GCSEs: Record-breaking students at Bede Academy do it at the double

Identical twins Scarlett and Tabby Carling who received almost identical GCSE results.
Identical twins Scarlett and Tabby Carling who received almost identical GCSE results.

Students at Blyth's Bede Academy have rewritten the record books by achieving the highest percentage of pass grades in the academy’s history.

The year group achieved a total of 94 maximum grades at 9 or A*, with 22 per cent of all grades awarded at grade 7/A or higher.

The percentage of students achieving five good passes, including mathematics and English (grade 4/C or better), was also at its highest ever at 67 per cent of the year group.

The grades for many subjects have changed from A* to G to a new ranking of 9 to 1. In simple terms, this means that grades 8 and 9 are equivalent to the old A* (with grade 9 being the top 20%), grade 7 similar to an A grade, grades 6/5/4 linked to the old B and C grades, grades 3/2/1 linked to the old D to G grades. However, not all subjects have changed to these numerical grades so many students will still be getting a mixture of letters and numbers.

Among many individual success stories, twins Scarlett and Tabby Carling are celebrating 17 grade 9s between them; Scarlett achieved nine grade 9s and one grade 8, with Tabby securing eight grade 9s, one grade 8 and one grade 7.

Scarlett said: “I’m shaking I can’t quite believe it. It feels amazing, I was hoping for high grades but never imagined they would be as good as this – I’m so happy.”

Tabby added: “We usually revise together but because we work at different paces we didn’t this time. There is a small element of competition between us but we are just so pleased for each other, neither of us expected to get so many grade 9s.”

Both girls will stay at Bede Academy to study A-Levels in maths, biology and chemistry.

Their mum Kirsty said: “Their dad and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls. It’s been a bit nerve- wracking over the past few days but they worked so hard that they really deserve their success.”

Other top performing students were: Olivia Quinn, with nine grade 9s and one grade 7; Zoe Watts, with six 9s, three 8s; Charlotte Fox, with six grade 9s, three grade 8s and one grade 7; Joanna Swainston, with six grade 9s, three grade 8s, one grade 7 and one grade 6.

The top attaining boys were Alexander Atkinson, with two nines, three 8s, three 7s, one 5 and Sam Little, with three 8s, three 7s, two 6s, one 5.

Zoe, who will be staying at the academy to take A-Levels in chemistry, biology and maths, said: “I’m over the moon. It’s great to be among the highest achieving year group ever at Bede."

Bede Principal Gwyneth Evans, who leaves the academy later this summer, said: “The students have been rewarded for the incredible hard work they have put in over the course of this year. They have shown admirable character in the face of demanding examinations and we are hugely proud of their achievements. Their results will inspire the younger students to achieve their personal best in future years.”

Departments with high percentages of top grades included music, with 100% grade 8 and above, 67% at grade 9; ICT, with 71% grade A and above, with 29% at grade A* and biology, with 54% grade 7 and above and 16 per cent grade 9s.

The academy saw an increase of ten per cent, to 72 per cent, for grades at 4 (or equivalent) or above, while 22 per cent of all grades awarded were at grade 7 (or equivalent) and above.