GCSE results: Quarter of grades awarded at Newport either A*s or As

From left, Amelia Crisp, Victoria Rodríguez, Daisy Morris and Megan Stiles.

From left, Amelia Crisp, Victoria Rodríguez, Daisy Morris and Megan Stiles. - Credit: Archant

A QUARTER of grades awarded to Newport Free Grammar School students were either A*s or As for the second year in a row.

Grades in the benchmark English Baccalaureate rose again to remain well above national figures, reflecting what headteacher Gordon Farquar said was a “strong and rigorous academic curriculum” at the Academy.

On the key measure of GCSE achievement, 67 per cent of students gained at least five A*-C grades including English and Maths.

Controversy surrounding English results was a thing of the past as 80 per cent of the students who entered English Language achieved an A*-C grade. This brought the English performance, which last year saw only 66pc of students achieving an A*-C grade, up to match that of Mathematics.

Excellence in other subject areas included Art, where a third of students achieved an A* grade.

Headteacher Gordon Farquhar warmly acknowledged the hard work of students and staff.

He said: “It is fantastic to see a significant rise in results across the range of subjects. Newport has a strong tradition at GCSE which we have built on this year.

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“Students demonstrated their potential in everything from Latin to Music and move onto post16 education as well rounded individuals.

“Some students have achieved truly outstanding results with seven percent of students achieving over 10A*-A grades.”

This year it was a female student who took top honours. Lydia Michaelides managed 12A*s and immediately signed on to post 16 studies.

Eleven other students achieved 11 A*grades across their subject options.

Fraser Arnold, the top performing male student, was “really pleased” he got so many A*s. He said: “I want to thank all the staff for their help and support over my time in school.”

Also collecting their results were Megan Stiles, 16, from Newport, Daisy Morris, 16, from Newport, Victoria Rodríguez, 16, from Henham and Amelia Crisp, 16, from Great Bardfield.

“I’m really pleased with how I did,” said Amelia, “and pleasantly surprised, too! I didn’t think I’d do that well. My family will be proud – I’ll have to talk to my dad and see if I can twist his arm into showing how pleased he is with a little financial contribution!”

Amelia is now planning to study Double Business and English Literature at A-level.

Megan said she was taking Art, Drama, Maths and Further Maths, adding that the latter was her favourite subject and admitting she was “a sciencey-maths kind of person”.

Writing novels was the long-term aspiration for Victoria. She told the Reporter she had read six books in four weeks over the summer and is now looking forward to studying Art, Politics, Spanish and English Language from next month.

With many of the students staying on at the sixth form, Mr Farquhar hopes record breaking results will continue for the Academy.

Chair of Governors Paul Gray said: “It is great that Newport’s young people are doing so well. On behalf of the Governing Body I would like

to thank the staff and students for all their hard work and effort.

“I look forward to their bettering it next year as our young people continue to be our ambassadors in the wider world.”