CELEBRATING pupils at Crompton House School have spoken about the unprecedented challenges faced while studying for their GCSEs throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Year 11 youngsters returned to school today to discover how they fared in the first exams sat since 2019.
And the nervous opening of envelopes was followed by many smiling faces at the results.
Of approximately 220 students, 26 percent achieved all grades seven to nine (national average 26.3), 67 percent recorded all grades five to nine with 83 percent (73.2 national average) achieving all grades four to nine.
Holly Schofield from Shaw received eight 8’s and two sevens and will now enrol at Crompton House Sixth Form with a future ambition to study medicine.
“It was at tough at first, especially before we started doing online classes,” said Holly. “It was all down to me to make sure I was revising.
“When you got back into school you had missed big topics and had to catch up further down the line.
“At times you were supposed to revising but we were still learning. A lot of learning is from being in the presence of someone, but it was basically reading a text book and learning it.”
Harry Wainwright from Royton celebrated four 9’s, three 8’s and two 7’s.“I did well in my mocks but I was still a bit shocked when I got the nines,” he admitted.
“Going into the exams everyone was a bit stressed because of how much learning we had missed. It felt unfair we had to sit exams at the end of it.
“But we did sit them and everyone I have spoken to so far have done well and got what they wanted,” added Harry who is also staying at Crompton House.
Zara Rustidge from Greenfield, who will now switch to Blue Coat to further her ambition of getting into medicine, spoke of the necessity to be self-motivated in order to succeed.
“At times, I found it hard because there was no one there to support you and make you do the work,” she explained.
“When it is online, it is your choice to log on and do it or just ignore it because there was no one to check it.”
The dedication of Zara, a former St Mary’s C of E School pupil, was rewarded with seven 9’s from her 10 subjects. Her results were bettered only by Danica Niala who scored eight, nines and two eights.
Evie Buckley from Shaw will return to Crompton House in September to study English Literature, History and Psychology.
After collecting her grades ranging from five to nine she said: “They are better than I expected.
“This last year has been easier but it was still hard to catch up on everything and that created a lot of worries for exams. But it all sorted itself in the end.”
Cosby Uwadia from Chadderton (7,7,7,7,6,6,6,6,5) described himself “happy with my results. I thought I might get a bit higher but I am still pleased.
“Covid did impact us a lot and we missed out on a lot of learning. We had to revise much harder than usual and I think it took a toll on the grades.”
Anya Ferguson from Littleborough achieved six 9’s in her 10 subjects. “They are so much higher than I expected so I am really happy. I was only predicted to get six in maths and I got an eight!
Another Saddleworth pupil, Amy Jakeman from Springhead, was also in high spirits after her five 9’s, four 8’s and a 7.
“They are a lot better than expected so I am really impressed,” smiled Amy who has eyes on a career in law after doing A Levels at Crompton House.
“There has been a lot of disruption over the last two years but I am really happy.”
Ellie Barnes, who has designs on becoming a Royal Navy pilot, will lift off into Sixth Form after five 9’s, two 8’s, two 7’s and a six. “It has been disruptive and it was harder to stay focussed but we caught up quite well in the end.”
GCSEs are now graded 9 to 1 rather than A to E with 9 equivalent to A *and one the lowest. The U grade, meaning “ungraded”, remains the same.
Nationally, the pass rate this year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has fallen since 2021, but remains higher than 2019.
Headteacher Karl Newell said: “It was expected the overall results would be lower than in the last two years, when grades were based entirely on teacher assessments.
“But they were predicted to be higher than in 2019, the last year exams were taken before the pandemic.
“It is therefore pleasing to report Crompton House appears to have bucked the anticipated national trend and has achieved results very similar to 2021, with over 80 percent of pupils achieving a grade 4 or above in both English and Maths.
“The vast majority of subjects show a greater level of attainment compared to 2019 figures and some exceed what they achieved in 2021.
“We look forward to see many of our students return to our Sixth Form in September and to hearing how others have been successful in gaining places on various college courses.”