10:28AM, Thursday 13 August 2020
A-level students across Berkshire are finding out their results today, despite not sitting their exams.
After the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in exams being cancelled, grades will instead be based on estimations influenced by mock exam grades.
This year, results day is being done differently. Not all schools are opening, and those that do will be staggering when students come in to prevent overcrowding.
The Advertiser and Express will be reporting on it differently too. Instead of going to the schools like we usually do, reporters will be calling the schools from home to find out results and speak to staff members and students.
As a result, we may not be able to get the results as quickly as we usually do, or for as many schools, depending on how many are open.
Follow the live blog below to get all the latest updates on results day in the Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor area.
HEATHFIELD SCHOOL, ASCOT: A-level students at the all-girls secondary school are celebrating a successful year with 70 per cent of grades awarded at A*- B of which 30 per cent were A*-A and nearly 95 per cent of students achieved an A*- C grade.
Headteacher Marina Gardiner Legge said she was proud of the ‘tenacity and resilience’ students showed through all the challenges thrown at them this year.
She said: “Even though this has not been a conventional year for any school by any means, and results have not been measured in a conventional way, our latest A-level cohort have demonstrated tenacity and resilience and come through to achieve well-earned results.
“Today is the culmination of the girls’ efforts throughout their school careers as well as the support from dedicated and committed staff, and rightly deserves celebration and recognition for all they have achieved.”
BAYLIS COURT SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Results at the school were equal to last year’s achievements of a 97 per cent pass rate and 73 per cent A*-C.
Among the top achievers were Nafisah Alam, who gained an A*, two As and a B, while Ilhaan Suleyman picked up two A*s and an A.
Principal Ray Hinds said: “These results are testament to the hard work of the students and staff.
“They have been achieved under exceptional circumstances and Mr Brown, our head of sixth form, will make sure that every student who requires support is helped onto the next stage of their educational pathway. “
THE WESTGATE SCHOOL, CIPPENHAM: Sixth formers showed ‘incredible resilience and resolve’ in the face of the difficult circumstances brought on by the pandemic.
Results improved on the previous year, with 60.1 per cent of students achieving A*-C.
Success stories include John Moules, who achieved two A* grades and two As and will study environmental science at the University of Reading.
Grace Ashley (A*, A, A) is going to study history at the University of Oxford.
Headteacher Michelle Cooper said: “The success of our students is underpinned by the dedication and support of the staff and governors at The Westgate School who continue to go above and beyond to ensure that students achieve and surpass their potential.
“The support afforded from parents has been critical, as we collectively navigate these unchartered territories together, and we are truly grateful for their unwavering loyalty.
“We wish all our current Sixth Form students the very best for the future in whatever path they decide to pursue.”
FURZE PLATT SENIOR SCHOOL, FURZE PLATT: Head teacher Andrew Morrison says he hopes A-Level and BTEC students open their envelopes today and ‘feel a real sense of pride’.
Speaking via video link, Mr Morrison added there had been ‘some fantastic results and real accomplishments’ at the school, in Furze Platt Road.
The school will not be providing a detailed breakdown of its results this year due to the different circumstances.
One top performer this year was Daniel Juden, who got A*A*A in maths, further maths and computing respectively. He is going on to study maths at the University of Warwick.
Another was Hollie O'Neill, who achieved a Distinction* in sport studies, an A* in maths, and an A in psychology.
She said: "I am over the moon with these results and will be joining the University of Exeter in September to study sports science."
Mr Morrison added: “We know the circumstances are slightly different this year, we know you have been cheated of that opportunity to sit an exam and really show what you are capable of.
“However, I hope you reflect back on all the effort, time and commitment you put into your studies and see a grade that reflects all that.
“Many congratulations to you, this marks the end of an era, this is the end of your school careers. I wish you an enormous success.”
He added that staff have put in ‘many, many hours’ looking at students’ work to make sure their grade was a good match.
“We have really looked in detail at each and every one of you and every one of your grades,” Mr Morrison said.
“Teachers spent many, many hours looking at the evidence that you produced in class, through essays, practice tests, to really try and get the best grade, and the best match for all your efforts.”
BEECHWOOD SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Executive headteacher Kathleen Higgins said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ with this year’s results.
The school achieved 100 per cent pass rates in a number of subjects, including English literature, maths, biology, chemistry and physics.
Ms Higgins said: “The young men and women of Beechwood School are now positioned to progress on to the next stages in their lives secure in the knowledge that they can be really proud of all that they have achieved.
“With the uncertainty and anxiety that was experienced due to the exceptional COVID situation that we were all in, we are delighted that there is now so much to celebrate.”
CHARTERS SCHOOL, SUNNINGDALE: An 85 per cent A*-C rate was celebrated at the school, with 65% of grades coming in at A*-B.
Headteacher Richard Pilgrim said, "Despite the huge challenges that have been faced in recent months, we must remember that today’s results are the culmination of seven years’ work and there have been many outstanding successes of which our students should be very proud.
“ I hope that all our Year 13 students are now able to make plans for their futures. Whilst there has been no examination endorsement of grades, the work ethic and character development that has gone alongside academic study has prepared students well for the next step in their lives and they should feel confident and optimistic.”
CLAIRES COURT SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: The students achieved success with 78.2 per cent gaining A* to C, compared with 70 per cent gaining this in 2019 - but academic principal James Wilding says some ‘poor’ outcomes do not reflect some students’ performances.
The 17 and 18 year-olds are going on to a variety of things post A-levels - including universities in Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth and UCLA (California), as well as jobs and apprenticeships at the BBC.
The results were emailed out this year, with Claires Court teachers holding individual discussions with students to talk about their options.
The school is also hosting a final sixth form ‘lockdown lounge’ with all students joining a virtual meeting to mark the occasion.
Stephanie Rogers, head of Sixth Form, said: “This year is obviously very different due to COVID-19 circumstances and has a virtual twist.
"All students were emailed their results from 8am and although it’s a shame they haven’t had the opportunity to experience conventional exams or celebrate their results with each other and their teachers in person, we’ve stayed together virtually.”
James Wilding, academic principal, added: “This year’s unique position, no examinations and grades awarded by teacher feedback and national standardisation, makes it even more difficult for our students, because their personal story and efforts are very much lost in the ‘big picture’ story of results fixed by statistical analysis, not as an outcome of personal endeavour.
“In recent days though the government has indicated such situations are now open to appeal and I look forward to managing that process successfully for those students affected. ”
ALTWOOD SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: Head teacher Neil Dimbleby says he is ‘delighted’ with students’ results this year, with 40 per cent of grades awarded at A*-A.
A total of 82 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades, while 100 per cent of students following a vocational course achieved success. The overall pass rate here was 98 per cent.
Among this year’s top performers were:
Head teacher Neil Dimbleby said: “With so much uncertainty surrounding this year’s results we are delighted once again that such a significant number of our young people have successfully gained a place at the university or apprenticeship of their choice, it’s a credit to them and the staff at Altwood.
“I am incredibly proud of our students, all their hard work over the past two years has certainly paid off. The whole of the Altwood community wishes them well in the next phase of their life.”
CHARTERS SCHOOL, SUNNINGDALE: The headteacher of the secondary school is celebrating some ‘outstanding successes’ as 85 per cent of students received an A*-C grade and 65 per cent were awarded grade A*-B.
Headteacher Richard Pilgrim said: "Despite the huge challenges that have been faced in recent months, we must remember that today’s results are the culmination of seven years’ work and there have been many outstanding successes of which our students should be very proud. I hope that all our Year 13 students are now able to make plans for their futures. Whilst there has been no examination endorsement of grades, the work ethic and character development that has gone alongside academic study has prepared students well for the next step in their lives and they should feel confident and optimistic.”
Miss Deborah Coombes of Year 13 added: “So many of the students have received offers from their first choice universities and I’m delighted for them. They have been a fantastic year group and I wish them all the very best for the future.”
WINDSOR GIRLS SCHOOL, WINDSOR: Co-headteachers at the secondary school say they are ‘incredibly proud’ of how students have performed during a turbulent year with 78 per cent of students achieving grade A*-C
Co-heads Peter Griffiths and Eimear O’Carroll said "We are delighted with the overall results and incredibly proud of the achievements of all of our students.
"The hard work and dedication of both students and staff has been reflected in a wonderful set of outcomes. Although the calculation of the final grades might be different this year, we are pleased that our students are now in a position to proceed to the next phase of their lives whether that is in education or work.
“Throughout the day students have been supported and guided by a dedicated team of staff. During this uncertain period it has been invaluable to have such a base of knowledge and experience within our staff body. We have been faced with a complex set of circumstances but our staff and students have shown a huge amount of resilience and determination in order to secure the best outcomes for all.”
WINDSOR BOYS SCHOOL, WINDSOR: The school has expressed pride in its ‘resilient’ students with 83 per cent achieving grade C and above and 99 per cent getting a grade E or above.
Headteacher, Gavin Henderson, said: “I am so proud of the hard work, the resilience and determination of all of our students in year 13, who have had to cope with this unexpected year and I am sure they will be stronger, wiser and better people because of how they have managed themselves.
"They very much deserve these results and I wish them all the best in the next stage of their already successful lives. I would also like to thank the teachers and the data team at the school who did a seriously professional job managing the arduous process of providing centre assessed grades for students. Well done everyone. I am so proud of you all.”
WEXHAM SCHOOL, SLOUGH: Staff have paid tribute to their hardworking students after a successful results day where the school improved on last year's results.
Deputy headteacher Adam Fletcher was delighted with the 41 per cent A*-C pass rate his students achieved after experiencing a school year unlike any other.
He said: “The most important thing we wanted to see was an improvement on our results from last year, which we are really pleased about.
“We are really proud of our students and staff and all the work they have put in.
“This year has been completely different to any other but it's a testament to our staff that worked tirelessly and to the hard work that our students put in.”
READING BLUE COAT SCHOOL, SONNING: More than 85 per cent of students who applied to university have been offered their first choice in Sonning.
Reading Blue Coat School is celebrating record-breaking results with 94.9 per cent of students receiving A* - C results, 78.2 per cent obtaining A* to B, 49.9 per cent receiving A* to A and 100 per cent gaining A* to E.
While 80 per cent of all grades awarded were between A* and B, 50 per cent of all grades were awarded at A* to A.
Prefect Michael Hills achieved four A*’s, while senior prefect Jack Williams received three A*’s.
Headmaster Peter Thomas, said: “I am delighted for the pupils and staff who have worked so hard over the last two years and had their efforts recognised with excellent results.
“Reading Blue Coat is in fine health; an exciting time to take over as head and work with the school’s community to ensure it continues to thrive.
Mr George Morton, head of sixth form, said: “Regardless of whether or not examinations were sat this year, our year 13 pupils have really earned their strong A Level results today.
“Their hard work, commitment and intellectual curiosity over the last two years, which included embracing the challenges of remote learning during the first two months of lockdown, have been rewarded and we are delighted to see that so many of them have secured their places at the country's most prestigious universities.”
ST JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: A headteacher teacher believes this year could be the ‘best results ever’ for pupils at the school.
The school in Shaggy Calf Lane had 74 per cent of its students achieve A*-C grades with 17 per cent achieving A*-A grades. There was a 99 per cent pass rate across all academic qualifications which include A levels and vocational.
Headteacher Ciran Stapleton said: “We’re incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of both students and staff. Their reputation and hard work meant that a third of the cohort had already secured places at university before they had even sat their exams with unconditional offers.”
He said students were well prepared at the school completing two sets of mocks. The mock exams sat in March were done in strict exam conditions so should be accurate if students appeal the grades they are given.
He added: “These were past papers done in very strict exam conditions, it was a replica of the real exams and we reckon a grade has been knocked down from mock results. We had a really accurate picture of where they were and we have all the evidence to back it up."
SIR WILLIAM BORLASE’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL: The school’s headteacher has said she is ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the controversial grading system used for this year’s results.
Kay Mountfield congratulated her students for their ‘genuine passion for learning’ and said there have been ‘outstanding achievements’ at the school.
But she criticised the statistical model used to calculate grades, with students unable to sit exams.
She said: “We were assured that the statistical model would take into account the school’s historical data and the prior attainment of the students.
“The statistical model has not worked in its application to our school with our overall grades being downgraded to significantly lower than any previous grades Borlase has achieved, despite our having a stronger cohort.
“As this anomaly is so transparent in the way the outcomes deviate from the expectations of Ofqual and the school, we hope this will be quickly addressed.
“We will challenge this decision to ensure students from our school and students from schools across the area and country receive the results they deserve.”
DESBOROUGH COLLEGE, MAIDENHEAD: A-level students are celebrating a 100 per cent pass rate with more than a quarter achieving an A*-A and more than half a grade B or higher.
Top achievements include Tom Hodgson who achieved an A* and three A’s and is studying an apprenticeship in Engineering with the Automatic Weapons Establishment (AWE).
Poppy Jackson got a A*, A and B and will read history at Royal Holloway University.
LANGLEY ACADEMY, LANGLEY: Cambridge and the Connecticut College in the USA are some of the universities students from Langley Academy are off to.
Anike Abegunde achieved three A’s and will be studying chemistry in America on a full scholarship. Jasprett Padda also achieved three A’s and will be studying law at the University of Cambridge.
Headteacher Alison Lusuardi of the college in Langley Road said: “It was a great pleasure to finally see our year 13 students again this morning, after such a long time.
"Given the very uncertain times we are in, we are so pleased that the majority of them are able to move on to their chosen next steps.
"We wish all of them every success and look forward to hearing from them.”
WINDSOR COLLEGE, WINDSOR: The 'grit and determination' of the students at Windsor College was praised by their headteacher after a selection of impressive results.
A total of 60 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades, an improvement of two per cent on last year.
BTEC Level 3 results were also impressive, with 100 per cent of students passing.
CEO and group principal Kate Webb said: “Today is of course a huge recognition of the incredible achievement of our A Level and BTEC students who have shown such grit and determination during the lockdown imposed on them by the pandemic.
"They have triumphed in the most extreme of circumstances, having found the resilience to remain focussed on their studies and committed to their final goal. They are the class of 2020 and I hope they wear that badge with pride and honour.”
BURNHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL, BURNHAM:Headteacher Dr Andrew Gillespie has praised staff and students for the ‘resilience and courage’ they have shown, as the school celebrate A-Level successes.
Burnham Grammar School saw 84 per cent of all grades awarded between A* and C.
Dr Andrew Gillespie said: “I’m very proud of my staff and students and the resilience and courage they have demonstrated over the last six months in difficult circumstances.
“Despite the impact of COVID-19 and no formal exams we feel the majority of students have received grades that will allow them to pursue their passions next year.
“Many students gained a place at their chosen university including places at both Oxford and Cambridge.”
THE PIGGOTT SCHOOL, WARGRAVE: More than a third of students achieved top marks this year as The Piggott School continues to improve.
More than 33 per cent of students passed with A*s and As, while 99.7 per cent achieved A*-C.
Those studying vocational courses also excelled, with a pass rate of 100 per cent.
Headteacher Derren Grey said: "This once again shows our outstanding sixth form as a centre of excellence for academic, applied general and technical learning.
"I wish all our students the very best for their future and thank all the teaching and support staff for their continued dedication and professionalism."
KHALSA SECONDARY ACADEMY, STOKE POGES: The academy achieved a ‘Value Added Progress Score’ of +0.74 - placing it in the top five per cent of all secondary schools and colleges nationally with its first set of Year 13 results.
This score measures the progress made from Year 11 to Year 13, and the Academy achieved a 100 per cent pass rate at both A-Level and BTEC.
At A Level, 49 per cent of all grades were A* to B, and 76 per cent were A* to C.
Head teacher Chris Drew said: “We are still quite a new school, and this is our first set of Year 13 results, so to achieve such an impressive Value Added Score, and a 100 per cent pass rate, is testament to the incredible hard work and commitment of our students, parents and staff.”
Standout students included, Harkeerat Bains, who got A grades in chemistry, biology and maths, Monisha Basra, who achieved an A in psychology and B grades in biology and chemistry, and Navneet Kaur, who got a Distinction* in PE, an A in psychology and a D in maths.
BOURNE END ACADEMY, BOURNE END: Head teacher Likhon Muhammad paid tribute to his students for remaining ‘focused and engaged’ at ‘an incredibly challenging time’.
No grade percentages have yet been provided by the New Road school.
But key achievers included Freddie Stringer, who is now pursuing a career in the RAF; Teigan Smith, who will be taking on an apprenticeship at UCB Pharmaceutical, based in Slough; and Mya Hanif, who is heading south-west to Exeter to study law.
Mr Muhammad said: “We are very pleased to be celebrating the next steps in our students’ careers as they progress into the exciting world of higher education, apprenticeships or the world of work.
“It was wonderful to see all our year 13’s collect their results, it has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone but we are so proud of how focused and engaged students have been via our online learning platforms.”
COX GREEN SCHOOL: Staff have lauded the school's 'inspiring' students for enduring a tough school year full of uncertainty.
The Highfield Lane school did not publicly release any of its students' results, but in a statement it congratulated the students.
A school spokeswoman said: "The resilience shown in the face of uncertainty over the past few months has been inspiring and will stand our students in good stead for the next stage of their lives, whether they have secured places at university, apprenticeships or employment.
"The school continues to be fully committed to supporting our students with any further decisions they may need help with, and the next phase of their exciting journey.
"We are incredibly proud of them all and wish them the very best for a happy future!
"Thank you to all of our staff, parents and carers and Governors, whose support of our students, is greatly appreciated."
NEWLANDS GIRLS’ SCHOOL, MAIDENHEAD: The school has released a statement on this year’s results, saying it is ‘immensly proud’ of its year 13 students.
We do not yet have a grade breakdown from the Farm Road school.
“We are immensely proud of our Year 13 students, who have shown remarkable resilience during these unprecedented times,” Newlands said.
“The awarding of their A-Level and BTEC grades is through a very different process to that of previous cohorts, so we will be working with our students to help ensure that their hard work is rewarded by securing a place at a prestigious university or on a high-quality apprenticeship.”
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.