“I don’t know what to say. It’s Amazing!”- GCSE Day

Date: August 23rd 2019

Following on from some excellent sixth form results last week, students across the Aldridge family of school celebrated their GCSE exam results yesterday with their parents and teachers.

National reporting on GCSEs this week has reflected opinions that the exams in some subjects have got tougher, but this didn’t stop students at Darwen Vale High School achieving some outstanding performances.

Senior Prefect Emily Benn reflected the thoughts of many students up and down the country yesterday. Emily made exceptional progress in English literature and language, achieving 9s in both subjects. She plans to study physical education and psychology at sixth form next and said: “I was not expecting that at all. I was not expecting the 9s. It was a really hard year; the exams were hard.”

Alexander Jarvis, Sophie Briggs and Harry Walker all achieved a Grade 9 in mathematics. Rebecca Scanlan and Olivia Hunter both achieved exceptional Grades in combined science. Rebecca, who is going to Runshaw College to study A-Levels, said: “When I got my results I cried with joy. I really did not think I was going to get them, I thought I would get 6s!”

Vale Principal Matthew Little said: “The results represent a further step forward in our improvement journey. Amongst individual subjects 70% of students achieved a Grade 4 or above in mathematics, well ahead of last year’s national average pass rate”.

“English pass rates continue to be very strong with 75% of students achieving Grades of 4 or above, again 5% ahead of the national average last year. 62% of students achieved Grade 4s in both English and maths and nearly 40% have achieved Grade 5s.”

At nearby Darwen Aldridge Community Academy students were celebrating achieving a haul of top Grades 7-9 in this year’s GCSEs. Of all Grades, 21 were at Grade 9s, 59 Grade 8s and 100 Grade 7s.

This represents a significant increase in top Grades from last year and the academy has improved across all headline measures. Overall 68% of students achieved Grades 9-4 in maths and 66 % in English. Nearly half of passes in both subjects were Graded as “strong” (Grade 5) passes.

There were some exceptional individual student performances at DACA. Charlotte Colin, who is currently in Iceland as part of the Aldridge Foundation / British Explorers expedition, achieved Grade 9s in English literature, maths and geography, Grade 8s in biology, chemistry, English language, physics and Spanish.

Emily Bolton achieved Grade 9s in chemistry and French and Grade 8s in biology, maths and physics and Grade 7s in geography, English language and English literature and religious studies. Emily said: “I am really overwhelmed! I am studying biology, chemistry and maths in the sixth form at DACA.”

Zoe Porter achieved Grade 9s in Art, English language, Grade 8s in English literature, Spanish and history and Grade 7 in maths. Zoe’s reaction to her results was “Wow! I’m shaking. I feel a weight has been lifted. I am staying at DACA and I want to study architecture.”

Head Girl Hollie Knowles, who started her own business when she was in Year 9, achieved Grade 9s in history and religious studies, Grade 8s in maths, physics and English language, and Grade 7s in biology, chemistry and English literature. Hollie said: “I feel so relieved. Everyone has been so kind and helped me cope with GCSEs – I am so happy!”

Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio saw a third consecutive year of improvement in its GCSE results. Principal Colin Grand said: “Students join the Studio at age 13 with a career focus in our specialisms. It is fantastic to see such motivated and career driven young people putting down foundations of good GCSE results to build their ambitions upon.”

Typical of that success was Lydia Taylor, who was thrilled with her set of results that included English literature Grade 8, English language Grade 7, maths Grade 8, science Grade 8 & 7, and Film Production Graded Distinction. Lydia stated: “I’m delighted with my results, I intent to continue my study at the Studio in A-level photography, graphic art and film. I aim to have a career in the creative industries, these grades are a strong base to build my career upon.”

Megan Dillon’s results included with Grade 7s in English language and literature, 8 in graphic art and Distinction* in creative media. Megan commented: “I intend to become a creative designer and I’m really pleased with my grades, especially my Grade 8 and Distinction* results.”

Students at UTC@harbourside share that career focus in their subject choices and, in its last set of results with the college closing this summer, attracted praise for the progress students achieved.

Overall the number of UTC students securing a 4 or above in English and maths nearly doubled, jumping to 59%. Nearly a quarter of all exams sat achieved an A* or A, or equivalent, and engineering students secured results that are at least a grade higher than the national average in the subject. In addition, results in science, English and computing all saw significant improvements.

Principal Lisa Jepson reflected: “These results on their own would be very positive, but in the context that they were achieved they are fantastic.”

Catherine Roper, who achieved four 9s, two Distinction*s, two 8s and a 7, said: “I am so relieved and delighted. It was really hard working with the knowledge that the school was going to close and hard to keep a focus of purpose, but I want to thank all the staff for their help in making it all worthwhile and I am really pleased to have gained these results.”

Following record post-16 results last week, BACA also saw overall attainment and progress results increase significantly.

The strongest performance was in English, with 72% of students achieving a Grade 4 or above and 61% a strong pass at Grade 5 or above, results that seem likely to exceed national averages.

Performance in creative and vocational courses was exceptional, with very high pass rates and proportions of students achieving the highest grades – 71% of students achieved Distinction or Distinction * in creative media.

Two years ago Sermed Ghouri’s brother Hmmd set a BACA record 14 passes including 8 top grades. Yesterday was Sermed’s time to celebrate, achieving 10 grades at 7 or above and being on average 3 grades above his targets in each subject.  Sermed said: “I did better than I expected. I’m really proud of my results. I’m going on to study double physics and double maths at sixth form college.”

Overall, BACA students achieved a record number of 40 maximum grades (9 or Distinction *) across 15 different subjects. Four of those were bagged by Amanda Kangai, who also achieved 3 grade 8s, 2 grade 7s & a Distinction*. Amanda is going onto to study A-levels in physics, maths, computer science and economics and was thrilled with her results. “I don’t know what to say. It’s Amazing. Maths was difficult, but I did so well. I’m thinking of studying to become an engineer.”

Amanda’s delighted Mum added: “I’m so pleased and happy for her. She’s worked so hard!”

Mia Rogers achieved 8 grades of 7 or above including a Grade 9. Mia said: “I didn’t expect it. The chemistry exam was difficult, but I did really well. I’m feeling really good about my results!”

Her Mum summed up the feelings of many parents on the day: “It’s great to see her so happy. A great sense of relief and satisfaction.”

Sixteen BACA students achieved on average one grade above their targets across all of their subjects. One of these, Chelsea Hancott, was struggling for words on opening her results. “I can’t believe it, I passed everything! I’m so pleased with what I got, I’m so proud of myself, I don’t know what to say!”

Maths continues to be a great strength at PACA where 70% of students sitting the exam this year achieved the benchmark Grade 9-4. Nearly half gained the “strong pass” Grade 5 or above.

Amongst great individual performers were Guowei Yang and Tim Bonner. Guowei achieved six Grade 9s (including in maths, all the sciences, geography and food technology), a Grade 8 and 3 Grade 7s. Tim secured 5 Grade 9s (in maths, computing, geography, physics and biology), 2 Grade 8s, 2 Grade 7s and a Grade 6.

Guowei said: “PACA was a wonderful experience that allowed me to achieve the grades that I wanted. Throughout my five years here I have gained so much and am extremely thankful to the teachers and staff here who supported me through secondary school.”

Other top performers included Melissa Thomas and Luke Kaukel, who achieved over 2 grades higher than would be forecast from their grades when they arrived at PACA. Both had a great set of results with Melissa achieving a Grade 9 in English literature, 4 Grade 8s and 3 Grade 7s. Luke achieved a top Distinction* in media and a Grade 8 in maths, together with 5 Grade 7s and 2 Grade 6s.

Melissa said: “I’m really pleased with my results. PACA has been a great experience and helped me make great progress. I am really looking forward to going to BHASVIC to do philosophy, history and art.” Luke added: “It has been an absolute honour to spend my time here at PACA. I have enjoyed my whole time, and I feel this school captures a sense of community and togetherness like no other.”

The staff are friendly and always willing to help, and that attitude, I’m sure, gives many students the confidence and motivation to work themselves. I’ll never forget my experience, and I’m forever thankful to PACA: staff and students. Thank you!”

At Kensington Aldridge Academy nearly 20% of all entries were awarded the “high grades” of 7-9. 82% of all grades in English GCSE were at Grade 4 or above (70% Grade 5 or above) and 66% of all grades in Maths GCSE at Grade 4 or above (36% Grade 5 or above).

Principal David Benson paid tribute to the student group as a whole: “I’m proud of what this year group has achieved. They have had a very challenging two years and these results, which are in many cases exceptional, show what they can achieve through hard work and persistence.”

Top performing KAA students included Leila, who achieved five 9s, three 8s and two 6s, with 9s in English language, English literature, history, maths, and biology, and Elijah, who achieved two 9s, four 8s and four 7s. He said “I am happy to be going on to study maths, physics, computer science and history at KAA Sixth Form.”

Top performing KAA students included Leila, who achieved five 9s, three 8s and two 6s, with 9s in English language, English literature, history, maths, and biology, and Elijah, who achieved two 9s, four 8s and four 7s. He said “I am happy to be going on to study maths, physics, computer science and history at KAA Sixth Form.”

Across London at Duke’s Aldridge Academy students celebrated some excellent results in a wide range of subjects including maths, science, music, food preparation & nutrition, textiles, and design technology.

Amongst the highest achievers, with 8 or more grades at 9-7 were Zaynab Ali who got top Grade 9s in all three sciences; Jozefina Cupi, who’s results included top grades in English literature and RE; and Sierra Lan-George-Summana, who achieved Grade 9s in both English and maths.

Felicia Morar attained an average of more than 4 grades higher than expected in each of her ‘Progress 8’ subjects.

One student at UTC@MediaCityUK was neither shaken nor stirred by the progress he made in his GCSE years.

You may not need to have the same name as one of the world’s most famous film characters to succeed at your GCSEs, but it certainly didn’t do 16-year-old James Bond any harm!

Yesterday James celebrated achieving a clutch of ten GCSEs including a Grade 9 in maths, Grade 8s in English language, chemistry, biology and English literature, and a Grade 7 in biology.

James said “I have really enjoyed my time at UTC, I am so happy I made the decision to move schools in Year 10. The staff have been amazing, I am looking forward to my next steps.”

Another high achiever, Nicole Ablott, is looking forward to staying on at the UTC for A-level study. Nicole achieved Grade 9s in English language and photography, Grade 8s in English literature and history, four more GCSE Grade 7s, and a Distinction in TV and film production.

“I totally wasn’t expecting the Grade 9s” says Nicole, “it just doesn’t feel real yet! Studying the subjects already at GCSE level has given me a head start, and I just can’t wait to carry on.”

Jay Nightingale, who is also staying on to study TV and film production after achieving a Distinction in the subject at GCSE level. He explains: “Because the UTC is a creative college, students are able to express their creativity and individuality. In my previous school, I always felt as if I had to pretend to be somebody else to fit in. At the UTC, I can be whoever I want to be. I have become more of myself and have met some lifelong friends.”

Principal Ruth Bradbury summed up the UTC’s progress: “Our results this year have improved in every single measure, and I am truly proud to lead such a wonderful team of staff and students.”

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