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Bury GCSE results 2013: Bucking the trend with a record-breaking year
RECORDS were broken at high schools across the borough as pupils celebrated their GCSE results.
The teenagers ripped open the envelopes containing their results last Thursday morning.
Many will go on to study A-levels and other courses at colleges and sixth-forms, while others will join the world of work.
Nationally, 68.1 per cent of results were at A* to C — down 1.3 per cent from 2012 and the biggest fall in the qualification’s 25-year history.
But several schools in Bury reported their best ever results, including Broad Oak, Castlebrook, Radcliffe Riverside and St Gabriel’s high schools, and Derby High School had more A* grades than ever before.
Broad Oak Sports College celebrated its best ever GCSE results, with an A* to C pass rate of 49 per cent, including English and maths.
Headteacher Neil O’Connor said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and extremely proud. This has been the most motivated group of students I’ve ever worked with and that’s been reflected in overall strength of our results and some outstanding individual achieve-ments. These results also securely indicate an upward trend, leaving the school in a very healthy position. This will prove to be the foundation for further success in the next five years.”
St Gabriel’s RC High School also had its best ever results.
The standard of five A* to Cs, including maths and English, was met by 75 per cent of pupils — a nine per cent increase from last year — and 91 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to Cs.
Twenty-three pupils achieved nine or more A* or A grades.
Headteacher Simon Smith, who joined the school last year, said: “Building on the very best traditions of this outstanding Catholic school, I am delighted that the hard work and perseverance of our young people has come to fruition. Our committed staff have again put the children at the centre of everything we do.”
More A* grades than ever before were achieved at Derby High School, where 95 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades.
Headteacher Alyson Byrne said: “It is a great testament to the talent and commitment of our tremendous teaching staff. We are especially thrilled that so many students have achieved the highest level this year.”
Radcliffe Riverside High School saw 56 per cent of pupils scoring five A* to C, including maths and English. Headteacher Ian Bott said: “We are all delighted with this year’s results, which are the best ever, reflecting the outstanding commitment of our students and the dedication of staff and governors.
“Year 11 and Year 10 students have done extremely well and should be congratulated.
“These results follow on from a very successful Ofsted inspection in May this year. We can now look forward to the final year of the school with great confidence.”
At Castlebrook High School 94 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades. Pupils scoring five A* to Cs including English and maths rose by seven per cent to 63 per cent.
Headteacher Tony Roberts said: “Castlebrook’s best ever results reflect the ongoing commit-ment of all our staff, in a truly non-selective school, to ensure that all our pupils are given every opportunity to achieve success. I am delighted with our results and they are nothing less than we deserve.”
It was an emotional day at Elton High School, where headteacher Neil Scruton was celebrating his last set of GCSE results before retirement.
The school scored an 88 per cent pass rate for five A* to Cs and 66 per cent when maths and English were included.
Mr Scruton said: “We are absolutely delighted that the results have maintained the outstanding standards in the school. We are very proud of our youngsters’ achievements and the support the parents have provided for them and for the school. Some of the results are sensational.
“I’m very emotional about retiring. I’m pleased that it’s ending positively. There will be greater things to come.”
At Bury Grammar School Girls the overall pass rate was 99 per cent for grades A* to C, with 72.4 per cent of all grades being A* and A.
About one-third of the group — 33 pupils — achieved 10 A* and A grades, while five pupils scored 10 A*s each.
Headteacher Bobby Georghiou said: “We all rejoice for the girls who have worked hard and achieved these excellent grades.
“But there is another story here and it is about the strength of our girls’ education because if you look at the important STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the whole year group has gained a 100 per cent pass rate and the A and A* average is also 71 per cent. These are very tough subjects, but our girls really take them in their stride.”
Bury Grammar School Boys recorded an overall A* to C pass rate of 95 per cent, with 97 per cent of pupils scoring five A* to Cs including maths and English.
There were A* and A grades for 44 per cent of entries and 14 per cent of all results were A*s.
Headteacher Richard Marshall said: “The boys should be very proud of their achievements.
“Having taught GCSE chemistry to 17 of the 68 boys in the fifth year, I stand shoulder to shoulder with the talented and committed staff of Bury Grammar School Boys in celebrating the boys’ successes.
“The vast majority of boys will continue to study their A-levels with us and will be the first year group to benefit from our new sixth form centre as upper sixth form students, when it is opened in September, 2014.”
Tottington High School recorded an overall A* to C pass rate of 62 per cent.
Some pupils sat the exams early and many Year 10 pupils sat the GCSE statistics exam, with 98.5 per cent achieving a grade C or above.
Headteacher Brian Duffy said: “We are very proud of all our students who have worked extremely hard this year and achieved some great results. Staff have been tireless in their work with each individual student.
“It appears that yet again there has been a national shift as we, along with many schools, have found a general decrease in grades A* to C that have been awarded.
“No doubt there will now be many weeks of discussions as to why these drastic measures are being so speedily implemented by the Government to the detriment of many of our young people and creating uncertainty amongst our professionals, who are seeing goal posts shifted continuously.”
At Woodhey High School 80 per cent of grades were A* to C, with 29 per cent at A* or A.
Headteacher Brian Roadnight said: “We are very proud of all of our youngsters who have worked extremely hard. They not only leave us with good results, but they leave as mature, well-rounded individuals who have taken part in a diverse set of activities throughout their time at Woodhey.We wish them the very best.”
Pupils at Elms Bank Specialist Arts College took GCSE, BTEC, Arts Award, Asdan Awards and Entry Level Certificates across 17 subjects.
A total of 37 GCSEs were passed by 29 pupils and 54 pupils gained Entry Level Certificates in 13 subjects.
Karen Walker, acting headteacher, said: “Yet again our pupils have made us very proud. Their hard work and enthusiasm is an inspiration and they thoroughly deserve the excellent results they have achieved.”
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