Congratulations to Year 11 students at all of our schools for their GCSE results on Thursday 20th August.
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy students had much to celebrate as their combined results represented the best that the Academy has ever seen. 60% of students gaining 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including Maths and English*. Zenna Atkins, the Chair of Governors, commented: “We are delighted with the number of A and A* grades and would like to congratulate the pupils and staff for this fantastic achievement”.
Some notable achievements include Daisy Holland who obtained nine A*-A grades including six A* and three A grades, Eva Lloyd-Ghale who secured nine A*-C grades with two A* and seven A grades and Phoebe Palmer who achieved nine A*-C grades, eight of which were A grades.
After recording its best ever A Level results in 2015, students at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy also produced strong GCSE results, with a large number of Year 11 students gaining GCSE grade A*/A passes and 30% of students making better than expected progress in both mathematics and English.
Overall, the provisional headline results were that 57% of the students have achieved 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C grade EM*.
Academy Principal Brendan Loughran said “After the success of this year’s results in the Sixth Form, we are pleased that our students have achieved another very good set of GCSE results. Once again, in mathematics and English our students achieve well above national averages, consolidating three years of very good results since our last inspection.”
Nearby Darwen Vale completed its first year since conversion to academy status with a strong improvement in GCSE results. The overall percentage of students obtaining 5 + GCSEs at A*-C EM* was up by 11% points – again with a significant rise in the numbers of passes at the top A* and A grades.
Principal Fiona Jack said: “I’m delighted with the jump in our overall results and particularly pleased with improvements in the critical core subjects of maths and English.”
On a day when so much media focus is on the straight A* students the success of those who have worked to overcome a difficult start to their educational lives, or not thrived in circumstances where fellow students do, can often be overlooked. Students from Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio talked about how their lives have changed since joining the school as they collected their results.
James Hull said: “I wasn’t doing very well in my old school. I was failing in all of my tests, I had fights most of the time, and swore at teachers. I knew wasn’t going to get any of my GCSEs. I needed a fresh start to get myself back on track.” Jake Deakin agreed: “At the Studio School, I got on with all the teachers, and got more help with my work because there were fewer students. I am treated like an adult, and that has made me behave like one.”
James and Jake are now celebrating a combined total of fifteen GCSEs at grade C or above, and are looking forward to taking their next steps on the route to success. Theirs are just two stories from a number of successes at the Studio School whose work with students, a significant proportion of whom face difficulties which would probably have resulted in them not remaining on roll in Year 11 in other schools, but who now have GCSEs, deserves recognition.
The significant journey from levels reached at primary school to 5 A*-C GCSEs for many of its students remains one of the challenges for Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, where 30% of students achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths.
This year a record number of BACA’s year 11 students are staying on to BACA’s sixth form, and on the basis of BACA’s 100% success rate at A-level last week, these students are expected to leave in two years’ time with the qualifications they need to secure their places at university, further education or employment.
Peter Kyle, Chair of Governors for BACA, said, “Whilst being proud of the progress students make from joining us out of primary school, we fully recognise that we still have some way to go to get to the position where our students, irrespective of the start that they have had, consistently achieve GCSE results comparable with students from schools at the top of the league tables in the city.”
“We believe that our students and community deserve the same chances as every other in the city, and are committed to continuing to improve wherever we can to ensure that translates into the league table performance parents look at and schools are judged by, as soon as possible.”
As at BACA, English was a top performing department at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy. Joint Interim Principal Rob Russell said, “Although our English department continues to buck the trend and secure very good results with 19% of students getting the top A*and A grades we still have work to do in other areas. The support of our parents and carers has been and remains an invaluable component of each and every student’s success”.
Amongst IPACA students celebrating their GCSE results was Hannah Preston, who scooped four A*s, seven As and one B and especially delighted with a 100 per cent mark in one of her English Literature exams.
GCSE results day is a time to congratulate both students and staff on the results achieved, but for Darwen Academy Pastoral Manager Alex Fort the congratulations were double. Mum-of-two, Alex also sat the GCSE maths paper at the academy and achieved a grade C.
Alex said: “I lacked confidence in maths and always wanted to improve on the GCSE grade that I got when I was at school. The academy agreed for me to sit in with a GCSE class and follow the course with them in Year 11.
“It was great to experience the challenge of the GCSE with the students. I was able to understand and empathise with what the students were going through, and when I stood in front of them and took assemblies they all knew I was going through a similar experience.”
“I wanted to prove to them and to myself that it could be done and today has been great getting the results we all deserve.”