Young people across North Tyneside are preparing for the next stage of their lives after collecting their exam results this morning.
Both nationally and regionally, schools are expected to report that the changes coming into place have resulted in very different results to last year.
The grades for many subjects have changed from A* to G to a new ranking of 9 to 1. In simple terms, this means that grades 8 and 9 are equivalent to the old A* (with grade 9 being the top 20%), grade 7 similar to an A grade, grades 6/5/4 linked to the old B and C grades, grades 3/2/1 linked to the old D to G grades. However, not all subjects have changed to these numerical grades so many students will still be getting a mixture of letters and numbers.
Despite these changes to the grading system, students in the borough will be seeing their months of hard work pay off following an excellent set of results.
Overall, North Tyneside’s schools managed to maintain their positive performance from last year, with an average Attainment 8 score of 45.9 sitting above the national average.
Congratulating the young people, Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “North Tyneside’s students continue to do us proud demonstrating that we have some incredibly talented young people in our borough. With many of our young people earning some excellent results, I am sure that they will go on to do amazing things in the future, whether that is through further education or apprenticeship or other job opportunities.
“From the head teachers and their staff, to the students and their parents or carers, everyone involved deserves a great deal of credit and thanks.”
Coun Peter Earley, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Learning, said: “One of our top priorities as a council is to ensure that every child has the support and opportunities required to achieve the very best they can.
“We take such pride in our borough’s education system and these results, along with our best ever A-level results last week, show that there aren’t many better places than North Tyneside for a young person’s education.
“I’d like to congratulate all the young people picking up their results today; they have worked incredibly hard and deserve their success.”
Twin sisters Jayne and Hannah Anson received some of the highest marks at George Stephenson High, following in the footsteps of older sister, Sophie, who is Cambridge-bound after success in her A-Levels. Jayne achieved five 7 grades, three 8s, a 9, and an A. She is looking forward to studying Psychology, English Lit, and Maths at sixth form.
Hannah achieved five 9 grades, one 8, one 7, as well as three grades A*-C under the old system.
She said: “I’ve done way better than I thought I would. There was a lot of hard work involved but opening the envelope I was really surprised. As sisters we aren’t really competitive. Maybe in some subjects, but I’m just happy for the pair of us.”
Hannah is now eyeing a career in the media and will go on to study French, Media and English Lit at A-Level.
Ian Wilkinson, headteacher at George Stephenson High School, said: “We are very pleased with our GCSE results this year. The overall results have improved again on last year and this is pleasing in the light of the changes to the grading system and the fact that the exams are now more challenging.
“We are very proud of all our students. The majority will be staying with us in Sixth Form and we wish them, and the students leaving us, well in the future.”
Students at Churchill Community College also saw a lot of success, with 58% achieving a level 4 or above in both English and maths. There were also some spectacular results in foundation subjects with students in resistant materials, textiles, health & social care, ICT, product design, food & nutrition and music securing at least a 90% pass rate.
Among these success stories, was Laura Morgan, who achieved six 9s and two 8s in her GCSEs.
Delighted with her success, Laura said: “I’m really happy with my results and I’ll be going on to do A-Levels in maths, further maths, biology and chemistry. In the future, I’m looking to start a career in something to do with chemical engineering.”
David Baldwin, executive headteacher at Churchill Community College, said: “Children have worked so hard for a set of results in this new grading system and they have done so well. We are so proud of the work they’ve done, as well as the support the staff and parents have given them. It is an amazing day and we are so pleased.”