Anticipation, apprehension and expectation has finally been replaced with celebration and jubilation for many and commiserations for a few as GCSE results day finally arrived.
Years of hard work by pupils and teachers all culminated today in the simple act of opening the white envelope which revealed the grades.
Students arrived early at schools across the Dispatch district to find out their results which will determine their next step in education or beyond.
National Academy continues to go from strength to strength and their latest exam results follow an overall ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted earlier this year which gave particular recognition and high praise for its ‘Outstanding’ leadership and management.
The Annesley Road school opened its doors at 8.30am with pupils eager to discover their results.
Zac Jordan was just one of several high performing pupils who was delighted with his A* in maths, three As and four Bs.
“I’m well happy,” said Zac, who lives in Hucknall. “I think my hard work has paid off and I got the results I had hoped for.”
Fellow class-mate, Jacob Day, picked up his results before going to his part-time job at Hucknall Sports. He too was delighted with his accomplishments: “My grades mean I can now take-up the engineering course at West Notts College I have applied for, so I’m really pleased.”
Meanwhile, Jasmine Holton will be entering the world of work on the back of her results when she starts an apprenticeship at a day nursery.
“I’m happy I managed to get a grade C in maths as I had to work really hard and I didn’t want to have to re-sit it,” said Jasmine. “It’s a scary prospect going to work but a job in childcare is what I have always wanted to do.“
National principal, Simon Jones, said his school’s English and maths results were a particular highlight: “We are delighted with our impressive results in these key subjects and we have much to celebrate across the rest of the curriculum too.”
National hit their target with 66 per cent of students achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and maths. Despite the result being lower than last year’s 68 per cent, Mr Jones said this was down to the cohort.
“Results in 2014 were actually one per cent off target but this year we have achieved target and could in fact exceed it.
“These results reflect the hard work by both students and staff over a long period and are not simply pulled out of the bag at the last minute.
“Without doubt it’s been a great year and the next challenge is already in view: we’ve built a reputation that we’re proud of and we will ensure that year on year we live up to it.”
Exam results also come hot on the heels of Holgate’s recent Ofsted inspection which gave the Hillcrest Drive school a ‘Good’ rating in all areas.
The academy has continued their upward trend with reports of record-breaking maths results this year.
“We have continued to build on the success of previous years and I’m delighted with our best ever maths grades,” said principal, Neil Holmes. “It sums up the hard work of staff and pupils and also the parental support given.”
Cameron Storer of Bestwood Village achieved an A* in maths together with Fallon Gunn of Ilkeston who were both delighted with their top grades.
“Maths is my favourite subject and although I find it easier than other subjects, I still had to work hard with lots of revision to get the grade I wanted,” said Cameron.
Fallon was ecstatic with her A* too and said attending the after school revision workshops had certainly paid off. She added: “I cried when I saw my maths mark. I’m still in shock.”
English results at Holgate have given cause for concern though. Mr Holmes added: “Along with a number of other schools we have concerns about the volatility of the English results and will be asking the exam board to review them.”
Bulwell Academy welcomed inspectors too this year who decided the school had made significant improvements to take it out of the ‘special measures’ category and into ‘Good’.
Bulwell will also be challenging some of their exam results so did not want to release their overall percentage mark stating ‘volatility and turbulence in exam boards’.
Principal Paul Halcro said: “We believe that secondary education is in a state of turbulence following significant changes to GCSEs.
“We are hearing that many schools are seeing a drop in the results and we are no exception to this. Whilst some subjects have seen significant improvements, including mathematics, others have been affected by changes to grade boundaries.”
Many students picking up their results today were nothing but supportive of the school.
Courtney Henson is now planning to stay on in the sixth form have achieving her target grades. She said: “All the extra revision has been worth it.”
Friend Megan Scaddon said it was the supportive staff who helped her achieve: “We have had Saturday morning sessions and after school revision which has really helped. The teachers have put in a lot of extra effort and could not have done more for us.”
Nationally the proportion of A* to C grades rose to 69 per cent, up from 68.8 per cent last year, but A* grades fell by 0.1 percentage points.