SLIDESHOW: Schools in Bury St Edmunds area celebrate strong GCSE results
Schools are celebrating another strong year for GCSE results - with some achieving their best ever.
County Upper, in Bury St Edmunds, saw 251 pupils achieve an overall pass rate of 99.9 per cent with 70 per cent of its students gaining 5 A*-C grades including English and mathematics.
Head Vicky Neale said: “At all abilities these are another outstanding set of results. At the top end just under a quarter of the year group gained 5A*s/A grades and once again our students confirmed our belief that a strong all-round education produces excellent results.”
Mrs Neale said that as well as top academic results the high achieving students also excelled in music, sport and extra-curricular success. This is the fifth year that County Upper has seen GCSE results at 70 per cent plus.
Top performers were Hannah Curwen with 12 A*s and Sarah Burns with 11 A*s and 2 As. Holly Davies, Rosie Grant and Bronwen Mansel achieved 10A*s and an A. Will Cooke-Wharton, Robbie Goldman and Alastair Reid each obtained at least 9 A*s/A grades.
Sarah was thrilled with her results as she had sat her GCSEs just after dad Richard suffered a heart attack. He and mum Lynne were at school to see her open her results. Lynn said: “We are very very proud. She is very focused. What an amazing school and teachers.”
Following their record A-level results last week, King Edward VI School, in Bury, which had 346 pupils sit GCSEs, achieved a 99 per cent overall pass rate.
Sixty three per cent gained five A*-C including English and maths - up eight per cent on last year.
Head Geoff Barton said: “Our Year 11 students have done themselves, their parents and our school proud - delivering our best set of GCSE results in a generation.
“We’re especially proud that students from disadvantaged backgrounds this year accelerated their progress by 12 per cent.”
St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Bury, had another strong set of results. Out of 146 pupils, the overall pass rate was 100 per cent, 80 per cent gained five A*-C and 64 per cent achieved five A*-C including English and maths.
Congratulating the pupils, head Hugh O’Neill said they had awaited the results with a ‘measure of uncertainty’ as Government changes to subject content, exams and grade boundaries ‘all make it harder to predict results’.
Although they have noticed ‘some subjects achieving different outcomes compared to previous years’, students continue to achieve ‘very high total point scores’ with an average of 492, which he said is equivalent to every student obtaining more than nine grade As.
Among those doing well was Annabel Waghorn who gained 15 GCSEs, 3 A*s, 5As, 6 Bs and a C.
Mildenhall College Academy’s students achieved their best GCSE results ever with 52 per cent achieving five A* to C grades including English and Maths, which was 10 per cent higher than 2014 and four per cent up on the school’s 2010 record.
Principal Susan Byles said: “I am immensely proud of our students. They have done incredibly well and have been supported in every step by their families and by the staff.”
Top achievers included Hariet Almond with 11 A*s and As, Jing Lin and Amy Pryor with six and Abby Bunnett with five.
Emily Dobbin, whose father Simon was viciously attacked in March while visiting Southend for a football match, achieved nine GCSEs with six A* to C grades including English and Maths.
At West Suffolk College, in Bury, 70 per cent of the 317 16 to 18-year-olds who resat their English GCSE received an A*-C grade. Of the 96 students aged 19 and over, 79 per cent achieved A*-C.
Trevor Hewlett, head of maths and English, said: “I’m incredibly proud of our students. These results have not happened by chance, they are the result of hard work, commitment and dedication.”
Stowupland High School celebrated the best GCSE exam results in the school’s history with an overall pass rate percentage of 99 percent, 71 per cent of students achieving five A*-Cs and 61 per cent gaining five A*-Cs including English and maths.
Head Karen Grimes said: “We are truly delighted with the achievement of all our students and their success is very well deserved.
“This has been an excellent summer for Stowupland”, she added.
At Stowmarket High School 47 percent of students achieved five A*-C grades including English and Maths with 60 per cent achieving five A*-C grades.
Overall pass rate was 60 per cent.
Head Dave Lee-Allan said: “The enormous responsibility of being a teacher really hits home when you see the students collect their results.
“We are delighted with some of our results, particularly English, however another hike in grade boundaries has left our overall result a few percent below what we had hoped to achieve.
“Congratulations to all students - they worked so hard.”
Thurston Community College had 350 students take a total of 2907 exams at the school achieving an A*-C pass rate of 70 per cent.
Principal Helen Wilson said: “I am really, really proud of this year 11 cohort.
“The reason I am proud is they were our lowest prior attaining cohort at the school meaning they had come to us below the national average for Key Stage 2.
“Despite that lower starting standard they have made more progress than any cohort.
“For them to have knuckled down and made this huge progress makes me so proud.”
Thetford Academy’s students achieved an overall pass rate of 96 per cent, with 53 per cent securing grades A*-C.
The number gaining five A*-C grades with maths and English has dropped – 47 per cent compared to last year’s 50 per cent high – but principal Adrian Ball said there was a lot to be proud of.
The school has exceeded national figures for every prior attainment group and improved in terms of ‘value added’ which shows students’ progress since starting secondary education.
Mr Ball said: “I’m really proud of all the kids and the staff. They’ve worked really hard and have had a tough time in the last five years with all the changes that have taken place at the Academy so it’s nice to see they’ve got the grades they deserve.”
The school is also challenging the results of 18 students who were a mark off a C in English or maths so is expecting its results to rise.
IES Breckland principal Alison Tilbrook said she was ‘delighted’ with her school’s first set of GCSE results.
Its students achieved a 100 per cent overall pass rate, with 40 per cent getting five A*-C with English and maths.
She said: “Although this seems to be low our students have achieved above expectations and the school has added considerable value to their outcomes, despite numerous challenges encountered.”
Students and staff at Iceni Academy, in Methwold, are celebrating after seeing dramatic improvements in exam results.
The school saw 56 per cent achieve five or more A*-C including English and maths compared with 48 per cent in 2014.
Principal Gee Cook said: “I am delighted for the students. They have worked so hard and put in many hours of work over and above. They have come to revision sessions and booster classes and their effort has really paid off. I am also delighted for our staff, governors and ATT (Academy Transformation Trust), our sponsor, who have all supported us tirelessly on our journey.”
At Culford School, 94 per cent of pupils got at least five GCSEs at A*-C and 26 per cent attained at least eight A* or A grades.
Headmaster Julian Johnson-Munday said: “We are delighted with these excellent results. Our top pupils achieved suites of A* and A grades and the value added achieved across the ability range, on an individual and group basis was terrific.”
Thetford Grammar School scored a 100 per cent overall pass rate and 90 per cent achieved A* to C.
Headmaster Gareth Price was pleased to note that the percentage of top grades was slightly up on the previous year and the A*/C percentage was broadly in line with the previous cohort.
He said: “This year group contributed significantly to the sporting, musical and dramatic life of the school as well as being heavily involved with the Duke of Edinburgh and Arts Award schemes.
“At the same time as doing all of this, they also managed to achieve good GCSE qualification, taking them on to the next stage of their education.”