Students across Rotherham celebrate GCSE success

Published Thursday, 24th August 2017
Starting school

THOUSANDS of pupils are today celebrating after scooping great results across the borough for GCSEs.

Individual pupils in Rotherham schools and colleges have scored exceptionally well again this year, with some scoring up to 11 top grades.

This is despite Government changes to the GCSE marking system which came into play for the first time this year.

Pupils in England taking their exams this year are the first to be awarded numerical grades from nine to one, with nine being the top grade, instead of traditional alphabetical grades in maths, English literature and English language.  

The new English and maths GCSEs, which have been taught in classrooms across England since 2015, are also more challenging and cover more content than in previous years.

The changes are part of a larger reform by the Department for Education which began in 2011 with the national curriculum review.  Changes to other subjects will take place in 2018 with all changes to GCSEs concluded by 2020.

This year there are no comparisons to be released in terms of performance relating to last year’s results in English and maths, following the changes to the grading system.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Families Services said: "Congratulations to all the students who have worked so hard to achieve these results, which are especially impressive given the added pressures due to the changes to the grading system and the more demanding English and maths GCSEs.

"Initially, these changes may be confusing for students and parents but Rotherham has a strong record of success of GCSE performance and despite the challenges, I'm sure our students and schools will continue to compete well on a regional and national scale. 

 “I know a lot of hard work has gone into achieving these results and the pupils are a credit to the teachers, parents and of course themselves. I’d like to say ‘well done’ to each and every student and wish them the best of luck in their future education and careers.”

In other subjects, league tables will compare schools using Progress 8, a measure introduced in 2016 to show how much progress pupils have made between the end of primary school and their GCSEs.

For pupils themselves, it is still their individual exam results that matter, but for schools, Progress 8 is what will be used to judge their success.

Because Progress 8 is calculated by comparing how children compare to other children across the country, any school’s Progress 8 score for 2017 will not be known until the results across the country have been collected, and averages calculated. The Government will publish these figures in the Autumn term.

Some of the individual performances this year include Denys Melynk from Wath Comprehensive who, despite only coming over to England from the Ukraine in November, scored an impressive clutch of top grades including  1 grade 9,  2 A*s and 1A.

At Wales High School Melissa Driver collected 11 top grades including 3 grade 9s, 6 A*, 1 A, plus 1 A*with distinction.

Meanwhile at Aston Academy, Marie Asher scooped 3 grade 8s and 7 A*- A marks, with fellow classmate Jacob Danks achieving 1 grade 8, 1 grade 7 and 8 A*- A.