- Progress 8 Score: -0.37
- Attainment 8 Score: 44.68
- % English and Maths Good Pass: 55%
- % EBACC: 11%
Students collecting their GCSE results at Felixstowe Academy today have achieved the highest number of A* to C grades in GCSE Maths and English!
The hard work, commitment and resilience of Academy students saw the number of students achieving A* to C grades in English rise to 70% against 53% in 2015 whilst in Maths the figure grew to 64% compared to 56% in 2015. The overall figure for students achieving an A* to C grade in both Maths and English increased to 56% against 42% in 2015.
Academy Principal Mr Williams celebrated the commitment students had shown to their studies and subsequent success, saying ‘We are immensely proud of our students. They demonstrated a strong work ethic and showed great resilience, responding well to new initiatives and high expectations from their teachers, who have also been fantastic and have been prepared to go the extra mile. We are equally pleased with the significant improvement in progress for English and Maths, and the improved A*- C grades in 17 other subject areas’.
However, this is just the starting point for the Academy as Mr Williams went on to explain ‘We are extremely proud of these results and so pleased that we can share them with the many people who have helped and supported the Academy this year. Much of this success is down to the dedication, commitment and quality of our teachers and teaching assistants. However, we know we must be unrelenting in our efforts to improve teaching and learning and the overall quality of provision. Our real challenge is to see these results improve year on year, with increased levels of progress and even better outcomes for our students.’
The strong improvement in academic results for English students also brought a 23% improvement in students making their expected progress, above national figures. Mrs Hartley, Subject Leader for English, beamed as students shared their exam results with her in the Atrium.
Mrs Hartley praised the resilience and commitment of students and staff, saying ‘The English Department are absolutely thrilled with the results for both English Language and English Literature. The grades received demonstrate the students’ hard work and determination to succeed; they’ve really ‘bought in’ to the after school, holiday and Saturday sessions, giving up their time in an effort to produce such wonderful grades. I am particularly impressed with those students who did not give up after the November exams and who persevered to achieve higher grades in the Summer exams.’
So many students on Results Day praised the overwhelming support of the Maths Department and programme of additional group and one-to-one revision sessions they ran. Time and again students gave examples of how the support they had received had made the difference to them making progress and achieving higher grade results, explaining that their final year in Maths seemed like a shared experience between students and staff.
Members of the Maths Department were with students at the final stage of the exam process - discovering the results of all the hard work. Mr Jones, Subject Leader for Maths ‘What an amazing set of results!! All credit has to be given to the students, they have been absolutely fantastic. The commitment and hard work they have put in has been rewarded. The Maths Department could not be prouder of our awesome students.’
Impressive results for students taking Computer Science were also a highlight with 86% of students securing a higher grade result. Students praised teachers for the enthusiasm and motivation to get them ready for the final exams. Mrs Bustos, Subject Leader for Computing ‘Once again, the computing department are delighted with such an outstanding set of results at GCSE. Computer Science and ICT managed an overall pass rate of 100%, with ICT achieving 85% A* - C grades up from 79% in 2015.’
Mrs Bustos went on to add ‘We are particularly excited about the success of our Computer Science pupils. This was the first cohort to undertake the GCSE qualification and the course had its many challenges. However, with a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance, we managed in our first year of teaching Computer Science achieve 86% A*- C! Both pupils and staff worked incredibly hard over the past 2 years and can feel very proud of such a wonderful achievement.’
When reflecting on what factors and initiatives had made the difference to results this year, Vice Principal Dr Riach felt that there was a fundamental shift in the year group in their final year. Dr Riach explained ‘The students bought into the idea that they could succeed, and understood what it would feel like to succeed, and the staff were there to work with them as a team.’
He went on to say ‘We used the early entry English results and Mock Exams to emphasise the need to prepare for exams early by giving out results through a formal ‘results day’ format. The aim was to highlight how it felt to succeed and also what it could feel like to fail. I believe that this played a part in focusing students on wanting to succeed, and in helping us achieve the best results we ever had in Maths and English.’
Assistant Vice Principal Mr Stopher added ‘At the same time we stopped issuing ‘predicted grades’ and gave them their actual results based on where the student would be if the Mock Exam result had been their GCSE exam. This helped the students to know where they were at in the build up to their final exams.’
Mrs English, Achievement Director for Year 11, picked up on the theme of many comments being made by students when she shared her view on the progress made by students in the year group ‘There was a great rapport between staff and students this year that helped to build trust and a team working mentality in the year group. It was clear to the students that they weren’t on their own, but they had a team supporting them to succeed.’
Dr Riach agreed with this view ‘There was definitely more team working between staff and students, but also between students. I remember one day where students had a revision day for Maths and English, but when it came to the end of the day so many students stayed behind to keep going into the evening. The additional sessions we ran with the students over the year actually became a lot of fun, and we had more students turning up than had originally signed up!’
However both Dr Riach and Mr Stopher felt that there was a fundamental difference focus towards building a strong mentality this year, supported by the arrival of Mr Williams. Dr Riach reflected ‘I feel it is important to note the arrival of our new Principal and the direction and resources he brought into the Academy. For example, our involvement with the PiXL Partnership led to both students and staff gaining access to a new level of support which has helped to raise standards and aspirations.’
Mr Stopher went on to explain ‘The PiXL events were so important in raising aspirations. We took students to national and regional events that celebrated student success, to show them what is possible. It took the emphasis away from ‘grades’ to highlighting what success could mean to their future lives and careers.’
Dr Riach agreed and added ‘I felt that last year our conversations with students were not just about bluntly ‘working harder’. Our partnership with PiXL enabled us to personalise conversations with students specifically targeted the areas needing development within the classroom. This really helped the teaching staff to pitch their support to the individual need of the students and the level or ability they were at.’
With visitors commenting that Felixstowe Academy’s Results Day was ‘one of the most positive and happy’ Results Days they had been too, we would like to congratulate students and wish them the very best in the next stage of their education journey!
Felixstowe Academy saw an increase in the number of students achieving the A* to C grade in Maths compared to last year, with 35 students achieving the highest A*/A grades. Results in Biology, Chemistry and Physics were also being celebrated with 89% of students achieving A* to C grades.
The combined A* to C for all subjects was 57%, with student achieving A* to C in both English with Maths totalling 42%:
- Students achieving A* to C grade in English: 55%
- Students achieving A* to C grade in Maths: 57%
Students enjoyed a sense of ‘relief’ and emotion as they collected their GCSE results at Felixstowe Academy today with some of the best ever outcomes for individual students. Many students spoke of the delight in their ‘hard work paying off’ and reflecting that even though their Year 11 experience had ‘gone by very quickly’, they had an amazing final year as a community.
Joshua Smith, Robbie White, Nancy Barnsley, Max Harrold and Ollie Rose
Opening their results together were Joshua Smith, Nancy Barnsley and Ollie Rose. Joshua, who was celebrating securing nine A* GCSE grades as well as an A grade in Additional Maths (a bridging course between A Level and GCSE), said ‘I hadn’t really thought about my results until today, and then I suddenly felt nervous about the results. Then we all arrived, had our envelopes in our hand then it was over in a flash! It feels great to know I have these results.’
Nancy, who also achieved brilliant results with three A* grades in English Language, English Literature and History alongside four additional A grades, agreed with Joshua that is was great to know the results. Asked if she had any advice for the new Year 11 students in September Nancy replied ‘I really enjoyed the whole of Year 11, but you need to pace yourself to get the most out of it. Start on a revision plan in good time and factor in breaks. There is a lot of work but if you give yourself time you will feel good throughout the year - and on results day!’
Ollie, who was ‘relieved’ when he discovered that he achieved four A* grades in Physics, Chemistry, English Language and Maths alongside A and B grades, agreed adding ‘If you push yourself you can achieve everything you set out to achieve. The year goes quickly so the sooner you start with revision the better you will feel as you approach the exams.’
Mr Salter, Principal of Felixstowe Academy, said 'I am absolutely delighted to see so many of our students celebrating the outstanding success across so many GCSE subjects that will enable them to pursue further studies or apprenticeships.'
With over half of the students taking History securing A* to B grades, staff were congratulating students as they opened their results. Student Megan Barbor was 'overwhelmed' with her results as she discovered she had achieved 100% marks in three areas of her History course to secure an A* grade along with an A* in ICT and additional A and B Grades. With a few tears in her eyes she said 'I hadn't expected to achieve full marks in these areas, it is amazing. I just made sure that I took time to revise and it all came together.'
Callum Burrows was also delighted with his results, achieving three A* grades in Maths, ICT and Physics, five A grades alongside a B grade saying ‘the phrase if you put the work in, you get the results means so much to me now. The whole year went so quickly but I now realise that the work put into my courses paid off!’
Matthew Varley, who plans to start training as a plumber in September, was pleased with his mix of A* to B grades and is ‘looking forward to starting on a career as well as continuing studying’.
Lucy Fossett and Ellie Haste
With broad smiles, Lucy Fossett and Ellie Haste were celebrating achieving excellent results. Lucy, with an A* grade in English Literature and Distinction* grades in Business Studies and Health and Social care alongside five A grades and two B grades, reflected that it had taken ‘a lot of hard work’ to achieve the smiles! She said ‘Although it was a tough year it was also one of the best as the shared experience of exam stress pulled the whole year group together as no other year had.’ Ellie, who also achieved a Distinction* in Business Studies along with A* grades in Maths, her two Science courses, agreed adding ‘many of us made new friends in Year 11 and will have positive memories of this year together.’
Both Lucy and Ellie had siblings collecting their A Level results the previous week, so found it hard to put ‘Results Day’ out of their minds over the past week. Lucy couldn’t wait to get in to collect her results today ‘As soon as I had the envelope I ripped it open, saw the results and was elated!’.
Asked if they had any advice for the new Year 11 students, both Lucy and Ellie said ‘Listen to the Year 11 students before you!’ Lucy went on to explain ‘start your revision early, a bit at a time. Be sensible and flexible with your revision planning to give time to the subjects needing more work. It is scary and you will worry, but it will work out!’
Along with others on results, Tiegan also felt that the shared experience of students in Year 11 brought them closer together saying 'We all worked extremely hard, realising in Year 10 what we needed to do. I met some really great people in Year 11, but Results Day is my highlight of the year!'
Flossy Cook, Nikita Pond, Caleb Woodard and Jasmine Betts
Caleb Woodard was one of the first students in to collect his results and felt ‘great’ to finally be holding his results saying ‘I have won awards and gained certificates in sport, but this is totally different! I am really pleased that I can go on to study PE.’
Having secured a Distinction* grade in Health and Social Care long with other great results, Grace Cruse, who was accompanied by her mother, felt her experience in Year 11 was ‘amazing!’ Grace wanted to thank her teachers for the support she had received throughout the year saying ‘My teachers supported me throughout my GCSEs but in Year 11 they kept on providing me with the opportunities reinforce the information being given out in lessons through additional revision sessions and being on the end of an email for any questions I had. They were fantastic!’
Mrs Cruse noticed the developing confidence in her daughter in her final GCSE year ‘Grace was definitely treated more like an adult in Year 11 and she thrived on that. She seemed to stay calm throughout the year and stayed focussed on passing her exams.’
Grace is planning to study Health and Social Care alongside Sport, and wish her all the best for her cricketing career as she has recently found out that coaches from the England Women’s Cricket Team will be watching her cricketing progress closely!
Flossy Cook and Jasmine Betts felt the emotion of the day but were already looking forward to focussing on their favourite courses as A Levels in September. Flossy said ‘I am glad to have my results and am so relieved to see my grades!’ with Jasmine adding ‘There was definitely pressure in our final year but it has all worked out well for us.’
Students within the Music Department were celebrating great range of results with 87% students securing grades A* to C, with 56% securing A* to B grades. As he collected his results, which included a Distinction* and B grade for BTEC and GCSE Music, Benjo Hall reflected on the range of opportunities he had taken to perform not only here at the Academy but also abroad as part of FXAspire.
Benjo said ‘Although Year 11 was stressful in places it was on the whole really enjoyable. I felt that as a Music student I had lots of opportunities to not only perform but also contribute to the planning of concerts and the music we would perform. The Jazz Band tour to Barcelona was a real highlight, closely followed by the Summer Concert.’ He went to add ‘the resources available to Music students are really good so we were able to get really creative with Garage Band or Sibelius software packages to help with our coursework.’