ADDED challenge and a change to a number-based grading system for vital subjects has proven no barrier to success for students at Ripon Grammar School where a third have achieved ten or more high grades in today’s GCSEs.
Forty-four out of 130 students achieved a clean sweep of ten or more A* and A grades, or the higher equivalent in maths and English where the new grade seven is judged to reflect an A and a nine is higher than an A*.
Among them is Ted Wainwright, a boarder at Ripon Grammar School, who combined achieving two A*s, five As, two eights and a seven with captaining Yorkshire U16 rugby squad and leading the school’s U16 squad to the Yorkshire Cup final.
Lucy Williams, who also boards, is a star of school hockey and has represented Yorkshire in the game. She achieved eight A*s, one A, one nine, one eight and one seven, while North Yorkshire sprint champion Sola Sowole got six A*s, three As, one nine, one seven and a six.
Ted, from Helmsely, who will stay on in the sixth form to study A Levels in maths, economics, chemistry and history, said combining sport and studying had meant sacrifices: “I used my breaks, lunchtimes and any other spare time to revise because I knew I wouldn’t have time in the evening.
“Boarding probably helped too because you can get a lot of work done in the boarding house. Now I’m planning to make the most of my time before we go back to school.”
Sola, of Thirsk, who excels at the 100m and 200m, added: “I train twice a week and have competitions two weekends a month so it’s been quite hard doing everything, but I just thought to myself there were other people in the same position. My performances in this coming year will tell me if I can make a career in athletics.
“From the minute I finished my last exam I’ve just wanted to know the results so I’m glad it’s all over. I’m really, really happy with my results.”
The full list of ‘top ten’ students are: Gus Smith, Oliver Parry, Kate Reeve, Marcus Tomlinson, Alex Trayer, Thaddeus Davey, Laura Donaldson, Henry Exley, Poppy Jagger, Emma Kelly, Tom Mewes, Marina Mitra, Pippa Tanner, Lucy Williams, Joe Willis, Libby Rickard, Sola Sowole, Harry Edwards, Niamh Frost, Joel Ho, Joseph Horner, Dan Marston, Emma Money, Poppy Robinson, Georgina Turner, Hugh Whitworth, Emily Wilson, Evie Withington, Poppy Abbott, Kathryn Barrett, Harry Canning, Connor Eddleston, Alex Edwards , Bethany Hamby, Katherine Hooper, Billy Hughes, Harvey Leak-Smith, Megan Lewis, Natasha Lovel, Jonathan McCann, Millie Simenacz, Louise Taylor, Ted Wainwright and Sophie Winkle.
Retiring Headmaster Martin Pearman, on his last day at Ripon Grammar School, said; “The results were superb this year, once again producing 60 per cent A*/A grades for the over the sixth year in a row. Over 99 per cent of the grades were C or better with every single student securing five A*-C grades including mathematics and English.
“In these subjects, numbers rather than letters were awarded for the first time and it was very pleasing to see 36 students achieving a grade nine in mathematics with 19 students also achieving a grade nine in English language.
“We are in a transition phase until the number grades apply to all subjects, but students understand the system and will know how well they have done on receiving their results. We obviously have nothing to compare the new grades with, so we have kept our focus on students achieving at least grade seven.
“It will be interesting to see how the government uses the different grading systems to measure progress, but for our students these results provide an outstanding foundation for success at A Level in our sixth form.
“I would like to congratulate both staff and students on their success. They should be very proud of what they have achieved and the results are just reward for all their hard work.
The GCSEs followed last week’s exceptional A Level results, which placed Ripon Grammar School as the highest performing state school in Yorkshire and the North East.