Published: 00:00, 21 August 2014
| Updated: 09:33, 21 August 2014
Sweeping changes to examination rules and performance tables meant that comparing results with previous years was extremely difficult.
Despite the obvious additional challenges faced this year, results still brought delight to students, parents and staff.
More than 500 students from across the three secondary schools in Leigh Academies Trust took GCSEs.
The percentage of students gaining 5+ A*-C grades or equivalent, including English and maths was:
The Leigh Academy – 54%
Longfield Academy – 57%
Wilmington Academy – 54%
Chief executive Simon Beamish said: “It has been widely reported across the media that results at GCSE this year are subject to very significant volatility.
“It is now students’ first entry grade that counts, not their best; modular examinations have been all but abolished; coursework is being eliminated as a form of assessment; vocational courses have been very significantly downgraded.
“Even so, results across Leigh Academies Trust remain strong. This is testament to the determination of staff and students to work through this unprecedented period of unrelenting change to achieve the very best results again.
“We now look forward to welcoming back increased numbers of students to one of our post 16 centres.”
Those who did well at The Leigh Academy included: Michael Cutting (1A*, 5A, 3B, 3C), Kirstin Invierno (2A*, 6A, 4B), Lauren Oblein (3A*, 6A, 4B), Lauren Patterson (3A*, 4A, 7B) and Christopher Willey (1A*, 5A, 7B).
At Longfield Academy, successful students included: Megan Davis (1A*, 7A, 2B), Ellie Jones (2A*, 4A, 5B), Devika Sooklall (3A*, 5A, 4B), Robin Nixon (2A*, 6A, 3B) and Abbie Sampson (4A*, 2A, 2B).
At Wilmington Academy, some of the high achievers included Gideon Adegboyega (5 A*, 5 A), Joshua Cameron (2A*, 4 A), Charlotte Hermitage (2A*, 3 A), Taylor Cameron (1A*, 4 A) and Jordan Keating (2A*, 3A).
Students are now being recruited to all of Leigh Academies Trust’s post 16 centres in Dartford.
This includes the new Leigh University Technical College (UTC) where recruitment is taking places to Years 10 and Year 12. The Leigh UTC will specialise in engineering and computing.
Saint George’s Church of England School, Gravesend, saw its highest percentage ever of successful students with 67% achieving A*-C in English and maths.
Head teacher Anne Southgate: “Students were under enormous pressure as they had to take all their exams in one sitting. Obviously they have worked very hard and we are all enormously proud of them.”
Bethany Powell, 16, (1A*, 4A, 4 B) saw her best results in history (A*) and biology (A).
She said: “It’s just amazing. I was shaking all this morning. It was horrible waiting for it but it was worth the wait.”
She wants to become a lawyer so plans to take A-levels and go onto university.
At Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, more than 99% achieved five or more A*-C grades. Twenty students achieved 10 or more A* to A grades.
Top fliers were Debo Adebola who achieved 8A* and 4 A grades, Jamie Peake (6 A*, 5 A), Matthew Bell and Nathan Miller, who both achieved 5 A* and 6 A grades, and David Bevis (4 A*, 6 A).
Among those also celebrating were Thomas Hemmings (3 A* and 7A) and Harry Mclean (one A*, 7 A, 2 B and 2 C).
At Gravesend Grammar School, Sohail Ahmed, 16, got 8 A*, 2A including A* in English Literature and method of maths, and is staying on into the sixth form.
He said: “I’m happy with my results. I wasn’t really expecting this but I had a feeling. It didn’t stop the worry though.”
Nathan Wenban, 16, got 2A*, 5A and a B with one of the A* in additional maths. He is also staying on to study in the sixth form.
He said: “I’m very pleased with my results. I didn’t expect to get A in English and I got one in language and literature.”
David Adeboye, 16, got 2A*, 5A and a C and is also staying on at school.
He said: “I was expecting more but I’m happy. I wanted more A*s but they’re good results.”
James Fotheringham, head of key stage 4, said: “In a year of uncertainty in the examination system we were very pleased with the GCSE results gained by our students.
“We have once again seen an increase in the number of A and A* attained by our students and an increase in average grade per entry.
“Their achievements reflect the hard work and commitment of the students and their teachers and the support of their families."
Mayfield Grammar School students achieved an increase in the top grade with 18.77% of all results at A*, and more than half (51.48%) of our results are at A*-A.
Head teacher Elaine Wilson said: “This is testament to all the hard work of our students and their teachers.
“Overall we received 18.77% A* grades, 51.48% A*-A, 83.99% A*-B and 96% A*-C.
“A total of 99.65% achieved 5A* - E grades including English and mathematics."
Exceptional results included Basmah Ahmad and Yasmine Burrha, who both achieved 9A* and 1A. Charlotte Marchant achieved 7A* and 3A grades and Lauren Moloney, Abbey Thornhill and Jada Britton all achieved 7A* with their remaining exams being A grades or A and B grades.
Grace Davies achieved 6A* and 4A grades and Bonita Rai, Helena Lane and Rosie Hook all achieved 6A* and 3A grades.
Lena Blacker and Bronte Davis both achieved 6As with their remaining results being all A and B grades.
Molly Cordery, Francesca Maestrini, Priya Takhar and Lucy Wright all achieved 5A* and 4A grades and Emily Williams achieved 5A*, 4A and 1B grade.
We have many other students who achieved the majority of the results at A* and A with only one or two lower grades amongst their results.
Mrs Wilson said: “We are proud of all our students and would like to congratulate them on their excellent results. We look forward to teaching them in the sixth form.”
Erin Doherty, 16, (3A*, 8A) and her best results was biology. She is going onto Dartford Grammar School to study International Baccalaureate and then uni to do product design.
She said: “I am in complete shock. All the hard work has paid off and it just goes to show if you work hard, you can achieve anything.”
She is off to celebrate at the Reading Festival. She said: “I’m really excited. I want to say thank you to all the teachers.”
Bonnie Stratton, 16, (1 A*, 4A, 3B and a C) is going to study A-levels at Gravesend Grammar School and she also wants to do product design at university.
She said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic and so proud. I was expecting to get all Bs and a couple of Cs so I’m really happy.”
At Northfleet School for Girls, head teacher Julie Wilson was pleased with the outcome, although would not reveal the school’s percentages.
She said: “We have a lot of students taking advantage of all the opportunities staff have provided and their encouragement and extra help, especially with the change in exams.
“We have had summer schools and coaching classes as well as visits to universities to encourage our students to do well.
“Results are consistent with what we would expect. We have had to think about our approach before the exams. We have been very successful.”
She added: “Success in school demands determination and our students have proved it.
“They have taken every advantage of all that we have offered and have risen to meet the challenge of the changed exams. Congratulations to them and to staff who provided amazing support through coaching and revision groups in holidays, before and after school and at weekends. I could not have asked for more.”
Especially successful were Akousua-Rose Moore with A* or A grades for all her subjects; she is going to study for the International Baccalaureate; Amandeep Badatch studying to be a paediatric nurse; Lauren Searle with 5 A grades studying to become a journalist; Hannah Davies, Lindy Munyani, Ramina Benning, Tatjana Seymour and Jasneet Sarkaria.
Sixty per cent of pupils got at least a C grade in both maths and English at Northfleet Technology College. Last year, 48% of pupils got C or above.
Head teacher Jane Partridge said: “We have had the best ever results in the four years we’ve been going.”
She continued: “We are really pleased that we have had such a huge increase.
“I think that is down to the staff, students and their parents and the new school environment.
“I think it is also down to the new facilities in the building.”
The pupils who picked up their results today were the first to have spent their entire secondary education at Northfleet.
Scott Lewis, 16, of Colyer Road, Northfleet, got a BTEC Distinction * in engineering, and at GCSE got A in PE, B in English literature and core science, C in additional science, and D in statistics.
He said: “It’s good because I’ve already got an apprenticeship sorted at UK Power Networks.
“I feel lucky, more than anything. I did not think I would be getting as high results as I did.”
He hopes to go on to be an overhead linesman working on pylons. He is celebrating by going to the Reading Festival.
St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School head teacher Sean Maher said the results were fantastic.
He said: “We’ve beaten our forecasted grades by about 8% with 62% of pupils getting A* to C, including English and maths.
“This is a wonderful achievement and a credit to our pupils for all their hard work.
“It looks like we have done particularly well in English and we’ve bucked the national trend.
"It’s looking like around 84% of pupils are at a C grade, which is a wonderful achievement.”
Among those collecting their results were Benedict Knight, 16, (2 C, 3 D, E and F). His best results were in PE and English and he is going onto North West Kent College to study motor mechanics.
He said: “I was quite happy with what I got. I was pleased with my PE result. I wasn’t expecting to get a C.”
Daniel Bromley, 16, (3 B, 2 C) was most proud of his B grades in psychology and English.
He said: “I was pleased with my results. I wasn’t expecting them – I was quite worried.”
Katherine Vick, 16, got a merit in music, A, B and 2 C and is staying on into the sixth form at St John’s.
She said: “ I’m so happy and surprised. I’m surprised I got an A in photography – I was expecting to get a B-.”
Cllr Margaret Crabtree, Kent County Council’s deputy cabinet member for education, met GCSE students at Thamesview School, where staff were celebrating record results.
Harry Ingham said: “As head teacher of Thamesview School, I am very proud of our student’s fantastic achievements and the continued rise in our results.
“We have exceeded all previous years in making sure that 59% of our Year 11 students achieved five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.
“This is an excellent achievement and shows how much hard work our students have put into their studies over the past few years.
“The fact that 82% of our Year 11 students secured a C+ English grade and 67% achieved a C+ maths grade means that more of our students will be going on to study A-levels than ever before.
“Year 10 students have also achieved well with 50% achieving an English GCSE and 44% securing statistics GCSE. I would like to thank our staff in particular for their tireless dedication to raising expectations and standards at Thamesview and for their continued commitment to ensuring all our children achieve their best.
“Congratulations to all our students on these excellent exam results.
“Thank you also to parents and carers for their continued support. This is a significant result for Thamesview and shows that our high standards support every student to achieve their best.”
Those who did particularly well included:
Daniel Sparks – 10 GCSEs including 2 A*, and 8 A.
George Wrench – 9 GCSEs including 3 A and 4B.
Holly Morriss – 9 GCSEs including 3 A and 4 B.
Jade Irving – 10 GCSEs including 2 A and 5 B.
Also picking up their results were Aaron Murphy-Peak, 16, who got a C, D, two Fs and 2 Es, including a C in English language.
He is now off to study game development at North West Kent College in Dartford.
Aaron said: “I’m surprised actually, in both ways. I needed to get a few more marks in maths but apart from that I’ve got all the grades I needed.”
Jamie Ashcrest, 16, got a B, two Cs, two Ds and an E, including a B in English language.
He will be studying at the Miskin Theatre at North West Kent College in Dartford.
Jamie said: “I’m happy with my B in English and I got the stuff I needed to get to college, which I was pretty much my aim.”
Alice Sims, 15, got three Bs in science, statistics and English language.
She will be carrying on with her education at Thamesview and hopes to take her A-levels at either of the grammar schools in Gravesend.
Alice said: “I’m really pleased because the results were what I needed to stay on track to get into sixth form. I haven’t told my dad yet but my mum is happy with what I got.”
Among the top performers at Gad’s Hill School was Ezinwa Awogu, from Kendall Gardens, Gravesend, who scored 10 A* and A grades, only dropping one mark in her history exam.
Ezinwa who aspires to become a writer like the school’s famous former resident Charles Dickens, has embraced the school’s culture, recently quizzing author James Benmore, who launched the second novel in trilogy following the life and times of Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, from the school on the 144th anniversary of Dickens’ death.
As part of the launch, he hosted a creative writing workshop for pupils, analysing Ezinwa’s work. At the time, he said: “Judging by the standard of the creative writing work Ezinwa has produced and thanks to innovative and engaging teaching, I’m absolutely sure that there will be another literary great to come out of Gad’s Hill Place.”
Ezinwa’s fellow classmate Charlie Phillips from Brompton Farm Road, Rochester, exceeded all expectations by achieving eight A* and A grades.
Charlie has also embraced a number of challenges during his time at Gad’s, learning new sports, musical instruments and performing in the school’s annual productions, most recently receiving the acclaim of his peers when performing in Beauty and The Beast and Bugsy Malone.
Other success stories included Benedict Roalfe from St Helen’s Road, Cliffe, who scored full marks (and an A*) in GCSE Art. All 14 BTEC music students scored the equivalent of an A*, demonstrating the strength of the school’s long bond with the performing arts.
Headmaster David Craggs said: “Despite their importance, GCSE results alone provide a narrow and confusing measure of success with no real consideration of the overall benefits to children of their time at school.
“The system has been increasingly exam-heavy, prescriptive and extremely maths and English-focussed, but our approach not only provides a strong academic grounding but also instils character and values in students.
“Schools should certainly aim to deliver exam success, but they should also seek to develop the whole set of skills, attitudes and dispositions that ensure sustainable success at university and in the world of work.”
He added: “We aim to get the best out of our pupils, not just the best exam results. Taking this in to account and given that most of our pupils join us after being let down by the selective state system, I think our results are impressive.
“I’m delighted to say that 92% of our pupils achieved at least five or more A*-C grades, with 65% receiving five A*-C grades when including maths and English.
“However, I’m even more proud to say that Gad’s has helped prepare our young people for the transition to adulthood by providing them with opportunity to gain life skills and enthusing our students.”
It was another good year at Wilmington Grammar School for Girls with 55% of pupils achieving A*-A. A quarter of students got 10 A* to A grades and 99.1% achieved five A*- C grades including English and maths.
Among those celebrating were Charli Kay-Burridge (10 A*), Megan Ude (six A*, five A and a B), Victoria Adedara (three A*, five A, two B), Kiara Doyle (nine A*, A) and Ashaleigh Hall (five A*, six As and a B).
Charli is going on to study A-level biology, chemistry, maths and history at sixth form. Megan is going to sixth form to study physics, biology, maths and geography. She said; “Me and my friends are going out to dinner to celebrate.”
Victoria is going to Gravesend Grammar School to study maths, further maths, chemistry and physics A-levels.
Kiara is going to study maths, biology and chemistry and French. She said: “I am really happy with my results, I feel so proud of myself.”
Ashaleigh Hall is also continuing on to sixth form at Wilmington. She will study physics, biology, maths and geography.
Head teacher Maggie Bolton said: “The school goes from strength to strength. This year’s GCSE results are the best ever, a quarter of the students achieved 10 or more A*/A grades.
“They are a tribute to the girls’ hard work and commitment and the superb teaching they receive here.
“I am so pleased that they have achieved excellent academic results as well as being involved in a wide range of school activities like music, sport and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”
Staff and students and The Ebbsfleet Academy celebrated a significant improvement in results when compared to those of its predecessor, Swan Valley.
An overall increase in 10% saw almost 40% of students gaining the coveted 5 A* - C GCSEs including English and mathematics.
Principal Alison Colwell said: “Congratulations to our students and staff whose combined hard work has given The Ebbsfleet Academy an impressive increase of over 10% 5 A* to C (including English and maths) on the predecessor school’s final results last summer.
“That big a jump in just one year bears testimony to all the hard work, effort and commitment of our students.”
The results also saw a 30% increase in A*-C grades in science. Top performing subjects also included statistics where 82% of students achieved a C or above, additional science (90% A*-C), art and design (72% A*-C), history (60% A*-C) and religion studies (62%A*-C).
Particular congratulations should go to the following students who gained 10 strong GCSEs including Leah Mason (4A, 1A*), Josephine King (5A, 2A*), Lauren Goodman (3A, 1A*) and Chelsea Farrugia (3A, 1A*).
Josephine King, 16, got an A* in English literature, and A* in art and As in pretty much everything else.
She said: “I’m going to Dartford grammar to do sixth form and I’ll be doing an IB. As for the future, I’m not entirely sure yet.”
Leah Mason, 16, said: “I’m really happy with all of my results. I got an A in geography and I really did work hard for that.
“I also got A*s in RS. I did a lot of revision and I want to be an English teacher.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I got an A in English and I’ll be going to the Leigh Academy to study art, English literature, psychology and sociology and then hopefully I’ll be going to Greenwich university.”
Dartford Grammar School, already celebrating record IB Results for its older students, was delighted by the GCSE success of its year 11 students.
64% of students gained seven or more A*/A grades, with 53 students achieving a sweep of 10 or more A* or A grades. A total of 86% of students gained at least 3 A*/A grades, and 92% achieved the English Baccalaureate measure, reflecting the school’s broad and balanced curriculum approach.
At a time when language results, especially among boys, are a national cause for concern, DGS saw 99% of its boys gain A*-Cs in foreign languages, most of these with two languages.
This makes DGS almost unique in Britain as a powerhouse of language learning.
“We are very proud of our students”, said head teacher John Oakes, “DGS sets the highest standards in everything we do and our results certainly reflect that, but it’s also important to remember that alongside every set of great exam grades, there’s a committed and focussed young adult, with a full set of 21st century skills and a track record of extra-curricular activities, ready to succeed in the sixth form and beyond.”
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