Essex GCSE Results 2021: delight as hard work pays off
- Credit: SWCHS
GCSE results are out, and delighted students have been catching up with friends and making plans for what they want to achieve next.
The disruption caused by the pandemic meant work was assessed by teachers, with exam boards carrying out quality assurance checks.
Cllr Tony Ball, ECC’s cabinet member for Education Excellence and Skills, said: "I am extremely proud of how pupils have adapted and the way in which education colleagues have continued to support them.
“I hope that every young person receiving their results today feels proud – not only of their academic achievements, but of the resilience they have shown over the past year. I wish everyone the very best of luck as they decide on their next steps.”
GCSE results have been shared earlier this year than usual so that pupils have more time to appeal their grades if needed.
Saffron Walden County High School GCSE Results 2021
Executive Headteacher Caroline Derbyshire of Saffron Walden County High School said she is very pleased with this year's GCSE results.
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“Our young people can be exceptionally proud of the excellent results they have achieved.
"These results are truly reflective of the standard they reached in each of their subjects, and we are just as proud of the way they approached their studies during this time of enormous disruption.
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"Not only will they be armed with impressive qualifications, but they have also proved to the world that they can deal with almost anything that gets thrown at them.
"I think it is only right to pay tribute to the teachers who taught these young people so well and marked all of their assessments. Centre Assessment this year was a herculean task.”
Three students have achieved 11 grade 9s (the top grade): Olivia Fairall, Toby Kerrison and Edward Pulfer. All three are continuing their studies at Saffron Walden County High School Sixth Form.
Olivia Fairall said: “I was really nervous and had to double-check the numbers on the screen. I have been working towards these grades for such a long time. I just feel so happy and excited.”
Toby Kerrison said: “It was amazing how much extra effort teachers put in during lockdown.
"It was as if we were still in school for the whole duration with quality lessons and high expectations. I was delighted when I opened my results.”
Edward Pulfer said: “I am really proud of what I have achieved, and I am thankful to the teachers who have supported us through a stressful year.”
A further six students achieved 10 grade 9s with one grade 8, and 30 students gained at least five grade 9s.
In total, 347 grade 9s were awarded with 95 students gaining at least one of these top grades.
Orla Mone and Meg Sansom were among a large group of students who made exceptional progress and achieved an impressive suite of results.
Innes Dunlop, an elite athlete who competes nationally, secured excellent GCSE results alongside juggling her training programme. She will now begin her triathlon scholarship at the Millfield school.
She said: “I feel really, really happy after a hard year. I just want to say how much I appreciate the work my teachers have put in. I have felt really supported.”
Joyce Frankland Academy GCSE Results 2021
At Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport, staff said that witnessing students' hard work and dedication, in the face of the unprecedented disruption, has been inspirational.
Many students will be continuing to Sixth Form and will return in September.
Martha H and Archie M received 10 top grade 9’s.
The school said they have demonstrated exceptional resilience and determination in continuing to set the very highest standards for themselves and their peer group.
The students who have made the most progress in the last five years are Heidi B and Daniel A. They both achieved on average two grades higher in their GCSE’s than would ordinarily be expected.
Principal Duncan Roberts said: “I would like to congratulate every single one of our Year 11 students.
"They have overcome unique and specific challenges that no previous GCSE student has had to face.
"I know they would also like me to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of their teachers, parents, friends and family who have supported them through the grading process and now can share in their achievements.
"The class of 2021 have demonstrated a real love for their learning, maintaining effort and engagement even when having to work from home.
"I am confident the skills they have developed will ensure they go on to be happy and successful in their futures and look forward to continuing that journey with many as they embark on their A-level study with us in September.”
Forest Hall School GCSE Results 2021
At Forest Hall School, Stansted, headteacher Matt Carter has urged teenagers to “continue to believe in yourselves” as they move on to the next stage of their education.
Despite the challenges of lockdown and remote learning, 100 percent of students who took food, engineering, art or photography achieved a grade 4 or higher. More students than before achieved GCSEs in maths, English and separate science.
The school also enabled students to achieve qualifications in their home languages, including Arabic and Polish.
Mr Carter said: “This year has been another challenging year for students, with all of the unknowns and disruption with partial closures.
"Despite this, Year 11 students have really proved themselves to be resilient learners, striving to reach the exceptional.
“I’d like to wish all students the best of luck in the next stage of their journey and hope they continue to believe in themselves.
“I’d also like to congratulate those students in Year 10 who achieved exceptional results in modern foreign languages, geography and history, another group of students who didn’t let a global pandemic stand in their way of achieving their potential.”
For student Alexandra Lapadatu the day is even more special.
She arrived in England at the age of 11, and was put into a class with four-year-olds because of the language barrier to her learning.
She collected grade 9 and grade 8 in her English GCSEs – grades only a small proportion of students achieve each year.
She also picked up one other grade 9, two other grade 8, three grade 7 and a Level 2 Distinction.
When she joined the school in Year 10, she was achieving grade 3 in her least favourite subject of geography, but is now heading off to college to study it at A-level, along with economics, business and a BTEC in law.
Alexandra, originally from Romania and now living in Harlow, said: “The environment at Forest Hall and the people in my class made all the difference.
“I can’t even describe in words how I feel about my results today. I started crying when I opened them. It has all been worth it.”
Helena Romanes School GCSE Results 2021
At The Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre in Great Dunmow, staff said the students' GCSE and Level 2 vocational grades will allow them to pursue the education, apprenticeship or employment routes of their choice.
Headteacher Daniel Gee said: “Students’ grades this year reflect their commitment to learning, their talents and the quality of work they have produced over the last three years.
"The staff at HRS are incredibly proud of our students’ achievements.
"We wish them well in the future, and look forward to welcoming many of them back into our Sixth Form.”
Noteworthy individual successes included:
● Ella Briffa achieved nine Grade 9’s and one Grade 8
● Benjamin James achieved seven Grade 9’s and three Grade 8’s
● Dylan Jewiss achieved seven Grade 9’s and three Grade 8’s
● Tara Haket achieved three Grade 9’s and seven Grade 8’s
● Sophie Whelan achieved five Grade 9’s, three Grade 8’s and two Grade 7’s
● Christopher Vaughan achieved five Grade 9’s, three Grade 8’s, one Grade 6 and one Grade 5
Felsted School GCSE Results 2021
At Felsted School, 57 percent of all grades were 9-7 and 99 percent were 9-4.
Five pupils achieved nine or more grade 9s and 11 pupils overall achieved a clean sweep of 8s and 9s.
However, the school staff said that many students should be congratulated for achieving results that they would not have thought possible a few years ago.
In Computing, 50 percent achieved the top grade 9 score, alongside 100 percent and 99 percent gaining their English and Maths GCSEs at 9-4 grade respectively.
Headmaster Chris Townsend said: “I am particularly proud of the way that they have adapted to the challenges of the last 18 months, and they are fully deserving of these impressive results.
"Our students at Felsted now have the choice of going on to study either A Levels or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
"I am also very grateful to all our parents and of course to our staff, who have provided outstanding support at all times, but particularly in these last two difficult years.”
Top achievers were Toby Clark from Felsted and Helen Matthews from Chelmsford who both achieved a clean sweep of 10 grade 9s.
This was closely followed by Thomas Bale, Archie Hassett and Ruby Rose who all secured nine grade 9s.
Toby Clark from Felsted secured 10 grade 9s plus an A grade in Additional Maths. Toby enjoys coding and gained a Distinction in the Perse Coding Team Challenge.
Toby will be going on to study Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics A Level at Felsted.
Helen Matthews, from Chelmsford, secured 10 grade 9s plus an A grade in Additional Maths. Helen also studied Art off timetable and achieved a grade 7. She will be going on to study Drama, English Literature, History and Latin A Levels with a view to a career in the performing arts.
Thomas Bale, from Braintree, achieved a clean sweep of nine grade 9s. Thomas gained a Distinction in the Perse Coding Team Challenge. He will be going on to study Computer Science, Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A Levels.
Ruby Rose, a boarding pupil from Braintree, gained nine 9s and an A in Additional Maths and will be going on to study the IB Diploma at Felsted in Higher Levels in Economics, English and Latin.
Alexandra Carson, a three night boarder from Felsted village, achieved seven grade 9s and two grade 8s and will be going on to study IB Diploma at Felsted with Higher Levels in Philosophy, Psychology and Sports Science. She also completed her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award this year.
Zara Draper, a day student from Felsted village, achieved six grade 9s, three grade 8s and a grade 7. She is going on to study A Levels in Drama, Economics, German and History with a view to studying History and German at University.
Bishop's Stortford College GCSE Results 2021
At Bishop’s Stortford College, 79 percent of all GCSE results have been graded 9-7 (or A*-A using the old grading system).
Within the group, 42 pupils have been awarded the college’s prestigious Ten Club tie for achieving Grade 7 or above in all 10 GCSEs.
Eight students achieved straight Grade 9s - these are Samuel Barrett, Mia Burgin, Bea Burnstone-Cresswell, Laura H, William Lipscombe, Matthew T, Thomas Walsh and Harrison Yoxall.
College Head Kathy Crewe-Read said: “It’s a privilege to celebrate the achievements of such talented, determined young people.
"Despite the many challenges that have been placed in front of them – from remote learning to exam process uncertainty – our students have never failed to shine.
"I could not be more proud of our students and staff, who juggled remote and in person learning with considerable skill. And I am grateful to our parent community for all their support in such extraordinary times.
"I’m excited to see what this year group will go on to achieve in the Sixth Form!”
Gosfield School GCSE Results 2021
Gosfield School’s GCSE students were rewarded for their dedication and hard work when over 98 percent of all grades were in the coveted 9-4 grade range, with over a third of all grades achieved in the 9-7 range, the old A and A* grades.
There were many stories of individual success. Scarlett gained four grade 9s and six grade 8s, having been at Gosfield since she was in Year 4.
She said: “I am so pleased, I was really nervous as I had been building up to it.
"I got what I dreamed about, I wanted to get on an Oxbridge pathway and so I needed certain grades and I’ve got them!
"I’ve got 8’s and 9’s, I’m most proud that I didn’t get 7’s because I didn’t expect it – I was up against the grade boundaries for some of them and it turned out to be higher so I was really pleased I have pulled it out of the bag.
"My thanks to my Maths teacher Mrs Steel, absolutely amazing, basically all my teachers from Languages to English to Mrs Elliman, all of them as they have all had a positive impact.”
George and Yusuf both gained four grade 9s with the rest of their grades being 8s and 7s.
Yusuf said: “I joined Gosfield in May 2015, it was my first year in the UK. It’s been great being here and I am sad to leave.
"I am feeling very pleased and am going on to study four A Levels, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE), Biology, Chemistry and Maths.”
George said: “I am going to study A Levels in Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry with the ambition to study Medicine at degree level.
"My thanks to Maths teacher Mrs Steel, DT teacher Mr Jaques and all of my Science teachers. I have so many fond memories of the school, especially the trips which Year 7 and 8 have been very good!”
Will gained all grade 9s and 8s in his GCSEs. He said: “I joined Gosfield in Year 7. It was a rocky start, I was never very good at keeping myself together but once I finally slowly but surely built myself up I managed to maintain fantastic study.
"I’m so relieved, it has been a really difficult year and a bit because of everything going on.
"So the fact I have managed to get more than I thought I would do, despite everything is fantastic.
"The subjects I really pushed for were History and Maths in which I got 8s, but I did not expect to get 9s in English Language and Literature. So that is just amazing to pull that through!
"I am going to stay at Gosfield to complete A Levels in History, Maths, Physics and Sociology.”
Principal Guy Martyn said: “It was fantastic to see our GCSE students return after such a difficult year as we celebrated their successes with them.
"We are so proud that despite not having the chance to show what they could do in the exams, our students have been rewarded for their hard work and desire to improve and achieve beyond expectation.
"All our students benefitted from full provision of home learning during the lockdowns, our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study.
"It has been particularly impressive to see how our students have recognised the importance of working hard in every assessment, test and mock exam.
"The level of focus and industry from these young people has been exceptional, and is well worth rewarding with the grades they have received today.
"That has been true for so many who have been awarded with GCSE grades which are a result of a meticulous internal moderation process to ensure these grades were fair.”
New Hall School GCSE Results 2021
At New Hall School, Chelmsford, staff and parents praised GCSE students for their excellent academic results and their resilience over the course of the year.
Principal, Katherine Jeffrey said: “In this unprecedented year, the students have made tremendous strides to adapt to every new circumstance and the changes to their learning environment. We are incredibly proud of them.”
The majority of students will remain at New Hall for A Level studies starting in September.
Suzanna Minnis, Head of Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions, said: “It is wonderful to see the students and their families celebrating fantastic achievements, after a period which challenged their creativity and perseverance.
"We are happy to have as many as 79 percent of grades at 7 and above (A* and A).
"Once again, our Diamond Model, that allows boys and girls to learn in separate classes from Year 7 to Year 11, receives validation, with the outstanding balance of results between boys and girls across all subjects.
"Their A Level choices demonstrate that we have successfully evaded gender stereotyping of subjects.”
Nathan Kerr, Head of Year 11 Boys, said: “I have seen these students grow and progress in their studies, taking on the challenge of GCSEs in the midst of a pandemic.
"The maturity and enthusiasm with which they approached their lessons were impressive and inspiring. Now the next challenge awaits, and we wish them all the best!”
Samuel, who achieved straight 9s, said: “This is a fantastic end to my GCSEs, which were filled with unexpected challenges.
"I can only say that I am thrilled and relieved. I look forward to studying Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Spanish at A Level and seeing everyone again in September.”
Poppy had a perfect score of straight 9s after years of hard work and determination.
She said: “Now that I have the results, I am hoping this is a step closer to my dream of studying Medicine! I am so excited to start my A Levels at New Hall.
"I will be studying Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. But first, I plan on celebrating with family and friends for the rest of the summer.”
St Mary's Senior School, Colchester, GCSE Results 2021
At St Mary’s Senior School in Colchester, 99 percent of all GCSEs were at Grade 4 and above, with 98 percent achieving five or more GCSEs at Grade 4 and above, including Maths and English.
Of the students, 57 percent achieved A*-A/Grade 9-7, compared to 28.9 percent of UK GCSE entries.
There was 100 percent pass rate in 22 subjects.
St Mary’s Principal, Hilary Vipond said: “I am incredibly proud of our girls’ achievement at GCSE, especially as St Mary’s is a non-selective school.
“In these difficult times it is only right and proper that the staff who know the girls so well are the ones providing the Teacher Assessed Grades, and with a low staff turnover many of the girls have been taught by a member of staff for five years.
"These super results are a reflection of all their hard work at school and at home - online learning has been a real triumph.
"Seeing the positive outcomes has made for a wonderful final GCSE results day for me. The students have aimed high and have subsequently achieved outstanding academic results."
Nicola Griffiths takes over as Principal in September.
Stoke College GCSE Results 2021
At Stoke College, 60 percent of GCSE results were in the top 9-7 bracket and 95 percent at the ‘strong pass’ of 9-5.
Dr Rui Chen, Deputy Head Academic, said: “This year group have worked incredibly hard, supporting each other through the challenges they faced during the pandemic.
"They should be incredibly proud of their academic achievements as well the resilience they have displayed.
"The academic team at Stoke College are absolutely delighted with their students’ achievements.”
Molly H of Saffron Walden and Patrick B of Isleham in Cambridgeshire each achieved seven 9s, an A* and an 8, placing them among the highest achievers nationally.
Patrick, Jack B-S of Sible Hedingham and Oscar M, an overseas boarder, also achieved A grades in Further Mathematics, a Level 3 qualification.
Principal, Dr Gareth Lloyd said: “I am so proud of our students and staff.
"These results are evidence of the success of our online learning programme.
"Our students were fortunate to miss very few lessons, even in the early stages of the pandemic and received daily live teaching as if they were in school, through the lockdowns.
"A big thank you to my staff and ever-supportive parents, and sincere congratulations to our students.”
At Stoke College, 30 percent of the year group achieved 10 or more grades at level 7 or higher with a further three students gaining at least 7.
Patrick B - seven grade 9, one A*, one 8, and an A in Further Mathematics (Level 3 FSMQ Award)
Jack B-S - ten grades 8-9/A*-A including an A in Further Mathematics (Level 3 FSMQ Award)
Molly H - eight grade 9, one A* and one 8
Marcus B - ten grades 7-9
Madeleine V - ten grades 7-9
Eleanor L - eight grades 8-9/A*
Tom H – 7 grades of 7 or higher
Sean McK – 8 grades of 7 or higher
2021 exam results explained
GCSE results came out on August 12, earlier than usual to give students more time to appeal.
GCSEs, AS and A-levels grades have been assessed by teachers using evidence like mock exams, in-class tests, essays and coursework.
Most schools have given greater weighting to “exam-style papers” compared to other forms of assessments.
Students will be able to appeal via their school or college if they believe grades are not a fair reflection of their work.
Appeals deadline is September 17, or August 23 for students who’ve not had their first-choice university place confirmed.
Exam boards will be offering re-sit-style exams in November and December for GCSEs.