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Plenty to smile about in GCSE results
There were plenty of GCSE success stories across the district yesterday, with three pupils in one school gaining 12 A*s each.
Although nationally the number of top grades fell for the second year in a row, many local schools celebrated their best ever results.
Abby Parkinson, 16, who attends Bradford Grammar School achieved great results – despite juggling studies with competing for Team GB Cycling. Abby gained A*s in Physics and art, four As and three Bs, and plans to stay on at the school to take A levels in biology, geography and PE - which the school is adding as an A level subject this year.
She said: “I had so many sleepless nights. I was trying to fit revising in with training and racing. I had to miss one national series race because of my exams. But it’s all definitely been worth it.”
After sitting her A levels she will take two years out, when she hopes to get a professional cycling contract. She hopes that her great results will provide a good back up should her cycling plans fall through. She said the school had helped her succeed despite her hectic schedule, adding: “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. If I missed any work they would always help explain things and get me caught up.”
Alasdair Glen, from Wilsden, gained 10 A*s, the best results possible at the school, since they put a cap of 10 GCSE subjects. He now plans to stay on at the school and study Maths, history, politics and economics. He is not yet sure what he wants to do career wise, adding: “I’m keeping all doors open and just trying my best at everything. It was a lot of hard work.”
At Beckfoot Grammar School in Bingley, one pupil gained 13 A*s while another two got 12. Aimen Hassan got the highest amount of top marks at the school, while Felix Bunting and Nathaniel Kiedan both got a dozen.
Felix said: “It’s hard because there is a big difference between the different subjects. And you also hear the media saying the exams aren’t hard enough.”
Many pupils at Bradford Grammar celebrated after getting great results the second time around. Throughout the school almost half opened their results to find they had A* - B grades, and 95% of students passed their exams.
Osman Deen, 21, hadn’t been interested in many subjects when he first sat his GCSEs, only gaining two Bs in science. On his second go around he got three As and a B. He said: “In school I wasn’t interested in anything apart from science. I didn’t really know about what you needed to get a job. Now I want to go on and do A levels and hopefully go on to university.
“It shows you’re never too old to do GCSEs, there was a lady in my class in her 40s.”
At Bradford College, Marie Ikuze, 19, came to the area from Rwanda when she was 19. Although she attended school, she hadn’t gained any qualifications until yesterday.
She achieved an A* in chemistry, B in biology, A in physics and C in maths, and plans to stay on at A levels, hopefully leading to her gaining a career in medicine.
At Skipton Girls High School 70% of girls achieved A* or A grades, with 15 girls getting top grades in every exam they sat.
Thornton Grammar had its best ever results with the number of pupils getting five A* - C grades jumping 10% from the previous year to 56%.
Hanson School also achieved the best results in its history, improving in all categories. The school had only been taken out of special measures the previous academic year.
Nationally the number of pupils getting top grades fell for the second year in a row.
Grades of C or higher fell by 1.3% to 68.1%, while pupils getting an A or A* fell by 1%. Some commentators have said the fall was due to the number of students taking GCSEs a year earlier – at 15 rather than 16.
Teaching union NASUWT said recent changes to the GCSE system meant that pupils’ successes were being “subsumed in political game playing”.
Early figures show many schools in Bradford seem to be bucking the national trend.
Cindy Peek, deputy director for children’s services at Bradford Council, said: “An early analysis of results shows that this is another positive year for Bradford’s Schools and students. The number of students gaining 5 A* - C grades including English and Maths is likely to be similar or slightly higher than the 2012 figure of 52.4%.
“There have been some notable student and school successes - with some schools improving their pass rate by ten percentage points or more.
“We recognise that these very encouraging results are due to the commitment and enormous efforts of school staff, governors, parents and students alike and we would congratulate them all.
“Bradford shares concerns raised nationally about GCSE grades. Ofqual have informed us that overall results nationally could look different to results in previous years, even though standards will be maintained.”