Harrogate Grammar School

After months of uncertainty, students celebrate GCSE grades

20 August 2020

Students have been celebrating in North Yorkshire, as they received their final GCSE grades following months of uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.

Hundreds of students in the county today learnt their final GCSE results, based on the results their teachers felt students would have achieved if this summer’s exams had taken place. Those that received higher calculated grades from the exam boards have retained those as their final results.


Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services said: “We hope students today can take a moment to celebrate all their achievements after what has been a difficult few months.


“They’ve shown great resilience in overcoming the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and we hope today’s results mean they can now move on to the next phase of their lives with confidence.”


Teachers in the county went to considerable lengths to produce the most accurate assessed grades for student including looking at mock exam results, portfolios and coursework, as well as homework and classwork.


Tom Kelly, Headteacher at Bedale High School said: “The process we went through at this school in assessing student grades was a really rigorous and thorough one to make sure the students have the grades that they deserve and the grades they had the potential to get.


“Back at the start of April and end of March, we went through a six week process of checking all our teacher predictions against things like the mock exam performances, classwork and extended writing.


“We also took into account a range of factors and then carried out rigorous internal moderation activities to ensure consistency between teachers, classes and subjects. So it’s been a really rigorous process.


“Despite the fact students haven’t been able to sit exams this summer, we are confident that students have a set of grades provided by their teachers who know then so well that reflect their hard work.”


Malton School’s Headteacher, Rob Williams, said set against the difficult circumstances of the last few months, now was the moment to celebrate the achievement of young people and say well done.


He said: “I am delighted for this group of students that the government has taken action to remove the uncertainty and confusion faced by their counterparts receiving A-Levels grades last week. They deserve great praise for all that they have achieved and I am very proud of them.”


Principal of Selby High School, Nick Hinchliffe, said: “This has been such an unusual year and I’m so proud of how our students have dealt with the situation, and absolutely delighted to see so many smiling faces this morning as students celebrate their achievements.


“I wish everybody the best of luck in the future.”


North Yorkshire’s adult learners are also celebrating another year of excellent GCSE results. This is the eighth year that North Yorkshire County Council’s Adult Learning and Skills Service has offered a comprehensive range of GCSE English and maths courses, with more than 600 adult learners signing up for the free Maths and English courses with the service every year.


In GCSE Maths, an outstanding 95 per cent of learners achieved a grade 9 to 4, of which 2 achieved the highest possible grade 9.  Results for GCSE English saw 100 per cent achieving a grade 9 to 4.


BTEC results have been delayed after exam board, Pearson, announced yesterday it would re-grade BTECs in line with GCSEs and A-levels after saying they had become concerned about potential unfairness in relation to the GCSE and A-level results. The grades were due to be issued today (Thursday). Students will be notified when the re-graded results are due to be released.


School leavers who received their A or AS level results last Thursday are also currently being reissued with their teacher assessed grades, unless the calculated results they received from the exam boards were higher, in which case, they will also remain their grades, following the Government and Ofqual announcement this week.


The Government has removed temporary student number controls which had been introduced for the coming academic year, to help students progress to higher education, but schools in North Yorkshire will continue to provide support to A-level students still in need of advice or support on their university applications.


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