Main picture: Pupils at Bedminster Down with their results. Picture Bristol City Council.
It has been a tense day for thousands of students across Bristol collecting their GCSE results today (22 August) – hoping their hard work has paid off.
This is the first year that nearly all GCSE courses have been graded 9 to 1, rather than A* to G. Grade 9 is the highest grade, set above the current A*.
The new scoring system is designed to be harder for pupils – with scores expected to be relatively lower than previous years to make it more of a challenge for high-flyers.
Results are provisional until confirmed later in October – but show across the city around 60 per cent have achieved grade 9 – 4 in English and Maths, with some 3,400 students taking the exams this year.
Locally there have been success stories – with many schools and pupils celebrating their GCSE results.
Bedminster Down School
Headteacher, Gary Schlick, said: “Bedminster Down students have worked hard with the changes to the exam system to achieve some outstanding individual results.
“I’m expecting to see improved progress figures this year that illustrate how our quality teaching and pastoral support will bring out the best in our students.
“We’re now further boosted by being part of the Wellsway Multi-Academy Trust, who are seeing significant improvements in GCSE results, to share best practice across several local secondary schools.”
Bridge Learning Campus
Bridge Learning Campus has been celebrating improved results for a third year in a row – and achieved 100 per cent pass rate in eight subjects. In English, a total of 73 per cent of students gained a pass.
Head teacher Rupert Maule said: “I am pleased that the hard work of the students and their teachers has been rewarded by these results.
“Students have responded positively to the high expectations we have introduced for all of our pupils and have risen to this challenge.
“It is our ambition to be the one of the best schools in the South West and to be in the top 20 percent of all schools nationally.
“Results in English show the high standards that we can reach and the improved results in all other areas show that we are on the right path to achieving our ambition…”
Learning Partnership West (LPW) Independent School is a full-time alternative education provider for young people for whom mainstream education has not worked.
This year the school – based in Bedminster and the city centre – entered its highest number of learners to sit GCSEs and celebrated another record-breaking set of results.
Acting Head Teacher, Dan Carter, said he was absolutely delighted for the students who have passed their exams this year.
He said: “Fifty-one young people took their GCSE English Language and Mathematics – 82 per cent achieved their English and 76 per cent achieved their mathematics.
“Our staff are quite rightly proud of the progress that the young people have made during their time at LPW Independent School both academically and socially, and it’s fantastic our results are even better than last year.
“It’s so important that young people have the opportunity to sit their GCSEs to gain access to further education, which supports employment and better opportunities in the future…”
The school in Withywood announced “strong” results – especially in the business studies department.
More than 80 per cent of business studies students achieved a grade 6 or better.
In physics, 97 per cent of students achieved a grade 4 and above, compared with 46 per cent last year and results were also good in music, health and social care and construction.
Principal Samantha Williamson said: “It has been a delight to see students celebrating fantastic results with their family members today.
“Their hard work and determination has paid off and our students will now take the first steps to building their future careers as they move into further education. Well done to each and every one of them.”
Oasis Academy John Williams
The Hengrove school reported its Year 11s had achieved “stunning results both from an individual perspective, and as an entire year group” and it “couldn’t be more proud.”
Some 60 per cent of students achieved a Grade 4, or better, in both English and maths, with 37 per cent achieving both English and Maths at Grade 5, or better.
The school said: “We too are delighted to celebrate the achievement of 21 Grade 9s, across 10 different subject areas; Grade 9s are the highest level awarded, with only 4% of pupils nationally achieving this standard in each subject.
“Our students also boast the achievement of 213 Grade 7s and above, which in ‘old money’, is equivalent to achieving A*/A grades.”
Oasis Academy Brislington
The school announced an improvement on last year’s results – in particular by eight per cent in its Grade 4 scores.
One of the academy’s highest achievers was Amy Partridge, who gained two GCSEs at grade 9 for Physics and Maths, as well as two grade 8 GCSEs for Biology and Chemistry.
The school said: “We are delighted for our students and immensely proud of their achievements today…
“Our results are proof of how determined our students are to progress and what dedicated staff we have here at Oasis Brislington.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Well done to everyone collecting their GCSE results today, all students have worked very hard to take this important step in their education. It is inspiring to see so many young people contributing to Bristol’s status of a Learning City.
“Our city offers various opportunities for young people and I am confident that everyone, no matter what results they got, will find the right option for them.
“Whether you choose to start a vocational course, decide to take your A-levels or join the world of work, you all have a bright future ahead.”
Support and options
Creative Youth Network targeted youth workers will be available in most schools on the day. They are also running drop in sessions on Thursday, 22 August and Friday, 23 August from 1-3pm at The Park in Daventry Road.
There is further information available about Post 16 pathways and various options for young people on the Post 16 Participation website www.P16P.co.uk .
Students can also contact the Bristol City Council Post 16 Participation team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01173525750 (Monday – Thursday 8.30 – 6.30 and Friday 8.30 – 4.30).
Upcoming apprenticeship opportunities are available on the website: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentice/what-is-an-apprenticeship and as part of the #FireItUp campaign.
Exams Results helpline
Contact the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline for free advice if you’ve received exams results that weren’t as good as you were expecting.
The helpline is open until a week after GCSE results day, 29 August.
National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline: 0800 100 900