Wait finally over as mid Norfolk students collect 'exceptional' GCSE results
PUBLISHED: 16:39 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 22 August 2019
Reepham High School and College
Students across mid-Norfolk have been jumping for joy as they picked up their GCSE results.
An anxious walk into exam halls and classrooms was followed by elation and tears - some of joy, others of sadness - as 16-year-olds finally got their hands on those all-important results envelopes.
For many it signalled the end of one journey and the start of another, with exciting opportunities at colleges and rewarding apprenticeships on the horizon.
Chris Smith, headteacher at Dereham Neatherd High School, was jubilant as students notched 73pc grades 9 to 4 in English and maths - a 5pc improvement on last year.
"We were faced with a lot of challenges in this year group with various mental health issues and illnesses, so we were obviously concerned that might impact on results," said Mr Smith.
"But the students and staff have worked exceptionally hard, parents have been so supportive, and ultimately that's led to an exceptional set of results."
"The foundations began when they started in year 7, when we began working very hard on discipline and having the right attitude towards their work, and we can see that paying off year after year - so it's onwards and upwards."
At Northgate High, in Dereham, students achieved 63pc and Zoë Galley - head of school alongside Duncan Hone - highlighted the focus on students overcoming the odds to succeed.
She said: "We're really pleased and also proud of our pupils because they've done brilliantly from their starting points and seeing their smiling faces today makes it all worthwhile.
"There's been five years of hard work, dedication and teenage issues that invariably come up, and to see the culmination of that is brilliant.
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"You have to remember these are their first independently marked public exam since primary school. Students sometimes doubt themselves along the way and today is great for their self-esteem because it's proof they really can do it."
Students, parents and staff were in celebratory mood at Litcham School as 65pc achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths.
"Everyone has a lot to be proud of," said headteacher Robert Martlew. "Year 11 students are celebrating another set of strong exam results and we would like to congratulate every single one of them on their individual successes.
"These results are testament to the hard work of our students and staff, and the fantastic support they receive at home."
Richard Evans, principal at Fakenham Academy, emphasised that there was more to school than exam results after 57pc of students came away with grades 9 to 4 in English and maths.
He said: "Results don't always show how much more confidence some of our students have, and how they will be leaving with good qualifications and life experiences too.
"We have plenty of students who aren't destined for university, who have achieved passes today when they didn't think they would."
After 60pc of students at Reepham High School came away with at least grade 4 in English and maths, headteacher Tim Gibbs said: "Congratulations to our Year 11 students on receiving their GCSE results today.
"These results are a testament to the hard work and commitment of our students, as well as the support and guidance given by parents and staff. We wish our class of 2018 every success in their future studies."
Over in Swaffham, Sacred Heart said it was "delighted" with a huge leap from 57pc to 93pc considering the school was faced with closure last month.
Nicholas Hamond saw 47% of its students achieve at least a grade 4 in English and maths, a 1pc improvement on last year.