All smiles as GCSE results are on the rise

GCSE results day at Todmorden High School. Thomas Heys, Ainslie Wolstenholme, Molly Stobbs, Persephone Swales-Dawson and Alex Werth

GCSE results day at Todmorden High School. Thomas Heys, Ainslie Wolstenholme, Molly Stobbs, Persephone Swales-Dawson and Alex Werth

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Staff and students at upper Calder Valley schools are celebrating after seeing significant increases in the number of top grades achieved in this summer’s GCSE exams.

The number of pupils gaining the key benchmark of five A*-C grades including English and maths rose by 16 per cent at Calder High School, while a record-breaking year at Todmorden High saw students achieve the best GCSE results in the school’s history.

Fifty-four per cent of Todmorden High pupils gained five A*-C grades including English and maths - an increase of four per cent on 2012.

And an impressive ten per cent of students gained eight or more A* and A grades.

Among the top achievers was Susannah Leah, who found 11 A* grades in her results envelope. “It feels really good,” she said. “I thought I had done badly in some of them but I didn’t.

“I got some good grades last year so I felt a lot of pressure to get A*s. I’m just relieved now.”

There were particularly strong performances in English, with 36 per cent of students exceeding their targets.

Deputy headteacher Chris Wilcocks was proud of all the students and staff.

“We are delighted with these figures, considering it has been a challenging year for the school, the students and the staff,” he said. “We would like to congratulate the students and thank the staff and everybody at the school for all the effort they have put in to keep us on an upward trajectory. ”

At Calder High School, the number of students achieving five A*-C grades including English and maths rose to 63.1 per cent, up 16 per cent on 2012.

There were impressive performances from Jessica Buckley, Sol Cotton, Melissa Davies, Joe Fazakerley, Marcus Goff, Hannah James and Jamie Keschner-Lycett, who all gained numerous top grades.

Hannah, who achieved two A*s, seven As and a distinction, said: “It’s a lot better than I was expecting. I’m pleased - and a bit shocked.”

English, maths, art and PE all saw notable increases in the number of students achieving a C or above.

Dr Wendy Bradford, of the school, said: “We are pleased at the success our students have achieved, buttressed by the hard work of teachers and the support of parents, and wish them well for the next stage of their learning journey at Calder VI or elsewhere.

“We will be working to ensure our rapid improvement continues, and towards the very ambitious goal that even more of our students, due to receive external examination results next year, experience the joyful sense of ‘a job well done’.”

Across Calderdale, provisional results show that a record number of students achieved the key government measure of five A*-C grades including English and maths.

This puts Calderdale in the top five local authorities throughout the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Coun Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “I’m delighted that our young people have achieved such good results this year, and I would like to congratulate all students and staff in Calderdale schools.

“This well-deserved success is down to the hard work of pupils, but also of families and schools who have provided amazing support and encouragement.

“I’d like to wish all those receiving their results the very best for the future, whichever option they choose to pursue.”

Nationally, the number of students achieving five A*-C grades including English and maths dropped slightly for the second year, to 68.1 per cent. The overall pass rate also fell marginally for the first time in the exam’s 25-year history.