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Updated: Schools Praise Sixth-Form Students as They Receive their A-Level and BTEC Results

Published on: 18 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 25 Aug, 2023

By David Rose

Students on Thursday (August 17) got the results of their A-level and BTEC exams, with some impressive results across schools in Guildford.

This is despite the fact that nationally the proportion of students receiving A or A* grades was 27.2 per cent – down from a peak of 44.8 per cent during the pandemic.

These were the first formal exams many students had taken, as GCSEs did not go ahead as normal during the pandemic.

Here are what some of the Guildford schools are reporting…

Tormead School, Guildford

Celebrations at Tormead School.

Head teacher David Boyd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating an excellent set of A-level results this year with 88% of Tormead students achieving grades A*-B.

“The Class of 2023 have performed exceptionally well, securing impressive places at universities and specialist colleges that will allow them to take the next important steps in their education. I could not be prouder of their hard work and dedication, and offer my congratulations to each and every one of them.

“As a girls’ school, dedicated to encouraging our students to enter areas of study and industry where women have been historically underrepresented, it gives us great pleasure to see the incredible results of our A-level mathematicians, who between them secured 94% A*/A grades.  

“Not to be outdone, our humanities, sporting and creative departments have also produced impressive results this year, with all language subjects, physical education and drama seeing candidates achieve 100% A*/A grades. 

“The range of universities that our students are heading to demonstrates the academic strength and breadth of this year’s leavers. From LSE, Cambridge, Imperial College, Durham, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Bath, York, St Andrew’s and Birmingham, to name a few, to our excellent local university, Surrey, as well as specialist colleges such as LMA for Performing Arts and the Royal Veterinary College.  

“Today’s results are the culmination of years of study and hard work by our students, supported by their families and our excellent staff throughout their secondary school career. As proud as we are of their results, we are most proud of the kindness and support they have shown one another throughout their time at Tormead.

“Every journey has a beginning, and I would also like to pay tribute to those colleagues in Tormead Prep School and the many local primary and prep schools who will also be celebrating the achievements of their alumnae today.”  

St Peter’s Catholic School, Merrow

“We are delighted to congratulate our Year 13 students for this year.

“We are incredibly proud of all they achieved, especially considering that this was the first round of public examinations this group had ever sat due to the pandemic. They showed perseverance and resilience across the two years of their A-level and BTEC studies.

“We are pleased to say we have slightly increased our attainment from 2019. Our final grades were as follows: 45 per cent A*-A, 73 per cent A*-B, 90 per cent A*-C, 46 per cent of our students are going on to Russell Group universities from those that applied.”

A-level students from St Peter’s Catholic school.

Headteacher Toby Miller said: “I am so proud of all our students for everything they have achieved over the last two years and the fantastic outcomes they are celebrating today.

“It was a joy to share their good news with both students and parents and confirm all the exciting destinations they are headed for.

“The students worked incredibly hard through what has been a tough four years for them and it has paid off with results to be proud of.

“I’d like to pay tribute to our staff who have worked relentlessly to support our young people and nurture them through this part of their journey: a true team effort – well done to all.

“Thanks as well to all our parents/carers who play such an important part in the two years of sixth form. Congratulations to all and we wish you all the best for the next phase.”

Guildford County School

Guildford County School says: “Individual successes were many in a range of subject areas.

“We are particularly proud of several outstanding results from these high-performing students.  Joe (A*, A*, A*, A), Eleanor (A*, A*, A*, B), Hannah (A*, A*, A*), Max (A*, A*, A*) and Daisy (A*, A*, A*).

“At the time of writing, 72 per cent of all of our departing students have secured places at universities from Aberystwyth to Edinburgh to Plymouth with 44 per cent of those students going to university accepting places at Russell Group universities.

“Three students who held Oxbridge offers have been successful. Joe has secured a place at Cambridge to read engineering. Josh is going to Oxford to read philosophy, politics and economics and Isabelle has secured a place at Cambridge to study modern and medieval languages.

“As a music specialist college, we are also thrilled to celebrate with Jim as he accepts a place at the Royal Academy of Music conservatoire. We also congratulate Thuan for securing a place at the University of the Arts of London, at the Jimmy Choo Academy.”

Howard of Effingham School

Howard of Effingham students: from left, Ciaran Jarvis, James Baker (principal), Sam Partridge and Sam Storey.

Howard of Effingham writes: “Students and staff at The Howard were today (Thursday, August 17) celebrating excellent A-level examination results. 

“In a cohort of 153, 30 per cent of the grades were A* to A. 57 per cent of the grades awarded were A*-B, with 80 per cent A*-C.

“Our highest achievers this year are Matthew Hendy and Dylan King with four A* grades, Ryan Mabson and Luna Kefford with three A* and one A, and Jemima Hallam who achieved three A* grades.

“Isobel Creasey and Thomas Penfold-Grater achieved two A* and two A grades, while Carter Coles achieved two A* and one A grade. Luke Chambers achieved two A*, one A and one B grade.

“Congratulations go to Luna Kefford, who leaves the Howard for Selwyn College, Cambridge, to study natural sciences and Zain Ali, who will be taking up a place at Christ’s College, Cambridge, to study law.

“The school has an excellent record in helping students to secure their chosen post-18 routes, including university places and apprenticeships, and this year is no exception with students already very excited about taking up places at their chosen providers.”

Principal James Baker said: “We are absolutely thrilled with how the students have done this year, particularly given the unique challenges that this cohort have faced.

“Everyone at the school is so proud of their achievements. I am also delighted for the staff that their hard work and dedication has been rewarded by these excellent results. Most importantly it is wonderful to know that our students have what they need to move on to the next stages of their lives.”

The Royal Grammar School, Guildford

A-level students from the Royal Grammar School.

The headmaster, Dr Jon Cox, writes: “I am absolutely delighted for our talented Class of 2023 students who have not only contributed so much to the life of the school but who have also achieved an outstanding set of A-level results. 

“The most common grade achieved by RGS students was the A* grade; 81 students achieved a clean sweep of grades at A or A*, 37 of those achieved three or more A* grades: an incredible achievement in the current climate. 

“It was the individual stories of the day, however, which brought me equal pleasure: students for whom there have been personal challenges during their sixth-form experience, who have displayed such resilience and determination to achieve results of which they should be rightly proud. 

“For each student, fulfilling their own potential in a supportive environment remains our absolute focus, irrespective of the final grade.

“Sitting high-stakes A-level examinations, having never before experienced formal public examinations due to the pandemic and faced by daunting media coverage in the run-up to the results, placed real demands and stress on our students.  

“As the Government has attempted to stop grade inflation and bring results back to pre-pandemic levels, this year has been all the more challenging. 

“In the last few days, the media has simply fuelled this angst: ‘Why this year’s A Level students are the ‘unluckiest’ in years (The Telegraph). ‘Record A Level grade drop could mean thousands miss out on university place’  (The Telegraph). ‘Thursday will hurt for many, but A Levels need to be reset’  (The Sunday Times). ‘Nearly 100,000 fewer top A Levels this year in grading plan, research suggests’ (The Guardian). ‘Harsh post-Covid grade markdown set to hit A Level students’  (The Guardian).

“Our students have responded stoically and resolutely to each and every challenge. Their hard work, dedication and scholarship have been tested to the full and they have emerged with results – and a work ethic, passion for learning, and range of skills including our Learning Habits – of which they can be rightly proud and which will set them up for the next phase of their education.

“In terms of university entrance, of those boys holding conditional offers to study at UK universities, the vast majority secured their firm or insurance places on the most competitive courses at the leading institutions in the country, predominantly at their first-choice institution. 

“This is all the more impressive as well over 90 per cent of the firm offers made were to one of The Times Top 20 ranked universities with Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter and Oxford continuing to be the most popular destinations for our students. 

“The Class of 2023 can now harbour the most ambitious aspirations and I look forward to following their progress with interest and excitement.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the phenomenal professionalism, inspiration and dedication of all the RGS staff who have done so much to prepare, support and reassure this particular year group.  I am immensely proud of the spirit and sense of community at the RGS which allows our students to continue to excel and flourish.”

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