Head teachers challenge results
HEAD teachers across North Somerset have joined the national row over whether GCSE exams are marked too harshly.
As the first fall in top GCSE grades in the exam's 24-year history was recorded yesterday, at least two North Somerset schools refused to accept the results achieved by pupils in English or maths exams.
Backwell School head teacher Julian Baldwin said: "We have concerns about the marking of our English language exams and we are challenging those results."
Mr Baldwin said he had drafted an appeal letter to the exam board and is meeting with other North Somerset head teachers later this week to discuss concerns.
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The school did post good results, with 81 per cent of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades and 44 achieving at least eight A* and A grades.
High achievers included Luke Hollander with 10 A* and three A grades, Eric Keith-Smith with 10A* and two A's, Robert Gall who gained nine A* and four A's and jubilant Abigail Threlfall with nine A* grades and four As.
At Nailsea School, 77 per cent of candidates gained A*-C grades but head teacher David New said they would have achieved higher grades if it had not been for the changes in marking of papers.
Mr New said: "I am outraged that a political decision will affect so many young people across the country and particularly those Nailsea School students who would have achieved higher grades last year with the same standard of work."
Among the top achievers at Nailsea School were Zhangi Zhao, who achieved 10 A*s, Amber Francis with 12 A*-A grades, Jess Atkinson, Zoe Ford, Abi Ingram, Alice Keyworth and Olly Presland with 11A*-A grades, and Harry George, Ellie Heild, Rosina Page, Nathan Timbrell and Sophie Williams with ten.
Clevedon School was celebrating some of its best results, with 86 per cent of pupils getting five A*-C grades – 61 per cent including English and maths.
The top performer at Clevedon was 16-year-old Benedikta Fones, with 14 A*s, one A and three distinctions.
Another happy Clevedon pupil was Chris Warren, with seven A* grades, two A's and a distinction.
Other youngsters who achieved some of the highest grades included Michael Stock, with eight A*s and three A grades, Anna Jones with 10 A* and one A grade and Polli Tucker who gained six A* and five plus A's and one B.
Mr Wells said: "I am very proud of the hard work and commitment shown by the students during their time at Clevedon School."
At Gordano School in Portishead, 73 per cent of pupils achieved five or more passes at A*-C with 62 per cent getting A*-C including English and maths. Some of the top performers in the year group included Adam Stevens, 16, who achieved 11 A* grades. Adam, of Portishead, said: "There were so many exams – I just kept going."
Miles Chandler and Olivia Withers, both 16, each secured 10 A*s and an A and more than 20 students scooped eight or more A grades.
Head teacher Gary Lewis said: "It has been good to see our outstanding Ofsted report followed by a strong set of GCSE results."
There were tears of joy and sadness at St Katherine's School in Pill as pupils said farewell to head teacher Stephanie Quayle, who leaves this autumn. Results at the school rose for a seventh consecutive year, with 92.6 per cent of pupils gaining five or more GCSE at A*-C, with 48 per cent of candidates got A*-C grades including English and maths.
Mrs Quayle said: "I am delighted with the achievements of this year group, most of whom have achieved exceptional personal results."
At St Katherine's, top achievers included Adelaide Gorley, 16, and Will Thompson, 16, who achieved eight A* grades and seven A's.
Also among the high fliers were Alexander Watkins, with seven A* and four a grades and Harry Hawkes with six A* and eight A grades.
Youngsters at Churchill School also queued eagerly for their results, with 83 per cent of pupils getting A*-C passes, with 64 per cent including English and maths.
Priory Community School pupils broke GCSE records yet again this year, despite the tougher marking criteria, with 70 per cent of students gaining five GCSE grades from A*-C including English and maths – a new school record and one per cent up on last year's figures.
A total of 88 per cent of candidates gained five A* to C grades in all subjects, up three per cent on last year. The results have again placed the school in the top few per cent of UK schools nationally.
Principal Neville Coles said: "We are delighted at the efforts of students, staff, parents and the community to help bring these record results about."
Hans Price Academy in Weston- super-Mare, which replaced Wyvern Community School last summer, saw the number of pupils gaining five GCSE passes from A*-C, including English and maths, nearly double this year, from 23 per cent in 2011 to 44 per cent.
Principal Armando Di-Finizio said: "We couldn't be more delighted by the first set of results for Hans Price Academy."
At Broadoak Mathematics and Computing Colleges there were happy smiles all round with 93 per cent of pupils gaining five A-C grades or more, with 54 per cent of students achieving A*-C grades including maths and English.
At Sidcot School, pupils celebrated some of their best results ever, with 92.5 per cent achieving five GCSEs at grades A*-C, 75.5 per cent of those including English and maths.