‘Exceptional’ GCSEs at Downend

DOWNEND School has hailed the “exceptional” performance of this year’s GCSE students.

The government announced there would be a “return to pre-pandemic grading” this year, following three years of assessments and adjustments to grades due to the pandemic.

The Department for Education said the results announced at the end of August would be comparable to those awarded in 2019.

But this year’s GCSE candidates have had years of disruption to their education because of the lockdowns during the early part of their time at secondary school, which meant they spent large parts of Year 8 and 9 learning from home.

At Downend School, headteacher Linda Ferris said this year’s candidates had produced “an exceptional set of GCSE results”.

She said: “Whilst the number of passes and top grades fell nationally to pre-pandemic levels, students at Downend have seen an improvement in a number of areas from last year, and significant increases from 2019.” 

Mrs Ferris said 99% of the almost 2,000 exam entries across the year were passes, with 79% of grades at 9 to 4 and 27% at the top grades of 9-7.

She said: “These results sit far above national averages (71% 9-4). 77% of students achieved a grade 4 or above in both English and Maths and 56% achieved a grade 5 or above in these two key subjects.

“As a result, our young people are all set to progress onto the sixth forms, colleges and apprenticeships of their choice. 

“There were a number of students with a string of top grades, but the hard work and dedication of all our students has allowed them to achieve personal bests, regardless of their starting points. “After a really disrupted and difficult part of their secondary education, we couldn’t be more proud.

“These results are a testament to the commitment of both students and staff at the school.”