Students across Eastbourne celebrated today (Friday) as GCSE results placed some schools among the highest in the country.
However elsewhere results were down on last year, with local heads blaming Government changes in the exam system for several lower figures.
Almost all leavers from Willingdon Community School - 98 per cent - achieved five or more passes; five points up on last year.
And with 71 per cent of students opening envelopes to find they had also passed the all-important duo of English and Maths, Ian Jungius, the Willingdon headteacher, declared himself delighted, even though these results were six points down on last year’s high of 77 per cent.
A spokesman for the school said the results “set the school amongst the highest achieving schools in the country for the tenth year in a row”. Among the school’s high-fliers was Hannah Saunders, who managed 11A* and 1A grades.
Elsewhere in the town, Bishop Bell school also registered 71 per cent of pupils achieving five or more passes including Maths and English at A*-C grades. This means the school is holding steady since last year, when the figure was the same.
Daniel Roberts from the school achieved a staggering 15 GCSEs, all either A* or A grade.
And the school’s English and Maths departments set new records with their best ever year.
Bishop Bell head Mark Talbot said, “These excellent results are a real credit to the hard work and effort from Bishop Bell’s pupils, the support from their parents, and the excellent teaching from the school’s dedicated staff.”
Despite impressive individual achievements, results at The Causeway, Bishop Bell’s partner school, dropped this year, with 43 per cent of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs including Maths and English. This is the lowest figure in Eastbourne. Last year the figure was 58 per cent.
Headteacher Gene Payne called the results “unusual”, and spoke of the “frustrating” impact of Government changes to the exam system.
“We have significant numbers of students who have made exceptional achievements, but also a large proportion with some lower than expected grades,” he said.
“For the first time in the school’s history we have students who have gained prestigious scholarships to Roedean School and Eastbourne College, and some very hard working and committed students who will be disappointed with some of their grades. The vast majority of our students have worked hard and should feel very proud.”
In the private sector, Bede’s School in Upper Dicker recorded their best ever results year for the fifth successive year, with 90 per cent of all their grades at A*-C.
Bede’s Headmaster Dr Richard Maloney congratulated all his pupils and praised his teachers’ holistic approach.
And at Eastbourne College, 99 per cent of students achieved five or more GCSEs at A*-C, with 29 per cent of all grades at A*.
Turning to Moira House, the privately run girls college achieved 79 per cent of students scoring five or more GCSEs at A*-C, with principal James Sheridan saying he was “delighted” with their achievements.
Returning to the state sector, at Cavendish School 62 per cent of students achieved the vital benchmark of five or more passes at A*-C including English and Maths. This is one point down on last year’s 63 per cent.
Headteacher Kenny Fitzpatrick singled out 21 students who gained A*-A grades in at least five subjects.
He said, “Special congratulations should go to Emily Purkiss who achieved a remarkable and record breaking A* grades in all 11 of her subjects. Anisa Arjomand and Urjit Soni also achieved 11 A*-A and 10 A*-A respectively.”
Eastbourne Academy had not published its results at the time of going to press, explaining they were using a new “one entry only” system that would frustrate attempts to compare their marks. Their results will go up on the school’s website soon.
At Hailsham Community College, 49 per cent of students achieved at least five GCSEs including Maths and English. This is eight points down on last year’s 57 per cent.
Ratton School registered 55 per cent of its students achieving five or more GCSEs including Maths and English. This again is down on last year, when the same category saw 64 per cent of students passing.
Ratton also spoke about, “some significant changes in how students are assessed in a number of subjects,” but congratulated its students, adding: “Our initial figures indicate overall 95 per cent of students achieved at least five GCSE grades A*-G.
“There were some outstanding results for Danielle Hearn, Joseph Berhane, Amy Durbidge, Anastasia Groom, Patrick Gough, Adam Pluck, Amy Barden, Molly Brabner, Becky Bradley, Elena Clayton-Harding, Owen Davies and Katy Dibbens who all achieved 10 or more at A* and A.”
See Friday’s Eastbourne Herald for more results reaction.