Pocklington School students rise to GCSEs challenge

Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.
Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.

Pocklington School’s GCSE students rose to the challenge of the new, reformed GCSE exams by producing some excellent individual performances, with 29% of students achieving eight or more A*/A and 9-7 grades.

An impressive 43.6% of all GCSEs at Pocklington School were awarded the top grades (A*/A and 9-7), more than double the national average of just over 20%. And 12% of the results were at the new highest 9 grade, compared with 4.3% across the rest of England.

Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.

Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.

In addition, 25.3% of the results were grades 9-8, equivalent to an A* grade or above, and 61.4% of students gained at least one A* grade or equivalent.

The results represent a significant and positive achievement for the students who called on their resilience and self-discipline to meet the challenge of being the first year group to sit the newly reformed and more challenging GCSE and iGCSE examinations.

As the new GCSE grading system is being introduced in phases, some subjects are graded on the new 9-1 scale, while others, including all the science subjects, are graded on the A*-G system at present. The top grades of 9-7 are equivalent to A*-A grades, a 6 is the equivalent of a high B grade and 9-4 represents the A*-C spread of grades.

In Biology, Chemistry, English Language, ICT, Latin and Religious Studies over 60% of students achieved A*/A grades or equivalent, with half of the RS students gaining the very prestigious grade 9.

Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.

Pocklington School pupils find out how well they performed in their GCSEs.

English Language, regarded as a key indicator of future academic and career success, saw exceptional results this year, with more than two thirds of students gaining 9-7 grades. Almost a quarter of students (23%) achieved grade 9, compared with only 2.6% nationally. Nearly half of students (48%) were awarded 9-8 grades (equivalent to A*). 100% of English Language grades were 9-4, along with 95% of the Mathematics grades.

Individual successes include Tilly Rennison, who achieved a superb eleven grade 9 and A*s. She said: “I wasn’t expecting to get such good grades. I was really surprised about my Grade 9 in German, which I found the hardest subject. I’m going out to celebrate now!”

Ben McNamara and Freya Stewart achieved an impressive nine grade 9 and A*s each. Ben is a talented Rugby player, who toured France this summer with the England Rugby League Youth squad, and also toured South Africa with the School U17XV. He has played for the Yorkshire Carnegie U17 Academy team and also trains with the City of Hull Rugby League Academy.

Freya achieved her results whilst playing a central part in the School’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Society, where she took a pivotal role. Her inspirational leadership and organisational skills, along with her standout performing abilities, have resulted in her being appointed choreographer and assistant director in the new school year’s Sixth Form-led Musical Theatre Society production of ‘Seussical’.

Millie Holdstock gained three 9 grades, four A*s and two 8 grades, and Bella Byass gained three A*s, one 9 and four 8 grades.

Michael Smith achieved 9 grades in all three modern foreign languages (French, German and Spanish) – a feat achieved by only 25 students in the country. He also gained an 8 in Latin along with two further 8 grades and an A*. This natural linguist and non-native speaker, who is also learning Italian on the side, is currently on holiday in France and will return to study French, German and Spanish at A level. The School is pleased to support him in his linguistic studies as part of our continued commitment to modern languages in the face of a country-wide decline in pupil take-up.

Magnus Swann, who gained four A* and four 8 grades, said: “I’m relieved to finally see the results. Mum woke me up at 6am! I am hoping to study Art, Design and Physics at A level and Photography as an AS. I have done well in all those subjects - so I’m looking forward to Sixth Form now.”

Archie Kneeshaw achieved three A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, two 9 grades in Music and Maths along with an A* in Further Maths qualification and two additional grade 8s. Archie combined his studies with playing percussion in the National Youth Orchestra as well as performing with the School’s Chamber Choir, Senior String Group and Swing Band. He is planning on studying A levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at the School’s Sixth Form.

Headteacher Mark Ronan said: “It was great to see so many smiling faces around the school this morning as pupils opened their results, especially after such a challenging period of flux in the exam system.

“I’m delighted that so many of our students have achieved impressive results while also focusing on their co-curricular passions. Good GCSE passes are just part of the rounded education we’re committed to at Pocklington School, where students are challenged to extend their horizons culturally, intellectually and on the sports field.

“We look forward to supporting them as they continue their journey in the Sixth Form, aiming high, asking questions and ready to meet the next challenge.”