Live Blog: West Berkshire and North Hampshire GCSE results 2021
West Berkshire and North Hampshire pupils will be opening their GCSE results today (Thursday).
As with Tuesday's A-level results, GCSE exams were cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and pupils will receive teacher assessed grades.
Pupils have been assessed on in school indicators, including mock results, coursework, assessments and essays.
Teachers were only allowed to mark pupils on what they had been taught, and marks had to be checked by a head of department and headteacher or principal before being sent to the exam board.
This year's results have been brought forward a few weeks to allow pupils more time to appeal their grades.
Pupils in England who want to appeal against their grade must first request that their school or college reviews whether an administrative or procedural error was made.
Each school or college will set their own deadlines by which pupils must ask them to review a grade.
If the school or college rules no error was made, then students can escalate the appeal to the exam boards, which their school or college is expected to submit on their behalf.
In England, the deadline to send an appeal to the exam board is September 17.
Pupils in England who are unhappy with their A-level or GCSE grades will have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn.
AS and A-level exams will be held in October, while GCSE exams will take place in November and December.
The higher grade will count for applicants who wish to take an autumn exam.
4.44pm Downe House
Downe House continue to celebrate as its 2021 GCSE cohort achieved fantastic results.
The school has made it clear it is proud of the way that the girls have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and how they have embraced online and blended learning.
It noted that this cohort of girls’ resilience has in many ways mirrored that of their 2020 counterparts yet presenting new and different challenges.
Eleven girls at the school achieved grade 9 across nine or more different subjects. This year there was a threefold increase in the number of girls who chose to study computer science, 85 per cent of whom achieved grades 7-9. The school has said that this is a fantastic step towards seeing more girls enter STEM fields.
All performing arts students achieved grades 7-9 despite facing much disruption due to the lack of face-to-face activity.
Downe House outlined that the support from the teachers was also crucial to ensuring that the girls could perform as well as they did.
Headmistress Emma McKendrick said: “This has been an exceptional period of time for GCSE candidates across the country; they all deserve the greatest credit for the resilience and tenacity that they have shown and I could not be more proud of our candidates whose enthusiasm, commitment and dedication have been second to none.
“They have embraced opportunities that they have had inside and outside the classroom, created many of their own and, as a result, not only achieved excellent grades this summer, but also found time to perform on the stage, in the music school and on the sports fields to name but a few areas.
“They have also developed their leadership skills and I look forward to seeing them approach their A-levels with confidence and leading the school with compassion, energy and a generosity of spirit that encourages everyone to thrive whatever their age, skills and talents.
“They are outstanding young women.”
3.30pm Denefield School
Denefield School’s GCSE results are in and the Year 11s are celebrating their achievements.
The students have enjoyed receiving their ‘excellent’ results despite their two years of study falling under the pandemic.
In this year’s cohort of GCSE students, 29 per cent achieved grades 9 to 7 with 65.1 per cent achieving a grade 9 to 5.
Glenn May managed to achieve 10 grade 9s and Jack Jordan received eight 9s and two 8s.
Assistant headteacher and director of KS4 Karen Davis said: “‘I am absolutely delighted and hugely proud of all of our Year 11 students, who have achieved excellent results during such a difficult time.
“They have all worked tirelessly during the past three years and deserve every success today and in their future choices.”
Other top achievers from Denefield included Sophie Allen, Darja Pavlisa, and Kyra Marshall who all managed to achieve at least six grade 9s.
Mrs Davis added: “Today is all about destinations and I am excited that our students are able to move into the next stage of their lives with confidence and resilience, given their most recent experiences.”
2.55pm The Hurst School
The Hurst School in North Hampshire was delighted with how its pupils performed in their GCSEs.
Claudia Jones and Alannah Hopwood achieved three 9s and several 8s each, Rebecca Cairns scored a few 8s and a couple of 7s and Sophie Hannan achieved an 8 in mathematics and a 7 in further mathematics.
The girls will now go off to study their A-levels at Queen Mary’s College (QMC) in Basingstoke.
Claudia said: “I did better than I expected, a lot better.
“I got three 9s which I’m surprised by and all 9s and 8s apart from a 6 in English language, but I wasn’t certain I would get a 9 at all.”
Alannah said: “I did really well, it was kind of what I was expecting because we had grade boundaries but some of them have exceeded what I was expecting.
“I’m really happy with them.”
Rebecca said: “I was expecting mostly 6s and 7s so I’m feeling amazing.”
On lockdown learning, Rebecca said: “It’s been all right. I thought it would be harder but I did a lot of revision at home with my brother because we’re twins, so that was really helpful.
“The first lockdown was quite hard because we just had set work but after that we had more interaction with teachers.”
One of the modules Sophie will study at QMC is e-sports.
She said: “It’s every aspect of gaming, not just the playing of the games. I want to do something to do with designing video games.”
The Hurst headteacher Jayne McLaren said: “We are very proud of our Year 11 students. They have proved to be able and engaged young people with clear goals for their future.
"We are thrilled to be able to share some of their successes with you.
“To be clear, these students achieved good grades in spite of Covid-19, not because of the extraordinary arrangements this year, and we applaud them.”
2.50pm The Downs School
The Downs School in Compton has released a list of high achievers, including pupils with up to 10 9-graded subjects at GCSE.
These students are Jake Peto (9999999999), Sam Herman (999999999), Alexandra Jarrett (999999999, Edward Morris (999999999), Maya Noonan (999999999), William Knight (999999998), Henry Field (99999999D2), Sam Arnold (999999988), Livvy Bevvan (999999988), Murray Horton (999999887), Zachary Browne (999998888), Katrina Stephen (999998888), Lucy Murray (99998877D*2), Emmeline Amies (999988888), Juliette White (999988887), Kira Sanghera (999888887), Emilia Harris (99988877D2), Hugo Mirams (999888777), Ella Cromack (99888777D*2), Sophia Bella (99988777D2), Ellie Knight (98888887D*2), Ruby Morley (99888877D2), Jemima Wright (98888777D*2), Izzy McNulty (99888777D2), Milo Brown (998877777), Thomas Souter (98877777D2), Sophie Ryan (88777777D*2), Haris Ali (888888777) and Louise Kane (888877777).
The head of Year 11, Leeona Bermingham, said: “This year’s Year 11 are such a brilliant group of students.
“Despite all the challenges of the last 18 months, they have kept their focus and resolve, and worked diligently to achieve their very best in the face of immense disruption.
“I want to thank and congratulate each and every student on their efforts and wish them the very best for the future.”
Leaver Henry Field said: “I was definitely pleased when I opened my results.
“I’m proud of my achievements and I worked extremely hard for the grades I got.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at The Downs.”
2.45pm The Clere School
The wet weather couldn't dampen the spirits at The Clere School, where students saw their hard work rewarded, enabling them to confidently take their next steps on to their chosen college courses.
Staff are extremely proud of the class of 2021 for the commitment, determination and resilience that they have shown throughout their time at The Clere.
Special mentions should go to Ella Murrey, Rachel Gravenstede, Amandi Mendis, Amelia Gibbons, Jonathan Hancock and Thomas Willis for their outstanding achievements in securing top grades across all of their subjects.
2.00pm Little Heath School
Students at Little Heath have celebrated their "richly deserved" GCSE results this year.
Top performing students have managed to accomplish "outstanding" grades with the top four pupils achieving seven grade 9s and at least three grade 8s.
Headteacher David Ramsden said: “I am delighted that students from the class of 2021 have achieved the success that they so richly deserve.
“In the past 18 months Year 11 have experienced a Key Stage 4 programme like no other, yet they have demonstrated resilience and commitment to achieve their very best throughout their GCSE courses.”
Little Heath has also congratulated students who have made "significant progresses" since beginning key stage 2.
Mr Ramsden said: “As a year group they have showed tenacity and a determination to achieve their very best, under uniquely difficult circumstances, and the results today have demonstrated what a talented group they are.”
1.15pm Pangbourne College
Following a tough year, Pangbourne College was happy to celebrate its GCSE achievement with students and their families.
This year's total pass rate (grades 9-4) was 97 per cent, with 46 per cent of the grades being 9-7.
The school is proud of the resilience of its students who have worked hard under exceptional circumstances. It is particularly proud of how well these young people have adapted to cope with the changing nature of education during the pandemic.
One student, Jonathan, received a total of 10 9 grade GCSEs. He was one of many pupils who performed well, others including Fleuve and Daniel who both achieved nine grade 9s and one grade 8.
Daniel said: “I’m really, really happy. I was most surprised at my English literature result as that was probably the most demanding course. French was my favourite subject and I’m very happy with my result.”
He will be going on to study politics, economics, French and music at A-level.
Mollie achieved nine GCSEs at grade 5 and above and said: “I’m so happy with my results! I was shocked at my result in PE and happiest with science as that was the subject I found the hardest.” She will be going on to study French, PE and business.
Freddy achieved 10 GCSEs at grade 6 and above and he said: “I’m very happy. I received the grades I needed so now I can go on to study maths, further maths and economics at A-level. I will also be doing an EPQ.”
Deputy head academic Samantha Greenwood said: “We know how difficult this exam year has been for everyone, including pupils, families and schools,
“We are proud of how well our pupils have adapted to the changing assessment requirements and know that they will reap the benefits of their hard work as they move into the sixth form.”
Director of studies Mark Seccombe said: “In common with most schools, Pangbourne College put a lot of time and effort into the Teacher Assessed Grades earlier this summer.
“We gathered evidence from a broad range of assessments, including teacher-set examinations.
“We also carried out a rigorous moderation process before submission, so we are highly confident that these grades are fair reflections of individual pupils’ achievements.”
1.10pm John O'Gaunt School
At John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford, head of school Richard Hawthorne said: “We’re incredibly proud of these students who have had to manage unprecedented circumstances throughout the past two years of study.
“They have worked towards these grades through multiple lockdowns and disruptions. Consequently, they have had to show a unique determination and resilience, especially during the last few months, that no exam or assessment grade could adequately capture. I think they deserve extra recognition for completing their schooling in these circumstances.”
Notable successes included those of Rachel Glover, who achieved seven grade 9s and a Distinction*; Emilia Thatcher, who achieved four grade 9s, a Distinction* and two grade 8s and Liberty Tregunna Bainbridge, who achieved three grade 9s, four grade 8s and two grade 7s.
A number of pupils returned notable results at grade 7 or above in multiple subjects, including four who received at least seven grades 7 to 9, with four who achieved at least five and another two pupils who attained two results at grade 7 or above. These included a significant number of grades 8 and some further grade 9s and Distinction* grades.
Mr Hawthorne added: “These results demonstrate the very high levels of which our students are capable. There are many other fantastic stories of progress and achievement across the cohort.
“John O’Gaunt School prides itself on supporting all students to get their very best outcomes and helping them to do so year-on-year. However, this year teachers and support staff also had to adapt quickly to changes in the way grades have been awarded under the Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) system. I cannot praise them enough for their work.
“The many challenges thrown at students over the last couple of years have not been easy to manage, and none of today’s achievements would have been possible without the resilience and tireless efforts from all those who have supported these incredible students.
“I’m extremely proud of the entire school community.”
12.40pm The Downs School
A number of pupils at The Downs School in Compton have expressed their relief at having received their results, with many visiting the school this morning to collect them.
Maya Noonan said: “Although it has been an incredibly stressful couple of years, I am really proud of the grades I have achieved and I am grateful for the continued support from the teachers throughout the pandemic, to ensure we were all able to achieve the results we deserved.”
Jake Peto said: “All my apprehension has melted away into relief, especially after the last couple of years.
“We all deserve to celebrate!”
Downs headteacher Chris Prosser told the Newbury Weekly News: “The assessment courses we had were really rigorous, so we’re really confident the students have got the grades they deserve, and they worked really hard for them.
“We had assessments going on from the beginning of May, right through to June.
“There’s been some fantastic achievements, great stories of endeavour, determination and resilience – which is one of our school values.
“Our students have done us proud, and we’re incredibly proud of them.”
12.30pm Kennet School
Kennet students have celebrated "exceptional achievements" for their GCSEs this year.
High-achieving pupils include Laura Golding and Isobel Turner, both of whom achieved 11 9s, and Lucy Dobbins who achieved eight 9s and two 8s. She said she was "quite shocked but really happy”.
Executive headteacher Gemma Piper said: “The day has gone as we would hope, and it has been really nice seeing all pupils.
“They were so early, so keen, and en masse. And to call them in was brilliant. They’re talking through their options now.”
Laura Golding achieved an amazing set of 11 level 9 grades.
She said: “I am really shocked. I was thinking I would get seven 9s and I was pretty nervous. I was like, this is it.”
She said she is keen to continue her studies at Kennet for her A-levels, where she is going to be taking further mathematics, French, and philosophy.
She added: “I just want to be back in the classroom, especially with A-levels, because it is going to be hard.”
Mrs Piper said that it was important for Kennet School to give the pupils "confidence in themselves as learners", following the unprecedented year that they have had.
She said: “There is a definite togetherness today. There’s always a sense of that but it does feel celebratory just being together.”
She added: “To have the grades they deserve and are proud of, there are some serious conversations as well, but we are proud that we can support them through it.”
11.25am St Bartholomew's School
Pupils at St Bartholomew’s School in Newbury were this morning celebrating “outstanding results again this year”, said headteacher Julia Mortimore.
She said: “After two challenging years in which these students have remained focused and positive and shown remarkable resilience and commitment to their studies they have been justly awarded with the grades they fully deserved after all their hard work over the two years of their GCSE/BTEC studies.
“I’m exceptionally proud of our students who, in recent weeks, have faced so much uncertainty, and they can now celebrate their exceptional results.
“I know these results will now provide the platform for our students to go on to further success in whatever path they choose to follow in the future.”
Mrs Mortimore went on: “It’s pleasing to see that the hard work and dedication of the students, supported by their teachers and their parents, has paid dividends and I would like to thank and congratulate them all.
“We now look forward to welcoming the majority of our students together with students from many other schools in to our sixth form in September.”
The following pupils were among those who received stunning results:
Elliot Crouch – 13 grade 9s;
Oliver Davey and Baijal Kumar – 12 grade 9s
Amit Manna – 11 grade 9s and one grade 8
Annabel Grant, Laura Mills and Adam Turner – 10 grade 9s, two grade 8s
11.07am The Willink School
The Willink School is celebrating yet more excellent GCSE results from its outgoing Year 11s.
Of the 165 students in this cohort, 71 per cent achieved grades 9-5 in mathematics and English, and 92 per cent achieved grades 9-4 in mathemtics and English.
Of the 93 per cent of pupils who were entered to achieve their English Baccalaureate, which involves obtaining a passing qualification in mathematics, English, science, language and history or geography, 72 per cent passed all subjects mentioned.
Twenty-six individual pupils all achieved at least nine GCSE grades 9-7.
Due to the unique nature of how this year’s cohort of students were assessed, which in this case was through six to eight teacher graded assessments, the school stated that making comparisons school-to-school and year-by-year was “unhelpful”.
Headteacher Peter Fry said: “The Willink is pleased to report some excellent results by its students in their GCSE and other level 2 qualifications.
“These last 18 months have been difficult circumstances for continuity in learning and our students have endured a considerable degree of uncertainty and disruption, so we congratulate them not only on their exceedingly good results, but their resilience and forbearance.
“It is important to remember that these results are a tribute to their hard work and perseverance over many years.
“Willink staff have worked tirelessly to ensure all our students, whatever their achievements, are able to successfully progress into post-16 education or training at Willink or elsewhere, and we look forward to sharing their future successes.”
11.03am Park House School
The principal designate of Park House School in Newbury has offered his congratulations to pupils getting their GCSE results this morning.
In a statement, Damian Crabbe said: “After two years of disruption caused by the pandemic, Park House are delighted with the impressive results that our students have been awarded today.
“As with the A-level results earlier in the week, students have received an extraordinary collection of grades which is a true testament to their resilience, hard work and ambition over these challenging few years.
“On behalf of the community, my sincere congratulations to each and every one of the students and we wish them well in their future endeavours.”
10.05am Theale Green School
Theale Green School Students Celebrate Hard Work and ‘Fantastic Results’
THIS morning, students at Theale Green School are celebrating a fantastic set of results after a very turbulent 18 months.
The school has told the Newbury Weekly News that this cohort of pupils have shown unbridled “fortitude, determination and resilience” and have embraced the challenges of remote learning and differing forms of assessments.
Thirty-five per cent of all students achieved grade 7 or better in English or mathematics, 27 per cent achieved a grade 9 result, and 70 per cent achieved a grade 7 or better.
Headteacher Jo Halliday said, “At Theale Green School we are really proud of the accomplishments of our Year 11 students.
“This is a year group who had an interrupted course of learning that no other 16-year-olds have ever experienced before.
“We have been full of pride in how they have remained focused through adversity, working closely with their teachers to go on and achieve outstanding results.
“We are very excited to see so many of our students continuing in to our outstanding sixth form and are looking forward to welcoming external applicants for this important stage of their education”.
Activate Learning Education Trust chief executive Joanne Harper said: “The students at Theale Green School go from strength to strength; they should be really proud of the young adults they are growing in to.
“They have shown determination and resilience in achieving this next step and we are looking forward to continuing to work with our students over the next two years of sixth form.”
Deputy headteacher Charlotte Badarello, who has overseen significant change in the curriculum over the last two years, said: “We have seen some very strong performances from some exceptional students; we are equally proud of the significant number of students who have made extraordinary progress and achieved the highest grades in parallel to the substantial school improvements that have been made at Theale Green School.”
9.55am Trinity School
It was a great day at Trinity School as pupils succeeded in their GCSEs despite the struggles of the last 18 months.
Louis Brennan achieved 7s and 8s, John Baic got a 9 in business and 7 in mathematics and Jacques Tonge – who was born in France but moved to England aged eight – was delighted to pass everything, especially English.
Louis said: “I’m quite happy, they’re definitely what I was hoping for.”
On doing his GCSEs during the pandemic, he said: “It’s been confusing because I didn’t know what was next because the rules kept changing and we keeping going in and out of lockdown.
“It’s been hard to learn from home because there’s a lot more distractions than at school.”
Football-mad Jacques, who is in the Hungerford Town FC academy, now plans to do a football course.
He said: “I really enjoy football and it’s something I want to take further.
“Anything to do with football really, playing, coaching or sports management.
“Learning from home really got me focused on my football and I got better and do what I wanted to do.”
Harley Doe meanwhile achieved 7s and 8s and a 9 in geography, roughly exceeding all his targeted grades by a full grade.
He will now do geography, computer science, chemistry and mathematics at A-level.
He said: “I’m just really happy.
“I want to do something in in computing or coding. I just enjoy the subject a lot and I think I’m quite good at it. Something in that would be quite fun and interesting.”
Trinity headteacher Dr Charlotte Wilson said: “We are incredibly proud of this group of students and their achievements at GCSE.
“They have shown true resilience and commitment over the course of their studies, particularly in the last 18 months.
“They are a year group who have risen to all the challenges they have faced, showing true determination to achieve a very strong set of results.”
9.40am The BBC reports on the national trend
The BBC calls this year’s results a ‘record year’ with a record number of subject passes. Top grades (level 7 and above, equivalent to grade A) rose 2.7 per cent and level 4 (equivalent to grade C), which are seen as good passes, rose 0.8 per cent.
Despite being a record year, this year’s percentage rise was less than that of last year, the first year where teacher assessed assessments were used as a basis of calculating grades.
8.30am St Gabriel's School
St Gabriel's School Year 11 pupils have come away with grades they are more than pleased with after a year of uncertainty.
Principal Ricki Smith said: “I am most grateful for the professionalism and dedication shown by all staff through this difficult time.”
One student, Oluchi, has finished her year with all her 11 grades at level 9, as well as Georgia, who received nine level 9s.
St Gabriel’s said that it is delighted with the achievements – which were equally as impressive as this year's A-level results from Year 13.
After two years massively disrupted by the pandemic that the cohort has had to deal with, the school hopes its students can experience normality as they return for their sixth form studies in September.