08:26AM, Thursday 17 August 2017
Hundreds of students across East Berkshire and South Bucks collected their A-level results this week.
We reported live throughout Thursday morning with the latest reaction, stories, photos and pass rates from schools across the area.
Check out our 'as it happened' blog below.
Monday, August 21, 12.15pm: Claires Court: Psychology was the top performing subject at the school, enabling head girl Lauren Walters, with an A* in psychology, an A in history and a B in art, and fellow student Alasdair Butler, who achieved two As in history and religious studies and an A* in psychology to follow their dreams.
Alasdair said: “I was surprised with my A* in Psychology.
“I am going on to study philosophy and politics at Exeter University, which was my first choice, and as for the future, perhaps a career in the civil service.
Lauren said: “I am delighted with my results, you can only hope that all the hard work and revision pays off. And it did.
“I am now taking a gap year to work in an orphanage and hospital in South Africa.
“Afterwards I hope to go to Sussex University to study child development and psychology.”
James Wilding, academic principal said: “With the change in A-level examinations from modular to terminal, students and staff have met the significant challenge remarkably well, with results very similar to those of the past five years.”
The school achieved a 97.8 per cent A*-E pass rate.
17.02pm: E-Act Burnham Park Academy: Half of all students achieved an A or A* with 75 per cent getting A*-C grades.
Louisa Hewitt will be going to De Montfort University after achieving three B grades in English literature, psychology and sociology.
Miss Kerri-Anne Leavy, designated safeguarding lead, said: “We are extremely proud of our students and wish them every success in the future at university or in employment.”
16.59pm: Heathfield School: Places at Russell Group universities and leading arts and drama colleges await students from the school in Ascot.
A*-C grades were achieved by 87 per cent of students at the independent school in London Road.
Headteacher Marina Gardiner Legge said: “Our students worked extremely hard to achieve their potential in all subjects and have done so well as a result.
“These results reflect the hard work of our students and the tireless efforts of the staff, hand-in-hand with parents.
“We are so proud of their achievements.”
13.21pm: Charters School: The co-headteachers of the school praised students for their ‘exceptional performance’ despite the ‘added uncertainty’ of A-level course changes.
This year’s A-level learners were the first to be assessed by exams at the end of two years of study rather than modules throughout the course.
Students coped with the changes though, with 30 per cent achieving A*-A grades.
The school, in Charters Road, also achieved 80 per cent A*-C grades and 99 per cent A*-E.
Co-headteachers Martyn Parker and Richard Pilgrim said: “This is the first year of a phased introduction of linear A-level course that are assessed by examinations at the end of two years of study.
“As such, there has been added stress and uncertainty on individuals. We wish all our students well as they embark on their chosen university courses, apprenticeships or employment.”
13.07pm: The Marist School: Head and deputy head girls were achieved matching results yesterday (Thursday).
Imogen Naldret and Annabel Brooks (pictured) achieved 1A*, 2As and an A* in their Extended Project Qualification.
Former head girl Imogen is going to read politics and international studies at Durham while deputy Annabel will read civil and architectural engineering at Bath.
Overall there was a 100 per cent pass rate with 94 per cent of results at A*-C.
Principal Karl McCloskey: “This is a special year group who deserve these outstanding results, I could not be prouder.
“I am excited to see what the future holds for them as they embark on their next phase of learning.”
12.49pm: Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School: It was a near-perfect A-level results day for Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, which missed out on a 100 per cent pass rate by less than one per cent.
The grammar school, in West Street, Marlow, ended the day with a 99.3 per cent pass rate, with 92.8 per cent achieving A*-C.
There were also 40 students who gained straight A grades and five who opened their envelopes to find all A*s, contributing to 46 per cent rate of return for A* and As.
Headmaster Dr Peter Holding said: This was a very talented year group, who were a delight to work with, not only for their academic studies, but for all of the other aspects of school life.
“They included talented actors, musicians, sports men and women, for example, and some of these young people were juggling the demands of international sporting competition with academic studies.
“I am very proud of them.”
12.47pm: Slough and Eton College: The support of teachers and families was praised by headteacher Paul McAteer.
There was an A*-E pass rate at the college in Ragstone Road of 96 per cent, with 67 per cent of grades coming in at A*-C.
Students can combine A-level courses with vocational qualifications and including equivalent and vocational courses the A*-E pass rate was 98 per cent.
Mr McAteer said: “We are delighted with the results that our students have achieved. They have worked very hard to get these results and with the support of their teachers and family they have been successful.
“Our students are going on to study a range of subjects at university including physics, chemistry, business management, accountancy and journalism, as well as taking up apprenticeships with companies like Deloittes and Arvarto.”
12.45pm: Windsor Girls’ School: University beckons for students after 74 per cent achieved A*-C grades.
The Imperial Road school’s A-level pass rate was once again 99 per cent.
Top achievers included Laura Lane, 18, who got one A* and two As, and Yasmin Talha who managed one A*, one A and one B.
Both girls will be studying geography at Durham University and the University of Nottingham respectively.
Headteacher Gill Labrum congratulated students for their ‘hard work and commitment’.
12.42pm: Bourne End Academy: The ‘best results ever’ were recorded by Bourne End Academy.
The school, in New Road, Wooburn Green, has struggled in recent years and was rated ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted inspectors in January.
But results day saw a 100 per cent pass rate achieved by pupils.
Of these, 73 per cent gained A*-C grades and 36 per cent A*-B.
Headteacher Andrea Jacobson said: “Our students have embraced our school motto of ‘Believe, Engage, Aspire’ and mirrored the hard work and determination that the staff at Bourne End Academy apply.
“Thank you also to our families who, with us, offer so much support and guidance.
“Our students have been a credit to us all and most importantly themselves.”
12.39pm: St George’s School: Nearly three quarters of students were awarded A*-B grades.
Overall, 89 per cent of results at the school in Wells Lane, Ascot, were from A*-C and 72 per cent of results were graded A*-B.
Top marks in the school went to Emily Hughes, who was awarded A*, A*, A*, going to read Geography at Durham University and head girl Mimo Sandford, with A*, A, A, who will go to Clare College, Cambridge University, to study veterinary medicine.
Headteacher Liz Hewer said this year’s ‘record-breaking results are a reflections of pupils’ and teachers’ hard work.
“Particularly pleasing is the significant increase in the number of A* grades given the uncertainty surrounding the new reformed A-levels,” she said.
“We are very proud of these girls who leave St George’s to study in a wide variety of fields next year.
“There are also girls embarking on vocational courses and entering the world of work. I wish these confident, capable young women all the very best for the future.”
12.35pm: St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School: Results achieved at the Langley Road school are a ‘testament to the hard work undertaken by both students and staff’, headteacher Michael Stimpson said.
A total of 29 per cent of grades were either A* or A and 86 per cent were A*-C.
“Many of the excellent grades achieved this year are from subjects which are ‘new’ linear A Levels – both students and staff have worked hard to keep standards high and there are a great number of success stories – including outstanding performances by students going off to Oxbridge, medicine and Russell Group universities, as well as those students who have achieved against the odds to gain great results which will enable them to go off to the next stage of their lives.
“Well done to all of our students.”
12.30pm: Furze Platt Senior School: Records have been smashed at Furze Platt Senior School, which picked up some of its best results ever.
The school, in Furze Platt Road, saw a six per cent leap in the number of A* and A grades, up to 31 per cent from the previous high of 25 per cent in 2014.
The overall pass rate was also up to 99 per cent, a rise on the 98 per cent record five years in a row between 2012-16.
Headteacher Tanya White said: “I think the staff, as well as the students, have been quite anxious and uncertain because so many of the courses are new this year.
“They’ve been linear, which means everything rests on the final exam and with the first year everyone has been more anxious and there’s been a lot in the media about how hard it would be and to not expect schools to do so well.
“But we haven’t just done well, we’ve smashed records and I’m thrilled the pupils didn’t let it deter them – they just gritted their teeth and did it.”
12.22pm: East Berkshire College (Windsor campus): A student is hoping his stellar set of A-level results will show his children that ‘anything is possible’.
When 26-year-old Christopher Walden left school, he had just one GCSE to his name.
But after spending time working in a factory, he decided he wanted to return to education and enrolled at the college in St Leonards Road.
He achieved three A*s in maths, further maths and physics, and will now be embarking on a four-year course at University College London.
Christopher, who has a one-year-old son Kai, said: “I was working at a factory with my dad and I didn’t want the same for my kids. I wanted to break the cycle.”
A total of 95 per cent of students at East Berkshire College got A*-E grades while 68 per cent got A*-C.
Emily Maskrey, 20, managed two As in law and literature and will be completing her sociology A-level next year.
12.18pm: St. Joseph’s Catholic High School: Hard-working pupils achieved an 11 per cent rise in A grades from last year, leaving head Lou Baker full of praise.
A total of 77 per cent of A-level grades fell between A*-C, a 20 per cent increase on last year at the Shaggy Calf Lane school.
“We are so proud of our student’s success and the hard work they and the staff have put into these incredibly tough qualifications,” Ms Baker said.
“All of our year 13 students have secured really exciting destinations including apprenticeships for Fujitsu, O2 and British Airways.
“We have students going on to study courses such as bio-medical science, engineering, international business at universities including Leeds, Bristol, Royal Holloway, Exeter and Manchester.
Successful pupils included Martin Lynch, who received an A* in business and As in economics, history and the extended project qualification.
12.04pm: The Westgate School: A 99 per cent pass rate was achieved by pupils at the Cippenham Lane school, with 72 per cent of grades marked between A*-C.
Headteacher Susan Rose praised the ‘extremely hard’ work of the staff and pupils at the school.
A total of 13 per cent of grades were A* or A.
Ms Rose added: “We had some stand-out performances.
“Three students all got three A* and As and we only had 39 in the year group.”
She continued: “The amount of work the students put in and also the staff – it is really satisfying that it has paid off.”
11.54am: Newlands Girls’ School: A ‘phenomenal year’ for A-level results was hailed by staff at Newlands Girls’ School – despite a slight dip on last year’s record results.
The school, in Farm Road, recorded an impressive overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent among the 92 pupils picking up grades, just shy of 2016’s 100 per cent pass rate.
Of the results, 34 per cent were A* and A, 56 per cent A*-B and 82.4 per cent A*-C.
Assistant headteacher and head of sixth form Gemma Walton said: “It’s been another phenomenal year and we’re super pleased with all of our results.
“It’s been fantastic work from all the students and staff and support staff and another outstanding set of results.”
Asked about changes to the structure of some A-level exams, which had been predicted to cause a drop in results for some, she added: “There’s always changes in education and you just roll with the punches.
“We’re more than able to adapt to the changes and feel we’re delivering a first class education.”
11.50am: Baylis Court School: Teachers waved off their year 13 pupils after they achieved what the Gloucester Avenue school described as its ‘best ever A-level results’.
Its pass rate was 98 per cent, with 87 per cent of grades between A* and C.
A total of 12 per cent of entries were graded either A* or A.
Deborah Asoje, the headteacher, said: “These results are another example of the benefits of the stimulating environment provided by our staff in which our girls blossom and thrive, and where their distinct qualities are developed until each one is ready for the challenges of adult life.
“Every year, all of our students who wish to go to university do so.”
Kainaat Safdar, 18, from Stoke Poges, was one of the stand-out achievers, gaining A*s in English language and literature, and government and politics, and a B in psychology.
Having been ‘really nervous actually this morning’ she checked online before her results to find she had got into the University of Bristol to study politics.
“I was like, well, that must be a mistake because my offer was 3 As, and I really didn’t expect to get any good grades, but something happened.”
She added: “I don’t know if the world has enough politicians yet, but maybe I’ll be joining the ranks.”
11.46am: Cox Green Academy: “Every single student got into their first choice of university” said Heidi Swidenbank, headteacher of the school in Highfield Lane.
A total of 77 per cent of students got A*-C grades, 99 per cent got A*-E grades and 26 per cent got A*-A.
Nick Hoare, 18, got 3 A*s in maths, physics and further maths, and an A in chemistry. He said: “I wasn’t expecting the A* in physics.”
Laura Thrift got 2As in maths and further maths, and a C in Biology. She will be studying MORSE at Southampton University. She said: “Morse is maths, operational research, statistics and economics. I was really nervous collecting my results, I couldn’t get to sleep last night.”
Alex Sadlier, 18, got 2 A*s in maths and further maths, and a B in physics and he will be studying architecture at Cardiff University. He said he chose the university because he loves the city.
Alex Halstead got 2 A*s in maths and further maths, and an A in physics. He will be studying maths at Birmingham University. He said: “It was my first choice, I think I will celebrate later by going to Nando’s.”
Heidi Swidenbank said: “These are truly amazing results that show the hard work and talent of our students. The students have achieved their ambitions and have proven academic success. Whatever they wish to do in the future our students will take great memories from Cox Green with them and the excellent friendships they have formed.”
11.41am: The Windsor Boys’ School: Promising Maidenhead United striker Josh Kelly’s A-level results proved he is just as sharp in exams as he is in the penalty box.
The 18-year-old (pictured right), who studies at The Windsor Boys’ School (TWBS), got an A in physical education, B in maths and a BTEC in business.
He is now hoping to start an apprenticeship in recruitment while gaining first team experience during a loan spell at Bostik League South side Walton Casuals.
Overall, 99 per cent of students at TWBS achieved A*-E grades, 85 per cent managed A*-C ,while 31 per cent got A*-A grades.
Headteacher Gavin Henderson praised his ‘dedicated’ sixth formers and ‘inspirational’ teachers for managing the changes to the A-level programmes.
11.32am: Herschel Grammar School: Most students made it into their first or second choice universities with 27 per cent of pupils achieving A*-A grades.
Overall, the pass rate at the school in Northampton Avenue was 99.7 per cent.
Deputy head Steve Devereux said: “We are pleased we have maintained our average.
“Almost all the students have got into their first or second choice universities.
“Staff and students have done well, it has been challenging with the lack of past papers available for students to practice.”
Picking up their AS-level results were 17-year-olds Ayesha Narod, Sarah Choudry and Kinza Shah who said they will celebrate by getting started on studying for next year’s exams.
Kinza who got an A in politics and B in English added: “I am pleasantly surprised, it was a very stressful year, we are happy half of it is done.”
11.27am: Altwood Church Of England School: Headteacher Neil Dimbleby was ‘buzzing’ over another year of good results.
The Altwood Road school saw a slight dip in the overall pass rate to 98 per cent, down from last year’s 99 per cent.
But there was also a five per cent rise in the number of A* and A grades, which was up to 35 per cent this time around.
Mr Dimbleby said: “We’ve had further success [this year], lots of students picking up their envelopes with beaming smiles because it means they’ve got their place at university or their apprenticeship.
“That’s what it’s been about, 12 months of building on successes and making sure each student feels fully supported for their next step in life.”
One of the happy faces belonged to head boy Noah Murray, gained an A* in English literature and As in geography and history.
It marks a big change in direction for the 18-year-old, who was set to become a plumber before winning a place to read law at Warwick University.
“At GCSEs I didn’t really like school and wanted to do a plumbing apprenticeship, but I didn’t get it,” he said.
“So I did A-levels instead and put the work in and it’s really paid off.”
Paying tribute to the school, he added: “The support I’ve got from them has been unbelievable –it sounds clichéd, but I can only thank them for what they’ve done.”
11.19am: Desborough College: Headteacher Paul Frazer said there had been many ‘exceptional performances’ from students at the school in Shoppenhangers Road.
A total of 70 per cent of students achieved A*-C and 22 per cent of students achieved A*-A.
Gui Bertholdi, 18, achieved ABB in maths, tech and physics and is off to Loughborough to study automotive engineering.
He said: “It was my first choice so I’m glad I got in. I will be going out with my dad for a meal to celebrate.”
Shoaib Akhtar, 18, got an A* in economics, a B in English and a B in maths. He is going to York University to study economics. He said: “I chose York because it was far away and it had a good course.”
Paul Frazer said: “The number of higher grades achieved at A-level has improved significantly with A and B grades accounting for well over half of the total grades awarded. The number of students achieving distinction grades in their BTEC examinations is astonishingly high and there have been many exceptional individual performances.
“They have been a superb cohort and I shall miss them all, although I am thoroughly delighted that the overwhelming majority have been awarded places at their first choice university or are embarking upon their chosen career pathways.
“The results demonstrate once again that Desborough College offers an outstanding education that meets the needs and aspirations of all students.”
11.08am: Upton Court Grammar School: Hard work paid off for students with 13 achieving straight A* and A grades.
One of the top pupils Verity King (pictured with Adam Wall), 18, from Wraysbury, is heading to Durham to study anthropology in September after getting two As and an A*.
“I was hoping to get some As but it was a shock in biology,” she said.
Overall at the school there was a 99.2 per cent pass rate in grades A*-E.
School principal Mercedes Hernandez Estrada said “It has been fantastic to see our students celebrating their grades and having confirmation of their university offer.
“These outcomes are a testament to the students' hard work and talent as well as to the invaluable support they have received from our expert staff.”
10.45am: Beechwood School in Britwell received the highest A-level results ever achieved at the school.
In some subject areas only grades of A*-C were achieved, including art, business studies, ICT, media and performing arts.
The school had 81 per cent of pupils achieve A*-C grades.
Executive headteacher, Kathleen Higgins, said the school is incredibly proud of the results and the students ‘have bright futures ahead of them’.
10.31am: The Windsor Boys’ School had 99 per cent of students achieve A*-E grades, 85 per cent bagged A*-C grades and 31 per cent had A*-A grades.
10.26am: This might be your future Prime Minister.
10:23am: Great work from Chloe.
Great results at Herschel Grammar too. 99.7% A*-E.— Tara O'Connor (@TaraOConnor_BM) August 17, 2017
Herschel's deputy head Steve Devereux: changes to A-levels has made it hard for students to prepare - there are no past papers— Tara O'Connor (@TaraOConnor_BM) August 17, 2017
10.12am: Here's Furze Platt headteacher Tanya White talking about changes to this year's A-levels. Students sit all exams at the end of two years of study instead of throughout the course, and AS results no longer count towards the final grades.
Despite the changes, the school had 31 per cent of pupils achieve A* and A grades - up from 25 per cent last year.
9.49am: Further developments in the Nando's story. And this is massive.
So apparently Nando's has got a deal on today. If you show your results you get a free chicken?!— Grace Witherden (@GraceW_BM) August 17, 2017
Just to clarify, it's a free quarter chicken (or chicken wings). We don't want to start a riot.
9.43am: At Cox Green, 80 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades, and 98 per cent achieved A*-E grades. Grace, who is at the school, says every single student got into their first choice university. And they know how to celebrate.
Lots of students at Cox Green celebrating by going to Nando's. Jel— Grace Witherden (@GraceW_BM) August 17, 2017
9.27am: It's all kicking off now. Here's Dave in Windsor.
Students at East Berkshire College, St Leonard's Road, achieve 95% A*-E grades and 68% A*-C @ExpressSeries— David Lee (@DavidLee_BM) August 17, 2017
9.23am: Tara's at Wexham School...
It's A-level results day. Adam Fletcher dep head at Wexham School says students and staff have 'risen to the challenge' of different style— Tara O'Connor (@TaraOConnor_BM) August 17, 2017
18-year-old Sana Hussain wants to be an intellegence analyst!! She got A*,A,B but doesn't know which uni she's going to yet pic.twitter.com/GBZUMdGveJ— Tara O'Connor (@TaraOConnor_BM) August 17, 2017
Himat Parmar , 19, is pleased with his 3 distinctions in applied science BTEC. He's heading to Wolverhampton Uni pic.twitter.com/IA7cjfg5np— Tara O'Connor (@TaraOConnor_BM) August 17, 2017
9.20am: Here's Altwood headteacher Neil Dimbleby. He's buzzing, apparently.
9.16am: Toni-Ann is moving on to study journalism. Very wise, great choice.
9.13am: James is at Altwood, and there's good news for the head boy.
9.07am: Remember, if you don't get the university place you were hoping for, it's not the end of the world. You can still find great courses through Clearing. UCAS helped more than 33,000 students through the process last year.
Grace's first stop is Desborough College.
Paul Frazer, headteacher at Desborough School says: "They have been a superb cohort and I shall miss them all"— Grace Witherden (@GraceW_BM) August 17, 2017
Students at Desborough got 70% A*-C, and 22% A*-A and 98% A*-E— Grace Witherden (@GraceW_BM) August 17, 2017
We already have our first set of results in. Altwood School achieved an overall pass rate of 98 per cent, with 35 per cent of entries achieving A* or A grades and 67 per cent getting A*-C grades.
Headteacher Neil Dimbleby said: “I am incredibly proud of our students; all their hard work has certainly paid off! It’s a credit to them and the staff at Altwood that such a significant number of our young people have successfully gained a place at the university or apprenticeship of their choice. I am thrilled for them and would like to take this opportunity to sincerely wish them every success in the next phase of their life.”
Good morning everyone.
We'll be bringing you pass rates, photos and reaction throughout the day from A-level results day.
Good luck to all of the students collecting their results today!
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