Contrasting fortunes for our schools

GCSE results. Calder High School. Pupils celebrate their results.
GCSE results. Calder High School. Pupils celebrate their results.

THERE were mixed fortunes for the upper Calder Valley’s high schools on GCSE results day.

While Calder High School was disappointed with the number of students achieving five A*-C grades, Todmorden High School celebrated its best ever figures at GCSE level.

Exactly 50 per cent of Todmorden High students gained five A*-C grades including English and maths, an increase on last year’s figures.

Headteacher Helen Plaice said the hard work of year 11 students has been rewarded by a number of very pleasing GCSE results this summer.

“I am very happy with the headline figure of 50 per cent that our students have achieved this year,” she said.

“It shows a five per cent increase from last year’s results, demonstrating an increase in standards and particularly reflects the intervention work we have put in place for students who were able to show significant improvements in maths.

“Once again we are proud of our results in our specialism subjects of arts and graphics where students have, on average, exceeded their challenging targets.

“Students have also performed very well in hospitality, health and social care, ICT and sports studies, with pleasing results across the board in resistant materials and French.

“Students who have taken part in our collaboration with Calderdale College have also performed well, gaining results in construction and hairdressing that have exceeded expectations.”

Todmorden High has seen its results improve while many schools in the country have seen their GCSE scores drop this summer.

“The national news headlines this week have stated a drop in many schools’ results due to tighter standards in English, so to have produced our ‘best ever’ results in this context is particularly pleasing,” she said.

“I’d like to say well done to all our students.

“I know how hard they have worked and how focused they have become on doing as well as they can in this stage of their education.

“Many have chosen to return to our sixth form to continue their studies to A level.

“I look forward to catching up with them in September.

“To those who have chosen alternative paths, best wishes for the future.

“Thank you also to all the teachers who have spent so much time and energy working with our students to support them in achieving their very best.

“And to parents and friends, many thanks for the positive and constructive way you have worked with us over the last five years.”

At Calder High, 76 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades, a decrease of four per cent on the previous year.

Although key threshold figures have been disappointing, the school remains pleased with individual student and subject performances.

The school is particularly pleased with its maths results. Sixty-five per cent of students achieved a grade C or above, and 66 per cent of students made at least three levels of progress from key stage two to four.

In addition, the number of A* and A grades in maths increased to 22 per cent.

A school spokesperson said: “English results have been disappointing and we have requested the entire year 11 cohort controlled assessments to be re-marked.

“This reflects the national concerns around the English results across England this year.”

Individual student successes include Annie Fletcher, Jacob Glanville, Jamie Graham, Madeleine Hay, Emily Lawton, Rosa Mason Jones, Tom O’Donoghue, Evie Ryan, Joss Swindells and Luke Thomas, who all achieved straight A* and A grades.

The school highlighted the performances of year ten students Sam Bragg, Jessica Buckley, Sol Cotton, Elizabth Davidson, Melissa Davie, Joe Fazackerley, Marcus Goff, John Horner, Lucy Hunt, Hannah James, Jamie Keschner-Lycett, Finlay King, Louis Lupton, Clodagh Metcalfe, Molly Noller, Jacob Simmons and Abby Young, who all achieved two A* or A grades in their option subjects.

There was also praise for year nine students Lucy Hodgeon, Alex Mawby, Colette McNulty, Rowan Raikes, Lydia Sunderland and Rosie Woodward. who also achieved two A* or A grades.

The spokesperson said: “The good results achieved are a testament to the hard work of students, staff and the support of parents.”

Nationally, there was a fall in the proportion of GCSEs awarded an A* to C grade for the first time since the exams were introduced 24 years ago.

A total of 69.4 per cent of entries earned the top grades in 2012, compared with 69.8 per cent last year.

The number of A* and A grades also fell to 22.4 per cent.