Strong GCSE results after ‘challenging circumstances’

LEADERS of Winterbourne Academy say GCSE students showed “skill, ambition and determination” to record a “strong” set of results.

Staff said this year’s exam candidates showed more progress than those who sat GCSEs in 2019, the year the government said their performance should be compared with, following three years of adjustments for the pandemic.

The school draws some of its students from Downend, Emersons Green and Lyde Green.

Head teacher Jenny Cartwright said students “needed particular resilience and effort to prepare for exams in the context of their COVID-19 interrupted learning from earlier years”.  

Among the “standout individual academic performances” the school highlighted were:

Joel Tew – nine GCSEs at grade 9 and one at grade 7; Olivia Lane, (eight 9s and two 8s); Alice Tanner (seven 9s, one 8 and two 7s) and Anna Barlow, Daniel Rawling, and Sophie Winter-Alsop, who all achieved six 9s, as well as recording nine 8s and two 7s between them.

The school said 35 students gained at least one grade 9, with 65 gaining a 9 or a distinction*, the highest possible grade in vocational subjects.  

In benchmark results for English and maths, 74% of pupils gained at least a grade 4 in both subjects, with 53% gaining grade 5 of higher in both.  

The school also highlighted some subjects where overall performance was particularly strong, including art, where 86% of candidates gained at least a grade 4 ‘standard pass’, English language (82% ), English Literature (81%), French (100%), maths (80%), music (83%), photography (92%), Spanish (98%), statistics (89%) and biology,  chemistry and physics (all 97%).

In vocational subjects, 89% of candidates gained the equivalent standard, a level 2 pass, in health and social care, 81% in media and 93% in sport.

Mrs Cartwright said: “Students deserve high congratulations for their results, especially in the nationally challenging circumstances.

“Progress for this cohort is stronger than it was in 2019, showing their commitment to success against the odds!

“My thanks to staff for all of the hard work, care and support which  they have given to students to help them achieve these grades.”