All smiles on GCSE results day at Smithdon High
- Credit: Chris Bishop
There were smiles in the sunshine on GCSE results day at a school where every student achieved the grades they needed to make the next move of their choice.
Leavers and parents praised the support they had received from Smithdon High School throughout lockdown, as the long-awaited envelopes were opened.
Jack Bolderstone, from Dersingham, had eight grade 9s and three grade 8s waiting inside his.
"I knew I'd done well in some tests but I wasn't expecting that," said Jack, who is joining the sixth form at Springwood High School from where he eventually hopes to join the RAF as a helicopter pilot.
Hugo Barker, also from Dersingham, had mostly 9s, 8s and 7s in his tally. He said the next stop was Springwood sixth form, adding: "I'm pretty set on university."
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His father Nigel said: "It's amazing, it really i, especially after what they've been through over the last couple of years. I'm so proud of him."
Hugo's mother Sarah added: "We're really impressed with how the school dealt with lockdown and how supportive they were."
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Chloe Eglen achieved a distinction in her favourite subject, music, along with a clutch of sixes and sevens. She said she was looking at university or possibly training to be a teacher after sixth form.
Head John Hirst was on hand to congratulate his former charges as they filed into the hall with parents in tow.
"They've done really well, I'm very pleased for them," he said. "All pupils here should be able to go on to their first choice futures.
"The challenges have just been immense. The first lockdown was very much a learning curve, we were learning what we needed to do.
"When the second came along, we tried to put on a full school day. It was a lot of work for the staff but it won the community over, it was all live lessons."
Smithdon itself is also on the way to its first choice future. The 700-pupil school, housed in a 1950s "new brutalist" building, was included in a list of new builds announced by the government last month.
"It's probably going to be the biggest investment in the town for a long time," said Mr Hirst. "We don't know exactly yet but you're talking millions."
Work is expected to begin within two years.