There was delight and joy for many pupils at Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School this morning, as they secured impressive GCSE results.
While it is difficult to make comparisons to previous years – as the grading system has changed for numerous subjects – headteacher Maurice Hall praised the students’ success, saying they have produced a remarkable set of results.
This year, English and maths GCSEs are very different, with English being assessed entirely by written exams and both subjects now graded numerically (1 to 9), with a Grade 4+ being the old C and above; Grade 7+ being the old A and above; and Grade 9 is at the top end of the old A*. All other subjects are still graded A* to G, or Pass to Distinction for BTEC courses.
At the Duchess’s, 70 per cent scored a Grade 4 or above in English and maths, with one-in-five achieving five or more grades at A (or Grade 7) and above. Twenty-four per cent of grades overall are at A or above.
Mr Hall said: “These are significant improvements on the previous year and speak volumes as to the hard work and dedication shown by this year group.”
Among the shining stars, the school had three students who achieved the full house – Grade 9s in English language; English literature; and maths; an A** in further maths; and A*s in all their other subjects. These were Emma Hutchings; Catherine Jackson; and Oscar Wilson. Meanwhile, Isaac Mills achieved nearly the same, except for two A grades instead of A*s.
Reflecting on her impressive haul, a delighted Catherine, from Alnwick, said: “I really didn’t expect that; I was really scared that I would fail English language.”
But she needn’t have worried. Alongside her Grade 9s and Distinction Stars, she scored her A*s in art/design; music; core science; additional science; further science; French and geography.
She will be returning to the high school in September to start the sixth-form, where she is set to study maths; further maths; French; and chemistry.
‘Overwhelming!’ That is how Oscar described his incredible grades.
“I didn’t think I would get half of those grades, it feels quite surreal,” said the Alnwick teen, who admitted he worked hard in the run-up to the exams.
That effort certainly paid off for Oscar, having secured his A*s in computer science; drama; history; science; French; additional science; and further science.
He is now looking forward to starting sixth-form, where he will study maths; further maths; physics; and theatre studies.
Emma will be celebrating her fine GCSE showing State-side, as she is currently away in America.
Meanwhile, Isaac, from Alnwick, said he felt amazing after opening his envelope and unveiling a top-notch set of results.
As well as those Grade 9s in maths and English literature and language, plus the A** in further maths, he secured A*s in history; additional science; further science; French; and geography; plus As in core science; and drama.
He said: “I was hoping to do this well, but I was quite nervous this morning. I am especially pleased with my three Grade 9, because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.”
Isaac is set to study maths; further maths; biology; and chemistry.
The impressive showing at the Duchess’s did not stop there. Alongside these students, there were a further 14 pupils who achieved at least five A*s or Grades 8 or 9 in their subjects.
These included Imogen Horrocks; Lucy Hodgson; Molly Baxter; and Harriet Renner.
Imogen, from Warkworth, admitted she was really relieved with her results and that she did better than she thought she would do, adding that her hard work had paid off.
The teenager earned a Grade 9 in maths; a Grade 8 in English literature; and a Grade 7 in English language; as well as A*s in RE; additional science; further science; textiles; and geography; and As in core science; French and further maths.
She will be taking maths; further maths; physics; and RE.
A delighted Lucy said she was very happy with her grades, which included Grade 8s in maths and English language, as well as a Grade 7 in English literature. She also obtained A*s in RE; additional science; further science; French; and geography; and As in art; and core science; and a B in further maths.
The Lesbury lass is looking forward to studying maths; chemistry; and French at the Duchess’s sixth-form in September.
‘It feels amazing’. That was how Molly summed up her delight after discovering she had fared very well in the exams. The Felton teenager walked away with Grade 8s in maths; English language; and literature, as well as A*s in art; music; additional science; and geography; plus As in core science; and French. She also scored Bs in further science; and further maths.
Up next for Molly is sixth-form, where she will study geography; biology; and RE.
Harriet, from Yetlington, was another student toasting a job well done, having scored Grade 8s in maths; English language; and English literature. She also earned A*s in art and music; as well as As in history; core science; additional science; further science; French; and further maths.
She is going on to do double maths; physics; and music at the Duchess’s sixth-form.
Reflecting on the results and the hard work of the students, Mr Hall added: “Overall, 84 grades across English and maths have been graded at Grade 8 or 9. I cannot overemphasise the level of achievement gained by these students.
“As a school we consider success with a broad brush and alongside the outstanding outcomes in English and maths we have seen major success and/or improvement in art; French; geography; music; physical education; health and social care; science; and textiles.
“To see so many smiles on faces after such a long and anxious wait provides everyone associated with our school with a real sense of satisfaction. Every year in education seems to bring upheaval and there is no doubt, both locally and nationally, we have faced and continue to face major change.
“I am extremely proud of what our students have achieved with the support of their teachers and families.
“The start of September sees our school become an 11 to 18 secondary school. We look forward to working with our younger students to make sure they achieve the same impressive outcomes that this year group has managed to achieve.”