For the second year in a row, Dartmouth Academy students have raised the bar and are celebrating a record set of results. In the government’s headline measure of the percentage of students gaining a C grade or above in both English and Maths, the school raised its score of 53% in 2016 to 65% this year.
‘Two years ago, when I was first appointed as Principal, I asked everyone at Dartmouth if we could “lift the lid” and last year, we were all delighted when our Year 11 pupils did just that, achieving the best ever GCSE results in the school’s history. Clearly they had set this year’s GCSE pupils quite a challenge, especially as they had to contend with the first year of the government’s much tougher English and Maths exams. Pupils, parents and teachers all knew the exams this year were going to be harder, but the class of 2017 did not just lift the lid - they smashed it! We cannot be happier for such a wonderful group of individuals who had a terrific final year, and who deserved to finish so strongly. They really have been their best selves all year!’ said Tina Graham.
Individual achievements include Charlotte Flavell and Jonah Hughes. Both just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime month-long school trip volunteering in the jungles of Borneo to discover that all their hard work and commitment to their studies had paid off with a string of A and A* grades. Charlotte achieved three A*s, four A grades, two 8 grades (A* equivalent) and a 7 (A grade equivalent), while Jonah celebrated five A*s, an A, a 7 (A equivalent), an 8 (A* equivalent) and then went one better with the new 9 grade for Maths – this is an A**!
Matthew Bakewell, Deputy Head, said, ‘The overall results are tremendous, and I am particularly pleased for some of our more able pupils. I cannot be happier for those such as Jonah, Charlotte or Saul Beck, who achieved A*s in Computing and Science, Georgia Hammoudeh-Webb, with five A grades plus an 8, or Jenna Thompson and Katie Stevens, who both achieved five A grades plus 9s in English Language. Through hard work and application, these pupils have now given themselves the choice of the top universities in two years’ time. These results are also testament to our bespoke teaching; in small classes and tailored to individual needs, it challenges, supports and stretches all our pupils.’
Jenna Thompson said, ‘I’m really proud of myself because I pushed myself to revise and work hard. It just shows that hard work pays off!’
Kieron Skinner said, ‘I’m really happy with my English result. If I’d revised more, I’d have done even better, but I’m really happy. I wasn’t expecting it in a million years!’
Beth Pyne said, ‘I’ve really enjoyed my time at Dartmouth. I was really nervous about my results but I did better than expected and I’m really happy now.’
Not only were the exams much more difficult this year, but the new 9-1 grades in English and Maths mean that pupils will have a mix of letters and numbers on their results slips. Although the new numbers do not have direct equivalents to the old grades, in order to allow the government to make year-on-year comparisons of schools, the old headline measure of the percentage of pupils achieving A*-C grades in both English and Maths is directly comparable to the percentage of pupils now achieving grade 4 or above in English and Maths. This year at Dartmouth, that combined figure is 65%, with 73% scoring a 4 or above in Maths and 78% scoring a 4 or above in English, which is above the national average.