Students and their schools across Brighton and Hove were celebrating record GCSE results today (Thursday 22 August) while performance nationally slipped.
Here’s what the area’s secondary schools had to say.
Blatchington Mill School
Blatchington Mill said that it was “incredibly proud and thrilled to announce record-breaking GCSE exam results for 2013”.
The school said: “Not only are they by far the best in the school’s history, they also are incredibly strong compared to schools nationally.
“The primary measure of student attainment is gaining five A* to C GCSE qualifications including English and maths, and 72 per cent of students managed this in 2013, an exceptional achievement and an increase of 11 per cent from 2012.
“Beyond English and maths, the breadth of achievement across all subjects was strong, with 84 per cent of students achieving five A* to C grades, maintaining the same figure achieved in 2012.
“Over 97 per cent of students achieved five A*to G grades and we are incredibly proud that 100 per cent of students achieved at least one A*to G grade qualification.
“These results represent a huge amount of work from staff and students but also reflect our absolute priority on the quality of teaching and learning and our belief that every student can achieve – a belief shared and promoted within our Secondary Schools Partnership of Brighton and Hove schools.”
The chairman of the governors, Jenny Barnard-Langston, said: “Our results fly in the face of the national picture of turbulence.
“Our story is one of staff focus, partnership with parents and the sheer hard work of the students.
“There is not a single Blatchington Mill student that has left school without a pass. Indeed 159 students got at least one A* or A grade.
“The maths result is a success story – a leap of 14 per cent to 81 per cent of students gaining A* to C. English has increased by 5 per cent.
“I am proud to be the chair of governors leading a school focused on students achieving their highest potential.
“This is a success story that reflects the single-minded approach of the school to continuously raising achievement. Congratulations go to staff, students and parents.”
Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA)
BACA celebrated another record year for GCSE passes with 46 per cent of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at A* to C grades, including maths and English. This was a 5 percentage point rise on last year.
“It is likely that BACA will be among the top 20 fastest improving schools in the country over that period when the statistics are finalised.
“Across all subjects 96 per cent of students achieved five or more GCSEs, with 174 passes at A* or A level.
“One student, Lily Cai, achieved seven A*s and six A grades.”
Interim principal Michael Brett said: “I am particularly pleased with the English results.
“In English we achieved 74 per cent A* to C grades with over 80 per cent of students making three or more levels of progress, which is likely to be well above the national average.
“These results are a credit to the hard work and dedication of all the staff and students at BACA as well as the continued support of parents and the local community in helping to raise aspirations.”
Peter Kyle, the chairman of the governors, said: “BACA’s continued transformation is illustrated by these remarkable results.
“A 100 per cent improvement in three years is a credit to the hard work and commitment of our students.
“Governors swell with pride at their many achievements and remain eternally grateful to the teachers and staff whose dedication enables such success.”
Cardinal Newman Catholic School
Students at Cardinal Newman have achieved the best GCSE results in the history of the school for the second year running.
And they notched up the best results for a state school in Brighton and Hove.
Head James Kilmartin said: “Last year our GCSE results were the best of any state secondary school in the city so we are absolutely delighted that this year’s are even better.
“Seventy three per cent of our Year 11 students have achieved at least five A* to C grades, including English and mathematics.
“Many individual students enjoyed spectacular success with two students gaining A grades in every subject they studied (12 and 11 respectively) while 30 students gained 10 or more A or A* grades.
“One third of all grades awarded to our students were A or A*.
“We are absolutely thrilled with these results and delighted for the students and their families.
“I am sure they would join me in wanting to acknowledge the hard work, the skill and the knowledge of the teaching and other staff who have helped them to achieve so highly.
“We now look forward to supporting our students in the next stage of their education and welcoming many of them back to our own sixth form.”
The school said
- 99.7 per cent of students gained at least one GCSE
- 4 per cent of students gained their English Baccalaureate.
- Over 8 out of ten students (4 out of 5) gained five or more A* to C grades
- 22 (6.3 per cent) students gained five A* grades or more
- Just over 10 per cent of all results were A* (10.2 per cent)
- 82 per cent of our students gained a grade C or above in Maths – the highest percentage ever
- 78 per cent of our students gained a grade C or above in English – again the highest percentage ever
Dorothy Stringer High School
Dorothy Stringer said that 71 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades – the second best result in its history and a 4 percentage point improvement on last year.
Head Richard Bradford said: “I am very proud of the Dorothy Stringer class of 2013. They have worked hard and challenged themselves to do their best.
“Many will be celebrating excellent personal academic achievements today. We wish them all well as they go on to another phase in their lives.
“I would also like to thank the staff and parents who have worked hard to support them over the last few years.”
Hove Park School
Another record set of GCSE results at Hove Pak cemented two years of rapid improvement, the school said.
It said that 65 per cent of students had reached the benchmark five A*to C grade passes, including in English and maths.
The school said: “This is a 21 per cent rise in just two years and is almost 40 per cent higher than the school managed in 2009.
“Behind the headline figures are a number of outstanding success stories.
“This year more students than ever before achieved top grades, with 36 students awarded A* grades.
“The school has been stressing the importance of science qualifications and this was reflected in an incredible leap in the number of students achieving C or above in at least two sciences.
“In 2012 only 44 per cent of students managed to achieve this benchmark but that jumped to 76 per cent this year.”
Head Derek Trimmer said: “The achievement of Hove Park students is phenomenal and shows that if you have the ambition, you can succeed.
“These students joined the school at its lowest point but their results are now the standard that other students will aspire to.
“‘It is crucial to these children’s life chances that we prepare them for the opportunities that are out there.
“Industry needs adults with strong skills in science so I am especially pleased to see how successful Hove Park students have been in sciences this year.
“The gap between students’ achievement in English, maths and science has now closed completely.
“Hove Park School continues to buck the national trend.
“As schools across the country see results stagnate, Hove Park is still seeing significant progress.
“And it is not only at the top grades: students across the board are achieving higher grades, with an amazing 20 per cent overall increase in the number of exam entries achieving C or above this year.
“Our target for next year is to continue the improvement and celebrate a five-year upward trend.”
Longhill High School
Longhill is celebrating its 50th anniversary with its best ever results – up 5 percentage points on last year – with 50 per cent of pupils achieving five A* to C grade passes, including English and maths.
Head Haydn Stride said: “Our core subjects have done exceptionally well: English at 62 per cent C and above, maths at 61 per cent (a rise of 12 per cent) and in science 78 per cent of students achieved two C+ grades.
“This goes against the national trends and is a reflection of the hard work and professionalism of our staff, the focus from our students and the support from their families and our community.
“The following students have achieved exceptional results and a special mention, we are very proud and pleased for them.
“Ollie Angelkov-Cummings and Victor Oliver attained a total of 11 A* to A grades.
“Alex Humby and Kay Donovan attained a total of 10 A* to A grades.
“Diarna Franklin, Fabienne Andre and Ben Albiston achieved 13 or more C+ grades.
“Adam Twigge achieved 10 C+ grades and a wonderful set of results for Caitlin Vanhinsbergh who achieved six C+ grades.
“We are a very proud school, improving year on year and these results will support us in our determination to be the very best we can be.
“I would like to thank all our families who have supported us across the year and I share in their pride for all our young people at Longhill High School.
“Our work with the Secondary Schools Partnership across Brighton has had a huge influence upon our success and I thank my colleague head teachers for their support.”
Patcham High School
Patcham High hailed “brilliant GCSE results” and said: “We are thrilled that Patcham High School equalled its best ever GCSE results with 57 per cent of students achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and maths.
“We are also delighted that a record number of our students, nearly 30 per cent, achieved three or more A* or A grades.
“Every student achieved at least one GCSE qualification, which is the first time ever and a brilliant testament to everybody’s hard work.
“Congratulations to all our students and our great team of staff who helped them on their way.”
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA)
PACA students celebrated their school’s best ever GCSE results. Sixty per cent of students achieved the benchmark five or more passes at A* to C grade, including maths and English, up 21 per cent percentage points from 39 per cent last year.
Across all subjects 87 per cent achieved five or more passes at A* to C grade, up from 70 per cent last year.
The school said: “Among the many individual highlights 3 per cent of all students achieved five or more passes at the top A* or A grades, with five achieving nine or more top grades each.
“Two students achieved 12 passes each at A* to C grade.
Principal James Fox said: “An improvement of more than 50 per cent is a great achievement and today’s exceptional results are all about hard work – by our students and by our staff.
“This is the best set of GCSEs ever for the school – not just as an academy but for Portslade Community College too I believe.
“I and our governors would like to thank the teachers who have worked tirelessly – not just this year but over several years – to contribute to today’s fantastic news.
“Young people in Portslade deserve an outstanding school – and we are determined to provide it for them – with fantastic new facilities, the best teaching and learning and behaviour.
“Today’s results are a clear demonstration of that commitment.’’
Honor Wilson-Fletcher, the chairman of the governors, said: “These results are fantastic but not unexpected.
“Success comes in lots of forms but GCSE day is a very important milestone in every school year.
“I am absolutely delighted for our students, staff and for the community we serve, who have invested their trust in us.
“Our ambitious plans for PACA are beginning to become real now.
“Congratulations to everyone who has made today a major milestone for the school.”
Varndean said: “We are delighted to report a substantial increase of 7 per cent in our five A* to C including English and maths. This now stands at 63 per cent.”
Head William Deighan said: “Sixty three per cent represents the highest ever result for Varndean School.
“We are thrilled for the students and for their teachers, who worked so hard in achieving this result.
“The work we do with the Secondary Schools Partnership across the city continues to be a positive force in raising standards.”
The school said: “Of particular note were the results of some of the school’s leading students: Sophie Parsons – 10A* and 2A, Chay Graham – 10A* and 2A, and Jai Matthews 8A*, 4A and 1B.
“Two students had made spectacular progress during their time at the school – Salma Ema and Joe Ashworth.
“As ever, there were a great many individual success stories on the day – and we wish all of the students well in the next phase of their learning.”
Chay Graham said, “I’m overjoyed with my results and grateful.
“In this country, people get a free education – that’s the most important thing in life and they should make the most of that opportunity.”
Sophie Parsons said: “I’m really happy.” She offered advice for next year’s students. “Work closely with your friends and help each other – that way, everyone does well. Remember, it’s never too early to start revising.”