STUDENTS at Haygrove School queued from 8.30am on GCSE Results Day to be handed their envelopes containing their all-important grades.
Although the school is not publishing overall achievement statistics this year, there were still lots of stories of hard work and excellent results among the Year 11 leavers.
Headteacher Aaron Reid said: “Looking at the results across the whole of year 11 I can say that our students have done extremely well in hugely challenging circumstances.
“Nothing should distract from the work they have put in, not just in the run-up to lockdown, but over their whole school career. Every step from age 4 or 5 onwards is important and helps to build not only their understanding of the curriculum subjects but also their character and personalities which are arguably even more critical to their future success than exam results.”
Top performing students Callum Giles and Sam Authers both gained seven grade 9s and two grade 8s. Both are gifted musicians as well and are heading to Richard Huish College in Taunton to study A-Levels and music.
Sam said: “It‘s a shame to have missed out on the last few months of school and not to have been able to see friends because of lockdown, but now I am just looking forward to starting at college, although not to getting up early every morning!”
Ewan Popham was very happy with his six grade 9s and two grade 8s, plus a D* in L2 Engineering.
He said: “I have been worried, especially when the A-Level results fiasco came to light, so I am glad that my results are pretty much in line with what I was expecting.” Ewan is heading to Richard Huish College to study Further Maths, Maths, Physics and Computer Science.
Excellent results were also awarded to talented footballer and ex-Bristol City Academy player Todd Watts. He gained seven grade 8s and two grade 9s and will be studying his A-Levels at Bridgwater and Taunton College where he will join the Team BTC football squad.
Todd said: “Our experience of GCSE has been unique and weird, but we put the work in for our mocks and in the years running up to them, so our grades are well deserved.”
The opportunity to actually sit exams in the traditional fashion was only one of the milestones that this year group have missed out on. Leavers’ Day celebrations and Prom Night were both cancelled as the country was plunged into the COVID-19 lockdown.
Ex Head Girl Freya Haslett is the top-performing female student at Haygrove this year.
She said: “I have got six grade 9s, two grade 8s and one grade 7, so I am very pleased. It’s sad not to have been able to enjoy the last term at school and go to Prom. We won’t have those memories, unfortunately.”
Student Georgia Howe wasn’t able to sit her mock exams before lockdown in March, so wasn’t sure what to expect for her final grades.
“Some of my grades are lower than I thought they might be, but others are higher,” she said.
“I have all grade 8s except one which is a grade 7. I am excited about going to college now and put the last few months behind me and start afresh.”
Fellow students Monica Hall and Charlotte Old were both delighted to see their results and felt they were a good reflection of the work they had put in.
Monica achieved four grade 9s and grade 8s and one grade 7 and will start her journey towards a career as an ophthalmologist by studying for her A Levels at Richard Huish.
Charlotte, who was thrilled with her two grade 9s, four grade 8s and two grade 7s, said: “I will really miss Haygrove, I will miss my teachers who have all been so supportive over the past few years.” Charlotte heads to Richard Huish to study sciences.