GCSE triumph at Sidmouth College

PUBLISHED: 12:38 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 17 June 2010

STUDENTS at Sidmouth College smashed all records yesterday, producing the best ever set of GCSE results. A record 72 percent achieved five A* to C grades, 12 percent better than last year, and six percent up on the previous best in 2005. A jubilant princi

STUDENTS at Sidmouth College smashed all records yesterday, producing the best ever set of GCSE results.

A record 72 percent achieved five A* to C grades, 12 percent better than last year, and six percent up on the previous best in 2005.

A jubilant principal, David Birch, said: "These are marvellous results. For the first time ever more than 70 percent of students have achieved five good grades, thanks to their hard work, the efforts of their teachers and the support of their parents.

"I would hope these results will reassure people we do deliver excellent results for young people."

Mr Birch was praised too, by Roger Fetherston, head of Devon Education Services, who said the results put the college in the top 10 percent across Devon.

He said: "These are significant results for Sidmouth, the best they have achieved, and are a great testimony to David who so confidently predicted what the college would achieve.

"For him it is a great mark of how much effort he put in."

He said it was unfortunate Ofsted took previous years' results as its benchmark for its recent unfavourable report, adding: "This is a real fillip to the school."

He was particularly pleased with the 67 percent achievement of C and above grades in core subjects, such as English and Maths, compared with 48 percent last year.

Sylvia Martin, chairman of governors, was delighted, saying: "These are fantastic, I am very pleased.

"It makes a nonsense of the things we are supposed to be bad at. I am pleased for David, he said it would be the best ever and it is.

"The bricks are in place now, all we have to do is build. We will go from strength to strength.

"We have our own Olympic Games here and we have got gold."

A record 13 students collected nine A grades or more.

Lucie Bowles achieved 12 A's, six starred, with Ben Lomax gaining 11 A grades, four starred.

Lucie, 16, of Winslade Road, said: "I am really happy, I was optimistic, I just wanted to do my best."

She is off to Exeter College to study drama, history, English literature at A level and a Btec in music performance and hopes to go to university.

Chloe Montgomery gained five A* and six As, Kesiah Moss two A* and nine As, and Rosie Sinclair got one A* and 10 As.

Charlotte Hall (two A*), Kate Jellyman (four A*), Saffron Roberts (one A*) and Lucinda Mack all achieved 10 A grades.

Will Murrell got nine As, seven starred, and Katy Higgs, Georgia Reading and Gemma Clapp gained five, three and two A* respectively from their haul of nine A grades.

Mr Birch said: "There have been some outstanding performances by our most able students, but the reason for the improvement this year lies in the performance of students across the ability range.

"This is seen in a marked improvement in the average points score per student. There has also been a remarkable rise in students gaining five good grades, including English and Maths, which is increasingly how results are judged.

"We will not be complacent, however. The college can, and will, go on from strength to strength and I am sure Jeremy Roberts (new principal) and his staff will look at these results very closely to see how they could be even better next year.

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