THE overall GCSE pass rate at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn fell this year - but the school still has reason to be happy.
The pass rate for A* to C grades, including maths and English, was down from 71 per cent to 61 per cent, and the number of students gaining five A* to C grades was also slightly down, to 80 per cent.
Headteacher Frank O’Neill said: “Naturally, we are disappointed the overall numbers have gone down, but this was the first year of the new exam system, with students being examined at the end of their courses, rather than the old module assessment system.
“But we were delighted that at the higher end of the GCSEs, the number achieving A* to B grades went up to 41 per cent, an increase of 15 per cent on last year.”
Ben Stainthorpe, 16, from Hebburn, who gained four A*s in physics, history, maths and electronics, said: “I suppose they were quite hard, but we got a lot of support from the school.
Fellow student Savanna Knox, 16, said she was “delighted” with her four As in IT, history, art and RE, as was Emma Coutts, 16, who gained a string of A and B grades.
And Alex Williams, from Jarrow, is on the way to Newcastle College to study sound engineering after successfully gaining several As and Bs.