Norwich GCSE results: A day of great improvements and some disappointments

Sewell Park College students collect their GCSE results.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sewell Park College students collect their GCSE results.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Schools in Norwich saw wildly contrasting fortunes in a day which saw some make impressive improvements, while others failed to move out of disappointing territory.

Sewell Park College was celebrating record highs, following a difficult few years. The college, which will become an academy next month. announced 45pc of pupils gained at least five A*-C's, including English and maths - up from 34pc in 2014.

Wasim Silmi, 16, who achieved nine A* grades and one A, is hoping to become the first person in his family to go to university.

He said: 'I'm delighted with my results and have managed to do better than I initially expected. I'm looking forward to continuing my studies and hopefully I can get the grades to go on to study at university.'

For one Sewell Park student, the GCSE exam period posed a lot more problems than they first anticipated.

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Sadie Drane was struck down with appendicitis just days before her exams were taking place, and said: 'I had my appendix removed on the Monday and by Wednesday I was in the exam hall.'

Fortunately for Sadie, she was still able to achieve the 5 A*-C's required for her to enrol at City College in September where she will be studying hairdressing.

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'The school was brilliant with me and all the teachers were extremely helpful. I missed a couple of exams but I managed to get a good grade in maths and English so I'm really happy with that.'

Thorpe St Andrew High School was also in high spirits after 64pc of students gained at least five A*-C's, including English and maths, a 2pc rise from last year's results.

Amy Bygrave, who gained five A* grades said: 'There was so much pressure during the exam period and it is such a relief now it's finally over.'

Sprowston High School recorded a double digit increase in pupils gaining the gold standard, a result the headteacher Andrew John hailed as 'just the best results'.

However, City Academy Norwich, a multi-million pound flagship academy which replaced Earlham High School, recorded poor results for the third year in a row, with 28pc of pupils getting the gold standard.

It was the third time it had failed to pass the 30pc barrier, and remained well below the government's 40pc floor measure.

The schools said it was appealing a large number of grades.

Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey, which had recorded 73pc of pupils gaining the gold standard in 2013, when it was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, saw results fail to recover from last year's crash. This year, they fell by a further 1 percentage point, to 40pc.

And the Hewett School, which has been at the centre of a bitter row over government plans for it to become an academy, saw results fall by 2 percentage points to 42pc.

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