Melton students have been praised by headteachers for the way they have dealt with major changes to exams as they collected their GCSE results this morning (Thursday).
Maths and English subjects have been graded, for the first time, from nine to one with final marks based solely on end of term exams rather than including an element of coursework. Other subjects have continued to be marked with the traditional lettering format of A* down to G.
Both Long Field Academy and John Ferneley College reported impressive results, despite the exam format changes, although their respective pass rates compared to last year are unavailable at present.
John Ferneley College headteacher Christine Stansfield said: “I am so proud and frankly quite humbled by the amazing resilience, motivation and determination our students have shown in the face of significant challenges they have faced in these much tougher GCSEs introduced by the government.
“Quite remarkably, our students have achieved what we believe will be record-breaking results – they are some of the strongest performances our school has ever achieved and I could not be more pleased.
“I am so proud and grateful to the teaching team that has supported our students through these challenges: I am amazed by their commitment to every single student.”
Some John Ferneley College students were jubilant after seeing they had achieved the highest possible grade of nine, including Maxwell Scotland, who got his in maths.
Maxwell, who passed nine GCSEs and is off to MV16 to study A-levels in maths, drama and history, said: “The new exams were not as bad as I feared. I was hoping for an eight in maths so a nine is very nice.”
Abigail Sherlock celebrated a nine in English language and several other good grades, including five As.
She said: “I didn’t know what to expect but I am very pleased with the nine in English.”
Brianna Marment-Payne was pleased with the eight she attained in English literature and language. She will now take A-levels in biology, psychology and Spanish and hopes to become a forensic scientist after university.
One of the best performers was Josh Davies, with four A* grades and six As. He said: “After my A-levels at MV16 my aim is to become a vet.”
A career in medicine is the goal of Sofia Breeze after her outstanding GCSE results, which included six A*s and two As.
She said: “I’m very pleased. I like having coursework as part of the final mark because it bumps up your grade if you struggle in the exams.”
Long Field Academy headteacher Chris Haggett said students had performed particularly well in history and science this year.
He said: “The major improvements were in those subjects which is pleasing because we concentrated on giving extra support to pupils in those areas.
“We’ve had a really impressive set of results from a great group of students.
“Our history grades were much better than last year and we are pleased with the number of nines we had with the new exams.”
Two of the best performers at Long Field were Sarah Parkinson and Ellie Hampson, who attained no less than five top level nine grades between them.
Sarah also notched up five at A* level, while Ellie achieved four A*s and an A.
One student who didn’t enjoy the new exam format was Poppy Comerford, who passed eight GCSEs and attained a seven in English language, five in English literature and five at maths.
She said: “I really stuggled with with it. I prefer having some coursework towards your final mark. You get more time to think about the subject but when it is only exams you are under this time pressure when you sit the exam.”
Danica Taylor wants to perform on the stage as an actress and is now off to Brooksby Melton College to study dance after getting good grades.
Her friend, Katharine Blackshaw, is preparing for life at MV16 after achieving four A grades and four Bs.
She said: “I’m happy with what I got. I want to work in the sports industry, maybe as a physio.”
There was a special treat for those who achieved particularly good grades at Long Field Academy - a chocolate bottle of Champagne.
Julia Wosztyl was clutching hers after hearing she had got good results including fives in maths and English language and six in English literature.
She said: “We didn’t know what the prize was going to be so it was a nice surprise to be given the chocolate with our results envelopes.”