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There was more than a little nervous tension just prior to the publication of GCSE results, as this year was the first when most subjects were graded on the new 9-1 scale. Advance publicity had prepared us for small percentages of candidates being awarded the top grades and the examinations were definitely more challenging and generally more content heavy than the ones they replaced. Would we see ashen faces from the staff and floods of tears from the pupils when results envelopes were opened? Quite the contrary; results more than met our expectations. 45.6% of results were graded at A* or 8/9 and 65.7% at A*/A or 9-7. Across the country, 732 GCSE candidates gained a clean sweep of 9 grades and six of those were at Hymers. Value-added results were also our best for a few years. When pupils arrive
in Year 7, a test called MidYIS run by Durham University provides us with expected grades for GCSE and our Year 11s this year outperformed these predictions by +0.6 grades on average.
Success at A-level is getting harder to judge. In terms of raw results, 44.7% were at A*/A, 70.1% at A*-C and 99.1% at A*-E. 32% of students achieved one A* grade or more and 16% of students achieved two A* grades or more. The real test is how many students achieve the grades they need for their university courses – AAB is not a huge success if you need A*AA. Fortunately
there were very few tears on results day, with 84% of students meeting their offers and 98% being placed by the end of process. Raw results don’t therefore give you a complete picture, especially as the increase in unconditional offers can lead some students to take their foot off the gas a bit when the pressure is on everyone else. It’s hard to add value again at A-level, but on average our students met their predictions from the Durham University system, so we know that we are continuing to help them fulfil their potential.
Special mention must be made of two outstanding A-level candidates, who shared the Pramila Parekh award for top academic achievement on Speech Day. Ned Carmichael and Ella Khulusi both achieved four A* grades and one A grade and they didn’t lock themselves in one of the study rooms in the LRC from 08:00 to 18:00 slaving away uniquely at their work. Both contributed hugely to the extra-curricular life of the school and benefited it from it, as well
as impressing through their sensitivity to others and the warmth of their personalities. If a school is to be judged on the qualities of the individuals who leave it, then let the world look on Old Hymerians such as Ned and Ella.
Mr I Sanderson I 195
   Top-achieving GCSE students

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