Celebrating students at Cramlington Learning Village defied the pre-results pessimism as they delivered a stack of top grades.
Despite two years of disrupted education due to the pandemic – and no previous experience of taking exams – the school said the students’ performance was “exceptional”, contributing to one of CLV’s best-ever results.
Seventeen-year-old James Dunn had a clean sweep of A* in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics. Sophie Coaker, 18, also got the top grades in her subjects: Biology, Chemistry and Spanish.
James – who is going to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sheffield – said: “I was hoping for the best, but preparing for a bit of a shock as well. Obviously the news recently has been quite negative, but when I opened the envelope it was just crazy.” After his four year course James hopes to work for one of the big aerospace companies or a Formula 1 racing team.
Sophie said she was relieved: “Honestly, I didn’t know how it was going to go with all the news about how the grade boundaries were going to be raised. I’m sad to leave after seven years but really excited about doing something different.” She is heading off to Manchester University to study Biology with Spanish.
The school’s co-Headteachers Jon Bird and Kim Irving said: “We are delighted that our students have once more achieved excellent results and are on track for the next stage in their lives.”
They added: “Their performance is exceptional given the disruption to their education due to the pandemic. This has been a year where a reduction in the number of top grades has been forecast by many in the press, therefore we are particularly pleased that so many of our students have achieved the highest grades. In fact, one in five of our students achieved at least three top grades. One of our best-ever years.”
Olivia Pearson received A*s in Biology and Physics and As in Chemistry and Core Maths and has a place at the University of Nottingham to read Biochemistry. “I knew I couldn’t have done more revision so I was hoping for good results,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised, particularly after all the things in the news which was making people panic a lot.” She also reflected on her last two years at school: “Obviously we didn’t finish Year 11 and for a good few months in Year 12 we were online learning, where you don’t take it in as well as face-to-face. The school recovered it really well, though. My teachers were determined to help people catch up and they were always there any time of the day.”
Twins Bethany and Caitlin Monk were waiting for confirmation that they had secured their places on the History course at Newcastle University. Bethany received all As in History, Psychology and Sociology. Caitlin – who was awarded an A in History and Bs in Drama and Sociology – said: “Everything’s been upside down…off school, in school, online school…everything.” After university Caitlin, who is a dance instructor, wants to become a teacher and has been inspired by the staff at Cramlington: “They’ve always made it fun and I want to do that.”
Emma Morgan also praised her teachers: “They’ve been spectacular at A-Level. I just hope my Uni lecturers measure up.” She is going to study Linguistics and History at Newcastle University after receiving two A* grades and an A.
Rachel Wade was waiting for confirmation of her place at Glasgow University to study French and History after gaining As in English, French and History and an A* in her extended project. “The pressure was so intense but I think it would have been different if we’d done our GCSEs,” said Rachel. “The teachers have been incredible. I don’t think I would have done it without them.”