GCSEs – the reactions

Schools have seen celebrations as students found out their GCSE results and after months of waiting.

There have been record results at some schools, and headteachers and governors from around the district have congratulated pupils on their hard work and success.

Fifty per cent of GCSEs sat this summer by pupils at Harrogate’s Ashville College have been passed with either an A* or A grade.

Thumbs up from Katie Unsworth as  she and Oliver Rogers  pupils at Boroughbridge High School celebrate their GSCE results.

Thumbs up from Katie Unsworth as she and Oliver Rogers pupils at Boroughbridge High School celebrate their GSCE results.

Whilst two students achieved straight A*s, 11 students gained straight A/A*s across the board and 96 per cent of those who sat the exams passed at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C.

One of the highlights from this year’s “tremendous” results came from triplets Alex, George and Zoe Ellaby. The three 16-year-olds gained 30 GCSEs between them, with no fewer than 10 A*s and 10 As.

Catriona Thompson was awarded 10 A*s, Alex Hunter 10 A*s and 1A, Katie Cross achieved 10 A*s, Georgia Whone 3A*s and 7As, Rebecca Fallon 1A* and 9As, Rebecca Leventhal 6 A*s, 4As and 1B and Matthew Butcher 6A*s and 5 As.

Ashville College Headmaster Mark Lauder said: “We are highly delighted with this year’s GCSE results, and we congratulate the students on their tremendous success.

“An awful lot of hard work from both the pupils and teaching staff has been rewarded by the figures we see before us today.

“In particular I am delighted with the significant value added results and indeed the number of pupils gaining a clean sweep of As and A*s.”

Mr Lauder added: “Today’s results, coupled with last week’s excellent A-Level results, yet again demonstrate Ashville College’s growing academic pedigree.”

Harrogate High School has seen a fifth consecutive year of improvements in their results, and seen 55 percent of students achieve five A* to C grades including English and Maths, its highest proportion to date.

Principal Mr Bayston praised the pupils for their hard work and the staff for their professional commitment, and thanked parents for their on-going support over the last year.

Chairman of the governors Ian Curtis said: “Our students, parents and everyone linked to the school will be very pleased to see our results 2012 GCSE outcomes have risen for a fifth consecutive year. The continued progress we are achieving year on year endorses the quality of the work done by our students and staff. This year 55 percent of our students have achieved five good passes including English and Mathematics. Our young people have worked very hard to achieve these results and will be over-joyed with this outcome. Overall results for the past four years for those achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE average 98.6%. This figure is evidence that we are a truly inclusive school, where every student matters and all students succeed”

Students at Ripon Grammar School have been awarded the best GCSE results the school has ever seen. 67.32 percent of the grades are A*/A which beats the previous high of 65.51 percent last year; while 31.38% of the grades were at the top grade, A*, also the highest in the school’s history.

Headteacher Martin Pearman said: “The year group is clearly a very talented one and I am very proud of what has been achieved by staff and students working effectively together. Just under 90 percent of the grades were at B or above. 98.4 percent of students achieved five A*-C grades including mathematics and English.

“These results provide an excellent foundation for success at A level and the outstanding work ethic demonstrated at GCSE marks this year group out as one with outstanding potential. With hard work and commitment to their studies in the sixth form this year group can do very well. My congratulations to all students and staff.”

Twins Sally and Jonathan Pitts, both students at Ripon Grammar, achieved 20 A* grades between them.

At Boroughbridge High School, 81 percent of students at achieved the benchmark figure of five or more A* to C passes, with 63 percent including English and Maths.

Headteacher Elaine Dixon said: “Our students success is built upon years of hard work, application and no small amount of talent.”

“We are pleased as a school with these results and also pleased for each pupil. Many pupils have achieved above their targets. They’ve worked so hard and been so determined.

“We are concerned though that some pupils have not received a grade in line with their ability and hard work. This is a national issue and one that we are determined to investigate. It would seem that some of these exams have been marked more harshly than previous years as a quick fix to the long held assumption that GCSE exams are becoming easier. While the school recognises the need for rigour it seems unfair that these pupils are punished for something that is not their fault.”

At Wetherby High School is also celebrating its best ever GCSE results.

Headteacher Mrs Barnes said: “I would like to congratulate all of our Year 11 students on their record-breaking achievements. 79% of our students achieved the key measure of 5 A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths with outstanding performances in the key areas of English and Maths. 85% of our year 11 achieved an A*-C grade in Maths and 83% of the year group achieved an A*-C grade in English. This success reflects the hard work and effort of all our students and the high quality of teaching that takes places in the school. The school’s achievement is particularly noteworthy in the national context of tightening standards. I look forward to welcoming back the students into our Sixth Form and building on the excellent progress they have made.”

At Queen Mary’s, near Thirsk, they are celebrating a success especially in Physics, where more than 90 percent of pupils got A and A* grades, modern European languages and Music.

Headmistress Mrs Lewis-Beckett has said: “It is wonderful to be ending my first year here with such pleasing results. Nearly all girls have received results above expectations and they should be proud of all of their hard work. As a science teacher, and an avid admirer of Brian Cox, I’m delighted with the Physics results. For a girls’ school to achieve such amazing results in what has traditionally been considered a ‘boys’ subject is wonderful.”

At King James School in Knaresborough, headteacher Carl Sugden said he is pleased with another year of “sustained high performance”.

““There have been some outstanding performances at all levels at GCSE and many students have now got the grades that they need to progress into the 6th form or to college. Our emphasis in the last few years has been to really focus in on tracking each individual student to ensure that they get the grades they need for the next stage of their education. An example of this has been maths, where 84% of students achieved a grade C or above. I’m delighted for the students who have been a credit to the school and have worked very hard preparing for their exams.”

He added; “All of this positive news has been slightly offset by the national issue of very harsh marking in GCSE English which has affected us, as it has affected most schools across the country. I do feel very sorry for students who, through no fault of their own, have had to reach higher pass marks for each grade than has been required in previous years. It has been a tough year in which to get a high grade, so the fact that overall our results have held up is some small comfort.”

Top performances at King James came from Sian Whitby and Holly Henry with 12 and 10 grades at A*.

At Nidderdale High School acting headteacher Ian Simpson said: “I am personally delighted for the students in this year group, they have worked very hard and deserve their success. We have made a lot of changes to the assessment and support of students’ academic and pastoral care as well as becoming more rigorous with our intervention procedures. These young people now have meaningful qualifications to take them into the workplace or on to the next level of their education, which for many will mean the challenge of A-levels and university.”

There were outstanding performances from many students, including Alice Harper, Hannah Simpson and Matthew Townson, who both got 10 A* or A grades.

Mr Simpson attributed the success, which saw 55 percent of students get five A* to C grades, to the very positive working relationships that exist within the school and the hard work of students and dedication of staff.

At Outwood Academy Ripon, 95 percent of students achieved five A* to C grades, and 75 percent made the benchmark including English and Maths.

Principal Barry Found said: “All of our students have worked incredibly hard and these grades reflect the effort, time and commitment they have put into their exams.

“These fantastic results also demonstrate the dedication from our teaching and support staff which is second to none. We would like to take this opportunity to wish our students the best of luck for the future, whether that’s continuing their studies or embarking on a career.”

Rhiannon Wilkinson, Headmistress at Harrogate Ladies College, also praised her students’ hard work and commitment. She said: “These wonderful results are a testament to the girls’ hard work and commitment, the quality of teaching, excellent pastoral care and the breadth of our extra-curricular provision.

“We work hard to develop a culture of high expectation for girls of all abilities across a wide range of subjects. Many have worked exceptionally hard to get the best grades they can. We look forward to seeing the girls flourish yet further in our Sixth Form from September.”

Students and staff at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College are among others celebrating “record breaking” results.

Overall, 88 percent of Thirsk students achieved five or more A* to C grades, a rise of eight percent from last year, and there were superb individual performances with Caroline Lyth achieving 11 A* grades and one A grade and Jayne Parle achieving 11 A* grades.

Headteacher, Stuart Mason, said, “These outstanding results are a reflection of the hard work put in by students and members of staff. We are very pleased that our results have risen significantly again and we are delighted for our students, many of whom will stay on into our sixth form. As a comprehensive school we have been really pleased by the achievements of students at all levels of ability.”

Bedale High’s Headteacher Anne Lewin joined voices praising pupils’ achievements.

She said: “We are once again delighted with this year’s GCSE results as they continue to reflect the excellent achievement of our students. Many have achieved outstanding success, exceeding predictions and personal targets. This year 65 percent of students achieved five passes at grade C or above including English and Maths. Staff, students and parents are understandably delighted by the outcomes, not least because it means that once again the students have secured their preferred progression route. Some of the students who have achieved at the very highest levels include Rosie Allinson, Edward John, Katie Fenner and Jack Chapman who each achieved at least 12 A* or As. Thanks needs to be given to the staff and students for their hard work and endeavour throughout the year following considerable support both in and out of school. A strong desire for success from all concerned was the key to this excellent achievement along with very supportive parents. Well done!”

Sherburn High School has announced its best ever GCSE results. Overall the school has achieved 81% pass rate for 5 A*- C grades, and 52 percent have achieved five A*-C grades including English and Maths.

Student Chloe Ferguson achieved an incredible 11 A* grades, Jacob Hardman secured 11, A/A* grades.

Martyn Sibley, the Headteacher, praised students and staff for a fantastic year: “These results are fully deserved and reflect the hard work and attitude of our students and the ethos of our wonderful school.”

At Harrogate’s St John Fisher Catholic High School headteacher Paul Jackson said his school is another to achieve its best ever GCSE results.

Its results saw 93 percent students achieved five or more GCSEs at A*-C, with over 85 percent including English and Maths. Mr Jackson said they were especially proud that every student achieved at least two GCSE qualifications and over 40 percent of the GCSE grades were at A*/A. The results continue the improving trend in the school’s outcomes in recent years and run contrary to the national context for GCSE results this year.

He added: “We are so proud of the achievements of all our students, so ably supported by their teachers and parents. The school can look forward to continuing success in the future.”

Pat Hunter, Headteacher of Rossett School, said her school’s results had “exceeded expectation”.

“There have been lots of happy smiling faces at school today. We have many exceptional students, too many to mention, but at least 12 of our students have achieved A* grades across the board, and more than 35 got As and A*s.”

The school has seen improvements on last year’s results with 97 percent achieving five A* to C grades, and 70 percent getting five A* to C grades including English and Maths.

The headteacher of Harrogate Grammar School, Richard Sheriff, said he was “delighted” with his students’ results.

“We are delighted with the performance of our students in their GCSE examinations this year, 99 percent gained five or more A*-C and 90 percent five A*-C including English and Maths. These are record results for the school and we are very proud of all our students and the staff who made this level of achievement possible. Coming off the back of excellent Sixth Form results this has been a wonderful year for student success at Harrogate Grammar School.”

And Geoff Mitchell, Headteacher at Tadcaster Grammar School said: “The huge investment of hard work and effort which our students have given to their courses has paid off in outstanding success at GCSE. The close relationship between staff and students, recently confirmed by Ofsted, has ensured more than 75 per cent have achieved five or more A*-C grades and helped secure Post 16 courses and career opportunities. I am very proud of them all.”

At St Aidan’s in Harrogate, Headteacher congratulated his students on their “superb” results, and especially the high percentages achieving grades A*-C in Maths, Religious Studies and Science.

He said: “Many congratulations to all our students on a quite superb set of results. The national picture concerning the marking of English scripts has impacted upon our school more than some, especially in relation to the C/D grade boundaries, but this has been compensated for by improved performances in the majority of other subjects especially in Mathematics, Religious Studies and the Sciences where 95%, 97% and 94% of the year group achieved A* to C grades. We wish everyone continued success as they embark on their A-level studies.”