Thornbury students buck the national trend with top GCSE results
WHILE schools across the country bore the brunt of more demanding exams and tougher marking, Thornbury students escaped unscathed achieving glowing results once again this year.
Castle School pupils' tremendous efforts paid off with 77 per cent awarded A* to C grades and 59 students receiving at least seven A* or As in their GCSEs exams generally.
A total of 28 per cent of all grades awarded were A* and As.
One of the school's highest performers was Ellie Hunter, from Thornbury, who scored nine A* and two As. With harder science papers and a major fall in top scores predicted in the subjects, the 16-year-old told the Gazette she was surprised to find she had bucked the trend.
"I was not expecting to do so well," she said. "I heard that the grades were quite a lot lower this year and I was worried. I've just about stopped shaking."
She will be studying biology, chemistry, maths and geology at the sixth form centre next year in the hope of being accepted to a top university to read medicine.
Her classmate 16-year-old Ewan McLachlan, also from Thornbury, received nine A*s and two As. He is contemplating a career in geology or engineering.
"It was a bit of a shock," he said. "I didn't know what I was going to get. I'm really pleased."
The initial feelings of relief and excitement soon turned to exhaustion after countless sleepless nights.
Jack Hayman, 16, from Thornbury, who achieved seven A*s, three As and three Bs, told the Gazette: "I did pretty well. I did better in some exams. I'm going to go home and sleep. I'm really tired in general."
This was also a record year for pupils sitting the English Baccalaureate as 45 per cent scored highly in the examination's English, maths, science, modern languages and humanities papers.
Head teacher Melanie Warnes said: "We are extremely proud of all of our students.
"At a time when employers and government are quite rightly emphasising performance in English and maths, Castle is pleased that 81 per cent of students achieved at least a C in English and 74 per cent in maths."
She added: "It is a real high-pressure time for students because of what is happening nationally. But I'm really pleased that once again we held our own and did very well."
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