GCSE students across the Suffolk Free Press area rose to the challenge of the new, tougher examinations this year, as they collected their results today.
At Ormiston Sudbury Academy, pupils were praised for their strong performance in the first year of more difficult exams in English and maths, with 53 per cent of the 105 entrants attaining a grade 4 — the equivalent to a C — or better in the two subjects, matching the school’s result last year.
School principal Caroline Wilson said: “I am delighted with this year’s results and especially with how staff and students have prepared for these new GCSEs.
“We cannot compare outcomes with previous years, but we can compare attitude and I have been impressed how our students across a range of abilities have tackled both the preparation and commitment to the new specifications.”
High-performing student Cameron Cade is looking forward to continuing at the school for his A-levels, after achieving an 8 in maths, 2 Distinction* grades and four As.
“There was a lot of uncertainty. When I opened the envelope, it was a bit of nerves and then relief,” he said.
“It was down to a lot of revising and help from my teachers. The teachers have been really great and helped me a lot.”
Karolina Patosiak, who moved to the area in 2011 from Poland, said she was overwhelmed by her results, which included a 7 in maths, an A* and five As, and she will now go on to study at Colchester College.
“I felt I had done well, but nowhere near this. I am really happy and it’s exciting to look forward now to the next two years,” she said.
“The exams were really challenging — I think maths was especially hard. The school has been really great, and I got lots of support and help and encouragement.”
At Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard, 62 per cent of the 198 Year 11 students who sat their exams over the summer received a pass grade in both English and maths.
Particularly successful students at the school included Francesca Perkins Taylor, who attained a 9, two 8s, five A*s and three As.
Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said: “We are very pleased with these results. I would like to congratulate the students on their excellent performance.
“It is a fitting reward for their hard work and the dedication and the support that they have received from their teachers.
“We expect high standards at TGS and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the highest possible outcomes for all our students into the future.”
Meanwhile, Stour Valley Community School in Clare celebrated its best set of results since the school first opened back in 2011, with 68 per cent obtaining grade 4 in English and maths.
The school highlighted top performers Edith Wild, Naomi Lawson and Freya Lambert, who between them earned four 9s, three 8s, 17 A*s and five As.
Headteacher Christine Inchley said: “We are delighted that all of our students have received recognition for all of their hard work under the very challenging circumstances surrounding the new grading system, and know they are well prepared and qualified for exciting futures ahead.”
Over at Gosfield School, students met the challenge of the new-style exams, with 83 per cent of candidates gaining five or more passes equal to a C grade, and 100 per cent getting a 4 or above in maths.
Dr Sarah Welch, school principal, said: “I congratulate all of our candidates on the hard work they put in to gain such pleasing results.
“I also want to thank the teachers who have helped them to achieve their potential. We will be delighted to welcome back those students who have decided to stay with us for A Levels.”
Among the best performing pupils was Charlotte Moulden, from Bulmer, who received an A*, four As, two 7s and an 8.
“My grades were better than I could have ever expected,” she said.
“These will pave the way for my A Levels, with a view to studying Psychology at university. My ambition is to help children and young people be mentally healthy.”
Her mother Cathryn Moulden said: “I am ecstatic. Charlotte’s results have completely reflected her hard work. I can’t thank Gosfield School enough for the quality of their teaching and pastoral care. This has been one of the best days of my life.”
Hedingham School was also delighted to achieve its best ever GCSE results, with 70 per cent earning the equivalent of five A*-C grades, including English and Mathematics, while 25 per cent of all results were an A* or A.
The top performer was Charlotte Fenner, who obtained three 9s, six A*s and an A.
Headteacher John Panayi said: “I am extremely pleased with the GCSE results gained by our students and wish to congratulate them for their commitment and hard work to attain their excellent examination outcomes.
“Within a changing and uncertain examination landscape where grade boundaries are untested, it is very good to note that Hedingham School has maintained high expectations for our students, which is reflected in their excellent results.”