St Albans and Harpenden teenagers celebrate high GCSE results despite new grading system
PUBLISHED: 11:49 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:39 24 August 2018
Nervous teenagers opening their GCSE results this week had to grapple with a new numbered grading system.
Yet pupils and teachers in St Albans and Harpenden were celebrating after the unfamiliar system made no difference to the high achievements expected of schools in the area.
This year 23 subjects were graded from U to nine. Grade one is like G under the former system, A* is now grade eight , and higher than A* is now a nine.
Verulam School was particularly pleased with the boys’ performance in maths and English. Those two subjects were first scored according to the numbered system last year.
Headteacher Paul Ramsey congratulated Year 10 pupils who sat the English literature exam a year early.
Loreto College announced record results, highlighting Niamh McBride and Veronica Moran for their particularly good grades - both achieving ten grades of eight and nine.
Headteacher Maire Lynch said: “I am thrilled for the students who worked hard to achieve a superb set of results, especially as there was so much uncertainty and anxiety around the new grading structure.”
Over at St Albans School 58 per cent of pupils bagged a score of either eight or nine and 95 per cent were awarded between six and nine.
Headmaster Jonathan Gillespie said he was delighted.
Sandringham School reported another set of record results. Headteacher Alan Gray said: “[Pupils] have been heavily involved in many extra-curricular activities and charity events, but managed to balance this with their academic studies and examinations. As a result, they are very well-balanced individuals who will be extremely successful in the future.”
A particularly successful Sandringham teenager was Joel Hodgson-Stokes, who achieved a straight set of nines for all his ten subjects.
Roundwood Park School said its high results are testament to efforts of the whole team, including staff, pupils, and parents.
Headteacher Alan Henshall said: “The whole community has risen to the challenge and we are delighted to see so many happy faces this morning.”
Pupils at Marlborough Science Academy smashed records by achieving the highest GCSE results the school has ever seen. Katie Little bagged eight grade nines and three grade eights.
Headteacher Annie Thomson said she was also happy for learners signed up for college and apprenticeships: “They are going off to study a rich variety of courses including stage make-up, engineering and tourism to name but a few, and we wish them every success and happiness in their next chapter.”
Beaumont School was also celebrating, with headteacher Martin Atkinson describing the results as outstanding: “I am delighted that our students and their teachers have risen to the challenge of the demanding new GCSE courses.”
Sir John Lawes School was particularly pleased with its science results, as 59 pupils obtained a score nine.
Those at St Albans Girls School (STAGS) were shocked at GCSE success, with Rose MacIntyre describing the day as “unreal” and Katie Knolden left “speechless”.
Despite some pupils joining Townsend School in Year 7 with below average grades, many were celebrating above average GCSE results.
Assistant headteacher Jonathan Buckland said: “That the progress of all learners, regardless of their starting point, is so strong is always pleasing and the most important measure for our school.”
St Columba’s College broke records with top GCSE grades at an all-time high - some 53 per cent of all results achieved were nine to seven.
Headmaster David Buxton congratulated pupils on their “pleasing” results and thanked staff and parents.
Reporting many pupils overcoming the new tough system, Nicholas Breakspear School’s headteacher Declan Linnane said the “results are a tribute to their commitment, resilience and support for one another”.
Fahmida Chowdhury, who achieved the highest grades in the Nicholas Breakspear year, said: “I feel pleased that my consistent hard work has finally paid. It was all worth it.”
The King’s School in Harpenden celebrated a grade nine attainment rate of 22 per cent, compared to a national average of four per cent. Additionally, every single pupil passed maths.
Head of secondary Andy Reeves said: “With the help and support of our caring staff, our pupils have thrived and attained results that are outstanding for a mixed, non-selective school.”
Samuel Ryder Academy praised its pupils for another “excellent” year of GCSEs, highlighting three teenagers who each achieved a number of nines - Makenzie Wortley, Ami Puddephatt and Jessica Wood.
Makenzie said: “Thanks to all my teachers, I’m so pleased with my results and I can’t wait to start my A-Levels.”