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Gallery: East Lancashire GCSE students are trend beaters
SCHOOLS and colleges in East Lancashire bucked the national trend to boast improved GCSE grades.
Thousands of youngsters picked up their exam results yesterday, with many schools also celebrating record results.
Nationally, the proportion of exam entries receiving top grades was 68.1 per cent, down from 69.4 per cent last year.
However some subjects at the region’s schools enjoyed a 100 per cent A* to C pass rate.
They included Westholme, in Blackburn, where every student studying Chinese, German, history and geography passed and 97 per cent of all students achieved at least five A* to Cs.
Headteacher Lillian Croston said: “Congratulations to all Westholme students who have worked very hard and excelled in their GCSE results.”
Alisdair Coates, headteacher at St Christopher’s RC High School, in Accrington, said with 84 per cent of students gaining at least five A* to C grades, the school had seen a record year.
He said: “We are particularly pleased to have bucked the downwards national trend in science as our results are 10 per cent better.
“We have also increased our A and A* grades, where these have fallen nationally.”
Blessed Trinity RC College, in Burnley, also had its best year ever, with 56 per cent of students gaining top grades in at least five subjects, including English and maths.
Headteacher Richard Varey said: “We are absolutely thrilled, they are best ever results.
“This represents an important step in our school becoming an ‘outstanding’ school.”
Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, in Oswaldtwistle, also recorded its highest ever marks.
Headteacher Paul Trickett said more than 60 per cent of pupils got at least a C in English, maths and science. He said: “We are absolutely delighted at the performance of our students this year.
“The results reflect not only the hard working attitude of the students but also the excellent relationships they have with staff.
“They also far exceed local and national targets and any expectations from their attainment on arrival.
“All this in a year when we are told that marking has been tougher to bring down pass rates.”
Chris Bohills, headteacher at SS Fishermore in Colne, said 94 per cent of students had gained at least five A*s to Cs – a record for the school.
He said: “Once again congratulations to all our GCSE students and teachers on achieving outstanding results. We are delighted to yet again be above national average for the key performance indicators.”
Keith Ballard, headteacher at Our Lady and St John Catholic College, in Blackburn, said pupils there were also celebrating a record pass rate.
He said: “After much hard work and great teamwork between pupils and staff in very challenging circumstances on our temporary school site, we are celebrating our best ever results “We are now looking forward to continuing this success from September as we prepare to move into our new school building in the autumn term.”
And Burnley’s Sir John Thursby headteacher David Burton said: “We are very pleased with our increase in results this year to 48 per cent, the school’s highest ever GCSE results, which reflects our Ofsted grading of good with outstanding features.” Dean Logan, headteacher at Witton Park High School, in Blackburn, said he was particularly pleased with students’ success in English, maths and science.
He said: “Having changed our curriculum substantially, not to rely on vocational qualifications, the results this year provide a firm foundation for the continuing success of Witton Park. Crucially changes are ahead of the government strategy to modify the way vocational qualifications are valued.”
SUCCESS AGAINST THE ODDS
A TEENAGER is celebrating passing his GCSEs despite missing a year of school following an accident that left him in a wheelchair.
And George Claxton, a pupil at St Wilfrid’s CofE High School, in Blackburn, is now hoping to become a PE teacher after completing A levels and a university degree.
He gained a distinction in sports BTEC and Cs in maths and English.
The youngster said: “I am really happy. I am over the moon.
“I had to work really hard because I did two years of work in one year.
“My dad is really, really impressed and happy and proud for me. I have just enrolled in sixth form and then hopefully I will got to university to be a PE teacher.”
George was playing rugby for Blackburn Under-15s when he committed to a tackle and was flipped over by the momentum of his body crashing into his opponent.
An MRI scan revealed he had dislocated his neck, shattering a spinal disc and twisting his spinal column.
Doctors told him he would be confined to a wheelchair for life.
He said: “I was determined to finish my GCSEs by this year. People kept on saying to keep in mind I might have to pull back but I just put my head down and really worked at it.
“I am really proud of myself and cannot stop smiling.”
George said he planned to celebrate with all of his family at a restaurant.
SOCCER STUDENT SCORES 12 A* AND A GRADES
A YOUNGSTER is shooting for the stars after combining his GCSE studies with training to become a professional football player.
Adrian Purzycki, a pupil at All Saints Catholic High School, in Rawtenstall, achieved four A*s, eight As, one B and one C despite fitting in revision around football practice.
The teenager will now be going on to play for Wigan Athletic youth team and will be pushing for a place on the reserves.
He said: “I can’t believe how well I have done. I know my mum and dad will be proud of me.”
Headteacher Brian McNally: “We are pleased with the successes of our students during a year which has provided unique circumstances. A significant improvement has been seen.”
AUTUMN HARVESTS TOP MARKS
AN ‘ecstatic’ ST Bede’s RC High School pupil is keeping her options open with 10 A* grades.
Autumn Charnley, of Livesey in Blackburn, is yet to choose her future path as she embarks on A-Level studies.
She said: “It is brilliant. I am quite strict with my studying at the weekend.
“My mum tells me to stop working so hard and have a break, but it is for the rest of your life, so I felt it was something I should do.
“I want to be the best I can be.”
Autumn, who enjoys running, playing the piano and hanging out with friends, is now about to start A levels in chemistry, biology, physics, and maths at St Mary’s College.
She said: “I have no idea what I want to do when I am older. But I like a challenge.”
ABBEY IS RADIO GAGA
MUM Janella Thompson had to call her daughter in Florida to tell her she was A star pupil.
Blessed Trinity’s Abbey Bracken, who lives in Padiham, was on holiday in America and Janella picked up her results yesterday.
She opened them live on radio for her daughter and couldn’t stop crying.
“I can’t believe how well she has done,” Janella said. “She has got seven A*s and three As.
“I am so proud of her. The school is fantastic and she has loved it here.”
Abbey is going to study maths, biology, physics and chemistry at St Mary’s College in Blackburn.
“She wants to be a doctor,” added her mum.
Alder Grange pupil Jack Woods hit the A standard in a big way when he collected his GCSE results.
The 16-year-old gained A grades in 11 subjects at GCSE, as well as AS-Level in English literature which he collected last week.
The Arctic Monkeys fan was delighted with his haul: “I was a little bit surprised in some subjects but I am really pleased.”
Jack plans to study economics, law, maths and English A-Levels.
His friend Simon Willetts was also on of the school’s stand out performers with an A star and 4 As among his results. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” he said. “It was a little nerve wracking waiting for them but I am pleased.”
EXAMS ARE 11TH HEAVEN FOR ILHAAM
A TEENAGER is reaching for the stars after receiving top grades in all of her exams.
Ilhaam Umerji, who achieved 11 A* grades at Tauheedul Islam Girls School, in Blackburn, said she was extremely happy with her marks.
She said: “The results are amazing. I am so grateful to my family and my teachers.
“Without their support and encouragement, it simply would not have been possible to achieve what we have as a year group.”
SALLY Cryer, headteacher at Unity College, Burnley, said: “There is a relentless drive to achieve the best possible results from all the students, staff and governors at the college and today everyone should be very proud of what the students have achieved.”
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