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New Forest GCSE students celebrate making the grade on results day

Priestlands pupils, from left, Brandon, Ollie, Matt, Tommy, Daniel and Cameron, pick up their GCSE results
Priestlands pupils, from left, Brandon, Ollie, Matt, Tommy, Daniel and Cameron, pick up their GCSE results

SCHOOLS across the New Forest have celebrated top-class GCSE results, with many students awarded the highest grade 9 mark.

Grade 9 replaced the old A* as the highest mark last year. However, under the new system fewer students would be awarded the maximum, with those who did regarded as having "performed exceptionally", according to exams watchdog Ofqual.

Across Hampshire, secondary schools reported that 69% of pupils taking the exams achieved a pass at grade 4 in English and mathematics, compared to 67% last year. The ‘attainment 8’ outcome, which measures the results across the wider curriculum, has also improved from a score of 47.2 in 2018 to 47.6 in 2019.

Cllr Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This is a huge achievement. There is no question that the new GCSE examinations are tougher than ever, yet Hampshire’s pupils have risen to the challenge again and performed excellently.

"They should be very proud of their results for 2019, as should their families and schools. Hampshire schools performed very well last year so to improve from that strong position is a real achievement for them.”

Priestlands School

Priestlands headteacher Peter Main said he was “delighted” for his students, some of whom were awarded top grades in every subject.

The results showed 78% of students secured the new standard pass (4-9) in English and maths, 56% of students secured the new strong pass (5-9) in English and maths, 86% of students secured grade 4 or better in English, 84% of students secured grade 4 or better in maths, and 82% of students secured two or more grade 4s in science.

Mr Main said: “Priestlands students did very well in the core subjects of English, maths and science, while there were also record results in languages, PE, statistics and technology as well as strong performances in many other subjects.

“In terms of the government’s new performance measures which apply to all schools in 2019, the provisional new ‘Progress 8’ figure shows that, on average, students at Priestlands made significantly more progress than similar students nationally.

“This is a superb set of results and I am delighted for our students. Once again, students have been rewarded for their hard work and they have exceeded expectations.”

He added: “Education at Priestlands is about more than exam results. We know that their success today means our students have been given greater choice about what to do next and we wish them well for the future.”

Highcliffe School

Highcliffe pupils line up for their results
Highcliffe pupils line up for their results

Highcliffe reported record GCSE results for the fourth time in five years.

The figures showed 83% of students passed English at grade 4 or better, 81% passed maths and 75% gained at least two sciences at grade 4 or better, while 82% of all grades achieved by students across all subjects were grade 4 or better.

Seventy-nine percent of all the grades achieved by the school’s 196 students were the ‘strong pass’ grade 5 or better, and “a substantial number” of students achieved on average two grades higher across their eight subjects than students with similar abilities at the end of primary school did elsewhere in the country.

Headteacher Patrick Earnshaw said: “Following last week’s very good A-level results, today’s fourth set in five years of record-breaking best-ever GCSE results are welcome news for the community we serve.

“I’m delighted for our students and their families and incredibly proud of the staff team who educated and supported our Year 11s to such a level of success.

“Great results like this will enable Highcliffe students to move on to our Sixth Form, local colleges or apprenticeships or employment.”

Ballard School

Ballard pupils celebrate their marks
Ballard pupils celebrate their marks

BALLARD'S figures showed 87% of its pupils achieved at least five grade 9 to 4 passes, including English and maths, with 97% of pupils passing both those subjects.

The New Milton school celebrated 100% pass rates in physics, additional maths, art, dance, drama, food technology, German, geography, music, and Spanish.

Other figures showed 71% of pupils gained at least one grade between 9 and 7 and 44% achieved at least one grade 9 or 8. Around a tenth of the school’s pupils gained these highest grades in eight or more subjects.

Headmaster Andrew McCleave said: “I would like to congratulate our students not only on their impressive GCSE results but also for their enormous contributions to our school. We firmly believe in a holistic education and we have been fortunate with the leavers of 2019 that so many of them have been keen to develop in all arenas of school-life.

“Our 2019 GSCE results celebration concludes my first year as headmaster of Ballard and I could not be more proud or privileged to lead this outstanding and inspiring community.”

The Arnewood School

Proud pupils from The Arnewood School
Proud pupils from The Arnewood School

A trio from Arnewood are on cloud nine after achieving 14 top grade GCSEs between them.

Matilda Gleave (six grade 9s), Ben Pang and Laura Alford (four grade 9s each) were among the New Milton school’s high-flying students, 65% of whom were awarded at least five 9-4 grades which include English and maths.

Other high achievers included Hannah Gorry who came away with two grades 9s and two grade 8s; Kit Narito with one 9s and four 8s; Ruby Watts who achieved two grade 9s and four grade 8s; Eddie Bryant who scored one grade 9 and four grade 8s; Justin Benoit-Means who has one grade 9 and three grade 8s and Elode Ordog with one grade 9 and one grade 8.

Headteacher Nigel Pressnell said: “I am delighted that the hard work put in by all our students in their revision has resulted in an excellent set of results.

“What the headline figures do not show is that a large percentage of our middle-ability students have exceeded their expected grades, and this is as much as an achievement in my eye as receiving a grade 9.

“I am proud of every single one of our students and the staff who go above and beyond in helping them fulfil their potential.”

Ringwood School

Ringwood School pupils jump for joy
Ringwood School pupils jump for joy

There were lots of smiles and tears of joy both from parents and students as Ringwood School pupils opened their envelopes

Tim Ostler said he was “very pleased” with his eight grade 9s and a grade 7, while Alice Carr celebrated her six grade 9s and three grade 8s and said she “had been worried all week but was now overjoyed”.

Alex Emery was “ecstatic” with his five grade 9s, three grade 8s and two distinctions; Mia Jenkins was in “total shock” when she saw her four grade 9s, five grade 8s and a distinction, adding she was “just so happy”; Martha Pestridge was “delighted” with her two grade 9s, five grade 8s, one grade 7 and a distinction*.

Sam Small received his results via WhatsApp as he was holidaying in France. Waiting in a French café with Wi-Fi, he was "very happy indeed" to learn that he had secured two grade 9s, four grade 8s, a grade 7 and two grade 6s.

The school said it was delighted that students had "risen to the challenge".

"We are really pleased with the number of students who have secured good results in the core subjects – over 80% of students secured a grade 4 or better in English and maths.

"We are once again particularly delighted with GCSE science results which have held firm after making a very significant improvement last year; 81% of students have achieved two science GCSEs at grade 4 or better and 61% have achieved two science GCSEs at the new stronger pass, a grade 5.

"These great results are testimony to the hard work of both the students and of our very dedicated staff – we are incredibly proud of these achievements of both our teachers and our students."

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