Scores of school pupils across Doncaster were all smiles after picking up top of the class GCSE results yesterday – but figures across the borough fell.
Almost 2,000 youngsters were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief after achieving the GCSE benchmark of five A* to C including English and mathematics. But results are down 2.6 per cent on last year.
For the first time this year GCSE performance is calculated based on students’ first examination attempt, not including resits.
A number of schools both nationally and regionally are reporting poorer results than last year under the new arrangements, and Doncaster is in line with that trend.
While five schools have improved on last year, the unvalidated figure for Doncaster is 53.2 per cent.
Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Nuala Fennelly, said: “We congratulate all Doncaster students who are celebrating their achievements and we look forward to continuing our work with schools and academies in order to raise standards even higher.”
Nationally, the proportion of GCSE exams awarded at least a C grade rose, official figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications show.
But the overall A* to G pass rate has fallen for the second year running. However, teenagers across the town achieved some fantastic results with Hall Cross students Mirela Johnson and Lucy Pinder among them.
Lucy attained 11 A*s and two A grades, while Mirela, of Cantley Lane, Cantley, achieved two As and eight A*s. She said she was thrilled by her results.
“I’m feeling good, really happy and surprised,” said the 16-year-old. “I think all the revision I did has paid off.”
Students at private school Hill House were also celebrating as they recorded a record set of GCSE grades. Some 98 per cent of students achieved the all-important 5 A* to C grades, 47 per cent of exams were graded at A* or A, and 30 per cent of the entire year group earned at least eight As or A*s each.
Headmaster David Holland was delighted with the successes.
“This reflects a lot of hard work and talent from both students and teachers,” he said. “One of the most important things at Hill House is that we want pupils to be well-rounded individuals, and we are thrilled at these wonderful results from students who also contribute hugely to the local community.”
Students at Thorne’s Trinity Academy recorded the school’s best GCSE results in English since it opened in 2005.
Eighty per cent of students made significant progress in the subject with three-quarters gaining at least a C grade in yesterday’s results. And boys at the academy bucked the national trend by exceeding girls in the levels of progress made.
Overall, 68 per cent of all grades were A* to C, and 57 per cent of students achieved English and maths together with other subjects. Acting principal David Page said: “We cannot easily compare these results with last year because a great deal has changed in the way in which schools are measured and which qualifications count.
“Overall we are happy that many students have performed well and we have seen improvements in many areas. Students worked extremely hard with our staff ahead of the examinations and many of them have been rewarded with grades of which they will be proud.”