Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Records broken but results are mixed

SCHOOLS in Henley, South Oxfordshire and Berkshire saw mixed performances with their GCSE results.

SCHOOLS in Henley, South Oxfordshire and Berkshire saw mixed performances with their GCSE results.

Some set records while others reported a decrease in the proportion of students achieving the important A* to C grades marker. Some fell below the national average of 69 per cent.

At Gillotts School

in Henley 74 per cent achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

This was seven per cent down on last year’s record of 81 per cent but still better than the 72 per cent achieved in both 2012 and 2013.

Twenty-four per cent of all results were A* or A grade, down from 42 per cent last year.

Ten per cent of students achieved eight or more A* or A grades, down from almost a third last year.

Twenty-two per cent of all pupils achieved A or A* in maths with 83 per cent of pupils achieving a C grade or better.

In English language 77 per cent of students achieved a C grade or better with 20 per cent gaining an A* or A grade.

More than 50 per cent of grades in biology, chemistry and physics were A* or A grade.

Headteacher Catharine Darnton said: “Over recent years we have seen a marked improvement in results at Gillotts and we are delighted that this year’s results have confirmed us as one of the consistently best-performing schools in Oxfordshire as a consequence of the commitment and hard work of the students and staff.

“I am very proud of all that the students have achieved and would also like to recognise all the support that students have received from their families.

“These results come about through successful collaboration between student, teachers and parents.”

The top performer was Jordan Poulos, 16, of Blandy Road, Henley, who achieved nine A*s and one A grade.

Jordan, who started his exam preparation in January, said: “I’m really happy with my grades.”

He is going on to Reading Boys’ School to study history, maths, chemistry and history at A-level.

“I want to study medicine at degree level and the school has a high rate of students who go on to do that,” he said. “My granddad and uncle are both doctors so I’m looking to follow in their footsteps.”

Luke Heppenstall, 16, of Chilterns End Close, Henley, achieved seven A*s and two A grades.

He said: “I worked consistently for the two months before the exams. I’m happy it all paid off.” He is going to Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow to study for A-levels in maths, psychology, government and politics and economics.

Luke said he was happy to have outperformed his older sister Megan.

“She got all A grades but I got more A*s,” he said. “She went to Borlase for her A-levels as well and just got accepted into Cardiff University.”

Marcus Dagshaw, 16, of Valley Road, Henley, achieved an A*, four A grades, four Bs and a C and has been awarded a music scholarship to Shiplake College.

“I can play guitar, piano and bass,” he said. “The college has got a really good music department, so that’s one of the A-levels I’ll be doing there, along with maths, economics and history. Sport is also really good at Shiplake and I’m thinking about taking up rowing.”

At the Piggott School in Wargrave 75.2 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths, a 0.2 per cent increase on last year and a school record.

Ninety per cent of all pupils passed maths, 88 per cent passed English literature, 86 per cent passed science and 79 per cent passed English language. James Kirker, 16, of Silverdale Road, Wargrave, achieved two A*s, five A grades and four Bs.

He will be staying on at Piggott to study maths, geography and economics at A-level.

James, who hopes to follow his father into a career in engineering, said: “I did a lot of revision so I was expecting this level of results.”

He will be joined in the sixth form by Tom Prior, 16, of Victoria Road, Wargrave, who achieved one A grade, nine Bs and a C.

Tom said: “I’m going on to study graphics, business and Cambridge technical, which is based on IT skills. I want to work in graphics so the IT will tie in with that.”

Headteacher Derren Gray called the school’s results “fantastic”.

He said: “Our students and staff work exceptionally hard and this is evidenced once again in this year’s GCSE results.

“Our vocational courses were equally successful with a 100 per cent pass rate in BTEC science, 82 per cent in digital applications and 81 per cent in applied business.

“The vast majority of our students will be returning to our sixth form, together with a significant number of external candidates.

“I thank all the teaching and support staff for their continued hard work, dedication and professionalism and I congratulate all our students on their well-deserved success.”

Icknield Community College in Watlington also saw a record 65 per cent of students achieve five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths. This was an 11 per cent improvement on last year.

Seventy per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades.

There were record results in English for a second year running with 91 per cent of students achieving A* to C grades while the figure for maths was 78 per cent.

Subjects in which more than 78 per cent of students achieved A* to C grades were biology, chemistry, computing, drama, English, geography, maths, PE and physics.

Headteacher Mat Hunter said: “We are particularly pleased with our headline figures this year, many of which are considerably above the national average. The progress our students have made in maths and English is really impressive.

“I would like to congratulate all our students who have achieved success and thank the staff and parents who supported them to do so.”

Earlier this year the college was rated “good” by education watchdog Ofsted and Mr Hunter said: “It has been a great year for us.

“To have a really good Ofsted report, with lots of mentions of the word ‘outstanding’ in it, coupled with the best set of GCSE results we have ever had, is what we strive for. This is a platform for future success.”

Eliza Naismith, 16, of Spring Lane, Watlington, achieved six A*s and three A grades.

She will take A-levels in biology, chemistry and further maths at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow.

Ben McCrindle, 16, who lives at RAF Benson, achieved two A*s, five A grades, a B and a C.

Ben, who will study for his A-levels at The Henley College, said: “I am very happy because I had concussion a few months ago from playing rugby when I got studded in the back of the head.

“I’m relieved that I got an A* in PE and English language because they are two of the subjects I’m doing at  A-level.”

Craig Irwin, 16, also from RAF Benson, achieved an A, six Bs and two Ds.

He said: “When I opened my results I was happy because I did better than I thought I would in English and geography and I hit my targets in everything else.”

Craig will now study for A-levels in maths, chemistry, physics and PE at Wallingford School.

At Highdown School in Emmer Green 67 cent of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, which is down on last year’s record of 73 per cent but up on the 2013 figure of 64 per cent.

About 22 per cent of students achieved five or more A* and A grades, the same as last year. About half scored at least one top grade while 11 per cent achieved at least eight grades.

Headteacher Rachel Cave said: “Our maths and English results are outstanding, even though the standard nationally is said to have slipped.

“Our students’ progress figures are up on last year and as a comprehensive school that’s more important than just measuring attainment. We believe every grade counts whether that’s a jump from a C to B, an E to C or whatever.”

Natasha Patel, 16, of Framlingham Drive, Caversham, was awarded nine A*s, an A grade and a B. She will sit her A-levels at the Kendrick School in Reading and hopes to read economics at university.

Natasha said: “I’m so unbelievably happy. I thought I’d get some A*s but not that many so I’m totally chuffed.”

Gideon Lewis, 16, of Queen Street, Caversham, achieved seven A*s, two A grades and a B.

He said: “I’m really happy because I wasn’t sure what I’d get. The real exams were much harder than the mocks.”

At Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common 58 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades, 46 per cent including English and maths, down from 65 per cent last year.Ninety-seven per cent of pupils scored at least five passes.

Headteacher Daniel Sadler said: “We’re delighted that a high proportion of students have hit their target and are heading off to their chosen sixth form places and apprenticeships.

“We always knew the ability profile of this year group was very different from previous years and that is reflected in the headline figures.

“However, the progress scores are very positive and that reflects the hard work of staff and students.” Joshua Hankins, 16, of Albert Road, Caversham, achieved seven A*s in and three A grades. He said: “I’m really pleased as I am hoping to do computing and maths in the sixth form and I did well in both subjects.”

Nabeel Bajwa, 16, of Abingdon Drive, Caversham, achieved two A*s, six A grades and two Bs.

She said: “It’s much better than I expected — I thought I’d get an A* in maths but not in English.

“It was hard work but I got into a routine of coming home and doing some revision every day.”

At Langtree School in Woodcote, 80 per cent of pupils were awarded five or more A* to C grades.

The proportion including English and maths was 69 per cent, down from a school record of 76 per cent last year. Ninety-nine per cent of students got five or more passes and 26 per cent of all grades awarded were at A* or A.

Headteacher Rick Holroyd said: “Everyone worked really hard to achieve this — most importantly the students but also the staff and  parents. Parents are often overlooked but they’ve been hugely supportive at every step and this is a tremendous day of celebration for us.”

Megan Hill, 16, of Reading Road, Woodcote, achieved one A*, two A grades and six Bs.

Next month she will begin studying for a health and social care diploma at The Henley College as well as A-level psychology.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting any A*s at all so I’m incredibly pleased. I’d like to work in the care profession.”

Steffan Moore, 16, of Hardwick Road, Whitchurch, achieved five A*s, four As and a B.

He said: “I was so nervous when I was opening that envelope and it’s a relief to know all my work paid off.

“I’m hoping to study a language at university so that I get to study or work abroad for a while.”

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