Friday, August 23, 2013
Sidmouth College students opened literal envelopes and symbolic doors this week as months of eager anticipation of their GCSE grades came to an end.
The school has gone from strength to strength in its results in core subjects, with the year group attaining the highest ever number of A* to C grades in maths and English, writes Stephen Sumner.
Staff were on hand to let them know their options – whether that be an apprenticeship, studying while working, or staying on for the sixth form.
Principal Kenny Duncan said: “I’m really glad to be part of the day and think it’s really important for all staff to be part of the celebrations.
“It’s encouraging to see so many of them getting such great results, and to know how many of them want to come back – I think we’ve bucked the national trend.
“One or two of them have really surprised themselves, they’ve opened up a lot of doors for themselves – but unfortunately some have had them closed.”
He added: “We can accommodate those who aren’t typical A-level students – they are all welcome here.”
Jade Mortimer’s reaction to her eight A*s and five As was a flabbergasted ‘Wow!’.
“I didn’t expect that, I’d prepared myself for the worst,” she said.
The studious pupil, who plays the clarinet, is returning to Sidmouth College next year, but plans to move to Wells Cathedral School in Somerset if she is successful in her music auditions in January.
“It’s really competitive – my GCSEs will definitely help me get there,” she added.
Rebecca Hancock and Brad Hayman are off to Exeter College to follow vocational courses.
Rebecca had an eye-opening visit to the college, which showed her a travel and tourism course with links to Flybe, while Brad is following in his dad’s footsteps and studying carpentry.
Afghani brothers Toofan and Younis Omari joined Sidmouth College in January last year, and came away with five GCSEs each.
They both plan to stay on at the school next year to study customer service, but neither is quite sure what they will do after that.
Taking a language GCSE is no mean feat at 16, but 13-year-old Darija Roland-Small took a course in her home language in her stride.
She said: “I got an A* in German because I’m German!”
The year eight pupil added that she is still undecided on whether she will do another GCSE early, but has not ruled it out.
Head of year Christine Hughes said: “I’m very pleased with how they have done – they have been a really good year group.
“I’ve known them for five years, I’ll be sad to see them go.”