After months of patiently waiting for their GCSE results, for the pupils of Parkwood E-Act Academy, the day was finally here.
160 students took the exams at the Shirecliffe school this year, which were the first to be graded mainly on the new 1-9 numbering system, rather than the traditional A-G awards.
Despite this, Parkwood’s pupil’s smashed expectations, with top grades making up 15 per cent of their results and a six per cent increase in English and maths passes.
On Thursday morning, pupils gathered with their proud parents and the school’s staff to celebrate their achievements.
First in the queue at 10am was Rohail Khan who was with his mum Shazir and grandma Nikita La Vey.
He said he was nervous about passing cookery - his favourite subject - but moments later was beaming from ear to ear.
He said: “I did a lot better than I thought I would. I got four 5s, two 6s, one 7 and a B in cookery.”
Rohail’s mum, Shazir, said: “I can’t believe it, he has done very well. I am so proud of him.”
Rohail said he would now be taking up a place on a level 3 cooking course at Nacro in order to pursue his dream of becoming a ‘top whack’ chef.
Head girl Denya Goss, from Burngreave, got the only 9 in the whole school for science, and said she would be going to King Ecgbert’s sixth form to study maths, chemistry, biology and art from September.
Denya’s mum, Deena, said: “She has done after school clubs and has worked every evening and weekend at home. I am just so happy. I didn’t think that Parkwood would bring it out of her when she started but she has done so well.”
Also celebrating was Jodie Chalmers, who got an 8 in English, three 6s, a five and a four and was hoping to go to Silverdale sixth form to pursue her dream of being a vet.
Through tears, Jodie’s mum said she would have been proud of her daughter ‘whatever her results’ but she had made her ‘so proud’.
Daniel Carr from Parson Cross said he was ‘shocked’ to have done so well.
He easily achieved the grades he needed to get into Tapton sixth form and said he hoped after that to go to university.
He said: “I haven’t told my parents yet but I am waiting until I go home and so I can do the whole sad face thing! They will be so proud of me they will probably put it all over Facebook.”
And Umar Asghar from Shirecliffe said he would be going on to study A levels at King Ecgberts after getting five 7s, three 6s, one 4 and a B.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting that many 7s but the school have been really supportive. They held loads of extra sessions for us. My parents will be very proud of me.”
Parkwood’s headteacher, Vicky Simcock, said the achievements of her students were all the more impressive considering they had been ‘guinea pigs’ for the new grading system. She said: “This is the first time I have cried on results day in 25 years.
“You see all the hard work and determination they have put in coming to fruition. There have been lots of amazing performances but it would be unfair of me to pull out individual stories. Today shows just how brilliant the staff at Parkwood are.”
Across Sheffield, provisional data indicates that 39.3 per cent of young people achieved a strong pass - grade 5 or above - in English and maths. This is similar to 2017.
In the individual subjects, there was an increase in the percentage achieving a strong pass – English has improved from 54.6 per cent to 55.4 per cent and maths has improved from 45.2 per cent to 46.9 per cent.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, the council’s cabinet member for education and skills said: “Following last week’s A Level results I think it’s absolutely fantastic to see so many young people also achieving great GCSE results.
“Our schools continue to improve on their performance each year. These excellent results mean that Sheffield’s young people are well placed to move on to an exciting future whether this be college, school or the world of work.”
And Stephen Betts of Learn Sheffield said: “We are so proud of the achievements of Sheffield’s young people and schools, who have so much to celebrate today. The provisional data suggest that Sheffield’s performance remains strong and we are especially pleased to see improved outcomes in English and mathematics.
“We will be able to fully understand the performance of the city when the national data is available but today is about celebrating the achievements of everyone involved.”
Schools across Sheffield reported strong results overall as well as some amazing individual performances.
At Newfield School, staff and students were ecstatic with the results which were led by Kitty Griffiths-Johnson who got eight Grade 9s and achieved an A* Distinction in further maths.
After opening her results, she said: “I’ve been so nervous so it’s really good. I feel really happy. I’m going out with some friends this afternoon and then out for my tea with my parents to celebrate.”
At High Storrs School, Kez Wroe acheived 9s in all three sciences and fantastic overall results of six 9s, two 7s, an A*, and A and a B.
Firth Park Academy said they were especially proud of Dominic Luttrell, the school’s highest attaining studen, who got four grade 9s in science, English literature, geography and history, three grade 8s and one grade A.
And at Tapton School, David Ning was one of ten students to achieve nine or more grade 9s.