A Levels: How your Doncaster school performed in year disrupted by lockdown

It may have been a year like no other for Doncaster’s sixth formers.

Friday, 14th August 2020, 9:55 am

But that has not stopped celebrations across the borough for hundreds of teenagers who discovered today that they have got the grades they needed.

Some schools saw pupils coming in to speak to staff, with scheduled appointments, rather than the traditional results day free for all. Some did not open at all, with pupils receiving results electronically.

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A-Level results day at Don Valley School, Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe. Pictured are Ellie-Anne Barker, Taylor Sheldon and Amie Scholes.

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Among those with beaming smiles was Olivia Jenkins, head girl at Trinity Academy, in Thorne, whose two A*s, an A and a B, mean she will be heading to St Anne College, Oxford, to study medicine. The school wants to appeal the B grade.

She will be the first in her family to go to university, and was at the school to see teachers today.

Olivia said: “I’m feeling overwhelmed about my results.”

A-Level results day at Don Valley School, Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe. Pictured is Ellie-Anne Barker.

One of Olivia’s schoolmates, Lydia Pike, will be heading for Magdalene College at Cambridge University to study English Literature, after picking up three A*s and an A.

Lydia, who is Trinity’s deputy head girl added: “I am thrilled with my results. I have really enjoyed my time at Trinity but feel ready for the next step.”

Principal Wendy Adeniji, who started at Trinity in June, said: “I am delighted that we have had a fourth consecutive year of increase in attainment at Trinity, despite the many challenges in the way A Level grades were assessed this year. It is a huge credit to the hard work of the students, their teachers and the parents who supported them during the last two years, and I congratulate all involved for these excellent results.”

Average grades at Trinity have risen from last year, with 46 per cent of students achieving grades A* to B, and a 98 per cent pass rate overall.

A-Level results day at Don Valley School, Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe. Pictured is Amie Scholes.

Don Valley School was seeing its first A Level results since it became the central sixth form for Delta Academies Trust last September.

There was a celebratory mood among its pupils, as all of them got the grades they needed for their university or training places. It had a 100 per cent pass rate at grades A* to E.

Regional director of post 16 education at Delta, Jamie McMahon, was there with them. He said: “We’re absolutely delighted. With everything that has been going on around Covid there had been a lot of anxiety for the students about what was going to happen. It had been so long since we had seen them, so it was great to see some of them before they go off.”

Success stories included Taylor J Sheldon, from Bentley, who is heading to Leeds University to study philosophy, politics and economics after achieving two As and a B. He said he was ‘feeling great’ about his results, and hopes to go on to get a job in the Department of Education.

A-Level results day at Don Valley School, Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe. Pictured is Taylor Sheldon.

Also heading to Leeds University from Don Valley will be Amie Scholes, from Arksey, whose A*, A and two Bs earned her a place studying English literature and languages. “I feel great, but it has been a scary time,” she said.

Ellie-Anne Barker will be heading to Lincoln University with an A*, B and D to study chemistry and drug development. “I feel really chuffed,” she said. “I’d like to do a PhD when I finish my degree.”

Campsmount Academy Post 16, one of the borough’s smaller sixth forms, saw many of its pupils coming in to pick up their result envelope without checking online first to find out what they had done.

Assistant principal Debbie Hudson said: “We had a number of pupils with A*s , and a couple with three A* grades. And all those who wanted to, got into university.”

Pupils who achieved their results included Rebecca Hall, who is heading to Durham University to study history, Jaylen Tracey, heading to Leeds to study chemical engineering, and Blake Bamford, heading to Leeds to study history. Another of the school's successful pupils, Charlotte Togher, is joining the army instead of university.

McAuley School, traditionally one of Doncaster’s most successful, recorded over 40 A* grades.

Thomas Elvin

Amongst the success stories were Connor Burleigh and Thomas Elvin.

Connor, who initially needed some support settling in the school in year seven, soon made his mark by getting involved in the anti-bullying Buddies, the school council, then being elected to Doncaster Youth Council.

He today passed with an A and two Bs and is heading for St Andrew’s University where he will study International Relations.

He said: “I am relieved and thankful for the support that the staff of the school have given me.”

Thomas joined McAuley Sixth form in 2018 and showed himself to be a maths genius by winning the school’s Pi maths challenge by remembering 102 decimal places!

He has taken part in a number of national maths competitions including the maths Olympiad and his two A*s and two As secured him a place at Queen’s College, Cambridge to study maths.

Headteacher John Rooney said: “Receiving exam results is always a day filled with a heady mix of anxiety and excitement. This year is very different but we are delighted that very many of our young people have been able to accept places at their first choice universities.

Outwood Academy Adwick also saw a number of pupils celebrating. Blake Wilson’s grades A*, A, A and C won him a place studying Business Management at Durham University. Ethan Sheppard achieved three grade As and will be studying History at Sheffield Hallam University, Hayley Heath-Holmes achieved A, A and a Distinction and will continue to study Art, Amy Maskrey achieved A, B, B and will study Criminology at the University of York, Adam Taylor achieved A, B and a Merit and will study Computer science and game design at Sheffield Hallam. Jessica Curran also achieved A, B and a Merit and will study Fine Art with Psychology at the University of Worcester.

At Hall Cross School, a total of 27 pupils achieved A*s and A grades in all their subjects – that was 13 per cent of the candidates.

A total of 29 per cent of its students achieved at least one A* or A grade, and 55 per cent of students got at least one pass of grade B or better.

“We’ve had lots of success,” said headteacher Simon Swain, “But some have not got what they need to get the university of their choice, about 10 per cent.”

New College Doncaster, at Auckley, said results this year were in line with last year, with an A level pass rate of over 99 per cent and more than half of A level students achieving grades A* to B. For BTEC courses, over 94 per cent of students achieved distinction and distinction star results.

Outwood Academy Danum principal Jayne Gaunt said after a very difficult year for students and schools, the school was very pleased that students had received excellent results. She saids: “All students who wanted to go to university secured their first choice place and it was fantastic to see so many smiles today.”

Results included Alex Bird, who achieving A*AA to studying English literature at Warwick, Kate Foster who achieved A*A*A* to study with Leeds College of Music, Dylan Mason, A*Distinction*Distinction* who will study Technical Theatre and Stage Management at the University of Lincoln, Brooke Leivers who achieved A*AA and will study Interior Architecture and Design at Sheffield Hallam University and Gillian Clake who achieved AAA and leaves to study Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester.

Astrea Academy Woodfields also saw success stories.

Headteacher Adam Atkinson said: “All of our sixth-form students are celebrating huge success and are now going on to either their first choice university or have secured apprenticeships or full time employment. Some individual prominent successes include Demba Ramsey-Sowe has fully completed his level three studies, surpassing his target grades, after facing difficult circumstances over the previous couple of years. Courtney Martland, achieving the highest grades of the cohort, is still actively pursuing a career as a professional golfer. Harry Watkin is very excited to be attending Liverpool John-Moore to train to be a future PE teacher.”

The pass rate at Doncaster’s fee paying school, Hill House was a record 100 per cent. The highest grades also saw a new record, with 46 per cent of exams at A* or A grades. Another record 73 per cent of exams were graded at A* to B, and 90 per cent at grade C and above.

Star performers include Hafsa Waseem, Ishan Khetan and Suhaib Mohammed, each of whom achieved A*A*A*A. Hafsa will move to Imperial College, London, to study medicine, Ishan heads to UCL in London for economics, while Suhaib will also join will also join Imperial for computing.

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Olivia Jenkins delighted with her results at Trinity.
Blake Wilson is heading for Durham University after success at Outwood Academy Adwick