GCSE students excel under new grading system


HEADTEACHERS have praised the performance of GCSE pupils for excelling during a year of considerable change.

A new numerical scoring system was introduced in English literature, English language, and maths, replacing the traditional A to G grades with the numbers one to nine, with nine being the highest.

But despite the exams were more demanding this summer, the district’s high schools have reported excellent results.

At Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, 80 per cent of pupils achieved grades nine to four in English and maths.

Head of School Andy Byers said it matched last year’s record breaking equivalent percentage of A to C grades.

He added: “There were many outstanding individual performances and we are delighted that so many students will progress on to study A level and vocational courses in our sixth form.”

QEHS student Alessandra Harrison achieved seven GCSEs at A* level and three at grade nine. She is understood to be amongst the 2,000 top performing candidates in the country.

At Ponteland, 79 per cent of students achieved at least a standard pass in both English and maths, while 89 per cent reached grade four or higher in English.

Headteacher Kieran McGrane said 70 per cent of students reached grade five or higher.

With grades seven, eight and nine introduced to replace the old A* to A scale, Mr McGrane said many pupils reached this category, with 11 scoring grade nine in English and 11 in maths.

In other subjects, all assessed under the traditional alphabetical system, Mr McGrane said 20 per cent of pupils achieved A* to A grades, and 41 per cent reached scores of A* to B.

At Haydon Bridge High School, Anna Heslop secured two grade nines, six As and three B grades.

Alexander Hepple achieved one grade eight, one grade seven, an A*, two As and three Bs.

Principal Darren Glover said: “Haydon Bridge students have again worked very hard with their teachers, supported by their families, and have achieved another great set of GCSE results.”

Samuel King’s School in Alston said 71 per cent of students achieved the equivalent of five A* to C grades in all subjects, including English and maths.

At Prudhoe High School, more than 80 per cent of students reached grade four or higher in English, while 72 per cent achieved the same scores in maths.

Prudhoe High also reported outstanding results in art, music and PE.

Emily Ascroft (16), who managed the equivalent of four A* and several A grades, said: “There was talk about the grade boundaries being really high. I really wasn’t expecting it.”

Izzy Mckenna (16), who achieved the equivalent of seven A* and three A grades, said: “It was initially quite confusing with the new grading system, when you first look at it.”

Joe Marshall (16) secured a vital B grade in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), despite suffering from illness.

He said: “I’m really happy considering I got chicken pox at the time of the exams!

“I was really ill and I missed a few of them.

“The one I really care about is ICT, which I got a B in. I want to be an ICT teacher, so now I can study it in sixth form.”

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