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Secondary schools across the Unity Schools Partnership have praised the resilience and hard work of GCSE students after they picked up their results today.

Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher at Castle Manor Academy, paid tribute to the year group describing them as “talented, kind, funny and sparky individuals who will go on to great things”.
She added: “Castle Manor students should be extremely proud of their achievements in a very challenging year.
“I would like to offer them my huge congratulations and best wishes for their next steps. I would also like to pay tribute to those around them supporting them to these achievements – teachers, school support staff and parents have all played a huge part in being the team around our young people.”

Vicky Neale, headteacher at County Upper School, said she was delighted to welcome students into school to collect their results alongside their Record of Achievement, following a virtual leavers’ day in June.
She said: “We celebrate the success at GCSE for which students and their teachers worked so hard and which allows them to look forward to the next stage of their education.
“For the majority that will be here in our sixth form and they were already certain of their place. In this exceptional year, we took the decision to give an unconditional offer to all who had applied to study in our sixth form.
“We know our students very well and were confident of their suitability, so we wanted to give them that reassurance. It also meant that they spent last term working with their teachers online and so have a head start on their chosen courses.
I am confident that those leaving us today will have also done well enough to progress to their chosen destination. We wish them well and thank them for their contribution to County Upper School.”

Emma Wilson-Downes, headteacher at Felixstowe Academy, said: “I would like to congratulate our GCSE students and praise their resilience and commitment to achieving their grades in this most unprecedented year. The dedication and hard work shown over the few months will stand them in good stead going forward. I would also like to pay tribute to my staff who have supported them every step of the way throughout lockdown alongside their families during the period of home schooling. I am pleased that common sense has prevailed and that students will now be awarded their Centre Assessed Grades. My staff went through a rigorous grading exercise involving teachers, heads of departments, assistant headteachers and, finally, myself to ensure the final grades were a reflection of everyone’s hard work over the last two years.”

At Newmarket Academy, headteacher Nick Froy said: “We were delighted to welcome back our year 11 students to celebrate with them the results of the hard work they have put in over the last five years.
“This year has been a difficult year for our students. We had very high hopes for this group who have approached the last year with incredible fortitude, good humour and resilience. We are, therefore, very pleased that the students have received recognition of their efforts. “Students got some fantastic results to enable them to go on to colleges and employment opportunities. We are proud of the way the students responded to lockdown and, above all, their reaction on results day.
“Many showed their incredible maturity in expressing their frustration at not being able to prove themselves and demonstrate their abilities in the public exams they had been working towards for so many years.
“We will miss them all and wish them all great success in their futures.”

Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said: “This has been an extremely difficult year for Year 11, with no certainty over how their results would be calculated and no chance for them to influence their grades once schools had closed in March. It’s been a long, nailbiting wait for them so it was wonderful this morning to see their relief as they opened their results. There is no question in my mind that these are the right grades, and I would hate for anyone to think that these results are in any way less valid than in other years. All of the grades we submitted went through a rigorous process of checking involving teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders. This was a hard working year group who took their education seriously and earned the grades they received. These brave young people have had a very disrupted and difficult end to their GCSE year. I want to congratulate them on their resilience and determination. I know I speak for all the staff when I say we could not be more proud of you.”

Trenica King, headteacher at Sybil Andrews Academy, said: “I am delighted to see our students and celebrate their results with them.
“I am also relieved that students have received the higher of either the Centre Assessed Grade or standardised grade as I consider this best represents their achievements.
“I have been extremely proud of how our Year 11 students have coped with this situation and the hard work they have put into their studies prior to lockdown. I wish them all the best in the future. “Students have had a long wait for the results and were finally able to reflect on what they have achieved and focus for their next steps in education or training.
“This has been a very difficult time for our Year 11 students and we pay testament to their hard work and effort which has resulted in the grades they have been awarded these grades.
“We hope that all our students will keep in touch and join us for our Awards Evening in December.”

Thomas Gainsborough School is celebrating many excellent performances in this year’s GCSE results.
Headteacher Wayne Lloyd said “We are delighted to recognise all the hard work and excellence of our Year 11 students.
“We were able to present them with grades that reflect their successes and that are a true reflection on them.
“These have been unprecedented times and it is only right and proper that the class of 2020 should be able to celebrate everything they have achieved.
“We look forward to welcoming over 120 of them back into our sixth form in September.”

“These brave young people have had a very disrupted and difficult end to their GCSE year. I want to congratulate them on their resilience and determination. I know I speak for all the staff when I say we could not be more proud of you.”

ANDY HUNTER, HEADTEACHER, SAMUEL WARD ACADEMY