The Year 11 cohort at Ponteland High School has achieved an excellent set of exam results.
This comes despite the huge changes to GCSE qualifications – with the vast majority this year being the newly reformed and more difficult courses graded 9-1.
A total of 78 per cent of all entries received grades of 9-4/A*-C, 63 per cent of all entries were 9-5/A*-B and 25 per cent of all entries were awarded the highest grades of 9-7/A*-A, with 58 students (22 per cent) gaining five or more 9-7/A*-A.
The core subjects of English and maths continue to perform at a very high level – 77 per cent of students achieved at least a standard pass in both English and maths.
In the English qualifications, 86 per cent of students gained a ‘standard pass’ (grade 4 or better) and 70 per cent of students achieved a ‘strong pass’ (grade 5 or better).
In maths, 83 per cent of students gained a ‘standard pass’ (grade 4 or better) and 63 per cent of students achieved a ‘strong pass’ (grade 5 or better).
A total of 21 students gained the highest grade (9) in English qualifications, compared to 11 last year, and 15 students achieved grade 9 in maths, compared to 11 last year.
In both English and maths, 27 per cent of all grades were 7-9.
The star students included Jamie Styles, who achieved an astounding grade 9 in biology, chemistry, English language, English literature, French, history, maths, music, physics, religious studies and Spanish and also received an A* in GCSE further maths.
The 16-year-old, who lives in Darras Hall, said: “I was predicted to get 8s across my subjects, so I can’t believe that I’ve got 9s for all of them, especially as I thought a few of my exams didn’t go too well.
“I would like to thank my parents for their fantastic support and the school staff have all been really helpful – for example, giving us the opportunity to do extra revision sessions.”
Jamie will return to Pont High to do A-levels in biology, chemistry, maths and further maths. At the moment, he is looking to study medicine at university.
Thirty-five per cent of the Year 11 cohort achieved the English Baccalaureate, which includes standard passes in English and maths to complement C or better grades in science, a humanities qualification and a language qualification (24 per cent when including strong passes in English and maths).
Ponteland High School headteacher Kieran McGrane said: “The last few years have seen significant changes to GCSE courses and how they are assessed. This has come at the same time as similar changes to A-level courses.
“I am delighted with our GCSE results this year, when the vast majority of qualifications have been the newly reformed versions.
“They are superb and a real testament to the quality of our students and their teachers.
“Our school is particularly well-served by our core subjects of English, maths and science, with each subject securing pass rates in excess of 80 per cent, which provides an excellent base for our students.
“In addition to this, these subjects secured 82 grade 9s, which is a phenomenal achievement given the level required to be awarded this grade.
“It was also pleasing to note a pattern of securing grade 9 in all subjects.
“I am particularly pleased for our students who have applied themselves diligently and conscientiously – they should be rightfully proud of their achievements.
“Thanks must also go to parents for their support throughout what will have been an anxious and trying time.”