A-LEVELS ROUND-UP: Suffolk students celebrate top grades on results day

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Tonia Lawes with head of humanities David Grocott and history teacher Jeff Toose. Photo supplied by Ormiston Sudbury Academy.
A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Tonia Lawes with head of humanities David Grocott and history teacher Jeff Toose. Photo supplied by Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

The wait is over for A-level students across the Suffolk Free Press area, as sixth-formers found out today whether they managed to make the grade.

Ormiston Sudbury Academy celebrated another year of improved performance across the board, with half of all exam entries achieving A* to B grades, while the overall average point score rose to 9.28 points.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Adam Harrington and Reese Piggott. Photo supplied by Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Adam Harrington and Reese Piggott. Photo supplied by Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

School principal Caroline Wilson described the results as “phenomenal” and said it was a testament to the hard work of students and staff and the support of parents over the past academic year.

“This has proved to be an exceptional year for Ormiston Sudbury Academy – more students are accessing the university or career path of their choice, and I am exceptionally proud of them,” she said.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our brilliant teachers and to our supportive parents, who have all been so important in today’s success.

“I am delighted with the progress made. I wish all our leavers well as they start the next stage in their lives.”

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - performing arts students celebrate.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - performing arts students celebrate.

Individual success stories include Tonia Lawes, who despite a challenging year, received an A* in archaeology, A grades in maths and psychology and a B in history, and won a place at University College London, where she will study archaeology and anthropology.

Tonia said: “I’m a bit stunned. I was hoping for these grades, but you are never really sure.

“I was quite uncertain. We did lots of past papers and the teachers were all wonderful, but you never know.

“I was incredibly happy. It couldn’t have gone better.”

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Joseph Hinshelwood.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Joseph Hinshelwood.

Joseph Hinshelwood was celebrating gaining a place at Queen Mary University of London, where he will read maths and actuarial science, after obtaining an A in maths and three Bs in further maths, history and chemistry.

“I was really happy with the results,” he said.

“I did a lot of exam practice, and I had a lot of help from my maths teacher. I found them difficult, but all of the revision paid off.”

The Performance faculty was also delighted to see a record number of performing arts A-level students earning top results, including Ryan Bailey Knox and Katherine Gaukroger, who each received four Distinction* grades and are going on to study at the London Studio Centre and the University of Greenwich, respectively.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Joe Copping.

A-levels results day 2017. Ormiston Sudbury Academy - Joe Copping.

Leo Cox, the school’s Head of Performance, said: “It’s a massive strength of the school.

“We have phenomenal students and a group of staff who work really hard and are committed to getting the best out of the students. We have created a culture where people strive to be the best they can be.”

At Thomas Gainsborough School, staff paid tribute to the hard work of its students, who attained an overall pass rate 98 per cent, one per cent up year on year, with 77 per cent of entries between A* and C.

Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said: “Once again, we are encouraged by the progress our students with these results illustrating a significant improvement year-on-year.

“This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the young people of this area, through the high quality teaching and excellent support that the school has provided them with.”

Among the top performers was Ross McCrory, from Bures, who is weighing up options at prestigious universities, having received an A* and three A grades.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - students celebrate their results. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - students celebrate their results. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

“You try and remain calm but you are in the lap of the Gods a little,” he said.

“I am very pleased with my results and my entire time learning at Thomas Gainsborough School has been enjoyable.”

Ross’ delight was shared by his mother Jennie, who said: “I was certain he would do well, but I was still very anxious.

“I knew he had butterflies, but I am just so proud of how well he has done. He has worked so hard and he deserves this success.”

The school made particular mention of its performance in vocational subjects, where 81 per cent of entries graded Distinction* or Distinction.

Included in this group was Alice Barlow, of Great Cornard, who earned three Distinction* results in PE, applied science and ICT, and plans to go to West Suffolk College whilst also continuing her exploits on the golf course, where she is training for the English Ladies County Finals in September.

“I have always known it was important to concentrate on my studying as much as my golf,” she said.

“I was a bit nervous but I have worked hard during the week and then focused more on golf at the weekends.

“I have also been fortunate to have the support of Thomas Gainsborough School to enable me to balance both.”

Kenny Alexander, director of sixth form at Thomas Gainsborough, added: “These results will open many doors to the young people who have worked so hard to achieve them.

“We wish the students all the very best for the next phase of their lives, be that university, college, apprenticeships or employment.”

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Ross McCrory. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Ross McCrory. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Alice Barlow. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Alice Barlow. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Charlotte Burder. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.

A-levels results day 2017. Thomas Gainsborough School - Charlotte Burder. Photo credit: Marcelle Claxton.