They’re GCSE record breakers

Garstang High School headteacher Phil Birch has praised “Team Garstang” after pupils delivered record-breaking GCSE results for the sixth successive year.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 1st September 2011, 11:24 am

The 50-year-old community school, which will re-open its doors as Garstang Community Academy for the new school year next week saw 97% of students achieving five A*-C grades.

Speaking on results day, Mr Birch said he was both “proud and privileged “to have worked with such committed staff and congratulated pupils on their remarkable achievements.

He said: “I am really pleased. They have done everyone proud, but most importantly themselves.

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“More so as this particular year group came to us with a relatively low attainment, so these are also our best ever attainment results.

“They have surpassed themselves, the pupils and the staff have done a fantastic job.”

A crowd of anxious students waited tentatively at the front entrance of the school last Thursday morning, taking a few moments to pluck up the courage to look into the enveloped results.

But as the grades sunk in, the exam stress finally disappeared and excitement set in, the teenagers sharing and celebrating their successes with friends and staff.

An unprecedented 99% achieved five A*-G grades, 61% achieved five A* to C grades including English and maths, while 33% attained three A* and A. grades

There were numerous outstanding performances, including Abigail Beardsworth, Emelia Birchall, Daniel Cross, Rebecca Fox, Matthew Green, Emily Helm, Paul Hodgson, Lauren Kemp, Katherine McDowall, Alys Rouncefield and Kitty Thomas, who all attained at least six A* and A grades.

Emotional Catherine Stuart was thrilled with her results after earning herself her place at Cardinal Newman College. She said: “I was really, really nervous when I got up this morning, but I was so pleased when I opened the results.”

Rebecca Sanderson, 16, said: “I was shaking beforehand, but it wasn’t too bad – I am shocked. I think I could have tried harder, but I’m going to Preston College to study childcare and I can’t wait to meet new people and get involved at college.”

Thrill seeker Daniel Cross was heading to Blackpool Pleasure Beach after finding out he had gained an A* and five As and a pass in French. He said: “I can’t speak French, so I’m happy with that. I’m pleased, the exams went okay, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

Mr Birch added: ““This year’s excellent results are a great testimony to the commitment, drive and talent of the students, staff and parents who make up our fabulous ‘Team Garstang’.

“We enter an exciting new era, as Garstang Community Academy, on an all-time high in terms of our raw and value-added results, our performance being on a par with the top 25% of all schools nationally.”

There were similar scenes of delight among pupils at St Aidan’s CE Technology College in Preesall, with 55% achieving five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths.

Top achievers included Jack Price (5A* 8A) , Martha Hirst (5A* 6A 1C), Emma Williamson, (1A* 11A 1B), Liam Barber (5A* 6A 1B) and Lauren Gowland. (7A* 6A)

Headteacher Alan Porteous said: “Congratulations to all our students who have received their GCSE results.

“Many of them have achieved the grades that they need to progress to the next stage of their education and we look forward to hearing of their future achievement .

“There are some outstanding individual achievements, with two students achieving 13 A*/A grades and a further 7 achieving 9 or more A* and A grades. Nearly a third of our students achieved 3 or more A and A* grades, which is an increase of 6% on last year.”