GCSE results day 2021: teachers and students commended for resilience

Over half a million pupils receive their GCSE and IGCSE results today, with overall grades slightly up on last year. A similar number of vocational certificates have also been awarded.

Millfield School

For 2021’s summer exam session, students’ GCSE grades were determined by teachers using a wide range of classroom assessments and tests carried out under controlled conditions to assess candidates on what they had been taught.The aim was to ensure fairness for young people and mitigate against the uneven impact of Covid-19 disruption locally and individually.  The Department for Education reports today’s results show 79.1% of entries received a grade 4 or above – equivalent to a pass – increasing 0.3 percentage points on last year. Similarly, 80.9% of pupils achieved a 4 or above in English and 77.9% in maths, increasing by 0.7 and 0.8 percentage points respectively.Figures also show 7.7% of entries are at grade 9 and 30.0% at grade 7 or above, which represent increases of 1.1 percentage point and 2.4 percentage point respectively on 2020.
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Results day: end of a difficult chapter

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Young people have worked hard despite the challenges of the last year and they should feel incredibly proud of their achievements today.“Every young person can now look forward with excitement to taking their next steps, whether that is studying A levels or our new T Levels or taking one of the many other routes available, like an apprenticeship.“I also want to pay a special tribute to teachers and school leaders, who have gone above and beyond to support their students this year.”Dr Philip Wright, Director General of the Joint Council for Qualifications, a membership body that represents the eight largest examination bodies in the UK, also offered his congratulations to students for overcoming significant challenges in the past 18 months. “The impact of Covid has undoubtedly provided a difficult chapter in their education journey and their resilience is to be applauded. We wish them all the best as they take their next steps in life.”Dr Wright also acknowledged the efforts of schools and teachers in this difficult times. “Teachers used their professional judgement and submitted the grades and evidence in good time for us to check and award grades today. Their efforts will allow students to swiftly progress onto the next stages of their education or training.”

IGCSE results 2021

Nearly 240,000 students from 146 countries also received their IGCSE and O Level results today from Cambridge International. The examination board was able to organise exams in most countries, with three-quarters of students taking exams in this series. Where exams were unsafe to run, such as in the UK, the exam board offered a school-based assessment of students' work. Overall, Cambridge IGCSE and O Level grades rose slightly this year when compared to June 2019 results – the last year that all Cambridge students took exams. The increase is between half and two-thirds of a grade, slightly higher than in 2020. Its June 2021 series was also Cambridge International's largest ever, this despite the pandemic, which reflects the enduring appeal of the English curriculum overseas. Christine Özden, Chief Executive, Cambridge International, commented: "I would like to congratulate all of our students around the world on their results today, which mean they will be able to continue with their next steps, whether that is further study or launching their careers."In a year like no other, our students have overcome the many challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, including school closures and learning from home, to gain their qualifications. This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates their resilience and dedication to their studies over the past year."I would also like to thank our schools and teachers for their dedication and commitment in helping students to achieve their qualifications. These results are the outcome of the hard work of all involved, often in very challenging circumstances and you should all be very proud of what you have achieved."

GCSEs 2021: key statistics

  • Comparison of grades between this year and last year showed broad stability in the historic differences between groups of students.
  • 79.1% of entries receive a grade 4 or above, compared to 78.8% in 2020.
  • Secondary selective schools had the highest proportion of grades above 7 (68.4%), followed by independent schools (61.2%). There was also a relative increase of 8.6% since 2020 in the proportion of grades at 7 and above in academies, compared with a 7.1% increase in independent schools.
  • In real terms, this means there are 1.10 times more grades at 7 and above in academies, compared to 1.08 times more grades at 7 and above in independent schools, in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • Small increases in maths and English GCSE at grade 4 and above, with pass rates now 77.9% and 80.9% respectively, with increases of 0.7 and 0.8 ppt.
  • Entries into EBacc subjects rose by 2.4% overall with 78.4% of results at grade 4 and above.
  • Over 520,000 certificates for vocational and technical qualifications at level 1/2 and level 2 have been issued.
Concerns have been raised that the attainment gap for young people accessing free school meals has not closed this year. Exams regulator Ofqual conducted equalities analyses to consider whether the gaps between the average results of different groups of students, which are observed in normal years, have changed this summer. The analyses show increases in outcomes for many groups and general stability, yet a slight widening of the longstanding results gap between students receiving free school meals and those who are not. This, Ofqual concludes, is likely to be because of the uneven impact of the pandemic.Students receiving their results today can get advice about their next steps from the National Careers Service. A wide range of post-16 options are available to this cohort, from the Government’s new pioneering T levels which started last year to hundreds of high-quality apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.

Make UK manufacturing sector comment

Verity Davidge, Make UK Director of Policy said, “The increase in the number of students sitting GCSEs in maths and sciences with more achieving the highest grades in these subjects is great news for the manufacturing sector which needs an injection of talent to power Britain’s innovative industrial base.“A career in manufacturing, whether it be down the degree route or coming into the sector as a highly paid apprentice, brings with it amazing opportunities in high growth areas like the digital and green energy sectors which are so desperately needed to carve a route out of the global climate change crisis.”

Schools celebrate GCSE success

King’s Ely

Determination and an enthusiasm for learning has resulted in GCSE students at King’s Ely achieving a brilliant set of grades. King’s Ely is delighted to report that 94% of results this year are Grades 9-5, 65% are Grades 9-7 (the old A*-A) and 39% are Grades 9-8. 19% of results this year are Grade 9, which is the highest possible.Students at King's Ely with GCSE results Students at King's Ely with GCSE resultsJohn Attwater, Principal of King’s Ely, said, “This year’s system of teacher assessed grades has demanded real maturity, flexibility and resilience from our students and exceptional dedication and hard work from teachers. Our students have accepted this rigorous process with good grace and enthusiasm to do their best in genuine partnership with staff, and it has been great to see their confidence that their teachers know them as individuals really well so that their grades are the right ones for them. “Some people are writing about “spikes” in grades this year because of the lack of exams and teacher assessment replacing it. However, today’s grades have been painstakingly and professionally established to gauge students’ level of readiness for further study in each subject, probably more accurately and consistently for each student this year than ever before, which would suggest that it is the normal process of sitting traditional exams which disadvantage some students every year instead. I am delighted for our students and look forward to working with them in the Sixth Form at King’s in September.”

Millfield School

Students at Millfield School in Somerset, the UK, are among those celebrating their results. Ten students achieved nine grade 9s in their subjects and 38 students secured grade 9s in at least five of their subjects.Millfield Headmaster, Gavin Horgan, says,: “I am full of pride seeing our Year 11 students receive their exam results today. They have been truly brilliant, resilient and committed to their studies and school life in what has been another unpredictable year surrounding exams. They should be extremely proud of their achievements. Each and every student has learnt valuable lessons that they can take forward to their future Sixth Form studies and beyond.”

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Fulham School

Students at Fulham School, London, receive outstanding GCSE results 
 Students at Fulham School, London, are celebrating an exceptional set of GCSE results this year. The results, earned during the COVID-19 pandemic, saw students seamlessly switching between in-class and on-line learning, demonstrating resilience and commitment to their studies. GCSE results released this week have risen to record levels at Fulham School London. These outstanding results were earned during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw schools switching between in-class, on-line and hybrid lessons, in line with government recommendations. Students at Fulham School, London, part of the Inspired Education Group, were able to navigate these changes and maintain the focus on their education thanks to the systems in place and the support of their dedicated teachers. Head of Senior, Chris Cockerill commented “I am truly delighted with the achievements of our Year 11 students this year who have navigated the unique challenges of the past two years exceptionally well. They have shown outstanding fortitude in adapting to the new systems of assessment for this academic year and I alongside all the staff at Fulham School are tremendously proud of them.” Highlights of the results include: 22% of all grades were grade 9 45% of all grades were grades 9 - 8 64% of all grades were grades 9 - 7 100% of grades were passing grades, 9-4 The students will now embark on the next steps of their education at various colleges in the London area. Those opting to complete their educational journey at Fulham School will join the first ever cohort at the new Fulham Sixth Form, opening September 2021. These students will study towards the highly regarded International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, a holistic qualification that on top of academic achievement, encapsulates broader human development across personal, social, and interpersonal skills, to produce well-rounded citizens of the world. Year 11 student, Ece said “When I arrived at Fulham School, I was welcomed into a wonderful warm community, who instantly made me feel comfortable and at home. This gave me the confidence to grow as a person and in my studies, and I would like to thank everyone at Fulham School for their support. I really could not have wished to be part of a better community”. As a part of the Inspired global network of more than 70 schools across 5 continents, Fulham School, London, is delighted to celebrate the success of all GCSE students in Inspired schools around the world. About Fulham School Fulham School is independent and co-educational, providing a rich and diverse curriculum to children from Reception upwards. Co-education and celebrating diverse abilities across academic, creative, and sporting pursuits are at the heart of all we do. There are three stages of the school, each with its own distinct identity, contributing to the breadth of each pupil's experience as they progress: •Fulham Pre-Prep: from Reception to Year 2 (ages 4-7) •Fulham Prep: from Year 3 to Year 8 (ages 7-13) •Fulham Senior: from Year 9 to Year 11(ages 13-16) •Fulham Sixth Form: from Year 12 –Year 13(ages 16-18) Fulham Pre-Prep occupies a spacious site on Fulham High Street near Putney Bridge, including a lovely Victorian building, a modern purpose-built block and outdoor play area, garden, and sports spaces. Fulham Prep is located in a magnificent building on Greyhound Road with around an acre of outdoor space including a playground and sports pitch and has dedicated access to excellent local sports facilities. Fulham Senior and Sixth Form are centrally located in the newly refurbished (2021) Chesilton Road site. Designed and refurbished to the highest standards the building has modern glass architecture which adds to the brightness of the urban school environment. Features include a wide range of modern classrooms that have been designed to accommodate age-appropriate teaching for year groups 9-13. The new school also features a bespoke drama studio and art room, two science labs and a spacious dining hall. 

ACS Cobham

Showcasing their exceptional ability to perform in university-level subjects, Advanced Placement (AP) students at ACS International School Cobham are celebrating success in their 2021 exam results. Students will now progress to top universities, including University of California, Fashion Institute of Technology and Boston University.Originating in the US, AP is recognised as a prestigious post-16 qualification by universities worldwide, including121 UK universities. ACS Cobham offers College Board AP courses and, unlike many exam boards in the UK and around the world this year, the College Board administered full length, externally-marked examinations in 2021.This year, 195 Grade 12 students at the school took a total of 433 AP exams across 30 subjects, includingEuropean History and Physics. 79% of students achieved a score of three or more points out of five in at least one subject, meaning they are performing at a university-level standard and have gained college credit for that subject. 74 students received AP Scholar awards this year, which are awarded to outstanding students whoscore three or higher in three or more full-year AP subjects.Students are able to gain AP qualifications as part of their ACS High School Diploma (US) alongside International Baccalaureate (IB) and /or High School courses, or as an additional diploma - the AP Capstone Diploma (APCD) or the AP International Diploma (APID).  Eight students chose to complete the APCD in 2021, with the number growing year on year.A Class of 2021 graduate comments: “I feel very prepared for life at university and am confident in my abilities to balance several long­-term projects simultaneously. This is thanks to the many wonderful staff and teachers at ACS.”Barnaby Sandow, Head of School, ACS Cobham, comments: “A huge congratulations to this year’s AP students.AP courses are rigorous and challenging, designed to ensure that students arrive at university already well prepared to thrive in their chosen subjects. Despite facing numerous hurdles as a result of the ongoing pandemic, our students have continued to demonstrate enormous resilience, working hard to succeed in their exams in exceptional circumstances. I wish all of our graduates the best of luck as they now progress to the next stages of their lives.”For more information on ACS Cobham’s AP results 2021, please visit: https://www.acs-schools.com/acs-cobham-advanced-placement-ap-results-2021

ACS Hillingdon

Showcasing their exceptional ability to perform in university-level subjects, students at ACS International School Hillingdon are celebrating success in their 2021 Advanced Placement (AP) exam results, with students accepting places at top universities around the world including University of Toronto, Canada.Originating in the US, AP is recognised as a prestigious post-16 qualification by universities worldwide, including121 UK universities. ACS Hillingdon offers College Board AP courses and, unlike many exam boards in the UK and around the world this year, the College Board administered full length, externally-marked examinations in 2021.This year, 14 Grade 12 students at the school took a total of 32 AP exams across 14 subjects, includingmathematics and psychology. 86% of students achieved a score of three or more points out of five in at least one subject, meaning they are performing at a university-level standard and have gained college credit for that subject. Six students received AP Scholar awards, which are awarded to outstanding students who achievegrades of three or higher in three or more full-year AP subjects.Students are able to gain AP qualifications as part of their ACS High School Diploma (US) alongside International Baccalaureate (IB) and /or High School courses, or as an additional diploma - the AP Capstone Diploma (APCD).This year, the school awarded its first student with the APCD, with many more students anticipated to take on the diploma in future years.Recent graduate, Hannah, comments: “Completing my AP research class, I learned how to set my own benchmarks, gaining time management skills, so I could finish on time and succeed without unnecessary stress.”Martin Hall, Head of School, ACS Hillingdon, comments: “Well done to all of this year’s students who have excelled in their AP exams. We are particularly pleased to have our first ever APCD graduate this year too! AP courses are recognised as being truly ‘advanced’ qualifications which signify that students are ready to shine in university-level education. This year’s circumstances were far from ideal for anyone, but every student has taken the challenges in their stride and achieved some truly incredible results.”For more information on ACS Hillingdon’s AP results 2021, please visit: https://www.acs-schools.com/hillingdon/acs-hillingdon-advanced-placement-ap-results-2021


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