GCSE delight across Doncaster as some schools claim record breaking year
Hundreds of Doncaster teenagers are celebrating after notching outstanding grades in their GCSE exams.
Some schools were reporting improvements to their grades this year, the first time year that a new grading system using the numbers one to nine, with nine the equivalent of an A** grade, and one the equivalent of the old G grade.
At Doncaster's newest school, the XP School at Middle Bank, pupils were receiving their GCSE results for the first time since the school opened five years ago - meaning today's grades set their new record.
Among the biggest success stories was Rae Duffield, from Thorne, whose eight GCSE passes at XP included four at grade eight.
She said she was grateful to have had the chance to be one of the pioneer pupils at the free school. She said: "I've done better that I was predicted, but I was hoping I'd get a nine in English.
"There have been times when new ways of doing things have been trundled out, and most of it has worked well. We may have been guinea pigs, but I think we've been successful guinea pigs."
Mary Waring, from Rossington, was also celebrating four grade eights and a total of eight GCSES.
She said: "I'm really pleased with my results.
"I was confident because I think its been a good school, but still nervous, because there were no previous results to compare with. It took a bit of courage to come here, but I'm glad I did. I'm looking to go to sixth form at New College Doncaster next year."
Her dad, Stephen, said: "It was a bit of leap of faith sending Mary here - the school wasn't even built, but we're pleased we did and her younger sister is here now too."
Principal Andy Sprakes said early indicators suggested the school would have a good progress eight score for value added.
He said: "I'm thrilled. I think it is a fantastic set of results. Parents took a chance on us and I think the pupils have achieved academically, as well as through other activities like the Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Chief executive at the schol Gwyn ap Hari said: "From the initial figures it looks like we have had a really good standard, and I think it shows what we're doing is working. It is not spectacular but it is good results in our first year."
Rossington All Saints Academy was also reporting a record breaking set of results, with 71 per cent of pupils of students gaining a grade four in Maths and English and 52 per cent achieving a grade five pass or above in both subjects. And 21 per cent of passes in the school were at grade seven or over.
Principal Rob Burton said: "I am absolutely delighted with these results which reflect the hard work put in by both students and staff. They are an indication of the strong teaching and individual support we provide for our students. The results are excellent across all subjects and reflect the sustained high performance of Rossington All Saints Academy. Congratulations and well done to all our Year 11 students. Their success is very well deserved.
De Warenne Academy, in Conisbrough, also reported its best ever results.
Overall 62 per cent of pupils gained a grade four in maths and English and 36 per cent achieved a grade five or above.
Principal Anna Rooney said “I am absolutely delighted with these results which reflect the hard work put in by both students and staff. They are an indication of the strong teaching and individual support we provide for our students. This is a significant improvement on last year’s results, when the academy was already the highest performing local school and I am delighted that we are able to celebrate our year on year improvement. Congratulations to all our students.”
At Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, in Edlington, principal, Yvonne Bootman, said significant gains have been made this academic year.
A total of 77 per cent of pupils achieved Grade four English with 58 per cent achieving Grade five. This was an improvement of over 12 per cent in both since last year. And 74 per cent of students achieved a Grade four standard pass in Maths; an improvement of 9 per cent; and 48 per cent achieved Grade five; an improvement of per cent.
The percentage of students achieving a grade five pass in both English and Maths rose by 9 per cent to 40 cent. The grade four pass for both rose by 13 per cent to 67 per cent.
Trinity Gortschacher achieved four grade nines, two grade eights and a grade seven, Eoin Hughes achieved two grade nines, three grade eights and a grade seven, and Lydia Wordsworth achieved three grade nines, three grade eights and two grade sevens
Mrs Bootman said: "The gains secured this year are due to the hard work and determination of students, staff and parents and we wish the cohort of 2019 the very best wishes for the future."
Astrea Academy Woodfields, formerly Balby Carr School, reported improvements in grades this year, with 38 per cent securing grades nine to four. In drama and product design students did particularly well, with 66.7 per cent and 62.5 per cent respectively achieving grade four and above.
Results were up from 11 per cent passes at grade nine to four last year in combined maths and English, to 23 per cent this year.
Joanne Cater, headteacher, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students and delighted that they can now enjoy the benefits of their hard work and dedication to their studies. Collectively the academy has doubled its results and individually there are some incredible success stories, but every single student and the staff who helped them along the way can be very proud of their achievements.”
At Trinity Academy, in Thorne, pupil Amy Butler, emerged as an outstanding success story, gaining seven grade nines and three grade eights.
Hannah Jackson also passed seven at grade nine, along with two grade eights and a grade seven
Principal Jonathan Winch said: “We applaud the hard work and focus of all our students, whose results we’re celebrating today. Outstanding successes were achieved by Amy, along with several others.
“The young people of Thorne and Moorends have once again proven that character development and academic progress go hand in hand.”
This year’s results at Trinity saw a shift in the gender split in some academic subjects, with boys doing better than girls in maths and the sciences for the first time.
At Hayfield School, in Auckley, 83.6 per cent passed English and maths at grade four or above, with a provisional and unvalidated progress eight score of 0.2.
A total of 72 grade nines were achieved at the school.
Among the biggest success stories were Rosie Sutton who has secured nine grade nines, Joshua Burns and Allanah White achieved seven grade nines, while Ben Falkingham has passed six at grade nine. Top students for progress were Eimantas Lavickas and Lara Jacobs.
Ridgewood Academy, at Scawsby, reported an improvement in its results over 2018, describing the, the average grade achieved by pupils as being a third of a grade higher than last year.
Almost one in two pupils gained strong passes (grade five or above) in both English and maths, an increase of more than 10 percentage points on the 2018 figure.
Overall, its pupils secured 63 grade nines, representing four per cent of all grades. There were also 195 grade eights, and 21 per cent of all grades were seven to nine. Two pupils gained seven GCSEs at grade nine, and one in 14 students got at least one grade nine.
Maggie Dunn, headteacher, said: "Warmest congratulations to all of our students today. The excellent results they have achieved are testament to all their hard work, the dedication of their teachers and the support of their families."
Staff at Outwood Academy Adwick said they were celebrating 62 per cent of students passing both English and maths. English was a highlight for the school with 79 per cent of pupils achieving a grade four and 64 per cent a Grade five, with 12 Grade nines awarded.
Science results on average were a whole grade higher than the previous year and art results were described as amongst the best nationally.
Significant high performances include Taylor Cousins who achieved a grade nine in both English and maths, Abbie Moorcroft who achieved six grade nines and a grade eight, Dan Parsley who achieved five grade nines, Stephanie Waddoups who achieved three grade nines, and Kyle Peters who achieved a grade nine, four grade eights, a grade seven and a grade six
Outwood Academy Danum, in Intake, saw half its pupils achieved a strong pass, at grade of five or above, in both English and maths and 69 per cent of students achieved grades of four or above in both subjects.
Principal, Jayne Gaunt said: "We are extremely proud of our students. The hard work and dedication required to achieve so highly is enormous and they have done phenomenally well. Thank you also parents and to the teachers and governors who play a huge role in ensuring that students are supported and have everything they need to be able to succeed.
Sarah Da Mota Castilho achieved grade fives in different languages including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German. Kate Whitaker who achieved grade nine in four different subjects.
Overall Doncaster picture
Officials at Doncaster Council say results appear to be up on last year and have brought the borough in line with the 'emerging national average' for the first time.
Education bosses say early indications suggest that there has been a six per cent rise in the number of youngsters achieving a standard pass (grade four) or above in English and a 4.5 per cent rise in pupils achieving a standard pass or above in maths,
Coun Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools said: “We are once again extremely proud of Doncaster’s young people, and a huge congratulations to all of those who received their GCSE results today following many months of hard work and dedication to their studies. We are pleased to report an increasingly positive picture in Doncaster with improved outcomes, which is a testament to the hard work and continuous support from our schools, parent, carers and education professionals.
“I want to wish all of our students well in their future endeavours, be that education or training in whichever pathway they choose. Doncaster’s choice for young people is continuing to grow, adding a breadth of opportunities within technical education, alongside traditional routes such as A Levels, with the National College for High Speed Rail and the new University Technical College which is planned to open in 2020.”
This year’s GCSEs results for Doncaster showed the average ‘attainment 8’ score in Doncaster was in line with the emerging national average following an increase since in 2018, and an increase on 2018’s results in the percentage of students in Doncaster achieving a Grade 4 or above (a standard pass) in both English and Mathematics. Additionally, 14 out of 17 secondary schools have either remained stable or seen an improvement in the percentage of students passing grade four English, and the percentage of pupils achieving a grade four or above (standard pass) has also improved.