A HEADTEACHER praised pupils for their GCSE results in “the most challenging and extraordinary times”.
Thousands of students picked up their results last Thursday following two school years disrupted by lockdown and where most have been learning from home for weeks on end.
Chris Eccles, head at Oakwood High School, said teachers had done all they could to keep children safe while still delivering high-quality education.
“Their dedication and relentless focus on high standards, and pupils’ determination, resilience and resourcefulness have been the bedrock of this year’s results,” he said.
“Pupils have worked tirelessly in the face of unprecedented change and challenge.
“This year’s results cannot be compared to the pre-Covid era as pupils have been assessed in a very different way and have had a very different educational experience.
“As a result, we are very proud of what they have achieved and are confident that the experience and challenges they have faced will provide them with a solid foundation for their futures.”
Wales High School head Pepe Di’Iasio also praised students and teachers for their dedication and hard work.
He said: “Over the past two years, we have seen our students take on challenges not only related to the normal course of GCSE study, but difficulties that have arisen due to the ever-changing national picture.
“Today, we celebrate how our students have worked diligently to overcome those difficulties.
“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.”
Wales’ star students included Josh Lee and Simeon Jones.
Josh achieved an impressive seven grade 9s and two grade 8s and is planning to return to Wales sixth form to study maths, further maths, physics and accounting.
Simeon gained nine grade 9s and two grade 7s and is also returning to Wales to study chemistry, maths, further maths and geography.
Also celebrating was Louis Gadd, who is delighted to have achieved the grades to begin his public services course at Sheffield College, with a view to joining the fire service in the future.
This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher-assessed grades, against a national standard approved and awarded by the exam boards.
The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.
Dinnington High’s best-performing students included Molly McComb, who scored five 9s, one starred distinction, three 8s and a 7; Jessica Askham, whose grades included four 9s, one starred distinction, four 8s and one distinction and Madison France, who secured five 9s, three 8s and a 7.
Classmate Jacob Knight bagged five 9s, while Thomas Ellis collected four.
Principal Beka Staples also highlighted Jacob Knight, William Easthorpe, Ella Stuart, Kieran Brown and Sophie White, whom she said had “made the greatest progress over the past five years and deserve recognition for their sustained hard work”.
She added: “For our students to have coped with so much home learning and still achieve such great results is a testament to their determination and resilience.
“We are looking forward to welcoming many of them into sixth form to continue their learning with us.
“We wish the very best to those going onto other courses and apprenticeships.”