West Norfolk schools pleased with results in tougher times

Students from King Edward VII High School get their A-Level results. From left, Victoria Ribina, Ana

Students from King Edward VII High School get their A-Level results. From left, Victoria Ribina, Anastaija Krimova, Lauren Moore, Sammy Edris, Jack Lambourne, Angelica Celinska, Natalja Zvonarjova and Jessica Barnard with their results. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Headteachers at west Norfolk schools said they were pleased with similar or improved A-level results compared to last year at a time when the number of students achieving top grades nationally has fallen.

Among the top performers were Springwood High School, in King's Lynn, which registered a 10pc improvement in the number of students getting A* to C grades, and Hunstanton's Smithdon High School, which achieved a 67pc A*-C pass rate compared to 58pc in 2012.

Downham Market Academy and the King Edward VII School scored the same results as last year, with A*-C pass rates of 65pc and 64pc respectively, but the College of West Anglia's A*-C pass rate dropped from 73.5pc to 66.5pc.

Principal David Pomfret said the majority of students would still be able to get into their first choice university. They include Aysha Bellamy, 18, of Elm High Road, Wisbech, whose two A* grades in human biology and psychology and A in English mean she is going to try and upgrade to Cambridge University.

Jon Goodchild, headteacher of Smithdon High School, said his school's results showed it had made 'rapid progress in every area during the last five years'.

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'The leap in the percentage of students gaining the highest grades at A-level is excellent news for the school, as well as the students themselves,' he said.

Smithdon also recorded a rise in the percentage of students achieving A*-B grades, from 26pc last year to 40pc this year.

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Andy Johnson, headteacher of Springwood High School, said he was 'very happy'. 'It is a testament to the hard work of students and staff,' he said. Fifty-two per cent of Springwood's grades were in the A* to B range, while 8pc of grades were A*s.

One of the top performers was Claire Russell who achieved A* grades in biology, chemistry and maths who will now go on to study medicine at Newcastle University.

Downham Market Academy principal Jon Ford said his school's results 'show strong improvement from last year'. High performers included Matthew Willshire, who scored two A*s and an A, and James Goodwin got three A grades and will study physics at university.

Mike Douglass, principal at the King Edward VII School, said: 'To hold our own when it is more difficult for students to achieve the top grades makes this a very pleasing set of results.'

Craig Morrison, principal of King's Lynn Academy, which had a 67pc A*-C pass rate, said: 'Many students have exceeded their targets in these exams and are now continuing on to university places.'

In Fenland, there was also success for pupils at Wisbech Grammar School after they achieved a 100pc pass rate at A-level with 89pc A*-C grades, an improvement of 9pc on last year.

Headmaster Nicholas Hammond said: 'In a year when we have been told that high grades would be harder to achieve it is fantastic to see that our upper sixth form students have performed at such a high level.'

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