Schools across West Norfolk returned a mixed bag of GCSE results yesterday with some showing vast improvements and others big declines.
Nationally there was a slight downward trend in the number of pupils receiving top grades amid claims marking was deliberately tougher this year.
Lynn’s King Edward VII (KES) School blamed its “disappointing” results on that. It saw a 12 percentage point drop in the number of pupils who got the ‘gold standard’ of five A* to C grades, including English and maths, down to 40 per cent.
Mike Douglass, headteacher at KES, said: “The change in marking has had a significant impact on the school’s overall results. Clearly we are disappointed with the outcome of that marking impact on the students results. But we have some excellent individual performances.”
Top performances included Abinanth Ashokkumar, 16, of South Wootton, who got nine A*s, two As and an A in a short course exam.
Fakenham High School and St Clements High, in Terrington St Clement, which were both put into special measures earlier this year, recorded improvements of 15 percentage points and seven percentage points, to 58 per cent and 46 per cent respectively for that measure.
John Robson, interim headteacher at St Clement High School since April, said: “I have been blown away by the commitment from the teachers here as well as the students.”
Matthew Parr-Burman, Fakenham headteacher, said: “The results give me confidence and the local community that Fakenham High School is a good school.”
One of the school’s high achievers was Will Hey who received eight A*s and three As.
Lynn Academy recorded its best ever results, with 45 per cent of students getting the gold standard, up ten percentage points
Craig Morrison, principal, said: “These results are testament to the hard work of the individual students and the staff who have supported them in their studies. ”
At Springwood High School, Lynn, results were higher than ever, with 69 per cent of students getting the gold standard, up four percentage points.
Andy Johnson, headteacher, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our students.”
The highest achieving student was Alex Kendal who achieved 10 A* grades and one A grade.
Smithdon High School, Hunstanton, and Downham Academy were both down two percentage points on the gold standard to 59 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.
Jon Goodchild, headteacher at Smithdon, said: “To have achieved this figure despite warnings from examination boards etc that marking and grade boundaries have become tougher in various subjects is fantastic news.”
Jon Ford, principal at Downham Academy, which was recently formed out of Downham High School, said: “We are delighted to have consolidated the gains that the high school made last year and with these results so close to last year’s record high and within a national context of tougher exams we are confident that the academy has a good foundation on which to build for the future.”
Marshland High School was up six percentage points on the gold standard to 55 per cent.
Liz Dormor, headteacher, said: “We are thrilled that the number of students attaining the ‘gold standard’ of five or more A* to C, including English and maths, has improved so much again this year as this is the standard that is so important in enabling students to get a job or a place on a further education course.”
Methwold’s Iceni Academy, which did not release last year’s GCSE results, got 47 per cent in the gold standard.
Denise Walker, principal, said: “We cannot have expected more effort and commitment from our students and staff during this challenging year.”
Sacred Heart School, Swaffham, saw 65 per cent of students achieve five A* to C grades, including English and maths.