Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Independents praise hard-working pupils

INDEPENDENT schools enjoyed another year of successful A-level results.

INDEPENDENT schools enjoyed another year of successful A-level results.

The overall pass rate at Shiplake College was 99 per cent, compared with 97 per cent last year. The proportion of A* and A grades increased by almost 10 per cent to 36 per cent.

Headmaster Gregg Davies said the results reinforced the findings of a recent inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate which rated the college as “excellent” across all categories.

He continued: “The outstanding grades achieved by sixth-form pupils demonstrate again the considerable strength of teaching and learning at Shiplake College.

“I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate our students on their achievements, which are a reflection of the endeavour and resilience they have displayed during their time at Shiplake.

“I would also like to warmly praise my colleagues for repeatedly going above and beyond to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.” Freddie Ireland achieved A*s in maths, further maths and physics and will read mechanical engineering at Claire College, Cambridge.

He said: “I am over the moon to have got into Cambridge. I knew meeting the offer of three A*s was going to be a real challenge but I am glad the hard work has paid off.”

Freddie thanked his teachers, particularly Jess Vigg, head of maths, for their help.

Henry Cawthorne is heading to America to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire after receiving an unconditional offer of a scholarship.

Katie Webster achieved an A* in theatre studies and two A grades in English and maths. She is currently performing with the college’s theatre group at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and hopes to pursue a career in acting.

Harry Chapples, Jamie Mottram and Eleanor Waite all achieved straight As.

At the Oratory School for boys in Woodcote, the overall pass rate was 89 per cent compared with 94 per cent last year and 98 per cent in 2013.

However, the number of boys achieving three or more A*s increased for the third year running.

The figure was just over 22 per cent compared with 19 per cent last year and 13.5 per cent in 2013.

Forty-one per cent of boys achieved A* or A grades, up from 38 per cent last year.

Rory Cormack, of Northfield End, Henley, was awarded an A* in art, an A in geography and a B in classical civilisation.

The 18-year-old, who will study geography at the University of Exeter, said: “I’ve got my predicted grades, which I didn’t expect so it’s a great day for me.

“I haven’t decided what I want to do after uni yet and I’m taking it one step at a time.”

Oliver Davies, of Wallingford Road, Goring, achieved an A* in geography and an A in Latin. He also studied for a Cambridge Pre-U diploma in art and got the highest rade of D1. Oliver, who will study classics at Durham University, said: “I feel great — it’s such a relief to finally know.

“My mum was really proud and cried when she heard the news.”

Alex White, of Russet Glade, Emmer Green, achieved an A* in maths and A grades in physics, French and chemistry.

He will study mechanical engineering at the University of Bath.

Alex said: “I’m fairly happy with how I did. I was a few marks off what I’d hoped for in a couple of subjects but I guess that happens. I got my first choice of university and I’m pretty glad about that.”

Oratory headmaster Adrian Wyles, who has just taken over from Clive Dytor, said: “I’m delighted with what I’m seeing.

“The pupils have worked so hard for those grades and to go to universities at the top end of their aspiration. It’s really exciting and creates a strong base for us to build on.”

At Queen Anne’s School for girls in Caversham the overall pass rate was 99 per cent, up one per cent on a year ago. Exactly 50 per cent of all passes were at A* or A, an increase of 17 per cent on last year.

Ninety-three per cent of grades were A* to C and 77 per cent were A* to B. Twenty-one per cent of girls achieved straight A*/A grades. Lara Sharrock, from Checkendon, secured a place at Oxford University to study human sciences after achieving an A* in geography and A grades in biology and English literature. She said: “I’ve been on holiday in Spain which helped me relax. It was fun and took my mind off things.”

Sophie Grundy, of St Andrew’s Road, Henley, was awarded an A* in English literature and As in fine art and geography. She will study geography at Exeter University.

Sophie said: “It feels amazing to get in and a massive relief. Geography was my favourite subject which is why I chose it.”

Headmistress Julia Harrington said: “We are extremely proud of the girls’ A-level achievements.

“This is an excellent set of results across the board, for which the girls have worked extremely hard.

“I am delighted that so many of our girls have been successful in attaining places on the most competitive courses in the country, including places at Oxford, UCL and Russell Group universities and I wish them every success for the future.”

At Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning, there was a 100 per cent pass rate. The results were some of the school’s best ever with 38 out of the 127 candidates achieving grades at A* or A.

Forty-six per cent of all grades were A* or A, 79.3 per cent A* to B and 95 per cent at A* to C.

Twins Will and Bryony Walker, from Shiplake, each achieved two A*s and an A. Bryony has a place to read psychology at Bath University and Will will study economics and management at Bristol.

The twins joined Blue Coat in the sixth form from Gillotts School in Henley. Bryony said: “It’s a big relief and now I am going to enjoy a holiday Interrailing.”

Tom Marino, Matthew Price and Jesse Pajwani all achieved four A*s in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry and will going to either Oxford or Cambridge.

Tom, who was deputy head boy, will take up a place at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge to read engineering.

He said: “I chose Sidney Sussex because it has a big engineering intake and its own engineering society but also because it’s a medium-sized college with its own gym and amazing food!”

Two other students, Louise French and Daniel Knox, also achieved all A* grades.

Headmaster Michael Windsor said: “I am absolutely delighted for our A-level candidates who are celebrating such a strong set of results.

“It’s great that their hard work and commitment have paid off and they can now move on from Blue Coat with confidence to an exciting range of university courses with a bright future ahead of them.

“The results are also testament to the professionalism and application of their teachers, who have shared in the joy and relief of the students on this emotional day.

“Congratulations are also due to our year 12 students who have achieved our best ever AS results and have established a strong platform for success in their A-levels next year.”

Emily Wilson, from Harpsden, gained four A* grades in maths, further maths, biology and chemistry at the Abbey School in Reading.

She said: “I didn’t think the exams had gone quite that well, so I am very happy.”

She has secured a place to study medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where her parents Richard and Anna studied engineering and veterinary science respectively. Emily said: “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve kind of wanted to go since I was five,” she said.

Classmate Jennifer Aspden, from Henley, also achieved four A*s and will study physics at Oxford.

Alice Bjaaland, from Sonning Common, gained straight A grades and will study computer science at the University of Bath.

She will be joined there by Emma Frood, from Shiplake, who will study biochemistry after achieving an A* and two A grades.

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