More pictures added: Students gather at their schools to learn the result of five years of education.
TEENAGERS and parents across North Devon made a beeline for schools today (Thursday) for the joy and anxiety of GCSE results day.
Almost all schools reported they were pleased with their overall results, although a row about ‘over harsh’ English exam marking hovered in the background.
But it was still a happy day for staff, pupils and parents as they celebrated the fruits of their efforts during the past five years.
Pilton Community College in Barnstaple recorded its best ever overall results, with its top five high achievers earning 38 A* grades between them.
“We are absolutely delighted with the results our students have been getting - they have worked incredibly hard, as have the staff,” said Pilton principal Louise Miller-Marshall.
At The Park Community School, headteacher David Atton said students had achieved their potential right across the board. The number achieving five or more A* to C grades rose to 68 per cent, a five per cent increase on last year. The top 25 academic ‘high flyers’ secured 250 A* and A grades between them.
Bideford College has reported its best ever GCSE results, with 68 per cent of students gaining five or more GCSEs at the highest grades and more than half achieving five or more top grades which included English and maths.
“Students have done very well and this year’s results represents a lot of hard work by students and staff supported, of course, by parents and families,” said principal Veronica Matthews.
“Well done to everyone who received their results on Thursday and we wish them well for the future.”
Five Bideford students found out on results morning that that they had achieved at least 10 A* or A grades - Kara Sheppard (13), Selina Cloutman (11.5), Christina Hill (10.5), Alexander Ferriday (10) and Rayanne Vitali (10).
Braunton Academy principal David Sharratt said they were delighted with the results so far, with many individual triumphs across the year group and a considerable number of students gaining high grades in 10 or more subjects.
“Exams are about individuals achieving their personal best and not about headline figures, however, our provisional data shows 58 per cent achieved more than five A* to C grades including English and maths which is one of our best results in recent times,” he said.
Ilfracombe Arts College said it was celebrating its best ever GCSE success following on from record A level results, with almost 80 per cent of students achieving five or more passes at grade A*-C, exceeding all expectations.
“The results represent a great deal of commitment and hard work on the part of staff and students, with support from parents and the community,” said headteacher Sharon Barnes.
Individual high achievers included Jodie Cox with 14 passes that included nine A* and A grades; Megan Jones had 12 passes with 10A* and A grades; Hannah Judge 12 passes with 11 at A*and A; Ella Mawson 13 passes with 12 at A* and A grades, plus Daniel Oakes with 12 passes, 11 at A*.
“These are just a few of the very many success stories that have characterised the day,” added Mrs Barnes.
“GCSEs are not just about headlines but about individual ‘personal bests’ and very many students have achieved that. In addition we have had our best maths result to date and equalled our best science result.”
At Chulmleigh Community College, executive headteacher Mike Johnson said trends in most subjects had risen: “This is a real credit to the students, the staff and parents. Our students have worked extremely hard and deserve congratulations,” he said.
“Like many other schools, benchmark measures have been affected greatly by our English results. 71.2 per cent students achieved five A* to C grades and 60 per cent achieved five A*-C including English and maths.
Kingsley School in Bideford saw an overall A* to C pass rate of 83 per cent, and 35 per cent graded at A* or A.
Eight students gaining eight or more of the top two grades. Freyja Hedinsson gained eight A* and four As; Meg Hopkins eight A* and 3.5 As, and Tamara Barker-Privalova six A*, four A and a B.
Headmaster Andy Waters paid tribute to the work of students and staff: “For any school, but particularly one with a non-selective academic intake, these are outstanding results,” he said.
“Staff and students alike can be very proud of what they have achieved, and we look forward to welcoming back another large and ambitious Sixth Form at the beginning of September.”
One in five exams at West Buckland School received an A* grade, with almost half of all exams passed at A* or A. There was a 91.6 per cent pass rate of exams at A* to C, with 93.7 per cent of the 95-strong year group achieving five or more GCSEs at grade C or better.
“This year’s group of GCSE students have responded outstandingly well to the high academic expectations we have of pupils at this school and recorded some excellent results,” said headmaster John Vick.
Shebbear College headmaster Bob Barnes was delighted with an overall pass rate of 86 per cent at A* to C. In addition, 93 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A* to C grades, with 35 per cent at A* and A.
“These superb results follow last week’s equally impressive A level results, once again reflecting the high level of effort and commitment shown by pupils and staff towards realising consistently high academic achievements,” he said.
Read more about the English exam marking row and local reaction in next week’s North Devon Gazette.
* TO see more pictures, click on the gallery to the top right of this story. New pictures will be added as we get them, so don’t forget to keep checking back.