Emmanuel College in Gateshead confirmed its place amongst the very best performing state schools in the north of England with results at the highest level for the past five years following this year’s GCSEs.
Forty per cent of all grades were grade 7 or better with 13 per cent of grades being at the highest level 9.
Eleven students in the year group achieved seven or more grade 9s, a feat that very few young people across the country achieve each year. Overall there were 229 grade 9s.
Catherine Harness achieved 11 grade 9s; Poppy McElrue-Inch, Sarah Al-Bidani and Beth Tyson all achieved ten grade 9s; Lucy Waterfield and Ahmad Imtiaz achieved nine grade 9s, Will Moran and Andy Wu both achieved eight grade 9s and Jack Bonner, Caitlin Illston and Maia Stovold all achieved seven grade 9s.
Sarah, of Heworth, said: “It was very difficult to keep working through; it was a lonely time, especially in lockdown. My results came down to the last push in Year 11 after the first set of mocks. I did quite well and that kept me motivated because if I could achieve well then, I could do the same when it was the real thing.
“We also got a lot of help from teachers. It took courage to ask for some extra help in physics but my teacher was so welcoming and went over a topic for me in an after-school session.”
Sarah will stay on in Emmanuel’s sixth form to do A-Levels in biology, chemistry and maths en route to a medical career.
Poppy, from Tanfield, was surprised with her clean sweep of grade 9s. “I wasn’t expecting at all,” she said. “In art I’d working at grade 8 in most of year 11 and I’d never had a 9 in English literature so they were a big surprise.
“It was all down to a lot of support from the teachers which was really helpful, and also from my friends and family trying to keep me going and my own hard work. I tried my best and it paid off.
“I used a lot of online resources and textbooks. I revised for every test that came in Year 10 and 11 then it was most evenings from Easter. I didn’t feel like I needed to cram was the knowledge was already there, I just had to review it.”
Poppy is staying on at Emmanuel College to do A-Levels in chemistry, physics, maths and Latin with a plan to read physics at university and become an astrophysicist.
Students recorded an uplift in grades for the core subjects of English and maths with 68 per cent of students achieving grade 5 or better (87 per cent achieving grade 4 or higher) in both subjects, representing a five percentage point increase since 2019.
All students in the year group studied a rigorous academic curriculum with 90 per cent eligible for the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc), with the college’s average points score for Ebacc also the best yet recorded.
College principal Matt Waterfield said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating with students some fantastic results at Emmanuel College. They represent a further validation of the excellence we experience every day at Emmanuel and the incredible commitment that our students and staff have demonstrated throughout in the most difficult of circumstances. Many congratulations to all.”