Hundreds of Year 11 pupils tore open their envelopes today to find out how they performed in their GCSE exams.
There were shrieks and tears at schools across Southwark as teenagers anxiously opened their results.
This summer’s cohort was the first to sit new, more demanding GCSEs in English literature, English language, and maths.
These three subjects were graded 9-1, rather than A*-G, and were expected to be more difficult than the previous year.
But despite this, pupils across the borough performed well and youngsters are looking forward to closing one chapter and opening a new one as they head off to sixth form or college.
Overall nationally, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, passes (grades C/4 and above) dropped 0.6 percentage points to 66.3 per cent this year.
In England, the English literature pass-rate fell 2.5 percentage points to 72 per cent, but in maths it rose from 61.5 per cent to 68.9 per cent.
Scroll down for a round up of results from each school in Southwark as we get them…
City of London Academy Southwark:
And excluding English and maths, 86 per cent achieved five A*-C grades.
Executive principal Richard Bannister said: “We are delighted our students have achieved our joint best GCSE exam results, despite the Government this year increasing the academic rigour.
“These excellent results are testament to the dedication and commitment put in by our students and the hard work and inspiration provided by our teaching and support staff teams.
“It is wonderful to see so many of our students continuing to choose their A-level studies here at our academy, as they seek to attain their goals of progressing on to prestigious universities. We wish them all the very best in the future.”
Andrew McMurtrie, chair of the City of London Academies Trust, added: “We are very proud of our students and what they have achieved.
“We wish them all well with their next steps and look forward to welcoming many of them back into the sixth form.”
64 per cent of students achieved grade 4 or above in both English and maths – up from 56 per cent last year.
40 per cent of students achieved grade 5 or above in both English and maths – which is the new ‘good pass’ grade awarded for the first time this year.
A number of students achieved grade 9s (the new highest grade) – with six students gaining these hard-won grades in maths and seven in English.
Principal Chris Mallaband said the grades represented a significant improvement for the college and that he was delighted for the students.
He praised the hard work of the students and staff and also the support given by parents and families in the time leading up to the exams.
James Allen’s Girls’ School:
93 per cent of the Dulwich school’s GCSE results were an A* or A this year.
On average, students achieved seven A*s each, with eighteen girls achieving A* in every subject.
Among the notable successes was the students’ performance in STEM subjects, where over 95 per cent of results in physics, biology, chemistry and maths were an A* or A.
English grades were also particularly strong with 96 per cent A* or As, and there was further success in a broad range of foreign languages including French, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
Headteacher Sally-Anne Huang said: “We are all so proud of Year 11.
“They knocked it out of the park and I can’t wait to have them in our sixth form.”
Harris Academy Bermondsey:
30 students at the girls’ school achieved eight or more A/A* or 7-9 grades in their GCSE exams and 63 (40 per cent of all students) achieved five or more A/A* or 7-9 grades.
Impressively, 12 per cent of the Harris Bermondsey girls achieved the new ‘super grade’ 9 in English literature.
All students at Harris Academy Bermondsey study GCSE English, English literature, maths, at least two sciences, a humanities subject, religious studies, and a creative subject.
Principal Gillian Hodgson said: “I am absolutely thrilled with these results and so proud of our students for the incredible diligence with which they’ve approached their studies.
“Their results show an outstanding breadth of academic achievement.
“In the first year of the new 9-1 grading system, it is especially pleasing to see so many of our students excelling and achieving the very top grades.”
Sacred Heart Catholic School:
Students at the school were celebrating after 80 per cent achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including a ‘standard pass’ of grade 4 and above in both English and maths.
Meanwhile, 60 per cent of pupils achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C, plus a ‘strong pass’ of grade 5 and above in both English and maths.
Last year Sacred Heart ranked 15th in the whole country for ‘Progress 8’ – the government’s headline progress measure.
This year’s provisional Progress 8 measure of 0.85 puts the school on course for another good results when these progress figures are confirmed in November.
Nick Gibb MP congratulated students on their success while visiting the school in Camberwell today.
“Today, hundreds of thousands of sixteen year olds find out the results of two years or more of hard work and study,” he said.
“They will now move onto the next phase of their education well equipped for what lies ahead and I would like to thank their teachers whose dedication and hard work has helped them achieve success.”
Headteacher Serge Cefai said: “Sacred Heart has become accustomed to outstanding GCSE results and these remarkable figures are no exception.
“Given the introduction of new qualifications and a new grading system for English and maths this has been an extremely challenging year for both staff and students and they have risen to the challenge amazingly well.
“These really are an outstanding set of results and testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication of our entire school community.”
Kingsdale Foundation School:
Year 11 student Elba Feo achieved 15A*s, two grade 9s (in maths and English) and a grade 8 in English literature.
She also achieved a Distinction* at Level 2.
A spokesperson for Kingsdale said Elba’s results meant the school had produced the highest-achieving students this year at both A-level and GCSE, and the top student in the country at GCSE for at least three years out of the last four.
Elba has lived in Peckham all her life and was head prefect at Kingsdale.
She is looking forward to attending Kingsdale’s sixth form and wants to focus on science in the future.
She said she was so nervous when she picked up her results and her parents were speechless and cried when they heard how she’d done.
Iona Clark, the school’s deputy head prefect, was one of only 2,000 students in the country to achieve three grade 9s, alongside eight A*s, five A grades, and a Distinction*.
Students at Alleyn’s School were celebrating today after following in the footsteps of last week’s sixth formers with record GCSE results.
Year 11 leavers picked up results that included an impressive rise in the percentage of students achieving more than ten A* grades.
A total of 67 per cent of all grades achieved were at A*, with 92 per cent of all grades at A* or A.
Of the grades awarded to the 142 pupils who make up the 2017 cohort, 98 per cent were A*, A or B.
A significant 92 pupils achieved all A* and A grades, with 33 individual pupils securing ten or more A* grades.
Alleyn’s, which will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 2019, was one of the first major independent schools to become co-educational back in 1976, making it one of the UK’s longest-established co-ed schools of its kind.
Headteacher Dr Gary Savage said: “Alleyn’s boys and girls have once again excelled themselves in public examinations, and everyone at school is hugely proud of what they have achieved.
“They are well and truly ready for the step up to academic life in the sixth form, where they will also enjoy a multitude of co-curricular activities, enrichment opportunities, and lasting friendships.
“I firmly believe that it is this truly holistic approach, rooted in over 40 years of whole-school co-education, which creates the exciting yet balanced environment in which students can secure record results at GCSE and A-level year after year.
“We are immensely pleased for and proud of them all.”
Head of middle school Mel Joel added: “We congratulate all of our boys and girls for their hard work.
“This is a fantastic set of results that truly reflects their commitment to, and enjoyment of, their learning here at Alleyn’s.
“We really are delighted with their achievement, and look forward to continued enthusiasm and success as they progress to the upper school.”
St Michael’s Catholic College:
St Michael’s Catholic College built on its A-level performance last week with the school performing above the national average in this year’s GCSEs.
81 per cent of students achieved a pass in both English and maths, while over 25 per cent of students achieved above grade 7 in both subjects and a number of students gained the coveted grade 9.
The highest-achieving student in the college, Teofisto Consistente, who gained 9A* grades and an outstanding 9, said: “I have never been happier; I didn’t expect to do as well as that.
“The first thing I did was to phone home and my parents and my sister are so proud of me. This is the first step in my dream of becoming a doctor.”
Other highly successful students were Marron Marasigan who said: “My A* in science means that I can study the sciences at A-level”.
Shaun Sevume, who achieved 100 per cent in two physics papers, was also looking forward to studying science A-level at St Michael’s sixth form after doing better than he expected.
Students planning to study the humanities at A-level were equally thrilled.
“I got a 9 in English literature which has delighted me because that’s the subject I most wanted to do at A-level,” said Shannen Lohan.
The school congratulated all of its students and staff.
St Saviour’s and St Olave’s:
The school’s headteacher, Catherine May, told the News that her school had 9s in all three subjects and got more than double the national average number of grade 9s. And its provisional figure for 4+ [or C+] was 85 per cent.
Catherine said: “I’m absolutely thrilled for the girls and the staff because we have all worked really hard. With the changes to the exams and the numbering, these grades have never been awarded in this way before, which made things much more difficult. There was a lot more anxiety and nerves around the country, but I think our girls have outdone themselves.”
Sharon Amukamara from Nunhead had a 9 in English Literature, 8s in Maths and English Language, and A*s in History, Biology, Physics, Religious Studies, and Chemistry, whilst her lowest mark was only an A in German.
“English was the subject I had the most problems with, so the 9 really shocked me,” she said. “It was so much work and I kept getting the same grades in all the practices, so I was becoming very frustrated. I want to give a shout out to Mr Clayton, Ms Sanders and Ms Vasey and both my old and new Chemistry teachers.”
Peckham girl Jade Peake smashed her Maths and English Language exams by getting a grade 9 in both. Then she had A*s in History, French, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Religious Studies, and a grade 7 in English Literature.
For A-levels, she has picked Maths, Psychology, French and Economics.
Walworth Academy principal Yvonne Powell told the News her school achieved a Progress 8 result of 0.4. This means that on average the school’s pupils beat their predicted grades by nearly half a grade in every subject.
And she confirmed that 60 per cent of all pupils achieved an A*-C or (9-4 for Maths and English) in at least five subjects.
Eight students achieved grade 9 in English and seven students got a 9 in Maths. Twelve students achieved grade 8 in English Literature or Language, and nine students got grade 9 in Maths. 22 per cent of all grades were an A or A* or grade 8 or 9.
Jack Burt, from Southampton Way in Camberwell had 9s in Maths and English Language, and A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Spanish, with an A in History and a 7 in English Literature.
Bermondsey boy Ayuub Hers “turned himself around” after almost being excluded for bad behaviour in Year 8. The young man said he was expecting to fail many of his subjects, but got a host of B grades.
Notre Dame High School:
Shani Johnson, assistant head teacher of the Catholic all-girl’s school in Elephant and Castle was “delighted” with her students’ GCSE results, and said they “show very good progress and achievement”.
- 55 per cent of students achieved at least one 9/8/7/A*/A grade
- 86 per cent achieved Grade 4 and above in English (Grade 4 is the new C grade)
- 63 per cent achieved Grade 4 and above in Maths (Grade 4 is the new C grade)
- 57 per cent achieved Grade 4 and above in English and Maths (Grade 4 is the new C grade)
St Thomas the Apostle College:
A statement from the all-boys school in Nunhead said: “We are delighted with our GCSE results from our year 11 cohort.
“They worked tremendously hard and an impressive 80 per cent them achieved a pass (grade 4, equivalent to grade C) in English and Maths.
“Standout performances include Samuel Odutola with 9s in English and Maths and a string of A*s in his other subjects.”
Last year, with the old grading system, 82 per cent of the school’s cohort achieved at least five grades from A* to C, compared with 68 per cent in 2015.
The Charter School:
Pupils at the Mixed-sex school serving, south Camberwell and Dulwich, had among the best results in the borough this year.
- 76 per cent of all students in year 11 gained a standard pass or above in both English and Maths (grade 4 to 9)
- 39 per cent of all grades gained this year were A*/A or 7-9 this year
- 35 per cent of pupils achieved 5A*/A (or 7-9) grades in their GCSEs, up from 28 per cent in 2016
The school gave a special congratulations to Kitty Ollard, who gained fourteen GCSEs, all at A* or grade 9; Amy Hill who gained eleven GCSEs, all at A* or grade 9; and Clara Neather who gained 13 GCSEs, nine at A* and two at grade 9 in English and Maths