Dedication and determination

Lisa Gosling, Joanna Steel, Ben Appleton ,Catherine Hitchcock, April Covington
Lisa Gosling, Joanna Steel, Ben Appleton ,Catherine Hitchcock, April Covington

STAR students at Ponteland High School have achieved record-equalling GCSE results.

In total, 70 per cent of pupils got five or more A* to C grades including English and maths, up from 63 percent last year.

And an impressive 11 youngsters received all A* or A grades, including Ponteland resident Kathryn Hitchcock, 16, who gained seven A*s and two As.

She said: “During the five minute journey to school I felt that I was going to be sick because I was really nervous so it was a relief to find out my results.

“I was surprised that I did so well and I was shocked that I managed to get an A* in maths.

“I’m doing English literature, performing arts, history and biology at AS Level and I’m most looking forward to the dancing side of performing arts because ideally I would like to be a professional dancer.”

Sarah Hermeston, who lives in Chapel Park, achieved five A* and six A grades and will now study French, English literature, German and geography at AS Level.

“I’m really pleased with my grades — I didn’t expect to get so many A*s,” she said.

“I was on holiday in France and kept myself busy during the summer so I didn’t think too much about my GCSEs until last night when the stress came all at once.”

Isabel Jones also received five A*s and six As. She said: “I got the A* grades in the subjects I expected so I was more thrilled with some of my As, especially in English literature as I’m more of a science person.

“I had a timetable planned out for revision and stuck to it as I told myself I could relax once the exams were over.”

She will do biology, maths, sports studies and psychology at AS Level.

Lisa Gosling, who gained an A* along with eight As, a pass and a merit, said: “I was both relieved and pleased that my hard work paid off.

“I was really nervous and expecting the worst so these results have given me a lot of confidence for sixth form where I will study maths, biology, English language and art.”

The other all A* or A students were Bryony Clear Hill, Jacqueline Davison, Eppie Gibb, April Covington, Beth Forsyth, Faye Milburn and Amanda Pallister.

Chloe Hall did even better as she achieved A* grades across all 10 of her subjects.

And 47 students received seven or more A* or A grades, representing 17 per cent of this year’s 276 Ponteland High GCSE exam takers.

More than 70 per cent of pupils taking biology and physics earned A* or A results, as did 67 per cent of those studying chemistry and 57 per cent of geography students.

There were more celebrations for the Dodds family, who live in Milbourne, as Chris received five A*s, two As and one B a week after sister Sarah did well in her A-Levels.

He said: “I was excited to find out what I had done and when I opened the envelope I was really happy with my results.

“I wasn’t sure how well I had done in history so I was delighted to get an A and I was only two marks off an A*. It’s also nice to have a double celebration with Sarah.”

The 16-year-old will study physics, chemistry and further maths at AS-Level.

Kate Fisher, who gained six A* grades, as well as two As and one B, said: “I’m so happy with my results as I’ve been working hard for two years and I was revising all the time in the lead-up to the exams.

“I was pleasantly surprised to get an A* in French because I thought I hadn’t done really well in that subject.”

She will now do AS-Levels in maths, chemistry, biology and French.

Nick Dorani will study the same subjects as Kate after getting an A*, eight As and a B.

The Ponteland resident said: “I wasn’t too nervous when picking up my results as I knew I’d done the best that I could.

“It was a great feeling to find out that I did very well and as maths involved some difficult exams I’m thrilled to get an A* for it.

“French is my favourite subject and hopefully I will become fluent in the language.”

Hannah Clarke, 16, achieved five A*s, four As and a B across her subjects.

“My results were better than I expected as I thought I was going to get more Bs,” she said.

“Even though I tried to stay busy, they were all I could think about this week. I’m very grateful to all my teachers, as well as my mum and dad for their support.”

She will do biology, chemistry, Spanish and maths at AS-Level.

The percentage of students receiving five A* to C GCSE grades reached 90, compared with 83 per cent in 2010.

In maths, 78 per cent got a C or above, with nearly 30 per cent gaining an A* or A grade, and 77 per cent achieved C or above in English, with 25 per cent getting either A* or A.

Ponteland High Headteacher Stephen Prandle said: “All of our students deserve congratulations for their dedication and determination.

“Results were good last year, but we were determined to do even better this summer and that is exactly what we have done, with what looks like being a record-equalling year for our students.

“We have a fantastic staff at Ponteland High and they have worked wonders in continually assessing students’ progress, feeding back essential tips for improvement and supporting our youngsters right up to the exams.”