Published on: Friday, August 13, 2021

Our pupils and staff celebrated another set of excellent GCSE results yesterday. Due to the pandemic, the grades this year were awarded by teachers, based largely on the results of our own formal examinations, which were taken by the candidates in the Summer Term.

Candidates were entered for a mixture of GCSE and IGCSE courses, and so grades are a mixture of numbers (9 to 1) and letters (A* to E). Grades 9, 8 and 7 at GCSE equate to A* and A grades.

Six pupils achieved an extraordinary ten grades of A*, 9 or 8: Catherine H, Robbie M, Henry H, Max E, Tom W and Abby H. Catherine and Robbie managed a clean sweep of 9s and A*s.

A further 19 pupils achieved ten or more grades at A*, A, 9, 8 or 7.

As a school we aim to offer an all-round education. Our breadth of opportunity is demonstrated by the fact that many of our academic high flyers also excelled outside of the classroom. Nyah T has been training with the U18 GB water polo squad. Abby H has been competing at a national level in race walking. Catherine H, who got straight 9s and A*s, is playing county cricket, while also representing the school at first team level in hockey and netball. Anna B is the top ranked 400m runner in Germany in her age group and represented Somerset in the 300m at the national championships in Manchester. Henry H is a county-level multi-disciplinary athlete. Max E, Alex K and Charlie G are in the Bristol Bears rugby development programme. Izzy L, Bella S, Harrie R and Max E all had starring roles in our recent production of Chicago. Robbie M is a stalwart member of our orchestra, choir and CCF, and an A team sports player.

Arjun A (violin and piano) and Charlie S (piano and organ) are accomplished post-grade 8 musicians. Ralph H won the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s Short Film competition. Teal S ran 6km every day for 40 days to raise funds for a motor neurone disease charity. Georgie H, Amelie J, Nyah T, Alice A and Jake W were all members of our excellent swimming team. Ben C plays American football at national level.

Among the high achievers were several pupils who had joined us at the start of Year 11 into our one-year GCSE programme. Completing a two-year course in just one, severely disrupted year has been a huge challenge, and these pupils should be commended for their commitment and enthusiastic approach. These include Anabel K (who received six 9s, an 8 and a B in English), Oskar L, Vera S and Anna B. Several of this group are staying on to join the King’s Sixth Form.

Indeed, the great majority of our GCSE candidates will be returning in September to begin their A level or BTEC studies in our vibrant Sixth Form, to be joined by more than 30 new Sixth Formers – a mixture of local, UK boarding and overseas pupils.

Commenting on the results our Headmaster, Richard Biggs, said: “As with our A level candidates earlier this week, my overwhelming sense is one of pride. My staff and I have been hugely impressed by the resilience of this cohort. We decided that the fairest way to assess them would be through school examinations, and they rose to that challenge magnificently, revising and preparing as assiduously as they would have done for formal public exams.”

“Our process of assigning grades this year was thorough and fair, based as it was on clear evidence of achievement, not least through formal examination. Our pupils have received grades which properly reflect their ability and commitment to their studies over the past few years. I congratulate then warmly on their achievements.”

“Once again, our teaching staff deserve thanks and congratulations for the outstanding job they have done in guiding this cohort of pupils through challenging times. Over the past two years they have had to learn new ways of teaching and assessing, and they have taken that change in their stride. Our pupils have been very well served; despite the disruptions, I believe they have covered most of the work they would normally have done, and are well prepared for the next stage. This is a bright, hardworking, dynamic group of boys and girls. We are very excited about seeing them flourishing and continuing to set a cracking pace in the Sixth Form.”

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