'This has been a year like no other' - St Joseph's Catholic Academy students celebrate top A-levels after pandemic chaos
St Joseph's Catholic Academy on Mill Lane, Hebburn, is celebrating after 84% of students achieved grades A*-C, despite studying during a “year like no other”.
The ongoing Covid pandemic didn’t deter students from working hard, with St Joseph’s confirming that almost half of all grades were at grade A or equivalent and more than two thirds of grades were at a grade B or better.
Students are now set to take up university places at the likes of Oxford, Newcastle and Durham.
Headteacher Peter Mitchell said: “The staff and governors at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy would like to congratulate all our Year 13 students on their excellent A level results.
“We are delighted that their hard work, determination and commitment have been rewarded - we are very proud of them.
"This has been a year like no other with our students having endured and overcome a very challenging journey through their A levels.
"The Government’s decision to use Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) for both GCSEs and A-levels, has meant that all students have had to complete a substantial series of rigorous in-school assessments in order to demonstrate their ability and secure their final grades.
"The TAGs have been subject to a robust and rigorous standardisation process and therefore provide a fair reflection of the ability of the students.”
Head girl Izzy Young was one of the sixth form’s top students achieving three A* grades in maths, physics and chemistry. She will study physics at Durham University and is considering a career in astrophysics.
"This last year has been so tough for everyone but everyone has just come through it together and worked so hard.
“It was just a relief to get my results. I was so nervous before and was just going on UCAS and refreshing it.”
Louis Summerley is going on to study chemistry at the University of Oxford after achieving three A*s in maths, biology and chemistry.
He said: “I think one word you can use to sum up this last year is ‘uncertain’.
"Every few weeks you have had to recalibre yourself to get in to a completely new rhythm
"When we started last September there was some sort of normality but then there was a lockdown and we had to readjust to that, then the exams got cancelled and we had to readjust to that and then we got back [to sixth form].”
Mr Mitchell added: “We wish all our students well as they progress onto their chosen next steps including moving onto top universities such as Oxford, Durham and Newcastle.
"I would like to thank the families of our students who have supported them during this very difficult time.
"I would also like to thank the staff for their efforts in guiding the students through the very challenging TAG process.”