Bedford students have been collecting their GCSE results this morning and we’ll be bringing you regular updates throughout the day as they come in.
Higher than average results are expected this year due to changes during the pandemic in the way pupils are assessed.
Students have been assessed using homework, coursework, mock exams or mini-exams.
Speaking to the BBC, exam watchdog Ofqual have said there were multiple chances for pupils to show their greatest potential.
“No one would have lost out from having a bad day in an exam,” they said.
Exam officials have also reiterated that the system is fair, with each centre having its assessment policy reviewed and many samples of GCSEs also checked for “quality assurance”
Don’t worry if you don’t pass
The message to students who may not achieve the grades they hoped is that they “needn’t worry”.
Dr Nick Smith, Principal at Oxford Home Schooling, has issued advice on what to do if your GCSE results are not what’s needed to progress into sixth form or college.
“It will be a day of celebration for thousands of children across the country,” he said, “but there will also be many who don’t quite get the results they hoped for, particularly after schools were closed for so much of the year.
“However, we’re here to reassure them that they needn’t worry. For those who don’t get the GCSE results they expected, there are a number of options available.”
Dr Smith says that in the first instance, students should contact the course representative at the sixth form or college they have applied for.
They will be able to tell you if a place is still available, as sometimes they will be able to let you onto the course anyway.
They may also be able to offer a different subject that might be of interest, and an academic route may also not be the best fit either.
“You could also consider less traditional pathways, such as apprenticeships, work experience or a gap year,” added Dr Smith.
“If you want to continue your education while doing these, you can always resit your GCSEs while working.
“If you do want to pursue your A-levels, it’s possible to do them at home and take the qualifications independently…. so it’s worth exploring this option if you want to carry on learning.”
Bedford Borough results
Bedford Borough council say that students’ average attainment 8 Score (the best eight GCSEs grades) for 2021 was 48.28.
This year, 73% of students secured a Grade 4 and above in both English and Maths. 45% of Bedford Borough students secured grade 5 and above in English and Maths.
In 2020, the national GCSE pass rate was at 76.3%.
Cllr James Valentine, Portfolio Holder for Education and Children’s Services said: “A huge well done to every young person – and all their teachers, parents and carers – who worked so hard to achieve these results in what has been a very challenging year.
While some schools have chosen not to publicise their individual updates, you can see comments from some below.
James Hodgson, Head Master, at Bedford School has praised students getting their GCSE results.
“We could not be more delighted for this cohort who have overcome the challenges that the last 18 months have thrown at them,” he said.
“They have shown a great deal of strength and resilience and, together with their teachers’ unwavering support and sheer hard work, they all deserve to be thoroughly proud of what they have achieved.”
Students also gave their take on how the pandemic had impacted their studies. “Teams lessons have both advantages and disadvantages in terms of learning,” said Gideon Chan.
“For me, I adapted to the new form of learning pretty quickly when I created my own timetable so I could use my spare time more wisely and effectively.
“It was a very unique experience and I feel very relieved now I have finally received my results.”
Gideon will now study geography, history, economics and music technology, and plans to follow his passion for geography at University.
Meanwhile, Khush Shah, added, “I was extremely happy and thrilled with my results. It has been a difficult and challenging time, but the support of my teachers has been fantastic.
“I am relieved that the work has paid off.” Khush is planning to study maths, economics, physics and chemistry with the hope to have a successful career in engineering.
Biddenham school say they were “pleased to report more outstanding achievements by our students in their GCSEs following on from our excellent A level results”.
One student they highlighted, Tanvir Uddin, achieved an amazing eight grade 9’s and two grade 8’s.
Meanwhile, Hanifa Begum did equally well and achieved five grade 9’s and 8’s,
Eleanor Grylls, Head of school said: “We are incredibly proud of the way that our students rose to the challenge of adapting to a new assessment process and made the most of the opportunity to prove themselves, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.
“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to watching them develop as healthy, happy, successful young people in the future.”
160 of the highest grade (grade 9) were awarded to Sharnrbook students, and their attainment of the highest grades (7-9) was 1.4% above national figures.
Eight of their students achieved six or more grade 9s detailed below, with two students achieving nine of these highest grades and three students achieving eight.
Of nearly 4000 GCSE exams taken at the school, 76.7% of these were awarded the standard pass (grade 4) with 59.3% a strong pass (grade 5).
- Theo Bredell 9 x grade 9, 2 x grade 8, 1 x grade A in further maths
- Catherine Brewer 9 x grade 9, 1 x grade 8, 1 x A* in further maths, 1 x grade 6
- Mya Hesketh-Bream 8 x grade 9, 2 x grade 8, 1 x grade 7
- Ed Peacock 8 x grade 9, 1 x grade 8, 2 x grade 7, 1 x A in further maths
- Emma Riley 8 x grade 9, 2 x grade 8, 1 x grade A in further maths, 1 x grade 6
- Anna Brewer 7 x grade 9, 2 x grade 8, 1 x A^ in further maths, 1 x grade 7
- Niamh Lewis 6 x grade 9, 4 x grade 8, 1 x grade 7
- Malak Mahran 6 x grade 9, 3 x grade 8, 2 x grade 7, 1 x A in further maths
Castle Newnham School
Principal, Ruth Wilkes praised the efforts of Castle Newnham students, especially in the light of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are so proud of our pupils for their hard work and enthusiasm and of all the staff who’ve taught and supported them over the years. Their excellent results are a credit to them all,” she said.
“These wonderful young people not only leave us with great qualifications to give them access to whatever they wish to do next but also, post-pandemic, with enhanced patience, resilience, self-reliance and perhaps a unique sense of the fragility of our world which will serve us all well as they make their way as active citizens.
“We wish each and every one of our class of 2021 every future success and happiness and thank them for the contribution they have made at Castle Newnham.”
Bedford Modern School
While a spokesperson for the school has said that, “Given the nature of the results this year the decision was made not to publish any of our data,” the head has issued a statement.
“These remarkable young people have faced enormous challenges during the past 18 months and individuals have been impacted in different ways,” said Headmaster, Alex Tate.
“I am immensely grateful to all the staff who consistently put the welfare and education of their students first.
“I was delighted that we were able to continue our teaching and learning provision, albeit in different ways, regardless of the restrictions in place.”
“Students have shown tremendous determination and their fortitude and ongoing commitment to their studies has been rewarded.
“They should be very proud indeed of their achievements and I very much look forward to welcoming so many of them back in September to begin their A-level studies and the next chapter of their lives. Many congratulations to them all.”
Bedford Greenacre Independent School
Following on from their A-level results students at Bedford Greenacre Independent School (BGIS) have acquired an “equally impressive” set of GCSE results for Year 11.
A spokesperson said: “The unprecedented circumstances faced by the current Year 11 cohort over the past two years has meant this has been a stressful period for them but BGIS are delighted with the hugely positive outcomes achieved.”
While the school said they are “immensely proud of all our pupils”, they highlighted the following for their “superb results” which they say rank as some of the highest in the country:
- Ben Cicco
- Michael Greatorex
- Tom Kilroy
- George Long
- Ellis Macintosh
- Alex Parsons
- Fergus Paton
- Julian Romaniv
- Raza Sarwar
- Luke Smart
- Ben Wookey
- Ehssan Adam
- Phoebe Bailey
- Chloe Frost
- Lorna Whitehead
BGIS say that at a department level all areas of the school remain incredibly strong with 100% of students achieving a grade 4-9 in: Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, Drama, English Literature, French, Further Maths, Music, RE and Physics.
The school added that a large number of pupils will be staying on for the 6th form with a small number of spaces available for next year for others too.
More to come…