‘Exceptional’ results as GCSEs get tougher

All smiles ... four young achievers at Priory School, Lewes
All smiles ... four young achievers at Priory School, Lewes

Schools across East Sussex report yet another ‘outstanding’ set of GCSE results, in spite of what many head teachers describe as a ‘challenging and demanding’ set of examinations.

Students have built on the success of last year with improved outcomes across the board. At Priory School, Lewes, head teacher Tony Smith commented: “There are some outstanding results with exceptional achievements in English, maths, languages and many other subjects. We are immensely proud of our students. The new GCSEs are very demanding and they have risen to the challenge.”

Uckfield Community College principal Hugh Hennebry said students have achieved the best set of GCSE results in the school’s history with 76% achieving English and maths at Grades 9-4 and an overall 5A*-C of 79%.

“The exams were tougher and for this year group to rise to this challenge and do better than any previous year shows what an amazing group they are. I must pay tribute to the incredibly focused and conscientious way they worked, learning more knowledge than previous GCSE students. They managed to do that by regular and effective study habits. Well done to them. We are hugely proud of their well-deserved success.”

Heathfield’s bright sparks let out familiar squeals of success as they celebrated results. Head teacher Caroline Barlow said: “In a challenging and changing educational climate the College has set the standard high and students have excelled themselves with 77% achieving the new ‘pass’ of 9-4 in both English and maths and an overall average attainment grade of B-. As this is ‘year zero’ for the new outcomes it is hard to make any national comparisons so early, however indications show that achievement at the very highest levels, including the new grade 9, is extremely strong.”

Bede’s GCSE graduates achieved particularly strong results in core subjects. It was also another successful year for those studying visual and performing arts. Academic deputy head John Tuson said: “These are impressive grades from a year group of many talents and youngsters should be justifably pleased with their accomplishments. Head Peter Goodyear added: “To achieve these coutcomes with a pupil body so diverse is nothing short of exceptional.”