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New Forest and Christchurch students praised for overcoming pandemic disruption as they collect A-level results



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STUDENTS across the New Forest and Christchurch were praised for their achievements amid the pandemic they collected their A-level results on Tuesday.

For the second year youngsters were graded through teacher assessments instead of sitting exams, with some schools and colleges refusing to release full results to avoid unfair comparisons.

At Brockenhurst College staff and students celebrated a 99% overall pass rate as more than 500 received their A-level results, with 56% achieving A*-B grades and over 78% getting A*-C across all subjects.

A Level results 2021. Brockenhurst College students jump for joy. (l-r) Finley Watton, Tom Winfield, Yasmin Hammad, Vanda Czene and Daniel R. Gouveia Javeed (50068857)
A Level results 2021. Brockenhurst College students jump for joy. (l-r) Finley Watton, Tom Winfield, Yasmin Hammad, Vanda Czene and Daniel R. Gouveia Javeed (50068857)

There were 100% pass rates in 25 A Level subjects.

The success of vocational course students was also celebrated, with a 99.8% pass rate collectively achieved across a cohort of nearly 450 learners.

On vocational level 3 courses, 63% of students achieved a triple distinction or above – the equivalent of achieving three A/A* grades at A-level.

Principal Polly Perkins said: “It has been another tough year for students, who have done their level best to develop the knowledge and skills they need for the future in extremely testing circumstances.

“Today I am confident each Brockenhurst College student has received the grades they deserved and has used the adverse circumstances as an opportunity to build the digital skills and resilience necessary to continue achieving in this rapidly changing world.”

At the Arnewood School in New Milton stand-out performers included Kit Narito who received three A* grades and will study chemical engineering at the University of Southampton.

Having achieved one A* and two As, Maddie Gwilliam is off to Newcastle to read maths and finance. Matilda Gleave, with three A*s, will read modern languages at Warwick University.

A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. Maths students (l-r) Maddie Gwilliam, Sam Fulton, Ben Pang, Kit Narito and Matilda Gleave (50068877)
A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. Maths students (l-r) Maddie Gwilliam, Sam Fulton, Ben Pang, Kit Narito and Matilda Gleave (50068877)
A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. (l-r) Sarah Dew (A*A*A), Amiee Waters (AAA) and Ruby Watts (A*A*A*) are all going to university to study law (50068875)
A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. (l-r) Sarah Dew (A*A*A), Amiee Waters (AAA) and Ruby Watts (A*A*A*) are all going to university to study law (50068875)

Head teacher Nigel Pressnell commended the dedication shown in the face of lockdowns.

“The process of awarding grades in schools is robust without disadvantaging students for what they could not learn while schools were closed,” he said.

“I am grateful to our teachers who took on the additional workload and responsibility of assessment to create a fairer and more reliable system than the flawed algorithm applied before last-minute changes last year.

“Our results continue to match the high standards of previous years, and I congratulate all of the students in our outstanding Sixth Form for continuing the high standard of academic excellence.”

A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. Head teacher Nigel Pressnell (left) and head of Sixth Form Mark Colman (right) with some of Arnewood's A Level students (50068868)
A Level results 2021. Arnewood School. Head teacher Nigel Pressnell (left) and head of Sixth Form Mark Colman (right) with some of Arnewood's A Level students (50068868)

Highcliffe School's Sixth Form students were praised by head teacher Patrick Earnshaw for overcoming “intense disruption” to achieve the best A-level and BTEC results in its history.

A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068736)
A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068736)

Staff were commended for helping maintain a high standard of education, with parents also thanked for their support and encouragement.

Mr Earnshaw pointed to "hard work and talent" and said: “Congratulations to our Year 13 students on your excellent results, earned by your hard work and determination to succeed during a prolonged and unprecedented period of intense disruption to your education.”

A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068760)
A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068760)
A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068764)
A Level results 2021. Highcliffe School. (50068764)

Twynham School Sixth Form students also did well, with many securing a place on their preferred university course.

Headteacher Jy Taylor said: "While the national press seems to be focused on comparing results from previous years, what is missed is the positive impact the pandemic has had on these young people.

"They have studied their courses in a time of incredible adversity; requiring resilience and adaptability to cope with the two national lockdowns as well as a learning experience marked by isolations, social distancing and one-way systems."

Top students Emma Pretty and Katy Jewell have both been accepted into Cambridge, and Marty Hardy has secured a place at Oxford.

Twynham students Emma Pretty, Katy Jewell and Marty Hardy have secured places at top universities (50073554)
Twynham students Emma Pretty, Katy Jewell and Marty Hardy have secured places at top universities (50073554)

Ringwood School said it, too, would not be releasing figures "given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the 2021 results", but said students had achieved "outstanding" grades.

Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074257)
Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074257)
Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074259)
Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074259)

Headteacher Leanne Symonds said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year. We credit their resilience in these difficult times and we thank our teachers who have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto higher education and study.”

Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074263)
Ringwood School students achieved "outstanding results" (50074263)

The Burgate School in Fordingbridge said its results were in line with "above national average performance of previous years".

Head teacher David Pover said: "These results reflect the hard work, perseverance and, above all, the determination of Burgate students to do their very best. I should like to thank all of the staff for the unstinting support and guidance they have given to our students through these trying times."

Jed Hayward received four A* grades. "These results make the last seven years of hard work worth it," he said. "It's still sinking in! I'm off to Bristol to study chemistry and can't wait!"

Burgate School top achiever Jed Hayward (50075109)
Burgate School top achiever Jed Hayward (50075109)

Twin sisters Eloise and Verona McDonald both achieved top results, with Eloise receiving two A* grades, one A grade and an A* in her EPQ, and Verona receiving one A*, two A grades and an A* in her EPQ also.

Burgate top students Verona and Eloise McDonald (50075237)
Burgate top students Verona and Eloise McDonald (50075237)

Eloise said: "I feel relieved that I got the grades I wanted to be able to study biochemistry at Lancaster University," she said.

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