Congratulations to young people in Knowsley who have been collecting GCSE results this morning.
With the national news telling students that the number of passes would be lower than in the past few years due to a revert back to pre-pandemic grading, students and families were feeling understandably anxious as they opened their envelopes.
But despite this, Knowsley actually saw a slight increase (of just over 3%) in the number of students achieving a ‘good’ pass in both maths and English (Grade 4 and above) or a ‘strong’ pass in both subjects (Grade 5 and above), when compared to 2019.
And there was much to celebrate in schools up and down the borough, as pupils discovered their own results and made plans for their next steps.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “It’s wonderful to hear so many success stories from schools across Knowsley today – and to see so many young people delighted with their achievements and looking forward to their next steps.
“Congratulations to the Class of 2023 on their results. You now have a wealth of opportunities to choose from – whether that be further studies at A Level, T Level or a BTEC, or seeking the first step on a career ladder through an apprenticeship.
“My thanks, as always, go to the teachers, school staff and families for the hard work and support you’ve given the young people, which is invaluable.”
One of the schools bucking the national trend in Knowsley is Halewood Academy, where the number of pupils gaining a good pass in both maths and English was up an impressive 8% on 2019’s results. They also saw an increase in the number of pupils gaining strong passes in both subjects.
Halewood Academy also has many outstanding individual achievements to report. Top achievers included Keira McDonald, Bailey Reid, Jemima Doyle, Ellie Cunningham, Chloe Emakpor, Riley Broadhurst, Jonty Fisher and Edward Kneale.
Overall, Halewood Academy’s results showed a significant improvement form the last full set of exams in 2019 – and even when compared to 2022. This is a fantastic achievement given the national picture of a decline in grades to bring results back to pre-pandemic levels.
Keira McDonald was the top performer at Halewood Academy, achieving 9 GCSEs with a fantastic seven Grade 9s in Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Maths, Physics and Spanish and two 8s in Biology and Physical Education. Keira now plans to continue her studies at Carmel College, where she will study A Level Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
Halewood Academy student Bailey Reid also did extremely well in his suite of subjects, receiving Grade 9s in Chemistry, History and Physics and Grade 8s in Biology and Maths. All his other chosen subjects were awarded strong passes and Bailey is now off to study A Levels at Cronton College.
Many other students have made excellent progress whilst at Halewood Academy, with the school’s top 5 students being Mary McDonald, Chloe Emakpor, Chloe O’Neill, Alfie Hartley and Bobby Williams. Mary and Chloe exceeded their target grade in every single subject, reflecting their hard work and dedication to their studies.
The Academy is also celebrating an improvement in the number of students achieving passes in both maths and English; meanwhile Combined Science pass rates continue to improve. Spanish, History and Geography show a significant upward trend and GCSE PE, Sports Science, Business and Enterprise, Child Development and Care and Health and Social continue to perform well.
Ian Critchley, Principal at Halewood Academy said, “I am very pleased with this set of results and look forward to continued improvement at the school for the benefit of the whole community.
“I feel proud that our hard-working students have been rewarded with a positive set of results – I look forward to hearing of their continued success; I wish them well for their next steps.
“Our whole school community are very proud of the achievements of the Class of 2022 and wish them the very best in all future ventures.”
Celebrations at Alt Bridge
There were also fantastic achievements by pupils at Alt Bridge – an outstanding specialist provision.
Among the high achievers were Gabriel Haydon, who gained a 6 in English Language and 5 in Maths.
Liam Loughlin achieved 6 in English Language and 4 in Maths.
Daniel Wood achieved 6 in English Language and 5 in Maths.
And Matthew Fearon scored 8 in English Literature and 5 in Maths (a grade 8 in English being the highest ever achieved at Alt Bridge… fantastic work Matthew!
The Prescot School
Students at the Prescot School, part of The Heath Family Multi-Academy Trust, were full of smiles today as they celebrated a great set of GCSE results.
Average grades across most subjects have exceeded those secured in 2019, the last comparable set of data, including in English Literature, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish and French.
Head of School, Gina Cousineau, said: “We are so incredibly proud of our students. Their hard work and commitment has paid off, and is even more meaningful when you consider the disruption and personal challenges they have each faced over the last few years due to Covid.
“A huge thank you must go to all our staff who really went the extra mile to support our GCSE students with revision sessions, creative teaching techniques and keeping everyone’s spirits up. The amazing results we’ve seen today are also a testament to their dedication. Their smiles are as big as the students!”
Among the smiling faces were those students who have secured a host of top grades. These included:
- Katja – Three Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and four Grade 7s. Katia was once of the school’s highest achievers with regard to progress and attainment scores as well
- Matthew – Three Grade 8s, three Grade 7s, two Grade 6s and a L2 Distinction*
- Jessica – Two Grade 9s, two Grade 8s, 1 Grade 7 and four Grade 6s
- Zara – One Grade 9, two Grade 8s, three Grade7s and three Grade 6s
Zara has been juggling her GCSEs with representing her country as a Lioness, playing for England in the Women’s Under 17 EUFA European Finals in Estonia. Zara played in every match and the team made it to the semi-finals.
Katja said after opening her results: “I feel really good! It feels like all my hard work has paid off. The school has taught me really well, encouraged me to work harder and really supported us with our revision. Katja will now study History, Law and Politics A-Levels next, with the ultimate aim of becoming a lawyer.
Gina Cousineau added: “While it is easy to just look at those students who have secured the top grades, at every level there have been students who have overcome challenges, exceeded expectations and shown what amazing young people they are.
Hoàng is a student from Vietnam who joined the school halfway through Year 11. Despite initially speaking no English at all, he is celebrating a Grade 7 in Maths today.
Jess was really nervous this morning but can breathe a sigh of relief now she’s got her results, especially her 9 in Drama. She said of the school: “The teachers here are so passionate about helping you. They’ve made me want to go into teaching myself – over the past year especially, specific teachers have inspired me by seeing how much they’ve achieved and how they’ve supported me and changed my mindset, it’s made me want to be able to do that for someone else.”
Wiktor was feeling very happy with his results, especially his grade in Polish. He said the school helped to push him to accomplish a lot and his advice to others is: “Revise, revise, revise – and don’t stress!”
Kirkby High School
Head teacher of Kirkby High School, Mrs Anna Dobson, said: “As grading returns to pre-pandemic standards, we are pleased with our results and there are many improvements across multiple subjects. Today is about our wonderful students. We offer them our warmest congratulations and wish them well for the next stage of their journey.”
Among the highest achieving pupils at Kirkby High School were:
- Alexander Rogers – who scored one Grade 9, two Grade 8s, four Grade 7 and two Grade 6.
- Grace Henderson – who gained three Grade 8s, three Grade 7s and three Grade 6s.
- Casey Magee-Lindop – who achieved two Grade 8s, three Grade 7s, three Grade 6s, one Grade 5.
- Sonny Meddings – who got three Grade 7s, four Grade 6s, one Grade 5, one Grade 4.
- Kai Chambers – who picked up one Grade 9, one Grade 8, two Grade 6s, three Grade 5s, one Grade 4.
Lord Derby Academy
Victoria Gowan, Headteacher at Lord Derby Academy (LDA) said: “The LDA Year 11 pupils have risen to the additional challenges they have faced as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first time since 2019 that pupils’ examination outcomes have not been amended to take account of the impact of the pandemic.
“We are so proud of each individual pupil who has contributed to 2023 GCSE outcomes at LDA. A number of pupils have achieved Grade 9s in a range of subjects at LDA, including in English, French, mathematics, science and art. Many pupils have made exceptional progress from their starting points. Congratulations to all of them.
She added: “I would like to thank parents and carers for all the support they have given to LDA throughout our five years together. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside them in partnership to provide wrap-around care for their child.
“I would also like to thank The Dean Trust, Knowsley Local Authority, school governors and the LDA staff for their unwavering commitment to our pupils. Their support has played an invaluable role in supporting pupils to perform to the best of their ability.
“I wish the LDA Year 11 2023 cohort all the very best for the future. I am certain pupils will build on their school experience and go on to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations.”
All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby
The school said it had been a “fantastic morning” as their Year 11s collected GCSE results. They said: “We are so proud of all of you and wish you every success in your futures.”