STUDENTS across North Tyneside are celebrating record breaking GCSE results today (Thursday).
Around 88 per cent of pupils have achieved five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C – the highest rate ever and an increase on last year’s 80 per cent – while 61 per cent have achieved five or more A* to C grades which include English and maths.
Many of the borough’s schools were celebrating ‘best ever’ sets of results, including Churchill Community College in Wallsend, St Thomas More RC Academy, Marden High School, and Longbenton Community College.
At Churchill Community College, 68 per cent of students secured five GCSEs at A* to C including English and maths – a rise of 13 per cent on last year, and above the school target of 50 per cent.
For the first time ever, the school also saw 100 per cent of students achieving five or more passes at A* to C.
Headteacher David Baldwin said: “I am immensely proud of the way students have worked for every one of their exams.
“Our success this year is down to the good teaching and support from staff, the laser-sharp tracking and intervention systems we have put in place and ultimately the way students have worked.
“These results are above all targets set for students and demonstrate excellent progress.
“We anticipate our ‘Value Added’ calculated by the Department for Education to be even higher than last year’s score, which made us one of the top six per cent of schools nationally.
“These fantastic results will support all of our students to make the next step in their education or training.
“They already indicate a record number of students returning to sixth form at Churchill and a continuation of our record with no students at Churchill Community College being ‘NEET’, that is not in education, employment or training.”
At St Thomas More RC Academy in North Shields, 75 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades including English and maths, and 99.6 per cent of all students achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C.
One in every seven students achieved ten or more A* or A grades, including eight students who had a clean sweep of ten or more A* grades.
82 per cent of students achieved at least a grade C in maths and 81 per cent achieved at least a C in English, and 25 per cent of all GCSE and equivalent grades were graded at A* or A.
Headteacher Di Donkin said: “I am obviously thrilled and extremely proud of these achievements for the students and their teachers.
“The students have worked very hard and have been extremely well-supported by their parents.
“The staff at St Thomas More continue to show incredible dedication and commitment in providing the best possible education for our young people.
“It is a great pleasure and privilege to work with such an amazing team of professionals.”
At Marden High School in North Shields, 73 per cent of students gained five A* to C grades including English and maths while there were improvements in individual subjects with 87 per cent achieving A* to C in Maths – up from 79 per cent – and 92 per cent in Science, up from 62 per cent.
Headteacher Jonathan Morris said: “These improvements are due to tremendous team work between students and our excellent staff as well as the high level of support Marden receives from parents, governors and the local authority.
“Our improvements in maths and science results show that our specialist status for maths and science is paying great dividends.”
At Longbenton Community College, 69 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades with English and maths, and 93 per cent secured five or more A* to C grades.
Principal Jim Cockburn said: “These are our best ever results by far and I am thrilled with them.
“They are a tribute to the hard work of Longbenton students and the commitment and dedication of our staff.”
And at Killingworth’s George Stephenson High School, 63 per cent of students secured five or more A* to C grades including English and maths, which was above the target set for the year group. 85% of students secured five or more A* to C grades.
An outstanding 27 per cent of all grades were at A or A* and the school has 18 students with nine or more As or A*s – the highest achieving student was a boy with all 11 grades at A*.
Headteacher Ian Wilkinson said: “We are very proud of all our students.
“They have worked very hard and deserve these excellent grades.
“The majority of our students are joining us in the sixth form next year and we wish them, and all the students leaving us, every success in the future.”
Coun David Lilly, cabinet member for children, young people and learning at North Tyneside Council, said: “This year’s fantastic set of GCSE results show that our schools and colleges are continuing to provide excellent standards of education and tailored support for our young people.
“Congratulations to all our students who’ve worked extremely hard towards today, and to the staff who tirelessly support them.
“We will continue to maintain high expectations for our young people and support our schools to achieve high standards.”