There was cause for celebration for both students and staff at the West Norfolk Academies Trust’s four secondary schools yesterday morning as this year’s GCSE results were unveiled.
At Springwood, three quarters of students secured Grade Four to Nine in English and Maths with half securing a Grade Five and above in both subjects. High-performing students included Zara Bek, Nazli Atalay, Nicola Mathew, Jake Parish, Simona Pilmane and Neethu Thomson
Executive Headteacher Andy Johnson said: “As a school we are immensely proud of them all and the results of this year’s GCSE exams reflect the confidence the teaching staff have in our students.”
Chairman of the Governors, Roger Livesey, added: “The entire Springwood family has been dealing with these difficult times and families, staff and students should be proud with how they have been coping with a unique set of circumstances.”
In Hunstanton, there were happy students at Smithdon High School as three quarters of students secured Grade Four and above in English and Maths, and half picked up Grade Five and above.
Notable achievers at Smithdon included Emillie Hipkin and Nathaniel Linsell but headteacher John Hirst also mentioned Caytlin Davies, Hassan Miah, Rose Richardson and Declan Davies for the progress they have made while at Smithdon
Mr Hirst continued: “We are all very proud of our students and staff who have worked so hard in difficult circumstances.”
Lydia Askew was delighted with her results of a 9, an 8, six 7s and three 6s - her top grade coming in PE. She’s now off to Springwood Sixth Form to study English, history and biology.
“When I opened the envelope, the first result I looked for was history and I got a seven so I was happy. Overall I did better than I expected.”
Meanwhile Grace Bailey was over-the-moon with her results - two 8s, four 7s, two 6s, and a Level Two distinction. She’s now off to Access Creative College Norwich to study event production.
“I was a bit overwhelmed when I opened up the envelope and saw my results for the first time - I really didn’t expect to get these results. But it was a lovely experience to go into school to collect my results because after the year we’ve had, it was great to see everyone there.”
Grace added she’ll remember her time at Smithdon fondly. “The teachers were the highlight for me. They were all really supportive and have been throughout my time here.”
Twins Issy and Ellie Little also celebrated brilliant results. Issy, who is going to Springwood to study art, media and criminology, secured six 9s, three 8s, a 7 and a 6 while Ellie achieved five 9s, four 8s, and two 7s.
Issy said: “It was weird going into school today because we haven’t been there for so long but the school had made an effort to make this morning special and it was so nice to see all our teachers again.”
At Marshland, in West Walton, headteacher Craig Jansen expressed his delight today in the achievements of his students.
“Our students and staff worked incredibly hard to prepare for the GCSE examinations this summer," he said. "It is regrettable that the current COVID-19 crisis prevented our students from sitting their exams but we are confident that their results today reflect the efforts and the outcomes they would have achieved under normal circumstances. We should all feel proud and value their GCSE achievements.”
Steve Cozens, Chair of Governors, continued: “I would like to express my thanks to all Marshland staff for their professionalism and support given to all students during these unusual times.”
Meanwhile Dave Saunders, Head of Upper School, added: “It is very rewarding to see students achieve the outcomes needed to progress onto their first choice post-16 destinations”.
Oliver Swann and Katie Smith were Marshland’s highest achievers and both are going to Springwood Sixth Form to study their A Levels.
Oliver Swann secured nine 9s and one 8 and more than anything, he was pleased to return to Marshland one final time. “It was nice to be able to go back into school to say thank you and goodbye to the teachers. It was important to me to do that because they’ve always been so helpful and friendly to me and supported me throughout my time at Marshland.”
Katie Smith picked up seven 9s and three 8s and hopes to become a doctor in the future.
"What I will take away from my time at Marshland is how supportive the school has been. I’m a young carer and they have provided me with a lot of support on that basis - it’s additional stress that not a lot of children have but my teachers never stopped encouraging me.
"And if I was worried about something, they would pull me to the side and give me the one-to-one support I needed. I wouldn’t have achieved the results I have today without the amazing pastoral support I’ve had.”
And at St Clements, in Terrington St Clement, nearly three quarters of students achieved Grade Four and above in English and Maths - over 10% of students also secured Grade Seven and above. Highest performing students included Elizabeth Wood and Harry Preston.
Other students celebrating good GCSE results included Matthew Bocking, who is now going on to study a diploma in professional cookery, and Kaitlyn Masters, who is going on to study a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Nursing
Headteacher Nigel Willingham said: “The grades achieved reflect the hard work of our students during their whole high school career. We are very proud of them."
Chairman of the Governors, Malcolm Wood, added: “Our GCSE students and their teachers have worked very hard to achieve their exam results, and should all be congratulated.”