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GCSE students celebrate their results across New Forest schools



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GCSE students across the New Forest and Christchurch celebrated their results this morning (Thursday) after a tumultuous past year.

For the second time in a row the pandemic cancelled exams, meaning the grades – going from 1 to 9 as the highest mark – were drawn up by teachers' assessments.

Amid the difficulties, many schools across the district decided not to publish their overall figures to avoid perceptions of unfair comparisons.

At the Arnewood school in New Milton, success stories included Crists Nitescu who only arrived in the UK two years ago but is going on to the sixth form to study three A-levels. Others who were smiling included Katherine Stopyra who received nine 9 grades and Oliver Padley who received eight 9 grades.

Rylan Pearce, who plays for New Milton Rugby Club, is going to study in Oxford to pursue his rugby career and Jasmine King is off to study acting.

Arnewood School: Rylan Pearce, left, who is going to college in Oxford and will attempt to get into the Wasps rugby academy, and Oliver Padley who received eight '9' grades. (50154519)
Arnewood School: Rylan Pearce, left, who is going to college in Oxford and will attempt to get into the Wasps rugby academy, and Oliver Padley who received eight '9' grades. (50154519)

Head teacher Nigel Pressnell said: "This has been an outstanding year for our Year 11 students who wholeheartedly threw themselves into school-based GCSE and vocational assessment this summer following the lifting of the lockdown.

"They were assessed on classwork, exams and coursework over many weeks and all of their grades were moderated by experienced teachers.

"Their individual results are a real success story of young people demonstrating resilience and application despite having the most disrupted period of education experienced in living memory."

Arnewood School: Cristi Notescu, who only moved to the country two years ago, got high enough grades to go to Arnewood Sixth Form to study three 'A' Levels; Government and Politics, Business and Law (50154517)
Arnewood School: Cristi Notescu, who only moved to the country two years ago, got high enough grades to go to Arnewood Sixth Form to study three 'A' Levels; Government and Politics, Business and Law (50154517)

Also delighted with his students was Priestlands head Peter Main, who said: "Seeing our students again to celebrate their success was a real pleasure.

"This particular cohort have been on a real rollercoaster throughout their GCSE course and it has been remarkable how they have adapted and applied themselves."

Priestlands School pupils (50154820)
Priestlands School pupils (50154820)

Top performers at Noadswood School, in Dibden Purlieu, were Zach Adamson and Tom Forster, who both got a clean sweep of grade 9 in all their subjects. Ben Hammond, Isabelle Malone, Max Scudder and Elliemae Taverner got eight grade 9s apiece.

Head teacher Kathryn Marshall said: "We look back on the past year-and-a-half and are just blown away with pride at what all of our students have achieved, despite the phenomenal disruption and uncertainties that there have been for them."

Burgate School, in Fordingbridge, reported its results were again broadly in line with its above national average performance of previous years.

High-achievers included Kathryn Poole who received six grade 9s and three grade 8s. She said: "I am really, really pleased, but quite surprised. I worked so hard and was hoping for good results but not as good as these!"

Burgate School: Ned Woodley (50154804)
Burgate School: Ned Woodley (50154804)

Ned Woodley received seven grade 9s, one grade 8 and two grade 7s while Eddie Humber got three grade 9s, four grade 8s and three grade 7s. Mary-Lou Petty returned five grade 9s, one grade 8 and three grade 7s.

David Pover, head teacher, said: "These results reflect the hard work, perseverance and, above all, the determination of Burgate students to do their very best. They overcame successive obstacles and remained focussed on their studies.

Burgate School: Ellie Paterson shows off her results (50154521)
Burgate School: Ellie Paterson shows off her results (50154521)

"I should like to thank all of the staff for the unstinting support and guidance they have given to our students throughout their time at the Burgate and particularly during the last 18 months."

Highcliffe head teacher Parick Earnshaw revealed his Year 11 students got the best GCSE results achieved by the school, continuing a six-year trend of improvements.

Highcliffe School pupils (50154815)
Highcliffe School pupils (50154815)

"My heartfelt thanks to our teachers and support staff for your dedication and diligence maintaining the high quality education which Highcliffe School students benefit from, and thank you to our parents for your unwavering support and encouragement throughout the same period," he added.

Highcliffe School pupils with their results (50154810)
Highcliffe School pupils with their results (50154810)

In Christchurch, Twynham head teacher Jy Taylor said his students should be "proud", no matter their achievements, adding: "They are a credit to themselves and their families and I have every confidence that these young people will have such a positive impact on their communities and our society in future."

He said the school had added new vocational courses to its sixth form offering and expected to have more applications than ever, adding: "Our new accommodation for our sixth formers in coming along nicely and it has been great to see so many faces enrolling today."

The Grange School, Christchurch, said there had been some "outstanding achievements" by its students. Liz Garman, head of school, added: "We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.

"Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future."

Students at The Grange School (50154806)
Students at The Grange School (50154806)

Ringwood School also declined to publish its results, citing the pandemic's "extraordinary circumstances", but it reported "excellent achievements".

Ringwood School students celebrated their GCSEs (50158584)
Ringwood School students celebrated their GCSEs (50158584)

Head teacher 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 further education and study.

"We wish all of our students well for the future and look forward to welcoming most of them back to our sixth form in September.”

Ringwood School students celebrate their GCSEs (50158582)
Ringwood School students celebrate their GCSEs (50158582)

Independent Ballard School, in New Milton, revealed 100% of pupils got at least five passes graded 9-4 (including Maths and English) and 40% of results were grade 7 or above.

Headmaster Andrew McCleave said: "This has been an incredibly tough year for Ballard’s Year 11s, so the fact they have achieved these fantastic results is testament to their resilience and fortitude.

"Our young people have had to be adaptable, whilst remaining positive and focused through incredibly uncertain and challenging times.

"Not only have they achieved a set of well-deserved and hard earned grades, they have developed character, skills and a level of determination that will serve them well as they leave Ballard."

Pupils from Ballard School in New Milton pick up their GCSE results (50164527)
Pupils from Ballard School in New Milton pick up their GCSE results (50164527)

Students were congratulated by civic chiefs from both Hampshire County Council and BCP Council.

Cllr Roz Chard, HCCs cabinet member for children's services, said: "I wish to thank parents and carers for the support they have given their young people during this time, and I am also deeply grateful to all secondary school staff for the additional work they have shouldered this year to ensure pupils could be properly assessed for their GCSEs."

Cllr Nicola Greene, who holds BCP Council's education portfolio, added: "I would like to congratulate all pupils in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on your results.

"I am aware of how hard Year 11s have worked in challenging circumstances and I am very proud of you and what you have achieved. I wish you well in your post-16 plans."



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