Pupils at Steyning Grammar School had much to celebrate this morning after getting their GCSE results.
Matthew Sanders, 16, from Partridge Green, got an outstanding five 9s, three 8s, one 7 and three As. He said he was ‘pretty buzzing’ about the result, and his advice to Year 10 pupils was to ‘work hard’. He said: “I put quite a lot of effort into some of my 9s because I thought they were my weaker subjects.”
This is the first year that most GCSEs are graded under a new numerical system designed to make exams more challenging. Click here to find out how the new grading system works.
Matthew broke the news of his top results to his family via text. He said: “I got a text back saying ‘OMG’ with quite a few exclamation marks.”
The top performer will by staying at the school’s sixth form to study maths, economics and chemistry at A-level. He said: “It is a really great school; it’s one of the reasons I want to stay on here. I’ve made lots of good friends.”
Toby Taylor also had lots to celebrate, achieving four 9s, four 8s, one A*, two As and a six. The 16-year-old from Washington said: “I was very happy; it was what I was hoping for really.
“These are my best set of results; I never got a 9 before in my mocks.”
His advice for younger pupils was: “Aim for the top grades; don’t limit yourself.”
Headteacher Nick Wergan said: “Congratulations to all students. We are proud of each and every pupil and their exam successes as well as their progress in terms of developing their learning character; we wish them every success in the next stage of their lifelong learning journeys.”
Mrs Nicol, deputy headteacher, said: “The exam results are just one measure of our students’ success and represent their grit and determination to flourish. The joy on the faces of so many, when they realise that they can move onto their chosen progression pathways, makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Among students who excelled were Shaun Coughlan, who got 9s in each subject he studied. Others were Ashley Walters (12 grades at 7-9), Lucy Hirst (12 grades at 7-9) and Amber Wright (12 grades at 7-9).
A school spokesman said: “Our students continue to flourish in biology, chemistry and physics with 99 per cent of students achieving a level 4 or above and they have similarly excelled in Performing Arts with nearly 90 per cent achieving grades 4-9.”
Phoebe Coster, 16, from Goring Road, Steyning, got four 6s and three 8s. She said she was happiest with her English literature grade, and would be going out for lunch with family to celebrate.
Donhin Qiu, 16, from West Worthing, got a 9 in English literature among other good grades and was singled out by the school as being one of the most improved students. His reaction when finding out was of ‘disbelief and surprise’, and he will be continuing his studies at the school’s sixth form college.
Destiny Kirby, 16, from Steyning, surpassed her own expectations after getting a 7, two 6s, a 5, two 4s, a C/B and a C. Her proudest achievement was in maths, she said: “I thought I’d failed that one.” She added: “I’ll be going to a nice fancy restaurant with my family to celebrate. I haven’t told them yet – they’ll probably say well done and give me a big hug.”
Sabrina Ahmed, 16, from Lancing, got two 9s in religious studies and biology, two 8s in physics and chemistry, four 7s, two As and an A* in ICT.
She said: “I was so happy, I couldn’t even believe it. I was thinking beforehand – what am I going to do if I don’t get good grades? What will I do with my life?
“When I got them I felt at ease, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I feel so grateful.”
The 16-year-old will be going to BHASVIC in Brighton to study sciences, with the goal of becoming a dentist.
Dylan Denhart, 16, from Partridge Green, got an 8, a 7, three 6s, two 5s, a 4, a 3 and two As. He will be staying at the sixth form to study physics, maths and chemistry to pursue his goals of becoming an engineer.