Pupils are celebrating a strong set of GCSE results - with some schools scoring their best marks in years.
At St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Bury St Edmunds, 74 per cent of its 145 students who took GCSEs achieved five A* to C grades including English and maths – a gain of 10 per cent on last year.
All pupils gained at least one qualification at A* to G, 79 per cent scored five A* to Cs and 97 per cent achieved five A* to G grades.
Four students achieved 10 or more A* grades – Rebecca Gibbons 11A* and two As; Gina Bryson 10A* and one A; Elena Saiu-Bell 10A* and three As; Jeremy Snudden 10A* and three As.
Head Hugh O’Neill said: “We’ve awaited these results with a measure of uncertainty, as government changes to subject content, examinations and grade boundaries all make it harder to predict results with certainty.
“Once again, we congratulate our students, their families, and their teachers and support staff, at this school and those who laid the foundations of their success at primary and middle school.”
At County Upper School, in Bury, 251 students sat the exams and the A* to G pass rate was 99.6 per cent. The number gaining five or more A* to Cs including English and maths stood at 68 per cent and those achieving a C or higher in English and maths, which is a new Government progress measure, was 68 per cent.
Head Vicky Neale said: “These excellent results, following last week’s superb A-Level performance, crown another hugely successful year for County in and out of the classroom. Across the curriculum, students of all abilities have done themselves proud.
“Despite the increasing difficulty, we have again shown a remarkable consistency in our results over many years.
“A quarter of all grades are A*/A. Rebecca Severy gained A*s in all her 12 subjects, closely followed by top boy, Ben Amroota , with nine A*s and two As who headed a large group with eight plus A*/A performances. Once again, I thank the staff across our All-Through Trust who do such an excellent job and congratulate all the students.”
King Edward VI School, in Bury, has achieved its best GCSE results in a decade.
Out of 341 students, 65 per cent gained five A* to Cs including English and maths compared to 63 per cent last year. Sixty nine per cent achieved a grade C or higher in English and maths and 99 per cent at G or higher.
Eleven students gained nine or more A/A* grades.
Head Geoff Barton said: “In a year of considerable national and local change, to achieve our best results in a decade is a huge credit to the King Edward VI team.
“Once again, our students have done us proud. We are thrilled for those who will now join our Sixth Form and for those going on to vocational courses at college. All deserve success. These results are also a credit to the foundations laid by primary and middle school teachers across our town and villages. As a new era of education begins, we should feel proud of what every teacher at every level has done to support so many students.”
At Thurston Community College, the pass rate was 99.3 per cent from 2,620 entries, the A* to C pass rate was at 71 per cent and 56 per cent of students achieved five or more passes at A* to C including English and maths.
Principal Helen Wilson said: “This year group have made more progress than any previous cohort for at least the last 10 years.
“At all ability levels, their progress has exceeded national expectations and their results will ensure that every student is able to progress to the next stage of their learning. For the majority, we look forward to welcoming them to our bespoke Sixth Form at the Beyton Campus in September. We are all so proud of the efforts and achievements of these young people and I wish each one of them every success for their future.”
At Mildenhall College Academy, the number of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grades including English and maths was 51 per cent and A* to C in both English and maths was 53 per cent.
It added that the academy is above the national average for the Government’s new Progress 8 measure which captures the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school.
Top students included Connor Carter with 13 GCSEs including four A* and six A grades, Sian Johnson with 12 GCSEs including three A* and eight As, Emma Tapp with 13 GCSEs including one A* and nine A grades and Daniel Gee with 12 GCSEs including two A* and five A grades.
Taylor Jane Miller overcame significant difficulties to achieve 12 GCSEs of which six were A and B grades.
Taylor is a young carer for her mother and just before the exams she broke her leg which made being assessed for practical dance difficult. She also contracted a virus and needed regular rest breaks between exams.
Principal Susan Byles said: “We’re incredibly pleased with these results which represent outstanding progress for the students in this year group. Fischer Family Trust predicted that 44 to 48 per cent of this cohort would achieve five or more A* to C grades including English and maths. Following in the footsteps of Team GB, this year group has smashed those predictions. What is even more impressive is that they have done this despite having a very rocky start to their secondary education which was spent in the last year of closing middle schools.
“The students had to ‘catch up’ significant gaps in knowledge and from the day they started with us in Year 8 they and the staff worked hard to make this happen.”
At Stowmarket High School, the overall pass rate was 98 per cent with 51 per cent at A* to C and 45 per cent at A* to C including English and maths.
Stowmarket’s top performers included Kamara Bloomfield-Keeley and Oscar Coussins both earning seven As and one A*, whilst Francesca Deane received eight As and two As. However, right at the top came Jess Slocum with seven As and four A*s.
The headline figure of 45 per cent A* to C in English and maths was close to what Stowmarket High was expecting, but does not sit easily with head Dave Lee-Allan.
He said: “This was always going to be a tough year for us, and all concerned threw everything we had to maximise student achievement, and my full praise goes those students who have gained the grades they need to progress to their next destination. We now continue the vital work of school improvement. We have made extensive changes to our team and we are welcoming some outstanding teachers who join us in September.”
Stowupland High School said that in a year of new measures it is thrilled high numbers of students continued to gain five or more passes including English and maths.
In the new combined GCSE English and maths A* to C measure, 61 per cent of students secured these upper grades. It says its progress measures are looking ‘healthy’ and ‘particularly strong’ in English and maths in contrast to the national picture.
Head Karen Grimes said: “We’re delighted with the achievement of all our students and it is really pleasing to see boys and girls performing equally well in core subjects. A number of students including Emily Dearlove, Harry Finbow, Ruby Hunter, Harry Simpson and Betty Staddon have performed superbly gaining A* and As across a full range of subjects. We also have students whose progress is quite exceptional and Oscar Cantwell, Molly Holden, Paige Batram, Kayleigh Prendergast, Eleanor Fishlock, Iona Mayes, Tom Patrick, Lucy Goodrum, Emily Bird and Chelsea Doyle deserve particular congratulations.”
At IES Breckland, in Brandon, all students attained at least one pass (A*to G), 91 per cent of students achieved at least one GCSE A* to C and 42 per cent pass at A* to C in English and maths.
Principal Alison Tilbrook said: “We’re thrilled at the progress that our students have made, as on entry they were academically significantly below national average.
“They have exceeded last year’s results in English and maths with a 42 per cent pass rate. Our Progress 8 score will be positive but this cannot be finalised until 2016 Progress 8 figures are released by the Department of Education.”
Iceni Academy, in Methwold, scored an overall pass rate of 100 per cent, 60 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades, a four per cent increase on last year, while 65 per cent gained A* to C in English and maths.
Principal Gee Cook said: “We’re particularly pleased with our progress measures. Students at all levels have worked hard and their determination is reflected in the progress they have made. These results are likely to be the best in West Norfolk for the second year running.”
At Thetford Academy, 41 per cent of students gained A* to C in English and maths.
At Culford School, 79 pupils sat GCSEs and 91 per cent achieved A* to C grades.
At Thetford Grammar School, 39 students sat exams with 100 per cent at A* to G, 95 per cent passed at least five A* to Cs and 90 per cent at least five including English and maths.