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AS IT HAPPENED: GCSE students in Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor receive results following week of controversy

Reporting Team

GCSE students from across Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor are set to receive their results this morning (Thursday) following last week's A-level controversy.

After not sitting their exams due to the COVID-19 outbreak, students will receive 'centre assessed grades' based on school predictions, rather than moderated grades determined by the controversial algorithm that saw thousands of A-level students' results downgraded last week.

GCSE students will receive either the school-assessed grade or the moderated grade, whichever is higher.

The Advertiser and Express will be reporting on it differently too. Instead of going to the schools like we usually do, reporters will be calling the schools from home to find out results and speak to staff members and students.

As a result, we may not be able to get the results as quickly as we usually do, or for as many schools, depending on how many are open.

Follow the live blog below to get all the latest updates on results day in the Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor area.


5pm: 

READING BLUE COAT SCHOOL, SONNING: The school is celebrating its best ever GCSE results, with 52 per cent of grades being either an eight or a nine.

The school saw 100 per cent of students receive five or more four at a four or above, including English and maths, while 99.9 per cent of grades were 9 to 4.

Of its 107 candidates 12 all achieved grades at either an 8 or 9.

Other results included: 93.6 per cent of grades from 9 to 6, 78.8 per cent from 9 to 7 and 52.2 per cent from 9 to 8.

Headmaster Pete Thomas, said: “I am delighted for the pupils. Their grades come from two years of effort and application and it is tremendous to see how this impacts the outcome. I have loved watching this year group throw themselves into life away from the classroom as much as time within it and I am excited to see all that their energy and talent will bring to their Sixth Form career here.”

Director of Middle School Mr Scott Yates, said: “I’m immensely proud of this year group. We were proud before they received their grades, and we’ll be proud afterwards.

“The only disappointment I feel for this year group is that they didn’t have the chance to run that race and prove themselves.

“We had high expectations of the year group; not just because of the high quality of work they have produced over the last three years, but because of their success in RS last year.”


4.11pm:

SIR WILLIAM BORLASE’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MARLOW: An impressive 92 per cent of exam results were between grade 6 and 9 at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School.

Almost a quarter of grades, 24.7 per cent, were grade 9, the highest possible mark with 51 per cent of results either grade 8 or grade 9.

Headteacher Kay Mountfield said her students had demonstrated tremendous positivity during ‘the most unusual of years’.

She added: “We are incredibly proud of the way all our students approached the first part of the academic year with great enthusiasm and passion for academic learning and wider extra curricular activities.

“They have remained in touch with us during lockdown, embarking on advanced reading and A-level type work in readiness for the year ahead.

“We know the new term brings with it some challenges but Borlase students are always brilliant at finding creative solutions to turn challenges into positive opportunities.” 


3.28pm:

BEECHWOOD SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Executive headteacher Kathleen Higgins said she was delighted students at Beechwood School had secured the results they deserved following months of hard work.
 
Her statement said: “Very many of our young people have exceeded or achieved their target grades and there have therefore been some excellent individual outcomes as well as very strong performance across a wide range of subjects.
 
“Over time the young men and women have worked very hard and consequently these results have been earned and are very well deserved.
 
“We are so pleased that our young people have got the results they deserved and are now extremely well positioned to progress to the next stages in their educational careers.
 
“We know that they will be able to go on to fulfil their ambitions and secure further great success in the future.”

The school did not publish any data on its grades.


2.15pm:

THE WESTGATE SCHOOL, CIPPENHAM: 

Headteacher Michelle Cooper said the resolution reached over exam grades was fair and reflected the effort and dedication of those at the school.

In total, 70 per cent of students at The Westgate School secured a standard pass, grade 4 or above, in both English and maths.

There was special praise for Leia Humphries who bagged six grade 9s and three grade 7s.

Navjot Gill also performed impressively by securing the top grade in three of her subjects while also getting three grade 8s.

 Mrs Cooper said: “Our GCSE results reflect the significant amount of work invested by all of our students in very challenging circumstances and we strongly believe that these outcomes are fair and reflect the effort and dedicated from both staff and students over several years. 

“The support of parents and governors in these unprecedented circumstances has also been crucial to our success that we share with all our school community. 

“Despite these strange times, hearing positive stories about the growth and resilience in our students is truly heart-warming.  We are very proud of our students and sincerely wish each of them the very best in whatever future pathway they wish to pursue.”


2.13pm:

CLAIRES COURT, MAIDENHEAD: The percentage of pupils who achieved GCSE grades 9-4 in English and maths is up six per cent on last years results.

In 2019, 91 per cent of senior boys and senior girls got grades 9-4 in their GCSEs and this year the figure is up to 97 per cent.

For the past five years the school has placed a key focus on the development of literacy and numeracy skills, and during lockdown the school moved its GCSE and A-level programmes online.

Academic principal and head of senior boys, James Wilding, says the decision to teach students virtually has been ‘one of the greatest success stories in our school’s 60 year history’.

He said: “The complete recognition of our students’ and teachers’ hard work over the period of lockdown from March to July with the award of the centre’s recommended grades is heartwarming.”


2.01pm

FURZE PLATT SENIOR SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: Furze Platt Senior School has taken results day as opportunity to recognise the ‘hours of commitment and study’ students have put into their GCSEs.

A statement on the school’s website acknowledges the ‘last few months have been characterised by concerns’ but says today is ‘a source of relief and joy to see students being rewarded for their hard work and efforts’.

The statement reads: “Although the grades may have been calculated differently, these results reflect hours of commitment and study students have put into their courses.

“We would like to recognise these efforts and congratulate all our students on what they have achieved.”

The school has not released a breakdown of the percentage of students who achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths.


1.41pm:

UPTON COURT GRAMMAR SCHOOL, SLOUGH: One of the country's top-performing schools has improved on last years' results thanks to 'hard work' and 'excellent teaching'.

The grammar school, in Lascelles Road, saw 100 per cent of students receive grades 9-5 including English and maths. Almost two thirds of this year's class received grades 9-7, the equivalent of As and A*s.

Headteacher, Mark Pritchard, said “All at Upton Court Grammar School are celebrating the fantastic results achieved by our students today.

"Students’ academic outcomes reflect their hard work over their time at the school and the expert teaching they have received from our dedicated staff.

I am particularly proud that, in addition to exceptional grades, Upton Court Grammar School ensures our young people receive a quality education and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be successful and
engaged citizens.”


1.24pm: 

WEXHAM SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Grades have improved for the third year in a row at Wexham School, drawing praise for the 'incredible' staff and students.

With students achieving 53 per cent 9-4 grades including maths and English, deputy headteacher Adam Fletcher spoke of his pride.

He said: "We are absolutely delighted with the GCSE results, it's a testament to the incredible hard work of our staff and students.

"This is now part of our three-year improvement in results, it's our third year of improvement, and we are delighted.

"It's a fantastic achievement for all our staff and students and are proud of the work they have put in during this period of time.


12.57pm:

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, SLOUGH: The headteacher of St Joseph’s says the grades received by students today will be a ‘true reflection’ of what they should have achieved.

The school in Shaggy Calf Lane had 53 per cent of students gaining five GCSEs at levels 9-5 including English and maths.

76 per cent of students gained five GCSEs from levels 9-4 including English and maths.

Headteacher Ciran Stapleton said: “The Centre Assessed Grades we submitted was the process of a rigorous process undertaken by all the staff which also took into account the students second set of mock results completed only two months before the summer exams; unseen full past papers, marked to the exam specification criteria and standardised - so we’re sure they are a true reflection of what they would have gone on to achieve.

“This was perhaps one of the highest performing cohorts the school has ever seen and the only pity was that they didn’t have the chance to show that in the summer exams. This was a cohort with a talent and commitment representative of everyone in our community.

“They have overcome adversity and challenge with a resilience and innovation that sets them apart, their future is very bright indeed.”


 12.48pm:

BURNHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL, BURNHAM: The school’s head teacher has expressed his pride at the hard work and effort put in by students to achieve ‘outstanding’ GCSE results.
 
The school achieved 99.9 per cent 9 to 4 grades.
 
Head teacher Dr Andrew Gillespie, said: “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and effort that students have put into their studies that have led to these outstanding results. 
 
“The school developed a rigorous system to produce Centre Assessed Grades and these reflect what students would have achieved if the opportunity to sit the exams had not been taken away from them. 
 
“The system that has been imposed on us must not diminish the many exceptional individual performances by our students, who we look forward to welcoming back into the Burnham Grammar sixth form in September.”


12.14pm:

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that this year's university students are not getting the typical A*-G grades that we are used to.

Since 2017, England's 15 and 16-year-olds have been graded from 9-1, with 9 being the highest.

If you were to make a crude comparison, a 4 would be the equivalent of a low C and a 9 equal to an A**.

The more you think about it, the more confusing it gets...


12.12pm:

THE LANGLEY ACADEMY, SLOUGH: The headteacher of The Langley Academy has said students have achieved an ‘excellent set of results’ through what has been ‘a very challenging time’.

Alison Lusuardi said: “It has been a great pleasure to welcome our year 11 students back today to congratulate them on their hard work and achievements.

“We are all very proud of them and their individual successes as we celebrate an excellent set of results overall. “

She added: “It has of course been a very challenging time and I’d like to thank everyone in the academy community for their invaluably strong commitment and support.”

The school did not release a breakdown of the percentage of students who got grades 9-4.


12.10pm:

NEWLANDS GIRLS’ SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: In a statement, Newlands Girls’ School said: “We are very proud of our amazing Year 11s, who have worked incredibly hard over many years.

“The Government decision to award whichever is the highest – either the Centre Assessed Grade or the Algorithm Calculated Grade – means that most pupils will be happy with their GCSE results.

“We wish them every success as they move onto the next stage of their education.” 

The school in Farm Road did not provide the percentage of grades 9-4 achieved by students.


11.27am:

DESBOROUGH COLLEGE, MAIDENHEAD: Desborough College has said it is ‘relieved’ the decision to use centre assessment grades (CAGs) was made before GCSE results day.

Vice principal at the school, Cath Harden, said: “This enabled us to write to parents and pupils to explain the process and reassure them of the rigorous way in which we came up with their grades.

“We stand firm in our belief that this is the fairest way of awarding grades this year.”

In English and maths, 73 per cent of students achieved grades 9-4 which the school is ‘delighted with’.

Ms Harden added: “Despite all the uncertainty created by COVID-19, they have risen to the challenge and been rewarded for their hard work through the grades given to them today.”

Although the school is still waiting on official BTEC results, it has released the CAGs so students have this information today.


11.11am:

THE MARIST, SUNNINGHILL: The Principal of the Catholic girls’ school has praised students for their ‘outstanding’ results during a turbulent year.

65 per cent of students received a grade 9-7 with sixteen per cent achieving grade 9.

Principal Mrs Jo Smith said: “I am particularly proud of our GCSE students this year.

"By showing commitment and hard work throughout the two years of their course, they have achieved outstanding results of which they should be very proud.

"The girls have demonstrated life skills during this time that are so relevant to this generation such as independent study, resilience and commitment.

"They continued working so hard throughout the lockdown period during which time we offered a full teaching programme, maintained to the end of term. 

"New for this year, we provided a ‘Year 11 Transition Programme’ which offered a realistic experience of A-level study expected and therefore they will be one step ahead when they begin their Sixth Form studies.

"They are now ready with a set of outstanding grades to pursue the next stage of their education.”


10.59am:

KHALSA SECONDARY ACADEMY, STOKE POGES: The school is celebrating a ‘remarkable’ set of results with 77 per cent of students achieving a level 4 or higher in English and maths, and 58 per cent receiving a level 5 or higher.

Headteacher, Chris Drew, said: “This set of GCSE results is nothing short of remarkable.

"All credit goes to our hard-working students, our dedicated staff and our supportive parents. Working together as a team, great things have been achieved.

“I would like to convey my congratulations to every student of the class of 2020 with their outstanding GCSE results.

"All their hard work has paid off and I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff for all their professionalism and dedication and also the constant support from parents.

"These results are a testimony of what can be achieved when a great team works together. Well done once again to all and I wish each student all the best for their future endeavours”.


10.54am:

WINDSOR BOYS SCHOOL, WINDSOR: It has been another successful year for the boys’ school with 70 per cent of GCSE students passing both English and Maths and 82 per cent passing their separate science subjects.

Stand-out students include Matthew Wellington who received five 9s, three 8s and two grade 7s, Anoop Matharu who got five 9s, two 8s, two 6s and one 5 and Charles Wallis with five 9s, two 8s and two 6s.

Headteacher Gavin Henderson said: “All of us at Windsor Boys School are really proud of the success of every single student in this year. 

"For some, achieving a rake of top grades is an astonishing achievement, and to others, securing the hard-earned pass grades is completely life-enhancing, but for all the students at Windsor Boys School, regardless of their starting ability, they deserve to be congratulated and recognised for the effort and ambition they have shown. None of which could have happened, of course, without our high quality teachers helping them all the way. Congratulations to all.”


10.51am: 

COX GREEN SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: The secondary school was ‘absolutely delighted’ to celebrate GCSE results with the year 11 pupils.

Although the Highfield Lane school has not released information on its grades, it released a statement which said: “Their resilience and positivity has been inspirational and we wish them well in their future endeavours. 

"They have been a credit to themselves and our school.

“We remain indebted to our staff, parents and carers and governors, whose support of our students has been unwavering.”


10.47am:

ALTWOOD CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: A 'very strong' set of GCSE results reflect two years of hard work from students at Altwood CofE School.

In maths, 86 per cent of students achieved between a grade 9-4 and in English 9-4 grades were achieved by 81 per cent of pupils. 

Overall, 79 per cent of students earned grades 9 – 4 in English and Maths.

Headteacher, Neil Dimbleby, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students for achieving a very strong set of results, reflecting the efforts they made across the two years of study.

 “The hard work and commitment of staff and students is continuing to deliver a learning environment where students can thrive and reach their full academic potential.”

Some of the school's top performers included:

  • Jusleen Gill, who achieved a Grade 9 in each of her GCSEs
  • Gursukh Sembi - nine 9s and one eight
  • Robbie Couper - four 9s, five 8s and one 7
  • Beatriz Polo - three 9s, three 8s, two 7s and two 6s

10.35am:

LONG CLOSE SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Students had plenty to celebrate after 100 per cent of pupils achieved grade 5 or higher in all of their subjects.

With all students at the Upton Court Road school achieving great results, some still managed to stand out in a crowded field of excellence.

Meanwhile, 49 per cent of students managed to achieve at least one grade 9, and 76 per cent got at least one 8.

Headteacher Kam Nijjar said: “Despite the challenging times of lockdown, our pupils have shown incredible resilience and adaptability.

“Our small class sizes enable teachers to understand their students as individuals and provide bespoke support to ensure every child progresses.

"As well as online lessons, teachers regularly checked in with students throughout lockdown to see how they were doing from a wellbeing perspective."


10.12am:

BAYLIS COURT SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Baylis Court School saw an improvement in its GCSE results compared to last year.

The school, in Gloucester Avenue, said 81 per cent of its students achieved five 9 to 4 grades including English and maths.

This represented a four per cent increase from 2019.

Principal Ray Hinds said: “It has been a particularly challenging year, but we were determined that our students should get the grades that they fully deserved.

“Our overall results are exceptional with a slight improvement on last year.

 “With the high level of uncertainty surrounding the results this year, we are particularly pleased that our students have been rewarded for their hard work.”

One of the school’s stand-out performers was Heena Abbas who achieved grade 9s in all of her nine GCSE subjects.

Rida Abbas and Fatima Irfan also both secured an impressive eight grade 9s in their results.


10.01am

HOLYPORT COLLEGE, HOLYPORT: The headteacher of Holyport College has said today’s GCSE results allow students to leave behind ‘six months of uncertainty, chaos and deprivation’.
 
Headmaster of the school in Ascot Road, Ben McCarey, said the school will not be releasing grade percentages because ‘it just doesn't really feel appropriate to do so’.
 
In a statement released on the Holyport College website, Mr McCarey said grades students receive today are ones ‘they can be truly proud of’ having ‘worked so hard throughout their school careers’.
 
"There will be much written about grade inflation and about the validity of these results compared to other years however, for the students who are opening their results this morning, that should not matter at all,” he said.
 
“These [results] should be a line in a sand; a line which says that the past six months of uncertainty, chaos and deprivation are behind us and a line which allows them to move forwards on the next exciting steps of their educational journey.”


9.45am:

LVS, ASCOT: The independent day and boarding school is celebrating a good set of results following a challenging year as students receiving grades 9-8 (A* equivalent) increased by 26.6 per cent from last year.

Overall, 97.2 per cent of students achieved a 9 – 4 grade, up from 85.7 per cent in 2019.

Principal Christine Cunniffe said: “These are unprecedented times and despite the current situation, we are happy with the results our students have achieved. 

"We appreciate there will be a number of students who will need additional support and guidance as they look at next steps for the future and so all of our efforts here at LVS Ascot will be in channelled into continuing to providing one-to-one support sessions both in person and online.”


9.28am:

CHARTERS SCHOOL, SUNNINGDALE: Headteacher Richard Pilgrim praised his students for enduring ‘turmoil and uncertainty’ over the past five months and securing an ‘extremely pleasing’ set of results.

In total, 82.6 per cent of students at Charters School achieved five or more GCSEs graded 9 to 4.

The percentage of students to achieve five or more GCSEs graded 9 to 4 including English and maths was 78.4 per cent.

This year’s results will be the last overseen by departing headteacher Richard Pilgrim who is retiring from the profession after 36 years at the Sunningdale school.

He said: “I would like to applaud all our students who have endured such turmoil and uncertainty in these last five months.

“Their results are outstanding and rightly reflect their ability and the effort and perseverance that they have shown over their five years at Charters.

"My best wishes to them as they embark on their post-16 courses.”

The school said students on BTEC and CNAT vocational courses are expected to receive their results next week.


9.05am:

WINDSOR GIRLS, WINDSOR: The secondary girls’ school is celebrating a ‘wonderful’ set of results and is relived they ‘were not derived from a national algorithm.’

In total, 85 per cent of students were awarded a 4 or above in English and 83 per cent in maths.
 

Peter Griffiths and Eimear O’Carroll, co-headteachers at Windsor Girls School, said: “We are delighted with the overall results and incredibly proud of the achievements of all our students.

"It is right that the expertise and professionalism of our staff was recognised and that the grades awarded were not derived from a national algorithm.

"The hard work and dedication of both students has been reflected in a wonderful set of outcomes and we are pleased that our students are now in a position to proceed to the next phase of their lives whether that is in education or work.”


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