Record breaking results

25 August 2016


Penryn College celebrates ‘Gold Medal’ GCSE success for students

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Students at Penryn College had their own ‘Olympic’ golden moment today, celebrating results which far outstripped every other year in total number of passes, number of A* and A grades and range of subjects.   The 2016 year group proved that they are real all-rounders, gaining superb GCSE results on top of impressive personal, creative and sporting achievements.

Marie Hunter, Headteacher, said, ‘We are so proud of our young people, not only because they have studied hard and achieved their academic potential, but because they have also taken a lead in so many other ways.  They are an inspirational year group, and brilliant role models for our younger students.  I am sure we are applauding Cornwall’s leaders and Olympians of tomorrow! Why not?’

The College is delighted that students of all abilities, regardless of their starting point, have made really exceptional progress since Year 7.  Nearly three-quarters of the students made even more progress than expected by government standards.  Progress and pass rates in English, Maths and Science have gone up – a huge 83% of students achieved A*- C in pass in English.  Boys, too, are winners this year, beating last year’s boys with a 22% increase in A-C passes. Over half of all students, 121 young people in total, gained at least one A* or A grade, demonstrating that a gold standard of success is attainable for many.  46 young people gained 5 or more A/A* grades, 14 of whom were awarded more than 10 A*/As.  Overall, more than 70% of all students, including those with special needs, gained English and Maths at grades C and above –  continuing the upward trend in results.

 Many of these high-achieving students, as well as coping with the pressures of preparing for GCSE exams, have also demonstrated real commitment to other activities: for example, Benno Marstaller, member of the Great Britain sailing team and 14 A/A*s; Mark Pearson – tennis coach for younger pupils and 9 A*/As; Ben Sharp, captain of Cornwall’s Under 16 Rugby team and 6 A*/As; Tyde D’ Souza, Youth National Champion in MTB cycling and 11 A*/As; role models Bertie Duncan, Head Boy with 10 A*/As  and Hannah Barlow, Head Girl with 14 A*/As; Lilla Hall (9 A*/As) a performer in Cornwall Youth ensembles, playing five instruments;  Amy Campbell (9 A*/As), a published author and senior prefect who ran sports leadership programmes for younger pupils.

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Other students deserving special mention are: Cameron Wilson (13 A*/As), Calvin Barker, Mia Fulcher, Megan Glover, Eve Miller (12 A*/As); Freya Dibble, Jack Lushington, Mhairi Macleod, Rosie Matthews, Hayden Stone (11 A*/As); Hannah Eggleton, Rebecca Grove, Emille Hopkins – all with 10 A*/A grades or more.  Stand-out students who have made incredible amounts of progress since Year 6 include Elke Diggle, Dan Peck and Charlie Dixon-Phillips.  Every one of the eight young people in Year 11 with Statements of Educational Need achieved at least 6 GCSE passes; three out of four students with highly complex needs gained qualifications.

Henry Preston, Chair of Governors, reflected, ‘This is exactly what the College does superbly – producing well-rounded young adults who will go on to contribute to their communities – it makes the hard work of staff and governors so rewarding.’

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Head Boy, Bertie Duncan said, “I ‘m really pleased – I got 100% in three of my science papers and that matters because I want to be a doctor.” Parents, too, expressed their delight. Dr Judy Duckworth, mum of Izzy Classey, who gained 8 A*/A GCSE passes, praised the “positivity” of staff and Mrs Bennett, (Rosie May-Bennett: 12 A/A* passes) identified the way students have been encouraged to work collaboratively as a factor in their success.

Behind this kind of GCSE success is a long journey which starts in Year 7 with a sharp focus by all staff on leadership opportunities, literacy, and learning beyond the classroom. The College has worked alongside parents to increase attendance rates and has valued their support for a change in the school day which protects the wide range of subjects on offer at GCSE. Just like this year’s Olympic medallists, students at Penryn College know that hard work, the right guidance and great support from family brings personal success.

Marie Hunter