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Yorkshire’s GCSE students’ ‘risen to challenge’ as results roll in

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Outstanding successes for individuals across the region are a testament to their hard work in the face of unprecedented change, headteachers have said, as thousands celebrate after months of hard work.

Across Yorkshire, the pass rate for GCSE entries awarded at grade 4 or above, equivalent to a traditional C, stands at 63.5 per cent, with around one in six students awarded the top grades at 7 - or A - and above.

23 August  2018......     Students Henry Steel-Childe and Neelam Roth celebrate their GCSE results at Allerton High School. Picture Tony Johnson.

23 August 2018...... Students Henry Steel-Childe and Neelam Roth celebrate their GCSE results at Allerton High School. Picture Tony Johnson.

While both figures are trailing the national average, and significantly behind areas such as London, they do mark a rise in performance overall for the region.

There have been stories of individual successes in the face of adversity, of schools raising the grade, and of some record-breaking results despite exam reforms.

Despite major uncertainty this year as a result, headteachers have said, students should celebrate their successes as they overcome tougher grading systems.

“Our young people have done exceptionally well,” said Delia Martin, headteacher at Benton Park in Leeds. “I feel incredibly proud of how they, along with the staff, have coped with the demands of these reformed GCSEs.

Alicia Lake (left) and Milly Lake collect their GCSE results at the Mount School, in York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 23, 2018. See PA story EDUCATION GCSE. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Alicia Lake (left) and Milly Lake collect their GCSE results at the Mount School, in York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 23, 2018. See PA story EDUCATION GCSE. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

“The new qualifications are harder than their predecessors and our students have risen to the challenge and dealt with it showing maturity and resilience.”

Across the region, some of the best results were seen in North Yorkshire, which had among the highest percentage of top grades for the north of England in both English Language and Art and Design, the latter of which saw more then one in 20 students awarded Grade 9s.

At St Mary’s in Menston, headteachers said students had achieved success in a time of significant change, with 89 pupils attaining grade 9s and pass rates rising to 85 per cent for grade 4 and above in English and maths.

Early indications suggest the rate for high passes at 5 or above for English and maths is at 48 per cent for East Riding, and at 70.6 per cent for 4 or above in York.

230818   Stella Jaquiss 16  the top graded pupil at Bostron Spa school  withy  8 Grade Nine GCSE's and  3 A Star and 1 A  GCSE's.

230818 Stella Jaquiss 16 the top graded pupil at Bostron Spa school withy 8 Grade Nine GCSE's and 3 A Star and 1 A GCSE's.

Provisional data for Sheffield suggests nearly 40 per cent of young people achieved a 5 or above for English and maths –similar to 2017.

Boston Spa Academy principal, Christopher Walsh, said a quarter of awards were at the top level, from grade 7 to 9, with six per cent being the all-coveted grade 9.

“We are delighted with results,” he said. “This year was a big change, but students have excelled having exceeded expectation in every performance indicator.”

A student who achieved 13 top A* and grade 9 GCSEs has led results that are among the best ever seen at Ripon Grammar School.

Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla achieved the clean sweep of 11 grade 9s and two A*s.

In all, 14 students gained nine or more A* or 9 grades, while 66 per cent of all grades at the Grammar School were awarded at A*-A or grade 9-7, and 95 per cent at A*-B or 9-5.

Boys at the school also performed on a near equal par with girls across many subjects, bucking a national trend. Headmaster Jonathan Webb said: “I am delighted for the students this year who have achieved so highly once again.”