A NATIONAL trend has been bucked by Uttoxeter’s schools after a 'tremendous' set of GCSE results.
Teenagers from Thomas Alleyne’s High School, Denstone College, Abbotsholme School, JCB Academy and Abbots Bromley School for Girls celebrated after opening their envelopes yesterday.
Their grades represent an improvement on last year’s figures, bucking the national trend that has seen fewer pupils pass their exams.
Last week's A Level results saw seventy-two per cent of Denstone College's grades hit A*, A or B and 42 per cent were A*s or As.
The fee-paying school was again the top-performing establishment in the area for GCSEs as fifty-six per cent of grades attained by its pupils were A*s or As.
Star pupil Tom Goldsworthy ‘swept the board’ with straight A*s and Thomas Ratcliffe and Johanne Carter were singled out for praise for their 10 A*s.
The art and music departments helped all their pupils to either A*s or As, with three quarters of drama, chemistry and design and technology students also hitting the top two grades.
Sixty-four per cent of maths entrants got A*s or As and, overall, 22 pupils gained at least 10 A* or A grades.
On average, pupils achieved 10 passes with A* to C grades.
Head teacher David Derbyshire said: “I am delighted with these impressive results.
“They demonstrate excellence across the widest possible range of subjects.
“Congratulations to all our students – their hard work and determination has been richly rewarded and they are a credit to the college.”
Alleyne’s bosses heralded their results as ‘among the best the school has achieved’ since new league table measures were introduced.
A fifth of their pupils’ grades were A* or A and almost three quarters were between A* and C.
Eighty-one per cent of the school’s 320 Year 11 pupils, 60 per cent of whom will join Alleyne’s’ sixth form, attained at least a C in maths.
The Dove Bank school’s highest achievers were Grace Hodgson, who got 10 A*s and two As, Sam Haywood with nine A*s and four As and Sophie Parker with 10 A*s two As and a B.
Head teacher Suzanne O’Farrell said: “We are pleased with these results, which show achievement across the whole ability range.
“I would like to thank staff and parents for all the support and commitment they have given all our students.”
An overall pass-rate of 64 per cent represented an ‘outstanding’ achievement for non-selective independent co-educational school Abbotsholme in Rocester.
After expressing their ‘delight’ at last week’s A Level grades, bosses have praised the ‘magnificent individual achievements’ of their pupils.
Indonesian pupil Michael Singgih, a Stoke City youth team footballer, landed two A*s in maths and science and four As.
Uttoxeter student Max Bettson-Burdett got all Bs and Cs despite his dyslexia and contacted the school via Skype – he is currently on a school exchange in Australia – to express his delight.
Head teacher Steve Fairclough said: “We are incredibly proud of all our pupils who have worked so hard to achieve such good results, with some excellent individual results.”
“Although we are a non-selective school, the high standards of academic success we achieve year on year is a testament to our outstanding staff and dedicated pupils.
“At Abbotsholme, our ethos is focused on an education for life both inside and outside the classroom and these results reflect our commitment to ensuring they leave school ready to face whatever challenges and opportunities lie ahead.”
A ‘staggering’ 99 per cent of pupils managed five or more passes at JCB Academy, with all its engineering pupils getting A* to C grades and 89 per cent passing maths.
Twenty-two per cent of those maths grades were A* or A, while 82.5 per cent of science disciplines yielded A* to C and all its business pupils gaining their OCR qualification.
JCB Academy Principal Jim Wade said “Again we are delighted with the outcomes for our young people and pleased that so many achieved well in the Academy core subjects of mathematics, science and engineering.
“The fact that so many of our students have achieved top grades in these key subjects is testament to the hard work of our students, staff and employer partners.”
Abbots Bromley School for girls announced an ‘enormous improvement’ in their GCSE results, with eight subjects, including all three sciences, Spanish and French, seeing all their pupils pass.
A ‘bumper crop’ of 16 A* grades came from performing arts students, while 76 per cent of pupils got five A* to C grades.
Elswhere, 92 per cent of pupils passed English literature, 92 per cent passed history and art and there was a ‘significant improvements’ in maths and English.
Star performers included Francesca Froggatt, who got 12 A*s and an A and Alex James with nine A*s or As and three Bs.
Executive head Victoria Musgrave said: “This is a testament to the hard work of both the staff and the students over recent months and years.
“Our girls have been a privilege to teach and, since Easter, staff have really pulled out all the stops with additional catch up classes, revision groups, intervention and individual support.
“The warm up sessions prior to examinations and study skills sessions all have helped to produce these results.
“I feel very proud to be part of this fine school during its 140th celebratory year.”
GCSE pupils have spoken of their relief after picking up their results yesterday.
The Post & Times visited schools in the Uttoxeter area to interview students as they opened their envelopes.
Thomas Alleyne’s High school pupil Steve Bailey picked up nine As in subjects including maths, geography and history, and two Bs.
He said: “I’m so happy as I put in a lot of effort and it’s all come off for me. My teachers have been great, especially my maths teacher, Mr Plant, who helped me turn my grade around after disappointing SATS results.
“I’ll be coming back next year to enter the sixth form and will study history, maths and English but haven’t decided on the fourth subject yet.”
Eleanor Oldroyd, also of Alleyne’s, got results including an A in RE and three Bs in other subjects.
She is moving on the Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College to study psychology, sociology and business studies.
She said: “I’ve done better than I thought I would so I’m over the moon. I was nervous anyway but felt that even more as I was walking into school this morning.
“I’ll be celebrating with my friends at a party, but at the minute relief is my over-riding emotion.”
Denstone College student Alice Cottam achieve five A*s in subjects including physics, maths and biology, five As and a B.
She said: “I read something yesterday about the marking being stricter this year so am really surprised to have done so well.
“I came out of most of my exams thinking I’d done really badly, but I’m so relieved that wasn’t the case.
“I’ll now be studying biology, chemistry, maths and geography at A Level.”
Fellow Denstone pupil George Bradshaw-Smith got two A*s in business and economics and history, seven As and two Bs.
He said: “I was quite pessimistic on the drive down as I couldn’t really tell how my exams had gone.
“I can now come back her for my A Levels with a clean slate to study history, philosophy, business and economics.
“I’m also looking forward to continuing with the rugby team next year as we’ve got a new director of rugby and new coaches, so that’s really exciting too.”
Abbotsholme pupil Mimi Fletcher, celebrating an A*, six As, two Bs and a C, said: “I’m in shock.
“I hated the exams as they were so tough and came out of most of them in a state of panic.
“But I’m just over the moon, particularly at getting 99 out of 100 in biology.”
Another Abbotsholme pupil, Olivia Owen-Sinclair, attained results including A*s in French and science and an A in English literature.
She said: “I was expecting the worst to avoid disappointment but am so pleased I can now go on to study my A Levels.
“I’d like to especially thank my maths teacher, Mr Cameron, who’s been really patient and gone the extra mile to help me get a B grade.”