Students across the Diss Express area have been jumping for joy after making the grade on GCSE results day.
It is the first year of a new numerical grading system and tougher exams in English and maths in England. A new top grade, 9, has been created. Grade 4 is the equivalent of a C.
Nationally, passes at grade 4 and above was 66.3 per cent. In maths, the pass rate rose from 61.5 per cent to 68.9 per cent, while in English, it fell 2.5 percentage points to 72 per cent.
At Diss High School, 71 per cent of students achieved a grade 4 and above in both English and maths. The school also saw a three per cent increase in the percentage of students achieving the highest grades, 7 to 9 (A/A*) in the two subjects compared to last year.
Notable successes were Joseph Davy with 12 A*/9 grades, Caity Adkins and Will Johnson, who came away with 11 A*/9 grades.
Dr Jan Hunt, headteacher, said: “Students and staff are to be congratulated on another excellent set of results which have come from dedicated hard work and supportive parents.”
There have been some very challenging times for our community this year and together we have worked through them to reach this point when we all need to celebrate that journeyRichard Cranmer, headteacher, Archbishop Sancroft High School
It had been a challenging year for staff and students at Archbishop Sancroft High School after two former students were killed in a car accident in Pulham Market in April.
Deputy headteacher Rob Connelly told the Diss Express earlier this year had “rocked” the school “both professionally and personally”, which opened during the holidays to provide extra support for its students.
At the Harleston-based school 65 per cent came away with a grade four and above in English and maths.
Headteacher Richard Cranmer praised the year group for their success during “some very challenging times”.
“We are absolutely delighted for this super year group.
“Not only have the achieved huge academic success in these new qualifications they have contributed enormously to the life of the school in so many different ways.
“There have been some very challenging times for our community this year and together we have worked through them to reach this point when we all need to celebrate that journey.”
The rate of students achieving at least a grade 4 in both English and maths combined at Old Buckenham High School was 68 per cent. In English, 83 per cent achieved grades 4 to 9, while for the same bracket in maths, it was 72 per cent.
Andrew Fell, headteacher, said: “The students at our school have performed very well this year, with some outstanding results. In particular, many students doing extremely well in maths and English given the uncertainty around the new grades, with several students achieving the very highest grades.
“My thanks to the dedicated staff, the support from our parents and partners and most importantly to the hard working students in year 11.’
Results in English and maths at Stradbroke High School were described as “stunning”.
Grade 4 and above was achieved in both subjects by 79 per cent of the 62 students sitting their GCSE exams.
The figure for grade 4 and above in English was 87 per cent, and in maths, 82 per cent.
Head of school, John Axtell, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the results attained by the students at Stradbroke High School this year.
“They have been justly rewarded for the effort and commitment that they have put in during their time with us.
“These results are also testament to the dedication and hard work of our incredible teaching staff.”
Principal of Attleborough Academy Neil McShane congratulated the school’s “fantastic” year 11s for their results.
The percentage of students achieving grades 4 to 9 in English and maths was 67 per cent.
Mr McShane said: “This is yet another set of very impressive results for the Academy even with the new specifications and the national ‘raising the bar’.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the number of 9 grades achieved in English and Maths. My congratulations to all our fantastic year 11s who worked so hard and remained so focussed despite a national backdrop of anxiety and uncertainty.
“Many thanks to all our staff for their commitment and unwavering belief in our students and also to our parents for their continued support.”
In Framlingham at Thomas Mills High School, 74 per cent achieved a grade 4 or above in English and maths.
High achievers included Annie Bones, who attained the equivalent of 11 A*s, while Annabel Anderson came away with the equivalent of 8 A*s including the top grade 9 in English and maths.
Headteacher Philip Hurst said “We congratulate the pupils on their fantastic achievements. They have made great progress. They are a lovely year group and we wish them continued success.”
He also praised the hard work of teachers, adding: “They have worked tirelessly to successfully implement the new qualifications.
“We are delighted with these achievements whilst being able to maintain a wide range of option choices.”
At Hartismere School in Eye, 77 per cent of students gained grades between 4 and 9 in English and maths.
Headmaster James McAtear said: “These results are a testimony to the hard work of all our staff, governors and students and to the support given to them by their parents.”
And at Debenham High School, 88.1 per cent of the 134-strong year group achieved at least a grade 4 in maths and English.
Headteacher Julia Upton said: “We are delighted with these results; students have surpassed themselves and more students than ever have the grades that they need to make the step to the next stage of their education.
“The changes to the English and mathematics GCSEs this year will of course mean that there is a spotlight on both these subjects’ results but we are equally delighted with the grades students have achieved across the full range of subjects.”