CELEBRATIONS were on the timetable for many city students as the nervous wait for GCSE results came to an end.
Exam results were revealed with teenagers across Worcester discovering whether they had secured the grades they wanted. The Coronavirus pandemic saw all GCSE exams axed meaning the grades received today (Thursday) were based on in-school assessments.
A controversial moderation formula used for last week’s A-Level results was scrapped on Monday (August 17) after about 40 per cent of A-level results were downgraded by exams regulator Ofqual, which used a formula based on schools’ prior grades.
Because of the pandemic, education chiefs at Worcestershire County Council supported by Worcestershire Children First have undertaken not to collect and publish school level data.
As a result, schools across Worcester were not required to release results for students and the school overall. Three number grades – 9, 8 and 7 – correspond to the old-style top grades of A* and A.
Headteachers across the city paid tribute to their students including Stephen Powell, headteacher at Nunnery Wood High School, who said it had been ‘a wonderful day of celebration and success’.
“There are so many ways in which these students have excelled this year, it’s hard to know where to start,” he said.
“We are proud of the students who stand alongside the rare few in the country with grade 9s across the board. Proud of the students who have deﬁed all the statistical odds and made incredible progress between Year 7 and 11. Proud of those students who have battled health issues, learning difﬁculties and upheaval out of school and still stayed the course.
Mr Powell delivered a stinging rebuke to the Government for its handling of the exam results u-turn and said his students grades had been earned by hard work and dedication.
“As if Year 11 haven’t gone through enough this year, they have had to worry about whether or not they would suffer the same fate as A level students and see their success stolen because of political decisions,” he said
“You’d be forgiven from following the news these teacher grades are generous. The truth is they are simply fairer. All school-based assessments have gone through an intense, evidence-based process that took into account a wide range of assessments.”
Teenagers at Bishop Perowne CE College were among those nationwide to receive their results by e-mail while in a letter to students, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College headteacher Greg McClarey said it was reassuring his students wouldn’t be lowered by ‘an algorithm which could never know you as well as your teachers did.’
Headteachers at Christopher Whitehead Language College and Tudor Grange Academy offered their congratulations to students while Adrian Parsonage, headteacher of The River School said his students had been ‘a credit to themselves’.
“The River School and their parents; diligently working hard despite the disrupted year due to Covid-19. This is reflected in their results which, in many cases, matched or exceeded expectations based on prior attainment.
“All GCSE students achieved 5 or more GCSEs and the top grade levels of ‘8 and 9’ were achieved across a wide variety of subjects.
The percentage of those reaching 9 to 4, the equivalent of A* to C is comparable to recent years at the Kings School according to new foundation headteacher Gareth Doodes.
“I’m delighted record numbers will be joining our sixth form this September. We look forward to an exciting start to the year and welcoming new and existing students back. Along with existing pupils, new pupils have already been enjoying a head start on their A levels having virtually joined King’s since the start of June, enabling them to make super headway in their post 16 studies.
“I’m personally immensely impressed with their commitment and dedication during this unsettling period. I wholeheartedly believe that these Fifth Form pupils will be stronger for it.”
Year 11 students at RGS Worcester recorded a strong set of results with 29 pupils notching up all 9-7 grades and 53 pupils achieved 9-7 grades in at least eight subjects.
Three pupils achieved all 9 grades and a further 11 pupils achieved all 9 and 8 grades, according to the school.
Headmaster John Pitt, said: “The last few weeks have been such a roller-coaster ride for everyone who was due to sit public examinations and the pupils can now hold their heads high and be pleased to have achieved their GCSEs at a high level.
“The pupils have worked extremely hard and the teachers have been very committed to supporting them, including during ‘lockdown’, and so we should congratulate everyone for their many achievements.”