It was smiles all round at the area’s three secondary schools today (Thursday) as students celebrated some outstanding GCSE results.
And staff, pupils and parents at Horncastle’s Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and Banovallum School - and the Barnes Wallis Academy in Tattershall - certainly had plenty to celebrate.
QEGS is again riding high in the rankings, Banovallum registered its best results for four years and Barnes Wallis Academy its best results in a ‘generation.’
Students and staff at Barnes Wallis were praised for their efforts.
The academy, which is part of the David Ross Education Trust, has now seen the number of students achieving the key benchmark of 5 A*-C including maths and English, rocket from 32% to 66% in the last academic year alone.
In addition, more than double the number of students have achieved A*-C in both English and maths (33% to 67%). The proportion of students making at least good progress also significantly exceeded the national average with 90% in English and 79% in maths.
David Lancaster, Executive Principal, said: “Across every measure our students and staff have set new standards for Barnes Wallis Academy. They can rightly hold their heads up high knowing that they have helped the academy achieve its best set of results in over a generation.
“Barnes Wallis is now a place where high academic standards are matched by the personal best ethos which ensures a warm and welcoming community.”
Among the students celebrating was Sarah Dickson who said: “I’ve been here since Year 7 and the transformation over the last couple of years has been incredible. I’ve had so much support and encouragement, I’m sad to be leaving but looking forward to the next challenge.”
Charlotte Clark, who was celebrating with her mum Sandy, said: “I’m speechless. I was so worried about getting the grade I needed in maths, and this is beyond what I ever dreamed of. I worked so hard and I can’t thank my teachers enough for their support.”
It was the same story at Banovallum where staff reported outstanding results in their first year as part of joint Academy status with QEGS.
Headteacher Nicki Shore was keen to praise the dedication and hard work of all students.
Ms Shore said: “Although the results and outcome will ultimately be reported differently this year and comparisons are very difficult to make in a period of change, we can confidently say at this stage that we have seen a return to our ambitious targets.
“I am extremely proud to be able to lead such a vibrant and committed team of staff and students and we join parents of our Year 11s in feeling great pride at the results this year.”
Ms Shore pointed to the determination of students like Jake Harris who left Banovallum a year ago with a disappointing grade in English but returned to worked with her to achieve a B grade.
She also mentioned Rebekah Zacharova, who achieved three A* and seven A grades despite having only joined the school in Year 9 and working in her second language.
At QEGS, Heather Payne, Headteacher commented: “Our Year 11 students have enjoyed success again this year with results of which they can be extremely proud.
“Over 40% of the year group gained 5 or more grades at A or A*; just over 70% of students earned their English Baccalaureate.
“Excellent GCSE results do not happen by chance and come about through the hard work and commitment of students and staff along with unfailing support from home.
“Special mention should be made of Sophie Bryant, Eleanor English, Charlotte James, Oliver Jones, Gaurav Kakkar, Umair Khan, Vaibhav Mahajan, Danielle Miles and Hattie Needham who achieved A or A* in all eleven of their GCSEs.
”In addition, Ioan Clarke, Katie Ennis, Karan Gupta, Anna Hutton, Rayna Koshy, Ciaran McCulloch, Maya Nelstrop and Layla Sultan did exactly the same in ten of their eleven GCSEs.
“It goes without saying that we are tremendously proud of every one of our students and for the fantastic contribution this year group made to the wider life of the school.
“We are looking forward to welcoming many of them back in the Sixth Form in September.”
*Don’t forget, there will be more coverage of the GCSE results in the Horncastle News next Wednesday.