North East Connected


Yarm School students are planning for the future after significant success in the GCSE and A Level examinations and in securing places to study a broad range of courses at university.

School Captain Jack Critchlow, who demonstrated his burgeoning musical talents in the first lockdown by writing and recording an emotive song, The Virus, has secured a place at the highly selective Royal Northern College of Music to study Popular Music. The College is currently home to more than 900 students from more than 60 countries.

Ben White and Jamie Wiltshire, Yarm’s other A Level music students who also displayed their musical talent while at the School, have been accepted to study Aerospace Engineering at Sheffield and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham respectively.

Ben and Jamie are joined by seven other students who will go on to study mechanical, chemical, aerospace, product design, electrical or civil engineering at prestigious universities across the country, including Arkwright Scholar, Lily Brown, who will read General Engineering at Durham.

Two students have set the stage for their careers with excellent A Level results in Theatre Studies. Chloe Atkinson, who played one of the leading roles in Yarm’s 2020, sell-out production of Miss Saigon, will continue with her love for performing arts at the University of Exeter, studying English and Drama.

Erin Gilhespie will also pursue her dreams of becoming an actress at Guildford School of Acting where she will embark on a foundation degree in Acting. Imogen Hennessey, who also achieved highly in the subject, is swapping the script for memoranda, leaving Yarm to read Law at Northumbria.

Another of Yarm’s students with a keen interest in performing arts is Maisie Riley who will pursue a career behind the scenes at The Iver Academy at Pinewood Studios where she will study for her Advanced Certificate in Hair and Make-up for Film and TV. Bella Ruck, who received outstanding marks in her Musical Theatre EPQ and Musical Theatre Singing Diploma, will study Finance and Business at Edinburgh – a university renowned for its musical opportunities.

Among the School’s successful Oxbridge students is Atticus Garlick who is thrilled to have been offered a place to study Maths and Philosophy at Oxford, and Sophie Ashforth who is the sixth Yarm School student in seven years to gain a place reading German at Oxford.

Yarm’s success in healthcare degrees continues, with at least 11 students and 7 former pupils being accepted onto highly competitive Medical, Dentistry or Veterinary (MDV) courses this year: 14 will study Medicine at prestigious establishments including Manchester, Sunderland, Imperial College London, Nottingham, Leicester and KCL including School Captain, JuJu Mon who will read Medicine and Surgery at Newcastle; two will study Dentistry; and two will study Veterinary Medicine.

Matthew Chapman and Charlotte Walker will study Physiotherapy at Birmingham and Teesside respectively, while Katie Dent has secured a place at Leeds Beckett studying Nutrition and Poppy Stephens has been accepted to study Cosmetic Science at UAL.

Of Yarm’s three successful Biomedical Science and Medical Science applicants, international netball star Kaia Harte is celebrating success in and outside of the classroom. Kaia, who has continued training with the Republic of Ireland throughout lockdown, albeit remotely, having represented the team at the U17 Netball European Championships in 2020, has been accepted onto a Medical Sciences degree at Leeds.

Henry Flack, who benefited from one of Yarm Sixth Form’s fully funded places, is celebrating fantastic examination results and is proud to have gained a place at Durham University where he will study Physics.

Psychology has proved increasingly popular at Yarm, with at least five students proceeding to study it at Bristol, Northumbria, Newcastle, and Durham.

Other courses chosen by students include Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at Sheffield, Economics at Glasgow, Biology at St Andrews, Criminology at Northumbria and Architecture at Bath.

Jamie Pender is also celebrating his superb results and confirmation of a place studying Economics at Exeter in 2022 following his 12 month internship with IBM.

The School is also celebrating the outstanding achievements of its GCSE pupils, with many examples of outstanding personal achievement as a deserved reward for the pupils. 16 pupils achieved eight or more grade 9s, and among the pupils who achieved all nines at GCSE is Julia Portsmouth who follows in her sister’s footsteps, achieving a full sweep in examinations all whilst achieving great things outside of the classroom in rowing.

Julia is joined by Eve Kempster and Siya Puthuraya who were also awarded all nines; they are excellent examples of how Yarm’s pupils balance an all-round education, making up three quarters of Yarm’s J16 coxless quad who rowed at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta. Their fourth crew member, Lilian Dufton, also performed extremely strongly in her exams, finishing with a total of ten grade nines and one grade eight.

Luke Porter and Medha Rajeeva also achieved eleven grade nines and were joined in this feat by Josh McGeary, Aishani Paul, Parul Sinha and Kaavya Venkatesh also achieved the impressive feat of a full house of grade nines, all whilst obtaining a unique 2020-21 Certificate of Achievement in the Duke of Edinburgh this year.

Dr Huw Williams, Headmaster at Yarm, said: “This year’s results have been the focus of considerable national scrutiny and speculation, but those of us working in schools have seen the determination and resilience of our young people throughout the uncertainty of covid and this has been a humbling experience. I want to commend our staff for their tremendous effort on behalf of the pupils throughout.

“Our pupils and students can be justly proud of their efforts and the results they have achieved after months of focussed hard work. The experience of being at school through the pandemic has provided challenges that have been difficult, at times, but I know this will help to shape their futures and I am very much looking forward to following their careers as they progress through higher education and into their chosen occupations.”

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