THE anxious wait for thousands of students across Wales came to an end last Thursday as they got their hands on their GCSE results.
Wales’ GCSE pass rate dipped again this year, but the top grades being awarded increased.
This year’s GCSE exam results showed 94.7% of pupils in Bridgend achieved at least five passes each, with 70.6% gaining five or more grades at A*-C.
Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for education, said: “I am delighted to see this improvement in the outcomes for local schoolchildren and I want to congratulate all pupils for their hard work and achievements.
“It is wonderful to hear the success stories of so many in all our schools, and I would like to thank all teaching and support staff for their exceptional dedication to our young people’s academic and social development.”
Here is how schools in Bridgend performed:
Bryntirion Comprehensive School
Students and staff at Bryntirion are celebrating another record year for GCSE results, with 50% of pupils gaining an A/A* grade and almost 21% achieving at least five GCSEs at A*/A.
Christine Jenkins, deputy headteacher, said: “Before retiring it is wonderful to report such outstanding results once again. We are incredibly proud to celebrate the fantastic achievements of all our Year 11 students.
“These results reflect the hard work and commitment of students, parents and teachers to achieve results of the highest standard.
“Congratulations to all and good luck for the future.” Maesteg School This is the last year that schools in Wales will be judged by how many pupils achieve C grade passes in five GCSEs including maths and English language. It is also the year that Maesteg School has achieved its best-ever set of GCSE results.
The school said 52.3% of its pupils achieved this goal and 20 pupils achieved at least five A*/A grades. The school praised the efforts of the children, parents and teachers for their hard work and motivation for the pupils.
Headteacher Helen Jones said: “Our pupils have made Maesteg School community proud. The atmosphere in school today was one of celebration – justifiably so. These pupils worked hard from the outset and were determined to do well.
“They have set the bar for future GCSE students and embodied our school ethos of being ‘motivated to strive’. Our teachers have gone above and beyond to support them and brought about significant improvements.
“The governors, senior leaders and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and well done to all. I sincerely look forward to welcoming this successful cohort back into our sixth form to enable them to continue to build on their successes.”
As always, there were some outstanding individual performances. Particular mention should go to:
Isobel Watts – 8A*, 3A, Luke Collins – 7A*, 4A, Rhodri Thomas – 7A*, 2A, 2B, Eve Wilson – 6A*, 6A, Bethan Williams – 3A*, 6A, 1B, 1C, Iestyn Lee Davies – 3A*, 5A, 3B, Colby Thomas – 2A*, 7A, 1B, 1C, Ryan Andrews – 2A*, 6A, 1B, 2C, Josh Lloyd – 1A*, 6A, 3B, 2C, Cerys Goldsworthy – 8A, 3B.
Mrs Jones added: “I am so proud of everything we have achieved this year – this is the start of an exciting journey.”
Pencoed Comprehensive School
Students at Pencoed Comprehensive achieved fantastic results.
Some 54.5% of pupils in the main stream gained five or more passes at A*-C including mathematics and English, with 90.1% gaining the Skills Challenge Certificate.
Of the whole Year 11, including pupils from the resource base for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, 52.4% achieved five passes at A*-C including English and mathematics, with 86.5% gaining the skills Challenge Certificate.
A spokesperson for the school said 20 pupils achieved five or more A* and A grades and nine gained 10 or more A*-A grades.
Rhiannon Svenson – 12A*, Emma Powson – 7A* and 6A, Liam Ryall-Friend – 6A*, an A and a B. Brynteg School More than 60% of pupils achieved five A*-C grades including English and maths.
Ryan Davies, headteacher at Brynteg, said: “The pressure which pupils find themselves under to achieve at the highest level seems to be increasing year on year and it is so pleasing to see that our pupils have risen to this challenge – they are more than ready to face whatever comes their way.”
Porthcawl Comprehensive School
Porthcawl Comprehensive said 89% of pupils achieved five A*-C grades.
The percentage of pupils who achieved five A*-C grades with English and maths improved by almost 10% to 74%.
Those who gained five A*/A grades improved to 35.8%. Headteacher Andrew Slade praised everyone at the school
Top performers included: Georgina Anderson, Isabel Appleton, Joshua Audsley, Sam Gilbert, Harrison Lewis, Matthew Pugh, Sunil Vummiti, Ioan Williams and Sarah Wynne.
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd was delighted with its results.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our learners and staff in ensuring that YGG Llangynwyd has improved on last year’s good results and I thank everyone, parents included, for their commitment and support in achieving this tremendous goal,” said headteacher Meurig Jones.
It highlighted top performers including:
Dewi Jones – 10A* 4A, Ioan Evans – 8A* 4A 2B, Holly Thompson – 5A* 8A 1C, Dewi Jones – 10A* 4A, Ioan Evans – 8A* 4A 2B, Holly Thompson (Maesteg) – 5A* 8A 1C.
Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School
The school said it achieved the best results in the school’s history.
11% of pupils achieved at least 10 A*/A grades, while 29% of pupils achieved at least five A*/A grades.
One pupil, Isabella Carter, achieved 15 A* grades despite breaking an ankle and undergoing surgery and ongoing treatment during the exam season
Another pupil, Welsh international Ffion Higginson, not only achieved 15 A*/A grades but found the time to train and represent Wales in the summer athletics season.
Other notable achievements include: Tabitha Anthony – 10 A*/A, Emma Attwood – 14 A*/A, Daniel Daly – 14 A*/A, Shea Francis – 10 A*/A, Bethan Hay – 14 A*/A, Olivia Provstgaard – 15 A*/A, Caitlin McColgan – 14 A*/A and Lucy Rathkey – 10 A*/A.
At Cynffig Comprehensive School 72% of pupils picked up five A*-C grades.
The deputy head, Mr M Stephens, tweeted: “Excellent day at Cynffig Comprehensive. All that hard work has paid off! Congratulations to all pupils. 52% achieved five GCSEs including English and maths, 72% achieved five GCSEs at A*-C and every pupil achieved at least five A*-G.” St Clare’s Pupils at St Clare’s School in Porthcawl are celebrating excellent GCSE results, having significantly outper- formed their peers nationally.
A staggering 95.6% of grades achieved were 4+ (A*-C) while 51.3% of grades awarded were 7+ (A*/A), compared to 61.6% and 18.5% respectively across Wales. Almost a third of all grades at St Clare’s were 8 or 9, the latter being the equivalent of an A** to show exceptional performance.
A number of individual pupils excelled, including Alys Ridsdale and Ben Martin. Alys’ grades included eight 9s, two 8s, two 7s, an A* and an A* with Distinction, while Ben’s included five grade 9s, two 8s, two 7s and A* with Distinction. Sarah Davies, Molly Jones, Jake Bromhead and Huw Tucker also performed superbly well and will be joining St Clare’s excellent sixth form in September.
Headteacher Helen Hier said: “It is a pleasure to cel- ebrate with our staff and students who have worked so hard to achieve these results. My congratulations go to all of our GCSE students and I wish them every success as they take their next steps into A-levels and beyond.”
St Clare’s delivers the English curriculum for GCSE examinations and not the Welsh, which means that its students sat the new reformed GCSEs this summer in all subjects apart from psychology, business and further maths.
The new GCSEs are more exacting and the examinations are sat at the end of Year 11 with very little or no coursework and rely on the performance of the pupil on the day.
They cover more challenging content and are designed to match standards in the strongest-performing education systems elsewhere in the world.
Students collect their results at Porthcawl Comprehensive School
Brynteg School pupils with their results