A-level Results Day 2017: Celebrations as west Suffolk students find out exam results
PUBLISHED: 17:52 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:43 21 August 2017
Hundreds of sixth-formers today received their long-awaited A-level grades across west Suffolk following the biggest exam shake-up in a generation.
Keep up-to-date with the latest news and school-by-school results throughout the day.
County Upper School, Bury St Edmunds
Headteacher Vicky Neale said she was “delighted” they had been able to maintain “excellent results across the board” following the reforms to A-level.
The A* to E pass rate was 99.7%, while 85% gained A*-C grades.
She said: “Our A*/A pass rate is 29.5% and amongst a large number of students with higher grades in the new tougher subjects are four destined for Oxbridge colleges to read for degrees in the sciences: Hannah Curwen, Yukiko Fujii, Ben James and Hannah Peck. I thank the staff for all they do and, on behalf of their teachers, I congratulate the students. We wish them every success for the next phase of their lives: they are an impressive set of young people.”
Castle Manor Academy, Haverhill
In what is the last year of A-level results at Castle Manor Academy, Haverhill, the school is celebrating after students achieved their highest ever number of A* and A grades. 89% of courses were passed at grades A*-E and the figure was 51% for A*-C. Headteacher Vanessa Whitcombe said: “These students are a fantastic year group and we are exceptionally proud of them and their achievements.”
Pupils at Culford School achieved an overall pass rate for A*-E of 98% and 79% achieved A*- C.
Headmaster Julian Johnson-Munday said: “We are very proud of this set of excellent grades and particularly delighted with the high number of very good individual results.”
King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds
Headteacher Lee Walker said they were celebrating another “terrific” set of results, which saw 84% achieve A*-C grades (up 2% on 2016) and 99.2% A*-E.
He said: “I am very pleased, I think we have had a very good year considering all the changes that have been going on across the country.
“We’ve had key stage five changes, changes to GCSEs and in Suffolk, we’ve had new students in years seven and eight, so we’ve achieved 84% A*-C so I think that’s very impressive and I’m over the moon.”
He added: “I think when you consider everything that teachers have been going through this year, and the amount of change, I’d like to say a big thank you to all of them.”
Mildenhall College Academy
Susan Byles, principal at Mildenhall College Academy said she was “exceptionally pleased” with the results, which revealed a 99% pass rate for A*-E and 62% for A*-C.
She added: “This year sees a further improvement on our overall pass rate, which has risen successively over the past three years.”
Newmarket Academy saw the number of A*-C grades rise to 69% - up by 13% from last year – while the percentage A*-E pass rate went up to 99% - up by 8%.
Principal Nick Froy said that the greatest success was that all students got into their university first choices.
Ormiston Sudbury Academy
Principal Caroline Wilson highlighted the increase in top grades (A*/Distinction* and A/Distinction) to 33%, while half of all entries were A* to B. The pass rate for A*-E was 90%, while for A*-C it was 64%.
She said: “This has proved to be an exceptional year for Ormiston Sudbury Academy – more students are accessing the universities or career path of their choice, and I am exceptionally proud of them. I would also like to pay tribute to our brilliant teachers and to our supportive parents, who have all have been so important in today’s success.
“I am delighted with the progress made, I wish all our leavers well as they start the next stage in their lives.”
The “excellent work” of the teaching team was complemented by initiatives offered by its sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), who appointed an Access Champion, Simon Pedley, to help students navigate the university application process and raise their aspirations. Sudbury’s successes this year include several students who have secured places to Russell Group universities.
Among the outstanding individual student success stories are:
•Ryan Bailey Knox – who achieved four Distinction* grades and has won a place at the London Studio Centre to do dance
•Tonia Lawes – who despite a challenging year has come through with flying colours to win a place at UCL where she will read archaeology and anthropology after achieving an A* in archaeology, A grades in both maths and psychology and a B in history.
Samuel Ward Academy, Haverhill
Kath Just, headteacher of Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, said the results “exemplified the hard work and commitment of staff and students at the academy”. The A*-E pass rate was 97% while for A*-C it was 73%.
St Benedict’s Catholic School, Bury St Edmunds
At St Benedict’s, the pass rate for A*-E was 100%, while 82% gained A*-C grades.
Assistant headteacher Jonathan Croucher, said: “I think the school’s results are excellent. The school performs consistently well at A-level and it carries on that tradition so we’re delighted with our results from today.”
Thomas Gainsborough School, Great Cornard
The school is celebrating the success and hard work of its A-level students after a significant rise in the number attaining the very highest grades.
The overall pass rate at the school was 98%, an increase from last year’s 97%, with an A*-C pass rate of 77% (80% in 2016 and 62% in 2015). 21% of all A-level entries this year at the school achieved either A* or A - an increase from 10% in 2016.
Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said: “Once again, we are encouraged by the progress our students with these results illustrating a significant improvement year-on-year.
“This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the young people of this area, through the high quality teaching and excellent support that the school has provided them with.”
A-level results of particular were achieved by those including Ross McCrory with an A* and three As.
Thurston Community College
Thurston had another “strong year” for results, with a pass rate of 98% for A*-E and 79% for A* to C.
Paul Potter, vice principal and head of sixth form, said they were “incredibly proud” of all of their students and the hard work and dedication they have shown.
This year’s results mark a key step in major reforms to A-levels introduced by government in recent years, including a move away from coursework and modular exams, as well as a significant decision to separate AS-levels to form standalone qualifications.
This shake-up, which applies to England only, has led to a 42% drop in AS-level entries this year, and school leaders today raised concerns that the reform has “sounded the death knell” for qualifications that were traditionally popular with many students and universities alike.
Nationally, boys are likely to outperform girls again in terms of A*s, with one expert suggesting that they could also close the gap with their female classmates at the A grade boundary.