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Waiting over for Bromley youngsters as they receive their GCSE results

PUBLISHED: 12:50 25 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 26 August 2016

Bromley High pupils

Bromley High pupils

Archant

National figures show a fall in top grades and a widening of the 'gender gap'

Youngsters across the borough received their GCSE results today as national figures showed a steep decline in the number achieving top grades.

St Olave’s Grammar School celebrated an ‘excellent’ year of results, with 84 per cent of entries graded A* or A and half of results at A*.

Top performers were twins Ammar and Zeeshan Kisat, who achieved 23 A*s and one A between them.

Headmaster Aydin Onac expressed his delight at the results, extending his warmest congratulations to the students and their families, and commending the staff for their dedication and the many extra hours of support they put in.

Pupils at Newstead Wood School also excelled, with 80 per cent of results graded at A* or A and 45 per cent A*.

Six students achieved A* grades in all subjects, and 45 achieved all A* and A grades.

Headteacher Nick Webb commented: “A huge congratulations to all of our students on a superb set of GCSE results.

“Eighty per-cent A*-A is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly proud of all of our students. We look forward to seeing them all in September as they embark on their A-level studies with us.”

At Harris Academy, Beckenham, four out of five pupils (80 per cent) achieved A*-C grades in both English and maths - a significant increase on last year’s 66 per cent figure.

Rebecca Hickey, executive principal of the academy, said: “I am absolutely delighted with this year’s results. Since we opened in 2011, it has been our aim to continuously improve and grow and we have seen wonderful progress.

“Our students’ success is well deserved. Their teachers will attest to the fact that they have demonstrated superb resilience and resourcefulness in the run-up to these exams and I am glad to say that it shows in their results.”

Harris Girls Academy, Bromley, hailed a ‘strong set’ of results, with 65 per cent of students obtaining A*-C grades in English and maths, and 40 per cent achieving the demanding Ebacc.

Both of these results are higher than last year’s.

Principal David Astin said: “I am delighted to see our GCSE results going from strength to strength. Our students have been working so hard to prepare for these very important exams and it is great to see that work paying off. In particular, I am very pleased to see girls doing so well in the demanding Ebacc.

“I know their academic achievements will stand them in good stead and look forward to seeing our students continue to thrive when they study towards their A Levels.”

At Bromley High School, a third of girls obtained nine or ten A*-A grades.

Student Maddie Brolly, who achieved ten A*s, commented: “I couldn’t be more thrilled and am so grateful for all the wonderful teaching and support.”

At Babington House School, the percentage of all GCSE grades from A* to C was 91 per cent, with almost a quarter of those grades being A* or A.

Some 93 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades - an increase of 18 per cent on last year.

The Priory School, Orpington, celebrated an 11 per cent rise in the number of pupils achieving five A*-C grades including English and maths.

A spokesperson for the school said: “This improvement in performance is down to the commitment and hard work of the students and staff.

“This has been achieved in a climate of more challenging GCSE and A level qualifications.”

Hayes School also saw an improvement on last year’s performance, with 78 per cent of pupils achieving A*-C in English and maths.

One third of grades awarded were A*-A, while 21 students obtained ten or more grades at A*-A.

Principal SJ Whittle commented: “As with the success of the Olympics these results are the culmination of years of hard work and commitment by the students and great teaching and support of the Hayes staff and parents.”

On a national level, more than two-thirds of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (66.9 per cent) were awarded A*-C - a 2.1 percentage point drop on the previous year and the steepest fall since the GCSE was introduced in 1988.

The gap in performance between boys and girls grew by 0.5 per cent, with 71.3 per cent of girls’ entries awarded at least a C grade, compared with 62.4 per cent of boys’.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Education and Employment Research, said the drop in A*-C grades was unexpected.

He said: “A*-C grades rose continuously from 1988 to 2011; since then the major fall has been from 2012 to 2013, down 1.3 percentage points from 69.8 to 68.1.

“The fall this year is larger than might have been expected.

“There was the increase of 34 per cent in those having to take English and maths again because they fell below a C grade first time, and the standards were held high.

“But I suspect it may also have something to do with this being the last year of the existing maths and English syllabuses, and some schools concentrating on the new syllabuses which they are already teaching for next year’s exams.”

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