Sheffield students celebrate GCSE results after weeks of stress and uncertainty
In what has been one of the most disrupted academic years in living history, students across Sheffield were finally able to celebrate today after an anxious wait for their GCSE results.
At Firth Park Academy, things looked very different this year with students allocated a 30-minute time slot between 10am and 12pm to pick up that all-important envelope in a bid to limit the number of people in the building at any time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Many arriving will have undoubtedly been sat at home for months, feeling powerless and unable to do anything to change their results – a fear that was only exacerbated after seeing thousands of A-Level students get their marks downgraded last week due to a controversial algorithm devised by the exams regulator Ofqual.
But, after mounting pressure on the government, it was announced on Monday that GCSE students would receive the grades given by their schools bringing welcome relief to many.
Ahmad Obaid, aged 16, had a huge grin on his face after opening his results and is now planning to study chemistry, maths and computer science at college.
He said: "Pleased is an understatement, I think I've done absolutely wonderful.
"I'm in disbelief, I honestly didn't expect these results.I sometimes question my capabilities, but it seems my five years of hard work has paid off, it's a dream.
"It's given me the confidence I need to go on to A-Levels next, knowing what I'm truly capable of, it's such a boost."
He added: "I was obviously quite concerned after seeing the A-Level results last week, but ever since the government made a u-turn on that, I knew the teachers would come through."
Firth Park Academy, in Shiregreen, saw 57 per cent of its pupils secure a grade 4 or higher in both English and maths – a 14 per cent points improvement on last year – with 37 per cent achieving a grade 5 or higher.
Most subjects are now graded one to nine instead of the lettered A* to G, with 7, 8 and 9 representing a high pass equivalent to an A* and A.
Student Tiffany Kibutu, 16, is looking to the future after securing a scholarship to study at Birkdale School.
She said: “It was so surprising to pick up my results, I am so happy and didn’t expect to do so well.
"I’ll now be taking maths, biology, physics and business at Birkdale. I want to be a bio-engineer and my results will help me get there."
Headteacher Dean Jones said: “It was a really positive day, lots of happy students who we are all really proud of getting their grades and being able to progress on to, in most cases, the ideal post-16 route that they’ve chosen.
"It was so exciting, the students have been quite anxious – not just as most children are ahead of results day – but because of the time they’ve spent during lockdown not here at school where they belong and so the relief when they realised their future opportunity still lay open to them was palpable."