In a year like no other, students at Richmond School are celebrating excellence with their GCSE results that will pave the way for them to continue their education or enter the world of work.
Despite the unprecedented circumstances, which left students disappointed not to be able to take their formal exams, they have been rewarded for the dedication and tenacity they demonstrated ahead of lockdown with some outstanding achievements.
There were exceptional performances from Taryn Hodgson, Henry Bushell and Sam Fawcett who achieved a full complement of top grade 9s in all their exams, with Adam Dixon and Florence Hall attaining 9s in all but one subject where they scored an excellent grade 8. Ben Partridge, British endurance cyclist, proved his talent in the velodrome is matched by his talent in the classroom after achieving terrific results.
GCSE results day marks the end of twelve years of being together at school for twins Amy and Ryan Atkinson who will now go their separate ways. With some fabulous results, Amy is staying at Richmond Sixth Form to study A-levels in Biology, Health and Social Care and History. Meanwhile, Ryan has successfully started an apprenticeship in plant machinery, repairing heavy machining equipment such as excavators and quarry machinery at Clennal Plant Repairs in Ravensworth, which he secured during lockdown. He will attend Askham Bryan College one week each month.
Many other students are recognising the value of apprenticeships and have shown great initiative in their approach. Some are already working, including Josh Wrightham, apprentice electrician, and Ethan Hayden, apprentice plumber, who have both made a great impression on their employers.
Olivia Frankland, an apprentice hairdresser with Saks at Sedbury Hall was the first student in the year to gain an apprenticeship. Anna Clinton, owner of Saks, said: “We are excited to welcome Olivia to the team. She has been joining us for training since October last year so she already feels like part of our family. We are really impressed by the commitment she has already shown and are excited to see her progress with her qualifications.”
With a passion for Food Technology, Gemma Ridley is looking forward to starting her catering apprenticeship at Mainsgill Farm. Reuben Livingstone-Owen will be taking up an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering and will be the second of his family to leave the flock at Ravenseat. Scott Storr is thrilled to be starting an apprenticeship in agricultural engineering with Bryan Robinson Machinery and will be studying at Askham Bryan College.
On the sporting front, George McCowie has secured a coveted place in Darlington Football Club’s Academy Team where he will study for a Level-3 Extended Diploma in Sport whilst playing in the National League with the Academy Team. Luke Constantine, UK junior rallycross champion, came from work to collect his results, he is doing an apprenticeship in construction with Constantine Building Services.
There has been a fabulous fanfare of top grades in Music with 66% of students achieving a Grade 7 or above, including six grade 9s and five grade 8s. Students will now have the opportunity to continue their musical studies at Richmond Sixth Form, as Music A-level is being introduced alongside Performing Arts Ctec. Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher for Music, said: “We have known for many years that this particular year group has a large number of excellent musicians. The standard and expectation just keeps getting higher. I am delighted that their patience and commitment to practising, attending rehearsals and performing to a high standard is being rewarded with a superb set of GCSE grades. Well done to you all.”
Brooke Enbom has done incredibly well in her exams. Demonstrating resilience and commitment, she continued to work very hard at her studies whilst devoting time to support members of her family. John Izdebski only joined Richmond School two years ago, having relocated from Canada and has scooped tremendous results. Similarly, Will Booth came to the school from New Zealand in 2017 and has achieved some superb results.
As well as collecting their GCSE results, students also picked up a special one-off Year Book that celebrates their Year group. Student Natasha Nixon proposed the idea as a momento that they can look back on for many years to come.
Mrs Potter, Headteacher, said: “I am relieved with the outcome of the assessments but saddened that students endured so much uncertainty ahead of receiving their results. They were robbed of the opportunity to take their exams, however their teachers know them best so they should be very proud of their grades. It has been an anxious and uncertain time and I am so proud of all our students who have impressed me with their maturity and resilience. They wholly deserve their results which reflect their commitment and knowledge and are the culmination of much hard work, supported by our dedicated and inspirational staff.
Today, however, we are not just celebrating academic results, we are celebrating how far our students have come since they joined us five years ago and how much they have given to the school and the wider community. They have been a superb group and I wish them all the very best for the future and am delighted that so many of them will be returning to our Sixth Form in September.”