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Guildford Schools Celebrate Another Great Year of GCSE Results

Published on: 23 Aug, 2018
Updated on: 23 Aug, 2018

The moments of truth – envelopes are handed out at Guildford County School

By Laura Neuhaus

Guildford County, the Royal Grammar School and Guildford High all report another successful year of GCSE Results.

Students were lining the hallway at Guildford County this morning, (Thursday, August 23), waiting for the 10 o’clock go-ahead from teachers to collect their white envelopes. Parents, teachers and students alike gathered at the school in anticipation.

The results were announced against a background of country-wide concern about a new marking and grading system intended to make the exams more demanding.

For the first time most of the GCSEs in England are being graded from 9 to 1. Nationally, 4% of entries received the top grade 9 and girls continued to do better than boys – in terms of both the highest grades and in the pass rate. But boys are closing the gap.

Is that a look of relief? Let’s hope this Guildford County student got what he wanted

Jack Mayhew, Guildford County’s Headteacher, described the atmosphere as one of “great energy, of nervousness and satisfaction” as results were being opened.

Jack Mayhew

The School did very well, setting some new records with 12% of all grades achieving the new highest grade 9 and a quarter of all grades being grades 8 and 9 (equivalent to the old A* level). In addition, 67% of all students gained a Grade 5 or more in both English and Maths, showing a 7% improvement from last year.

Mr Mayhew was “delighted” especially given that A-level results last week were also record breaking for the school. When asked, he put the school’s success down to “teamwork – the reception, the support staff…”, smiling that the caretaker was one of the first to inquire about their results performance.

The school has given special mention to Amberley Evans, for holding a clean sweep of Grade 9’s in all her subjects, one of only 732 to achieve that in the country, and to Shreya Kc and Hora Behnejad, who topped the value-added charts, achieving well above their individual target grades in every subject.

Steve Smith, Head of School, said that about 120 of the 160 pupils have a place at their sixth form, with six being offered a place on their foundation year before progressing to A-levels.

Others, like Siobhan Arkema, will go on to colleges and apprenticeships. Siobhan said she was very excited to go on to study Forensic Science at Brooklyn’s College in Weybridge. Although it feels strange to leave her friends with whom she has “grown up together”, she looks forward to starting her new course.

Polly Moon, Alice Robinson and Ellie Mansfield are pleased with their results.

Polly Moon, Alice Robinson and Ellie Mansfield were also “very happy” with their results. Polly and Alice both got mostly 7s and 8s while Ellie decided to wait to open her results later, in the car on the way home. Polly wants to study medicine and is looking forward to doing Biology, Chemistry and Maths at sixth form. (see photo)

The new grading system and the increasingly challenging content of exams doesn’t seem to have had a negative effect, though Mr Smith did mention that parents still seemed to have a little difficulty understanding the new system.

What will the Darth Vader mood be today?

The Royal Grammar School also had their first year of the numerical grading system. They are pleased to announce that 54% of all grades were secured at grade 9, the gold-star standard, and 82% were at 8 / 9 which equates to the old A*. Of these, 22 boys secured straight A* / 9 grades and a further 26 boys achieved straight A* or 9 / 8 grades in 10 – or more – subjects.

RGS students sharing success

The School’s Headteacher, Dr Jon Cox, has praised “the work ethic and mutually supportive atmosphere in this year group, reinforced by the phenomenal dedication of the staff… I am very proud of all our students.”

Mrs Fiona Boulton, the Headmistress of Guildford High, was also “thrilled with our outstanding results.” Guildford High was pleased to report that 36 of their girls managed to achieve straight 9s (A*s), with a total of 72% of the numerical grades being a Grade 9.

There was extra anxiety this year in all schools because of a tougher grading system

Mrs Boulton commented how, “every year we are impressed by our pupils’ ability to combine incredible academic performance with a rich array of extra-curricular interests encompassing sport, drama, music and art.”

Students and staff at George Abbot School are celebrating too.

In English and Mathematics, 26% of students achieved grades 9-7 whilst 82%
attained grades at 9-4 maintaining George Abbot’s very high standards in these core subjects.

In their press release their spokesperson said: “We are particularly pleased with the excellent results in German and French where 50% of students achieved a 7 or above and History where 48% of the cohort achieved grades 9-7, confirming the school’s strong performance in EBacc subjects.

“Science results continue to be exceptional with 28% of Physics students gaining a grade 9.”

Notable achievements included seven students gaining ten or more grades at 8, 9 or A* with a further 31 achieving ten or more grades at 7, 8, 9 or A*.

The spokesperson concluded: “It has been a very positive and celebratory day for our students, staff and parents. We look forward to welcoming our students as they return to join us in our flourishing and high-performing sixth form.”

If you represent any other Guildford school and wish to send in a report of your results today, please do. Ed

See also: Teachers’ Praise For Students As A-levels Results Are Announced

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