St Wilfrid's headteacher speaks of pride in students and staff on A level results day

A South Shields school is celebrating a 99% pass rate for its A levels as students collect their exam results.

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 3:47 pm

This year's A level, AS level and GCSE exams were cancelled as a result of coronavirus pandemic. Instead, young people were given a calculated grade for each subject, which was moderated to ensure standardisation across schools.

And at St Wilfrid’s RC College, on the town’s Temple Park Road, 81% of its A levels were graded between A* and C, with an overall pass rate – for grades between A* and E – of 99%.

Students collected their results remotely on Thursday, August 13.

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St Wilfrid’s RC College, South Shields.

As grades were revealed, Mark Price, acting headteacher at St Wilfrid’s, reassured families that staff will continue to support students going forward – especially those who have been ‘detrimentally affected’ by the grading process put in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ofqual revealed that 39.1% of A-level grades in England were downgraded after moderation.

Praising both the students and their teachers, Mr Price said: “It’s a testament to the hard work and resilience of our students and the support from their teacher’s and families that has resulted in them being able to achieve excellent A level results under difficult circumstances.

"These grades will allow our students to move to the next exciting phase in their lives.

“The staff at St Wilfrid’s have worked closely with students during this difficult period and will continue to support students in the coming weeks, particularly any detrimentally affected by the system put in place for this year, by assisting them through the appeals process.”

Twenty-two per cent of St Wilfrid’s A levels were graded at the top level – A*s or As.

Among the school’s success stories are:

*Daniel Martin: A* in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, A in Maths – going to study Theoretical Physics, Newcastle

*Jessica Caine: A* in English Literature, History and RE - going to study English Literature at Durham University

*Oliver Newham: A* in Biology and Geography, A in Chemistry – going to study Bio Chemistry at Imperial College London

*Rachel Caine: A* English Literature, A in History and RE – going to Durham University to study English Literature

*Anika Bushra: A in Biology, Chemistry and Maths – going to study Medicine at Leeds University

Speaking on Thursday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson ruled out further changes to the grading system in the face of any exams backlash.

He told Times Radio on Thursday: “What is clear to me is there will be some youngsters, no matter how much we try to do in terms of this system to maximise the fairness of it, who don’t get the grade they should have potentially have got.

“That’s why we need to have a really robust system, that’s why we’ve got the triple lock.”

Elsewhere in South Tyneside, students at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn celebrated the school’s ‘best-ever’ A level results on Thursday.

A number of students achieved straight As – or higher – across the board.

Pete Mitchell, headteacher, said in a statement: “We are absolutely delighted with our best ever A-Level results this year.

“We are very proud of all of our students, whose hard work and commitment has been recognised in these results. It goes without saying that this has been a year like no other.

“Our students have faced huge uncertainty since March and have had to manage the pressure of a disrupted final term.”

“Despite these challenges, significant progress was made by the students with more than a quarter of all grades awarded at A*-A and over half of the grades at A*- B.”

Success stories from St Joseph’s include:

*Kiah Develter is going on to study dentistry at Manchester

*Molly Kilgour will read Law at Durham

*Dominic Gardner is going on to study Chemical Engineering at Newcastle

*Az Basmilla will study Engineering at Newcastle

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