GCSE students at The Castle School in Thornbury have received their results today.

Of the 245 Year 11 students who completed their courses this summer, the highest achievers overall were Amy Lyons, Richard Usherwood and Eleanor Clark – all of whom obtained a clean sweep of top-grade 9s in 11 different subjects.

Zoe Bonnett obtained 10 Grade 9s, Shona Pattullo obtained nine, while Lauren Morgans, Grace Faulkner, Madeleine Elliott, Faith Holley, Francesca Harrod, Bethany Hyndman and Poppy Jones all obtained at least 10 GCSEs at Grades 9 or 8.

Headteacher Joe Docherty said “I’m so proud of this year-group of students. In March 2020, they were Year 10 students who had just completed a successful week of work experience when we went into lockdown.

"Since then, they have had nothing like a normal pattern of GCSE study – times in school, times at home doing online learning, and many occasions when individual or groups have had to isolate at home.

"They have faced the challenge of studying for qualifications, not knowing for sure how and when they will be assessed. I was so thrilled that we were able to have an outdoor celebration prom for them in July, as they deserved the chance to have fun and celebrate safely together, and I’m even more pleased that we see a normal pattern of results today – meaning that as usual, students can move onto the next steps in their education or training.

“I’ve mentioned some students who achieved the highest grades, but today I’ve enjoyed looking through the results with staff here, and recognising the variety of talents and achievements from all our students.

"These young people are much more than just exam results, and one of the hidden downsides of Covid is that we haven’t been able to see them involved in the normal range of extra-curricular activities.

"We were thrilled to hear that Luke Ball, who obtained an outstanding set of GCSE results, has also just been selected to represent Great Britain at High Jump at Under 18, and I was so pleased to talk to our Learning Support team about the achievements of some of our students with individual health or learning needs, who have had to overcome even bigger hurdles.

"I think the greatest progress of all has been made by students such as Poppy Balkwill and Cailey Rice, both of whom have obtained a great mix of GCSEs and vocational awards and have places at SGS College, and Isla Lanfear, who will be moving into our Sixth Form. Today, we celebrate them, and all our students, and thank teachers and parents/carers for all their support. I can’t wait to see so many of these students starting in our Sixth Form in September.”

Follow our GCSE results live blog here