Lauren Cope, Reporter
Thursday, August 21, 2014
After months of nervous waiting, GCSE students in south Norfolk finally tore open their all important results envelopes this morning - with emotions running high all round.
There were plenty of happy faces and emotional phone calls home in Wymondham as dozens of talented pupils scored top results.
For Wymondham College student Chloe Berg, the impressive collection of A*s and As came after a difficult year.
The 16-year-old was struck down by a mystery back pain a year before her exams began, which became so severe that she was left unable to sit down for more than ten minutes.
But determined to succeed, Chloe didn’t let the pain deter her and refused to take any time off school - and was rewarded with some of the highest grades in the college.
“I am so chuffed - so happy. It was really hard at times and they had to give me a room by myself or with less people so I could stretch my legs when I needed to. I don’t know what caused the back pain, but I’m grateful it’s getting better now. I’m so happy, and didn’t expect these grades at all,” she said.
Next year Chloe, of Forncett St Peter, plans to study Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths at Wymondham College Sixth Form, with dreams of becoming a midwife or doctor.
Chloe was among a talented line-up of successful students at the college, which included 16-year-old Owen Jack, who scored 12 A*s and now hopes to pursue a career in journalism.
Ken Glover, vice principal, praised the “extremely good” results of students at the college, who faced a tough year of changes to GCSEs, including the removal of some January exams.
“This is a cohort that has experienced significant changes to GCSEs throughout the past two years and they have arguably had it tougher than students in previous year-groups. It makes their successes all the more commendable,” he said.
It was a similar message at Wymondham High Academy, where principal Russell Boulton celebrated a rise in the number of students achieving five A* to C grades - up to 85pc.
The number of pupils achieving A* to C in Maths also rose to 81pc - following a national trend of boosted results in the subject.
In total, grades in 80pc of the school’s subjects increased.
“We are really pleased with the results here. We really think it is important to thank the primaries and everyone that’s played a part in getting the students to where they are today, including parents who have supported the children.
“It’s easy to see us as the end point as that’s where they are now - but it’s a long process,” he said.
Head boy Joshua Field, 16, scored 12 A* grades in his exams - but chose to praise his fellow students instead.
“I’m really pleased with the results, definitely, but I’m also glad that everyone else is so happy with theirs,” he said.
It was mixed emotions at Attleborough Academy Norfolk, after changes to GCSEs saw a dip in results.
But for ecstatic Sophie Spurgeon, the emotion was difficult to contain as she finally opened her results.
The 16-year-old picked up five As and four A*s, allowing her to take the next step towards her dream of working in architecture.
“I’m so shocked - art was one I really struggled with because I love doing it but I’m a perfectionist so I’m hard on myself. I thought I’d scrape a B so to get an A* was incredible.
“It got to the point that exams felt like they were so long ago I had forgotten what even happened,” she said.
Principal Neil McShane praised the school’s “very pleasing” set of results - which saw 48pc of students achieve five A* to Cs in subjects including English and Maths and 56pc in all subjects.
But he admitted that the changes to GCSEs had prompted a dip in English and Maths grades - down from 52pc and 71pc, respectively.
“Our 5 A*-C with English and Maths measure has fallen slightly and this is largely as a result of many of our vocational courses being discounted by the Government this year. Had the measure not changed during the year we would have seen another record set of results today.
“Congratulations to our students and thank you to all our staff for their hard work and to our parents and carers and our governors for their continuing support,” he said.
Joyous students at Hethersett Old Hall School were in high spirits this morning as they picked up glowing results - with 94pc achieving A* to C grades.
Among the talented pupils was top performer Megan Groom, who worked her way to eight A*s and four As.
Deputy head Joanna Collin praised the 18 talented GCSE students. She said: “I would like to congratulate our pupils on this year’s exam success which is due to the dedication of both students and staff and the sustained support of parents. This year group have worked hard, exceeded their targets and truly fulfilled their potential.”
Just down the road, Hethersett Academy Principal Gareth Stevens saw 61pc of students achieving five A* to Cs in subjects including English and Maths - a boost from last year’s 57pc.
A third of students achieved three or more A* to A grades.
Principal Gareth Stevens: “We are really pleased with these excellent results from our wonderful year 11 students. This is truly a fantastic achievement and I am really proud that the hard work of the students, teachers and supportive families, has produced such magnificent results. We wish our students the very best for the future as they leave us to move into education and beyond.”
• Old Buckenham
There might have been a dip in English grades around the country, but students at Old Buckenham were none the wiser as they celebrated an 17pc rise in the number of students achieving A* to C grades.
The number of students picking up the top grades in subjects including English and Maths rocketed from 47pc last year to 64pc this year.
Headteacher Aron Whiles said he was “delighted and very proud” of the pupils.
“A 17pc improvement in the 5A* to C including English and Maths results is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our fantastic students, staff, governors and the unwavering support offered by our parents and families,” he said.
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