Thousands of West Norfolk teenagers are collecting their GCSE results at schools across the area this morning.
And the celebrations have already started at the King Edward VII Academy in Lynn, where there has been a big rise in the number of students reaching government grade targets.
Forty-eight per cent of students achieved the “gold standard” of five A*-C grades, including English and maths this year.
That figure is up 15 per cent on the 2014 total, which was the last before the school became an academy under the sponsorship of the CWA Academy Trust.
Principal Craig Morrison said: “A 15 per cent increase in the first year as an academy is a fantastic achievement.
“The improvement is very clear and the speed of it is a huge credit to the students and staff at the academy, who should be very pleased.
“Though these results are not yet at the levels we would hope for with future cohorts, many subjects improved significantly, including maths and English, which did particularly well.
“Well done and good luck to our students, many of whom are progressing to our sixth form.”
Trust chief executive David Pomfret added: “I am delighted that so many students have achieved five GCSEs at grades A* to C and I would like to thank the academy staff for their hard work and dedication, which has been a key factor in our students’ achievements. “Although still in its first year as a member of the CWA Academy Trust, these results provide very encouraging signs of the excellent progress KES Academy is already making.”
It was a similarly encouraging picture at the King’s Lynn Academy, which is also sponsored by the CWA trust.
There, 42 per cent of students achieved five A*-C grades with English and maths, up eight per cent on the final total for 3014, which was adjusted downwards after new criteria were applied during the year.
Mr Morrison said: “We have seen an overall improvement on last year’s results and we have some fantastic individual results for
students this summer.
“We recognise that we still have some distance to travel on our journey to ensuring the majority of our students achieve in line with national expectations.
“To this end, we will closely review all of our results to make sure that we continue to improve performance again next year.”
However, officials at the Downham Academy admitted they were disappointed with a 46 per cent total of five A*-C passes with English and maths, which is down four per cent on last year.
Principal Jon Ford said: “After so much hard work on the part of the staff and students, we are disappointed not to see this increased effort and focus lead to increased results.
“There are many fantastic success stories within these results and I would like to say well done to all those students who achieved what they needed for their next steps in education.
“I would like to congratulate our students on their results today and thank the academy staff for their hard work and dedication, which has been a key factor in these achievements.”
Mr Pomfret added: “Although it is disappointing that the number of students achieving five GCSEs at grades A* to C has not increased, I believe the Academy is making strong progress in many areas, as recently confirmed by Ofsted, and am confident that we will see continued improvement in the coming year.”
A historic day was enjoyed at St Clements High School after 57 per cent of pupils achieving the gold standard of five A* to C GCSE grades. This is a seven per cent rise on last year.
Headteacher Nigel Willingham said; “I’m over the moon with the results. This is brilliant news for the pupils and staff who have worked so hard to achieve what is a historic result for the school.
“The school has been through some rocky times but the staff are really committed to the pupils.”
Litcham High School continued its fine progress with another excellent set of GCSE results.
Seventy per cent of students achieved A* to C grades at the school.
This year, 60 per cent cent of pupils gained A* to C grades, including maths and English - a two per cent increase on last year’s overall figures.
Headteacher Jim Adams said: “I’m really happy with the results. The students and teachers have once again worked really hard.
“Again its a reflection of all the hard work put in and we wish all our students the best of luck with their futures.
“The results consolidate our position as one of the top schools in the area.”
Smiles were seen all round at Lynn’s Springwood High School after months of waiting came to an end for teenagers when they were finally able to open those important envelopes.
This year saw 56 per cent of pupils achieving the gold standard of five A* to C grades, including English and maths, which is a four per cent drop on the 2014 results.
Headteacher of the Queensway school Andy Johnson said: “A lot of hard work has gone into the results.
“I am really pleased for the students.
“The pupils can now go off to their futures and that is the key thing.”
Marshland High School are celebrating their best-ever GCSE results with the school showing a 17 per cent improvement on last year.
The wait for GCSE results at the school was well worth it with a huge improvement across the board.
Sixty-five per cent of Marshland students gained more than five A* to Cs and 57 per cent picked up five or more A* to C grades, including english and maths.
A staggering 80 per cent of the year group achieved an A* to C grade in English, while there was a rise in the proportion of A* and A grades.
Headteacher Mrs Elizabeth Dormor said: My congratulations go to all of the students on their fantastic results.
“This was a superb year group of students who worked really hard and deserve these great results and I am really pleased for them.
“My thanks also goes to the staff who have worked really hard to help our students achieve these excellent results.”
Officials at the Fakenham Academy have claimed yesterday’s GCSE results show the school’s continuing improvement, despite students narrowly missing out on a record total of higher level passes.
Fifty-four per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades including English and maths this year, down two points on the 2014 figure, which was the school’s highest ever.
But the number achieving five A* to C grades overall was up five per cent to another record total of 67 per cent.
Principal Matthew Parr-Burman congratulated the students on their achievements.
He said: “These results are in line with national benchmarks and, following our good Ofsted rating in June, provide further confirmation of our ongoing improvement.
“The progress of students at Fakenham Academy has shown a surge in the past two years and from a position where average progress was well below national averages it has now moved to being well above national expectations.
“This is important because it includes every single student who studied for their GCSE examinations and shows that, on average, students exceed national expectations at Fakenham Academy by some margin.”
The head of the Iceni Academy in Methwold has praised students who “exceeded all expectations” in their GCSE exams.
A record 56 per cent of pupils there achieved five A* to C grades with English and maths, up eight per cent on last year.
Six students – Amber Johnson, Bertie Taylor, Holly Owen, Benjamin Sheffield and Katherine Amacker – achieved more than 40 A and A* grades between them.
And, with 79 per cent of students achieving an A* to C grade in maths, the school expects to be one of the top performers in the country for the subject.
Principal Gee Cook said: “I am delighted for the students.
“They have worked so hard and put in many hours of work over and above. They have come to revision sessions and booster classes and their effort has really paid off.
“I am also delighted for our staff, governors and the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), our sponsor, who have all supported us tirelessly on our journey.”
ATT chief executive Ian Cleland added: “Students and staff have proved that their commitment and hard work has brought the rewards that they deserve.” Officials at the Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham say they expect their trend of improvement to continue after another rise in GCSE grades was recorded.
The results, announced yesterday, showed 43 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades, including English and Maths, up six per cent on last year’s total.
But the school says it is also encouraged by figures which show most pupils are making expected levels of progress in English and Maths.
Sixty-eight per cent of students achieved the expected level of progress in maths, up six per cent on 2013-14, and 63 per cent in English. The school says those figures are in line with the national average.
Ian Cleland, chief executive of the Academy Transformation Trust, which sponsors the school, said: “We are delighted by the improvement in results, which complements the excellent A-level results published last week.
“The students, parents and staff have been totally committed and worked really hard to achieve these results. We expect this improvement trend to continue.”
The school’s highest achieving students included Gabriel Copeman, who achieved five A* grades, two As and a B, Oliver Reynolds, with three A* grades, five As and a B, and Poppy Wood, who obtained an A*, six A and two B grades.
Meanwhile, a small group of just 13 students achieved some outstanding results at the town’s independent Catholic school, Sacred Heart.
Just under 54 per cent achieved five A* to C grades with English and Maths, with nearly 85 per cent achieving five A* to C grades overall.
Headteacher Sister Francis Ridler said: “We’re very pleased with the results.”
Among the school’s top performers was Lucy Edwards, who achieved nine A* and two A grades, and Victoria Hill, who recorded seven A*, three A and one B grades.