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‘Hard Work, Dedication, Resilience. Passion and Perseverance’ All Lead to Fantastic GCSE Results

Published on: 26 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 28 Aug, 2023

Good GCSE results have been achieved at schools and colleges in the Guildford area by the classes of 2023. Here is a round-up report from some of them…

Guildford County School

The school reports: “We are delighted to be able to congratulate the Year 11 class of 2023 for their fantastic GCSE results.  

Two Guildford County School students with their GCSE results.

“With just under 40 per cent of all grades awarded at 9-7, it is difficult to single out individual students, but Freya Cook, Daisy Usherwood and Ethan Siu deserve a special mention for achieving 10 or more GCSEs at grade 9 – a fantastic achievement.

“These results are among the best that we have seen at GCSE level here at County and are so because of the hard work and dedication of the staff team and also as a result of the work ethic shown by so very many of the children themselves.”

Howard of Effingham School

A statement from the school reads: “Students and staff at the Howard were today (Thursday, April 24) celebrating excellent GCSE results, building on the school’s success at A-level last week.

“The grades were an improvement 2019. 37 per cent of all grades were 7-9, with 65 per cent 5-9 in English and maths, and 82 per cent 4-9 in English and maths: well above national averages. 20 per cent of all grades awarded were the top grades 8-9.

“There were standout performances by several students at the school. Lorna Preston achieved eight grade 9s, while Brooke Warnes, Maggie Parker, Harry Chow and Savannah Mabson all achieved six grade 9s. Zafir Ahmed, who joined the Howard in Year 10 from overseas, achieved a remarkable five grade 9s.

“The Howard prides itself on helping students to secure their chosen post-16 routes. We are delighted that our students have achieved fantastic grades which will allow them to take their next steps. We are looking forward to welcoming most of our students back into our sixth-form in September. Places are still available for any externals who wish to apply.

Howard of Effingham School student Zafir Ahmed with principal James Baker.

Principal James Baker added: “Once again, we are thrilled by how well students at the Howard have done this year.

“I am delighted that the students’ hard work, perseverance, and resilience has paid off with the grades they have received this morning.

“I am also pleased for the staff at the Howard whose dedication and ambition for our students has been rewarded with these excellent results.

“Most importantly, it is gratifying to know that our students have what they need for their next steps, and I cannot wait to see the vast majority back at the Howard in September as they begin the next stage of their educational journey.”

The Royal Grammar School, Guildford

The headmaster, Dr Jon Cox, reports: “RGS students were rewarded for their impressive endeavour, disciplined application and genuine passion for learning with an outstanding set of GCSE results. 

“Against the backdrop of a return to pre-pandemic grading and media concerns that this year’s cohort would suffer disproportionately – with 300,000 fewer top marks predicted – the results were all the more striking.

Celebrations at the Royal Grammar School.

“The most common grade achieved by our students was the gold-standard grade 9; in total 730 grade 9s were achieved, 45 percent of all grades. 

“In addition, 471 grade 8s were also secured: 74 per cent of grades were at grade 9 or 8. 58 students achieved 10 or more grade 8 and 9s; 18 boys secured the remarkable achievement of a clean sweep of 10 or more grade 9s.

“With the relentless pace of change in the 21st-century – Artificial Intelligence being just one such example – and the number of global issues and challenges which continue to face us all in the political, social, environmental and economic spheres, it is all the more important that schools are nurturing dynamic, innovative, and flexible problem solvers, team players and leaders. 

“Transferable skills are key at a time where our students are going to be entering the world of work and applying for jobs which continue to evolve and develop. 

“The fact that our students are studying a broad range of GCSEs and entering the sixth-form with a diverse and balanced range of skills mean they can face the challenges of A-levels, university and the world of work with absolute confidence. 

“I am delighted that our students continue to study in significant numbers the performing arts, the creative arts, classical and modern languages, humanities as well as the traditional STEM subjects. This blend of disciplines and skills have arguably never been more important.

“Despite the disruption for this year group to their formative early years at secondary school due to Covid and the inevitable impact this had on their learning habits and study skills, the students have conducted themselves with remarkable flexibility, resilience and pride in their work; their excellent grades will provide the very best foundations from which to flourish in the sixth-form as they embark upon four A-levels. They can rightly have the most ambitious of aspirations from a university perspective.”

Guildford College

The college says:”More than 95 percent of students taking full-time GCSE programmes or stand-alone maths and English GCSEs at Guildford College achieved a pass in this year’s exams.

“Many of the college’s GCSE students are learners who resit maths, English or both, to continue in education or progress their career.

“This includes mature students who need these GCSEs to progress in the workplace, learners who may have missed the chance to go to university and want to study at degree level, alongside part-time students who have studied GCSEs at evening classes.”

Gulsen Celik, 40, is a mature student who has just completed a pre-access course and needed to get her GCSE in maths and English in order to progress onto an access to nursing programme at Guildford College, with the ambition of starting a career as a midwife. She achieve a grade 5 in maths and a grade 4 in English.

Gulsen said: “It really is an amazing achievement for me to have passed both of these subjects this year. English is my second language and I am also a single mum, so I had a lot to juggle this year.”

Samuel Urhie-Daniels, 26, studied English and maths GCSE, alongside his access to business programme. He achieved a grade 5 in English and a grade 4 in maths, which now enables him to accept an offer to study for a degree in business management with Marketing at the University of Surrey.

Sergio Cooksey, 17, has completed Level 2 esports at Guildford College and studied to retake his English and maths GCSEs alongside his full-time programme, having received grade 3 in both subjects at school last year. He was delighted to discover that he has achieved a grade 5 in English and a grade 4 in maths, which means that he will be able to progress on to a Level 3 programme in media from September.

Sergio said: “I really did not enjoy school. I had a really tough time and left with one GCSE, so to have achieved two passes today means so much. I enrolled at Guildford College at the very last minute last year and it was the best decision I have ever made.”

Viktoriia Romaniuk celebrates with her mother, Mariana.

Viktoriia Romaniuk, 18, is from Ukraine and passed her English GCSE with a grade 4, having joined the programme in the spring of this year. Viktoriia is studying for a Level 3 in business at Guildford College and hope to progress on to the University of Surrey next year to study economics.

Viktoriia said: “I came to England with my mum and sister last year, at the start of the war in Ukraine, as it wasn’t safe for me to continue my studies there.”

The college adds that its network of business partners means it can provide outstanding apprenticeship opportunities via Activate Apprenticeships.

Tutors and career advisers will be on hand to help anyone who is unsure as to what to do next after GCSEs, and can also provide advice on funding and other student support services.

Hoe Valley School, Woking

The school reports that it has delivered another set of excellent GCSE results with 20 per cent of students achieving at least one grade 9. 93 per cent of students achieved grade 4 or above, 68 per cent grade 5 or above and 33 per cent grade 7 or above.

GCSE results day at Hoe Valley School.

The head teacher, Jane Davies, said: “I am delighted for all of our students whose hard work has paid off and excited to see many of them return next week as our founding sixth-form.

“I am also incredibly grateful for the dedication and teamwork that teachers and support staff have shown this year, as they have played a pivotal role in the success of our students. We wish all of our students well for their next steps.”

Hoe Valley School is a comprehensive community school that formed part of wave 6 of the government’s free school programme, and opened in September 2015.

The school was created by a team of local parents and residents, and is a single academy trust. There are currently 750 students at the school across five year groups.

The school was rated as Outstanding at its first Ofsted inspection in June 2018.

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