Amy Miller-Trotter and Milena Lukic.Amy Miller-Trotter and Milena Lukic.
Amy Miller-Trotter and Milena Lukic.

GCSE joy - and relief - for students at Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick

Although England has seen its steepest drop in GCSE passes, many students at Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick have achieved what they need to take the next step in their education.

Students are still feeling the effects of the disruption to learning caused by the pandemic, and now with the GCSE results having been brought closer to where they were in 2019, there are mixed feelings about their grades.

Alisdair Ritchie, Head of Year 11, said: “I think there has been a fair few students who have come in today and they're very nervous and that showed in some of the reactions. But generally speaking, quite positive.

“They’ve faced everything. There's like a sense of pride amongst the teachers.

“I tell every student ‘well done’ no matter their results. Students ask me ‘why’ and I say ‘because you've come in on a tough day like this to collect your results in person when you could have stayed at home’.

"They come in to collect them, not knowing really what they might be like in some cases, good or bad, and you're going to have this moment face to face. That is terrifying. At their age I never did that, results were posted out, so this is resilience. They’ll be an asset wherever they go.”

One of Duchess’s high achieving students, Louis Mascall, was proud of his grade 7s in history and English and plans to stay at DCHS to study A-Levels in history, English Literature and classical civilisations.

Another student who was pleased was Amy Miller-Trotter.

She said: “Honestly I’m most proud of geography, I didn’t think I’d get a 7.”

She was also pleased with a 6 for DT.

"I’m sound with that,” she said.

Like many students, Amy has a decision to make on whether she goes on to study A-levels or takes one of the many other routes.

"I feel like I've got what I needed if I wanted to do A-levels, but I'm debating it,” she added.

James Wilson, co-head, said: “We have 120 students coming back to sixth form, and 10 external students. We have 50 students away to apprenticeships this year, which shows the real strength of the apprenticeship offer in north Northumberland.

“We are really proud of the students this year who have achieved an incredible set of results.”

For any students thinking about joining DCHS on September 6, some places are available. Email: [email protected]

“They’ve faced everything. There's like a sense of pride amongst the teachers.