Live Blog: West Berkshire A-level results day 2021
A-level pupils across West Berkshire will be receiving their results today (Tuesday).
Pupils will be opening teacher assessed grades following exams being cancelled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Teachers have assessed pupils based 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.
The grades are being released earlier this year to allow pupils more time to appeal their results.
The appeal deadline for schools or colleges to send an appeal to the exam board is September 17, however there is an earlier deadline of August 23 for schools and colleges to send a priority appeal to the exam board for pupils who have not had their first choice university place confirmed.
GCSE results will be released on Thursday and Newburytoday will be running a live blog on the results as they come in.
5.13pm Denefield School
The A-level results saw 59 per cent of Denefield students achieve A*s to Bs and 29 per cent got A*s and As.
Assistant headteacher and director of KS5 Andrew Binnington said: “I am immensely proud of all of our Year 13 students, who have achieved excellent results during such a challenging time.
“They have all worked incredibly hard during the past two years and deserve every success.”
He added: “Today is all about destinations, and I am delighted that our students are able to move into the next phases of their lives with confidence.”
More than 90 per cent of the students have received an offer from their first choice university.
Of those applicants, 44 per cent secured places at the prestigious Russell Group of universities including Birmingham, Exeter and Manchester.
The school has hailed it an incredible achievement, especially given the challenges that Covid-19 has posed for this cohort.
B-TEC results saw 94 per cent of students achieve a Distinction* to Merit and 63 per cent receive a Distiction* to Distinction grade qualification.
Mr Binnington said: “We are also thrilled for our students starting exciting apprenticeships, including at Microsoft. Congratulations to all in Year 13.”
3.30pm Downe House
Downe House is celebrating the results of its outgoing Upper Sixth girls. The school highlighted how exceptional these achievements are for their students, given the current pandemic.
Eighty-four per cent of the results are at A*-A (or equivalent) and 98 per cent at A*-B (or equivalent).
Twenty-two girls will be leaving the school with three or more A* grades, something that the school has labelled a “remarkable achievement”.
Pupils have achieved places at some of the best universities both in the country and in the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, UCLA, Yale, Boston, and Hong Kong.
The school has said that the girls have shown “remarkable resilience and commitment to their studies and indeed all aspects of school life”.
Headmistress Emma McKendrick said: “I could not be more proud of this exceptional group of young women.
“In spite of the challenges they have faced, they have remained focused and positive and thoroughly deserve to have their consistent hard work rewarded with outstanding results.
“However, it is not just the results that they have achieved that are noteworthy, it is the way in which they have given so much to all aspects of school life, the care that they have shown for one another, the enthusiasm that they have shown and the contributions they have made on the stage, in the music school, on the sports fields and so much more.
“I know that the leavers of 2021 will continue to be committed and give their very best, wherever they go in the future.
“I know too that they will always go the extra mile, stand up for what is right and just, and combine aspiration with humility and compassion for those around them.
“That they will make a special contribution is not in doubt.”
2.23pm Reaction from The Downs School
Head girl Niamh Walker attained five A*s, including an Extended Project Qualification, and will now progress to study biomedical sciences at Oxford.
Meanwhile, Antoni Pilat and Alice Knight were awarded four A*s each, with Antoni set to study mathematics and computer science and Alice music at Oxford.
Alice said: “I’ve studied at The Downs School since Year 7 and got four A*s in music, English literature, maths, and further maths.
“I am now going to read music at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford.
“I’m so thrilled with my results and absolutely can’t wait to start in October, and I’m so happy for all of my friends’ results and exciting next steps too.
“Huge thanks to all my fabulous teachers at The Downs – it was really lovely to be able to come in for an in-person results day and see everyone.”
Lauren Jones and Kilbane Joel netted three A*s and an A, while Isabella Brown and Ellen Jarrett attained two A*s and two As.
William Bailkoski and Amber Morrison have been awarded one A* and three As, Eloise White and Izzy Kind four As, and Jack Botham, Phoebe Hoaen and Megan Lockie three A*s each.
Two A*s and an A were awarded to Georgie Brooks-Ward, Margaux Burdess, Abbygail Davies, Poppy Pugh, Arjun Sanghera and Alex Silverthorne.
Other pupils attained BTEC successes, with Sarah Jayne Springford getting a D* and two Ds, while Ella Holdsworth Hunt bagged two Ds alongside an A at A-level.
Achievements have also been reported in the careers sector, with a number of graduates set to take up permanent jobs, apprenticeships and training positions.
Luke McEnhill – an economics, business and sociology student – has secured a degree apprenticeship in the business consulting division of Reading finance firm BCO.
Gemma Clark has secured a law apprenticeship with solicitors Irwin Mitchell, and Amelia Bone is to take up a nurse traineeship at John Radcliffe Hospital.
Oliver Llewelyn has been offered a job at Newbury company Stryker.
Sixth form head Pete Hogan said: “We have already read stories of grade inflation in the national press, but the simple truth is that our students have worked incredibly hard to achieve such an outstanding set of results.
“Nobody has given them these grades.
“Our students have taken part in a really rigorous programme of assessment that was at least as challenging as the normal exams, so they should all feel really proud of what they have achieved during their time at The Downs School.”
Headteacher Chris Prosser said: “Even before the pandemic began, we knew that Year 13 were an incredibly motivated and determined group of students.
“Having gone through two lockdowns, they have experienced more challenges than any year group before them.
“They faced these challenges head on and, with the support of their teachers and the Sixth Form pastoral staff, really thrived.
“I have no doubt that these experiences will help them to achieve just as much success when they begin their university courses, apprenticeships and jobs.
“We could not be more proud of this cohort of students; they have truly earned their excellent results.”
2.07pm Little Heath School
Little Heath School is celebrating the class of 2021 A-level results following an unprecedented year of studies.
The 2021 cohort have had Sixth Form experience like no other, yet they have demonstrated determination, resilience and commitment.
Many of the students are going to top UK universities like Oxford, Bristol and Birmingham, among many others.
Some are also starting apprenticeships, including mechanical engineering with Ridge and Partners LLP and with the NHS.
One particular student, Amelia Beddow, achieved A* A* A* and is off to Nottingham University. She said: “I can't quite believe it. I'm really happy – I'm off to Nottingham to study medicine. I can actually say I'm going now.”
Little Heath congratulated the pupils' motivation, noting that it was particularly evident during remote learning and in the more recent months when students returned to school after the national lockdown.
Assistant headteacher in charge of KS5 Sam Chaventré said: "We are incredibly proud of the successes of our students during such an extraordinary two years.”
She added: “They've worked so hard and are now able to move onto their next adventures.”
The school also thanked all teachers, leaders and support staff who have worked meticulously throughout the moderating processes prior to submitting results to the exam boards.
12.40pm Park House School
Forty-two per cent of grades awarded to Park House pupils were either an A* or A, with a number of leavers singled out for their exceptional achievements.
Among these is Jonah Yallop, who netted an incredible four A* grades, Tiegan Doyle, who achieved two A*s, an A and a Distinction*, Ella Groombridge and Holly Herd, who both achieved two A*s and two A grades each, and Matt Fulton, who achieved three Distinctions*.
Special mention also goes to Lily Marston and Tyler Du Cros, who achieved three A* grades each.
Park House’s interim principal Damian Crabbe said: “I’m delighted by the results of our students after a most challenging year in education.
“Their hard work and ambition has paid off and is reflected in their truly outstanding results.
“On behalf of the school community, I congratulate each and every one of them and wish them well in their future endeavours.”
12.35pm Pangbourne College
Pangbourne College is proud of its students for overcoming the challenges of the pandemic and achieving great results.
The percentage of A*-A grades was 45 per cent, a great achievement for the school as a whole.
The majority of pupils at Pangbourne College will be progressing into higher education, with many going to top UK universities including University of Edinburgh, University of York, University of Exeter and King’s College London.
Six will be heading to Durham University. One of those students heading to Durham to study mathematics is senior scholar Andrew Mullins. He said: “I’m just very, very relieved. I got three A*s and an A, so that means I will be going to my firm-choice university next year. There were many highlights during my time at Pangbourne, but getting the Academic Scholarship in Year 9 felt pretty good.”
Another student celebrating her success is music scholar Grace Spalton, who achieved A*A* A in her A-levels. Grace will be accepting a place at the University of Cambridge to study natural sciences, along with an organ scholarship.
She said: “I am surprised at my A* in physics, but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I’m delighted that I’ve achieved the grades I needed to take up a place at Cambridge.”
Deputy head academic Samantha Greenwood said: “This has not been the easiest progression through the Sixth Form years for this cohort, with about a third of the content of courses delivered remotely.
“I am very pleased with how the students and their teachers were able to adapt to online schooling during two of these terms.
“Consequently they enabled themselves to make first rate progress. Our students have shown great resilience through an unsettling period of shifting circumstances. They should be justifiably proud of their achievements in their A-levels and BTECs.”
12.18pm St Bartholomew's School
Headteacher at St Bartholomew’s School in Newbury, Julia Mortimore, said: “St Bartholomew’s School is absolutely delighted to be celebrating exceptional results for our Year 13 students again this year.
“After the students and staff have faced two difficult years, and students being disappointed in not actually sitting their exams, they have just been rewarded for all their continued dedicated study and hard work and we are really proud of their achievements.
“I‘m exceptionally proud of our students who in recent months have faced so much uncertainty, and they can now deservedly celebrate their outstanding results.
“It is 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 and wish them well for the future.”
The following students were among those who received stunning results: Tobias Allen, Jack Clarkson, Laurence Hall, Matthew Morecroft and Sanskriti Sahoo gained four or more A*s and Brendan Chooi, Harry Clarkson, Sadie Dillon, Daniel Drew, Amy Fleming, William Freer, Jemima Garner, Caitlyn Gregory, Vanya Knyazev, Anna Spence and Luca Vicaria gained three or more A*s.
11.32am Trinity School
At Trinity School in Newbury, headteacher Dr Charlotte Wilson was delighted with how her pupils had performed.
Head boy Harry Craig achieved five A*s in history, sociology, French, geography and an extended project qualification (EPQ), Jai Chupreecha received four A*s in biology, chemistry, mathematics and an EPQ, and Zahra Smith received a Distinction star in performing arts, and As in biology and chemistry.
Harry is going to study history at the University of Exeter, Jai will study medicine at the University of Southampton and Zahra will study dance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Dr Wilson said: “We are incredibly proud of our Year 13 students who have risen to every challenge that this year has thrown at them.
“They have led by example and been excellent role models for our school community, demonstrating that hard work and commitment reap rewards.”
Dr Wilson said the grades reflected how pupils had performed over the course of the year.
She added: “I think when you take out all the things that could go wrong on the day, for example illness, tiredness, lateness, or the paper not showing you the questions you prepared for, you’re left with the best grades students can get so inevitably the grades are going to be more positive.
“We’re looking at how the students performed consistently throughout the year.”
11.23am Padworth College
Padworth College is celebrating some very high grades this summer.
The school said it is proud of the hard work and determination of its students and staff.
Overall, 78 per cent of grades awarded were A*-B, with 59 per cent of all grades awarded A*-A.
11.20am The Downs School
Newburytoday spoke to students and staff at The Downs School in Compton, where many leavers are reporting strong results.
Among these is Asher Dunnett, who achieved four A*s in economics, mathematics, further mathematics and physics.
He will be studying economics at Downing College, Cambridge, from October.
Asher said: “It’s been strange learning from home, but the school have done a great job helping us.
“It’s been weird, but we’ve been able to carry on with our learning – and that’s shown up in our results.”
The Downs headteacher Chris Prosser said: “This group of students were going to do well before the pandemic, they always had the work ethic, and they showed resilience, huge amounts of determination.
“We made sure that the assessment courses that they had for the exams were rigorous and robust.
“We were absolutely confident that they would perform brilliantly, in incredibly difficult times, so we’re really happy for them.
“My staff, as usual, pulled out all the stops to make sure that they got the best experience possible.
“It’s been a real team effort and it makes me incredibly proud.”
10.53 Willink School
The Willink School is celebrating a fantastic year of results, with 47 per cent of grades being A* or A.
Seventy-one students received their first choice place at university with a third accepting places at Russell Group universities and five securing apprenticeships.
The school said that despite being a “fundamentally different year”, the pupils have had an opportunity to show their performance.
Twenty-six students achieved grades AAA or higher, the majority of whom have received confirmation of their place at a UK top university.
Pupil Lydia Woods told Newburytoday: “I am so delighted and happy with my results. It means I can go to Loughborough uni at the end of September which I am very excited about.”
Emilia Thackray said that she is very proud of herself and that she is “grateful for the help from the school”.
Bea Cottee said that after a “difficult two years’” she is proud of everyone and is excited for the future.
Naomi Barlow said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but I’m glad it seems our hard work has paid off.”
Sophie Ashton said: “I’m so happy, it doesn’t feel real yet. I’m proud of everyone and what we’ve achieved despite everything.”
Hannah Mott said she was “so relieved and very proud of everyone
Headteacher Peter Fry said: “The Willink School is delighted to publish some wonderful achievements by its students in their A-level and other post-16 courses.
“After what has been a difficult and unpredictable eighteen months we congratulate all our students on their resilience and forbearance and celebrate with them their exam successes.
“The grades achieved today are a reflection of the hard work students have put into their studies.
“Willink teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress on to higher education, further training or employment, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”
10.12am Theale Green School
At Theale Green School, 20 per cent of pupils achieved grades AAB or better, with four students achieving A*A*A* or better.
Theale Green said that its students’ “hard work, determination and resilience in this challenging year paid off” and that it is “extremely proud” of what they have achieved.
The achievements have secured students places on renowned courses at institutions such as Bristol University's mathematics and economics department and Birmingham University's Medical School, as well as lucrative degree apprenticeships in industry.
Headteacher Jo Halliday said: “At Theale Green School we are really proud of the accomplishments of our year 13 students.
“This is a year group who had an interrupted course of learning that no other 18-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.”
Joanne Harper, CEO of Activate Learning Education Trust, said: “The students at Theale Green School go from strength to strength; they should be really proud of the young adults they are growing into.
“They have shown determination and resilience in achieving their aspirational destinations and we do hope they remain part of the Theale Green School family for many years to come.”
9.36am National results
The BBC reports that this is a record-breaking year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 44.8 per cent of students getting A* or A grades.
This is after the second year of exams being cancelled. In 2020, 36.5 per cent of students achieved A or A* grades.
9.15am Kennet School
Executive headteacher of Kennet School Gemma Piper says she is 'blown away by the talent' and congratulates the school's Year 13 pupils on 'a set of excellent results'.
High achieving pupils include James Trenaman who achieved five A* grades and Nathan Evans, Oliver Bazin, Kian Lush and Holly Polding who all achieved four A*s.
BTec results were also high with Lara Phillips gaining three Dist*, several pupils achieving two Dist* and a Dist and Isabella Henry gained two Dist* and an A.
Mrs Piper said: "The academic year has, of course, not been without challenge for our pupils, yet they have drawn on the values at the heart of Kennet School and shown exceptional resilience, endeavour and courages as the process of awarding grades changed.
"Our Teacher Assessed Grade process was robust and rigorous and has enabled our staff to award fair and just grades to all our pupils."
Kennet School pupils will be moving on to study at a range of top universities, including Oxford, Birmingham, Durham and University College, London.
Mrs Piper said: "We congratulate Year 13 on a set of excellent results and wish them well as they journey into their next steps in life, whether that is university, apprenticeships or paid work.
"Alongside our pupils, recognition must also go to the staff, both teachers and administration, as they have worked tirelessly to ensure the right grades are achieved by our pupils.
"A very special thank you goes to our parents and wider community for their ongoing support and collaboration."
8.30am St Gabriel's School
St Gabriel's in Newbury said it was delighted with the results its pupils had received.
Top performers were Ava, Olivia and A’ishah, all of whom gained A*s in all of their subjects. Ava is off to Bristol to read English, Olivia is going to Leeds to study international relations and A’ishah is heading to Edinburgh to study neuroscience.
Principal Ricki Smith said: "We are all delighted with the results that have been awarded to our Year 13 pupils this year, results that have allowed them all to go on to the next stage of their education, whatever that might be.
"There will be a great deal written about the non-exams of 2021, however, we should note the uncertainty and difficulty that all Year 13s have had to cope with as they have made their way through their final year in school. Nationwide, young people have worked really hard, under huge pressure, to ensure that they can move on from school.
"Nothing should be taken away from any of them because they have not sat traditional exams, in fact, I am sure that the majority would have preferred to sit exams, rather than to go through the process that has been imposed! I am most grateful to all staff who have shown such professionalism and dedication throughout this difficult time."