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A-Level Results Day 2019: Updates from Ashford schools

By Charlie Harman
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It's the day thousands of teenagers have been waiting for, A-level results are out.

Our reporters and photographers will be at schools across Ashford as students rip open those all-important envelopes.

The results can have a big impact on what young people do next with going to university among the options, but if the grades weren't as good as expected help is at hand from organisations like UCAS.

Highworth Grammar School head teacher Paul Danielsen says he is delighted with the results.

He said: "Overall, almost 70% of all grades were A*/A/B; there were a number of outstanding performances, with 35 students securing all A*-A grades and almost half of all students achieving grades A* - B in all their examinations."

In all, almost 90% of grades received by the grammar school's students were C or above.

Hannah McCann, who got 3 A*s on her way to reading History at the University of Sheffield, said: "I'm excited and relieved, but I wasn't too nervous because we found out our uni placement online beforehand.

"If you put the work in at the beginning, it's a lot easier."

A remarkable effort from 18-year-old Ralph Battle saw him get 5 A*s, more than enough to secure him a spot on the Natural Sciences course at Cambridge.

Highworth Grammar School leavers Ralph Battle (5A*), Marina Watley (A*ABB), Ella Wilczyk (A*A*AB), Bradley Rolfe (A*AAB) and Hannah Snowden (A*AA) (15284178)
Highworth Grammar School leavers Ralph Battle (5A*), Marina Watley (A*ABB), Ella Wilczyk (A*A*AB), Bradley Rolfe (A*AAB) and Hannah Snowden (A*AA) (15284178)

Head of Highworth's Sixth Form, Susan Welch, said: "They've been absolutely incredible, we're all really pleased.

"It's all down to the vision, the effort and the drive of the students and staff for excellence."

The John Wallis C of E Academy was today celebrating an increase in the top grades being achieved by their students, with 2% more students getting A* - E graded A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

Twins Joe and Millie Lee were congratulated by The John Wallis Church of England Academy's principal, John McParland, after receiving great A-level results (15281540)
Twins Joe and Millie Lee were congratulated by The John Wallis Church of England Academy's principal, John McParland, after receiving great A-level results (15281540)

With the majority of leavers setting off for their first choice, Of particular note were Renee Akpojewa, who attained an A*, A and C, and head girl Ellen O'Keefe with AAB.

Lewis Banks, who got two A's and a C on his prospective path to becoming a psychology teacher, said: "It was really stressful - a very emotional mental rollercoaster - but I managed to get through it.

"It was a really nice school, really helpful and the facilities provided were fantastic.

Lewis Banks on his A-level career at The John Wallis C of E Academy

"I'd tell people going into A-levels not to overthink things, if you work your hardest then that's the best you can do. Understand you're all in the same place and you shouldn't victimise yourself by doubting your ability."

Proud principal John McParland said: "I am delighted that the hard work of both the students and their teachers has contributed to further improvement in our examination results this year, in the biggest exam shake up in a generation where students faced harder questions and new syllabuses.

Mr McParland alongside (right to left) the school's head girl Ellen O'Keefe, head boy Joshua Churm, and deputy head girl Holly Prue. (15281544)
Mr McParland alongside (right to left) the school's head girl Ellen O'Keefe, head boy Joshua Churm, and deputy head girl Holly Prue. (15281544)

"I am very proud of all our students and how they have adapted to the challenges of a more demanding traditional exam-based system.

"Congratulations to everyone on their achievements."

Benenden School had a stunning Results Day, with 19% of all grades at A* while more than half (53 per cent) were A* or A.

Nineteen students gained two or more A* grades, four of whom achieved three A*s and an A each. Sixty students gained ABB or above and 80% of grades were A*-B.

Headmistress Samantha Price said: "Many congratulations to our students on their excellent performances this year.

“I am immensely pleased with what they have achieved, especially in the face of some incredibly challenging exam papers this year. Benenden girls have, as ever, done themselves proud and are celebrating very well-deserved results.

Some of Benenden School's top performers (15285289)
Some of Benenden School's top performers (15285289)

“We are delighted to see them moving on to some of the top university destinations in the world, armed not only with excellent exam results but, crucially, with the additional skills and experience that come from a Benenden education.

“For example, our leaving Sixth Formers have run businesses as part of our Professional Skills Programme, constructed a microlight and a racing car, debated around the world as part of the Model United Nations, jumped from a parachute, organised a series of inspirational talks and worked with real energy and commitment in the wider community.

“We know the Class of 2019 will go out and make a hugely positive difference in the world.”

Ninety per cent of the leavers will be going to their first or second choice universities, including the likes of Yale in America and McGill University in Canada.

One of Homewood's highest achievers this year, George Benson, will study Physics at the Universty of Leeds after getting AAB (15286914)
One of Homewood's highest achievers this year, George Benson, will study Physics at the Universty of Leeds after getting AAB (15286914)

Homewood School has again improved on previous years' performances, confirming a positive upward trend.

A*-B grades accounted for 35% of the returned tests, and 59% were A* to C. Virtually all students leaving Homewood have a confirmed place at university, college or in employment with training.

Top performing subjects were the Graphics A-level, in which 89% of students achieved an A or A* grade, Level 3 Music BTEC in which all students earned a Distinction or Distinction* and Travel and Tourism - where 75% of students achieved Distinction*.

Mrs Lees, Principal, said: “I feel very proud of our students who have risen to the challenge of the new two year A-level and reformed BTEC qualifications with resilience, hard work and determination.

Jemima Clark was smiling after getting A and B, as well as a 6 in the International Baccalaureate (15286912)
Jemima Clark was smiling after getting A and B, as well as a 6 in the International Baccalaureate (15286912)

"The results we see today are a testament to their efforts and to the skill and experience of the Homewood staff team. Our students thrive on the varied curriculum we can offer and the range of destinations they access from Homewood is very diverse, reflecting their many different interests and ambitions.

"I am delighted that this cohort of students is now ready to move on to their next steps with the qualifications, skills and experience they need to be successful. I wish them all the very best for the future.”

The North School saw great results, with 75% of the 58 leavers getting A* - C grades or equivalent marks in different qualifications.

The North School's Maisy Dixon smashed the exams, getting adouble Distinction in business and a C in finance. (15290087)
The North School's Maisy Dixon smashed the exams, getting adouble Distinction in business and a C in finance. (15290087)

Top scorer Sebin Jose picked up four Distinctions in his Diplomas spanning health and social care and applied science.

He remarked: "I had to work very hard but what made it easier was the support of my classmates, who were an inspiration to me and helped me to achieve these results which are almost too good to be true.”

Josh Huntley is taking up an apprenticeship with local business Brake Brothers after competing with students in neighbouring schools for the opportunity and Sean Trumper is heading to the US to take up a basketball scholarship at Huntingdon Prep, having excelled at the school's highly respected basketball academy.

Sean Trumper from The North School will be taking his basketball skills stateside after receiving a scholarship at Huntingdon Prep. (15289896)
Sean Trumper from The North School will be taking his basketball skills stateside after receiving a scholarship at Huntingdon Prep. (15289896)

Head teacher Anna Lawrence said: “I am proud of our hard-working students and what they have achieved against the background of increasingly demanding examinations,”

"This is a tribute not just to the hard work of the pupils but to the effort and commitment of the staff.

"The results are well deserved and I would like to congratulate every one of the young people on what they have achieved."

Ashford School met their high expectations, as 40% of the school's grades were placed between A* and A.

Ashford School students celebrate their excellent grades (15290723)
Ashford School students celebrate their excellent grades (15290723)

Two thirds of all the independent school's grades were A* - B.

Michael Hall, head teacher of Ashford School, said: "Despite this year’s changes to the A-level specifications, I’m delighted that many of our students have gained acceptances to their university of choice."

Included in the higher education subjects set to be studied are Biomedical Science, Architecture and Natural Science.

Norton Knatchbull School has seen an uptake in the number of highest grades achieved by its students.

Norton Knatchbull students and staff alike celebrated the increase in top grades today. (15294260)
Norton Knatchbull students and staff alike celebrated the increase in top grades today. (15294260)

Top learners included Kieran Drury, who's leaving for the University of Warwick after emerging from the Sixth Form with three A*s and a Distinction in his Maths Advanced Extension Award.

Harry Temple, Dison Limbu, George Hinkley and Stephen Bejide all earned at least two A*s and an A each.

A spokeswoman for Norton Knatchbull said: "The hard work of the staff and students has resulted in a significant improvement in the percentage of top grades achieved by our students.

Parents of the triumphant teens were also delighted by the results (15294445)
Parents of the triumphant teens were also delighted by the results (15294445)

"We are delighted that the majority of our students will continue their studies at university and have already received firm offers of a place.

"We wish all of our students the very best for the future, and thank all the staff who supported them throughout their A Level studies."

Visit KentOnline next Thursday for full coverage of next week's GCSE results day,

Towers School & Sixth Form Centre will be pleased with their students' performance as this year's results set a record for the school.

Holly Copley, Olivia Copley, Rianna Capriotti and Jaz East celebrate the end of their secondary school careers (15297632)
Holly Copley, Olivia Copley, Rianna Capriotti and Jaz East celebrate the end of their secondary school careers (15297632)

Every leaver achieved A*-E grades, with Towers seeing it's highest ever number of A's.

BTEC results also increased from last year, as well high achievements in their first cohort of students taking the International Baccalaureate Career Programme.

Particular highlights include Alexandra Thurston's AAB, Maisie Hankin's AB with a BTEC Merit and Jaz East - who got a double Distinction*, B and a 6 and a 5 in her International Baccalaureate subjects.

Twins Holly and Olivia Copley pore over their results (15297630)
Twins Holly and Olivia Copley pore over their results (15297630)

Head teacher Richard Billings praised the efforts of the staff and students, saying: "The students deserve the high grades they have achieved. Their relentless commitment to their studies has resulted in them achieving what they need and more.

"We wish our students the best of luck for their next endeavours and look forward to hearing of their future achievements.”

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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