Nerves turned to relief at a Peterlee secondary school when GCSE students tore open their results today [Thursday 24 August]. Students at St Bede’s Catholic School & Byron Sixth Form College, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, are celebrating achieving their GCSEs despite studying through a global pandemic.
Whilst some students haven’t thought beyond college yet, others know exactly what career path they want to take.
Charlene Humphrey, from Wingate, has her sights on becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, having always wanted to be a doctor and is excited about going on to college. The 16-year-old received a Level 2 Distinction in engineering, 6 and 5 in combined science, 6s in religious studies, maths, English language, English literature and geography, and a 5 in Spanish. “I’m feeling really proud of myself because I didn’t do as well in my mocks, I’ve done much better,” said Charlene.
It was a double celebration for twins Isaac and Jacob Smith who are thrilled with their results and are looking forward to starting college in September. “I feel ecstatic with my results,” said Isaac, 16. “I am going to study biology, chemistry and Spanish at college. It’s been a good five years and I can’t wait to start Sixth Form.”
His brother, Jacob, said: “I’m feeling really positive about my results. I’m off to study biology, history and philosophy and ethics. Covid has meant lots of changes, but it’s developed my experience.”
Carrie Brown, from Seaham, was relieved to discover that she had achieved higher grades than she was expecting. “I was a bit nervous this morning, but I did pretty good to be fair,” said the 16-year-old. Carrie received three 9s for biology, chemistry and maths, two 8s, three 7s and two 6s. She is excited to go stay on at Byron Sixth Form College to study A levels in biology, chemistry and maths.
“I wanted to stay on at Byron Sixth Form because it’s a great college,” added Carrie, who is hoping to pursue a career in medicine. “GCSEs have been difficult, but I got through it. I’m going for a meal with my Mam and sister to celebrate and going out with my friends tonight.”
Isabelle Wheeldon, 16, from Seaham, received a 7 in RE, 6s in maths, English language and geography, and 5s in biology, chemistry, physics, Mandarin, Spanish and English literature.
She is “really excited” about going to college to study A levels in geography, psychology and law. “I can’t wait to go on a shopping spree now I can wear what I want,” she added.
Jacob Brown, 16, from Durham, received 7s in biology and chemistry, 6s in RE, history, Mandarin, Spanish, maths and physics, a 5 in English language and a 4 in English literature.
He is happy with his results, which were higher than he expected, especially his English literature mark which he had worried he would fail.
Having missed two to three months of school in the Autumn term following an operation on his foot, he caught up on his studies at home as he was recovering. “I’m going to do chemistry, biology and criminology A levels,” he said. “I want to be a forensic scientist because I think it’s quite an interesting job and every day is never going to be the same.”
Esme Sinclair, 16, achieved 10 passes including three grade 9s and two grade 8s. “I’m feeling brilliant about my results, it’s been really gratifying seeing the years of work pay off,” she said. “Everyone should be extra proud of themselves and their triumphs because of the impacts of covid.”
Headteacher Frances Cessford said: “The resilience and determination of our young people is truly remarkable. Despite the challenges presented due to the pandemic, our students have strived for excellence and their grades are testimony to this. We would like to thank parents, carers and the wider community for their ongoing support in helping our young people reach their full potential. It has been an honour to watch our young people develop into well rounded citizens who will go on to make their mark on the world. While the majority of students will continue their journey with us in Byron Sixth Form College, we wish them all the best of luck with their future endeavours. Special mention to Esme Sinclair, Isaac Smith and Carrie Brown for their fantastic results.”
Nationally, GCSE results have fallen for a second year running with 68.2% of all grades marked at grades 4 and above. The fall in passes is due to England’s plan to bring grades back down after a spike in top results during the Covid pandemic.
In England, GCSEs are now graded using a numerical system from 9 – 1 rather than A – E. Students need a grade 4 for a “strong pass”.
For more information about BCCET, please visit www.bccet.org.uk.
Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.