.4pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 71pc
“We are proud and delighted that we have seen another rise in our results across the board this year. It is a reflection of the hard work of our fantastic students and dedicated staff. We are particularly happy that many subjects stand comparison with the best schools in the country. Maths did really well but we were a bit affected by the changes to the English GCSE – the results were better than last year but not as good as we hoped. There are a number of remarks we will be asking for, particularly in English,” Jim Adams, headteacher.
NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOL, DEREHAM
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 55pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 73pc
“We are disappointed with the 55pc, when the vast majority of subjects are getting 70-plus. But the staff and the students have all worked very hard and that is reflected in the 73pc. We have got some fantastic results in sciences, drama and ICT. We have got a very hard-working English department. They really know what they are doing, and the staff and the students could not have worked harder, but unfortunately the results mirror a national pattern that is emerging.” Peter Devonish, headteacher.
NICHOLAS HAMOND ACADEMY, SWAFFHAM
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 40pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 45pc
“We are immensely proud of the hard work and determination these students have shown in working to get the best grades possible. They should be justifiably proud of their achievements. As an academy team we are frustrated by these results which we feel do not reflect the true progress our students have made. The positives are: rates of progress in English are now comparable to national averages, the proportion of students passing EBacc subjects and the progress of students eligible for Pupil Premium and with Special Educational Needs has improved. Changes to grade boundaries, particularly in maths, have had an impact on overall outcomes and, in line with schools nationwide, this has affected our results.” Cheryl Hill, principal.
NORTHGATE HIGH SCHOOL, DEREHAM
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 59pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 61pc
“I am extremely proud of our pupils’ achievements this year, and the results represent a tremendous performance at Northgate, with another set of results that pay testament to the wonderful learning partnerships that exist at the school. 83pc of pupils met their expected levels of progress in English, and 65pc in Maths. The school has invested in developing English language and literature in the last three years, making it the backbone of the curriculum because of the influence it can have across the board. 74pc of students got A*-C in English, and 71pc in English literature. We are particularly pleased with the results on first-entry performance and we wish our Year 11s the very best in future.” Glyn Hambling, headteacher.
REEPHAM HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 60pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 65pc
“We are very pleased with these results. These figures are the ones that will be published in the government league tables. In terms of the progress made between the age of 11 and GCSE examinations, Reepham students again achieved well above the national average. One in five of all GCSE grades was at A*/A, 14pc of pupils achieved five or more GCSE grades at A*/A and 37pc gained the EBACC (compared to a national average of 23pc in 2013). Our highest achieving pupils were Tom Casburn and Dorothea Fox who gained 21 A* grades between them. Congratulations to all students for their hard work and thank you to all parents for their wonderful support over the past five years.” Mark Farrar, principal.
SACRED HEART SCHOOL, SWAFFHAM
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths:62.5pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 81.25pc
“We are very pleased and proud as usual. This year we had a very small cohort of pupils, which included some who have been with us since Reception and others who joined after Year 7. We also had students for whom English was not their first language and we think they have done really well. Some pupils who did particularly well were Elise Sorrell, 16, who got nine A*s and two As, Hope Mumford, 16, who got seven A*s, three As and two Bs and head girl Joanna Simon, who got two A*s, three As and five Bs. She could do everything – and was a lovely public speaker,” said headteacher Sister Francis Ridler.
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths: 46pc
Percentage of students with five or more A*-C grades: 60pc
“Things have improved since last year and I am really proud that all the ability groups have improved their rates of progress which is very important to us. We have a whole range of different ability groups and it is good to see them all do well. There is obviously talk about things being more difficult for young people. We still do BTEC qualifications for those that it suits.” Michael Rose, executive principal.