Against the predicted national trend of falling top grades, the school’s candidates achieved an impressive 54% of all grades at A or A* (up from 43% in 2012), with 21% of those at the very top A* grade. The overall A*-C grade pass rate at Christ College was 93%.
Particularly strong performances were produced in the so-called STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which are seen as under threat throughout the country. In Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics, 66% of all grades were at A*/A and 35% of those at A*. Modern Languages, also seen as potentially endangered, were another success story, with 75% of grades in French at A*/A.
Those with creative talent also did particularly well, with 100% of all entries in Photography graded A* and Art, Drama, Design Technology and ICT producing 100% A*- C grades.
No fewer than 20 pupils from a group of 53 achieved 8 or more A*- A grades. Among these were Andrew Barry, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, who produced an impressive 8A*s and 2 A grades, including A* in all the core subjects of English Language, English Literature, Maths and the 3 sciences.
Close friends Bronnie Davies, from Llangorse, and Freya Felgate from Hay-on-Wye, each achieved 7A* grades. Bronnie said: “I’m going on holiday to Spain later this afternoon so that was a nice distraction ahead in the build up to the results. I’m now going to have a very happy holiday!” Bronnie is now aiming to go on and study Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry at A level. Freya added: “I can’t stop smiling! It’s been quite a nervy time in the build up to the results but I can’t wait for the new term to start. I want to go on to study English, History, Spanish and Chemistry. I really enjoy these subjects and I think its important to study something that you enjoy!”
Local pupil Ed Lewis, from Brecon, was all smiles as he achieved 6A* grades and 4 A grades. A relieved Ed said: “I was fine yesterday evening and was feeling pretty relaxed, but then it hit me this morning and I’ve been a nervous wreck! I’m so pleased with these results!” Ed explained that he intends to focus on History, English and Religious Studies for A level and is contemplating which other subject to choose for AS. He has plenty of choice! Other local pupils’ results that caught the eye included Alex Bush, from Lower Chapel, who achieved an A* and A grades across the board, as did Paul Pascall-Jones, from Merthyr Cynog.
Herefordshire pupils Luke Henderson and Nancy Sharp immediately began focusing on the future as their excellent results provide them with a range of options. Luke achieved an A*, 7 A grades and a B. “I’ve got my eye on studying History & Politics at university and so I’m probably going to choose History, Geography, Economics and either P.E. or English.” said Luke. Nancy confessed to being very nervous ahead of opening her results. She said: “I was so so nervous this morning coming into Brecon but this is a wonderful feeling. I’m looking forward to studying Maths, Further Maths, Art and Physics. I’m keen to go on to study Architecture at university.
Two of the first pupils to pick up their results traveled over the Brecon Beacons from Merthyr Tydfil. Lloyd Donovan was accompanied by his mum, dad and younger brother, Lewis. They were celebrating a haul of 4 A* grades, 3 As and 2 Bs. An emotional Mrs Donovan said: “I can hardly speak. I’m so thrilled!” A calmer Lloyd explained that he was aiming to go on and study Chemistry, Biology, Geography and PE at A level.
Joining Lloyd was his good friend Mathew Davies, from Pant near Merthyr Tydfil. Mathew is an international swimmer but had chosen to scale down his training regime this year to focus on his studies. This choice paid off as Mathew celebrated achieving 2 A* grades, 6 As and 2 B grades. Mathew reflected: “I haven’t stopped training completely and I’ve kept up my core fitness. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem to get back into the swing of things with the swimming. I’m going to focus on Chemistry, Biology, Psychology and P.E. for A level. I’m seriously thinking about going into Dentistry in the future.”
Josh Denton, from Barnstaple near Devon, weighed in with an impressive 5A* grades, 4As and a B to cap a fine year. Earlier this year, Josh was promoted to sergeant at the biennial inspection of the Christ College Combined Cadet Force.
Head of Christ College, Emma Taylor, said ‘I am obviously delighted for each of our pupils who worked so hard to achieve their potential at GCSE. I am especially proud that they have done so well in the light of the examination boards’ declaration that top grades in traditionally tough subjects like the sciences would be more difficult to gain this year. Our pupils seem to have taken this as a personal challenge, and far from a decline we have seen some of our best ever results in these subjects. GCSEs are important in themselves, but even more importantly they are part of the journey to Sixth Form and beyond; these pupils have given themselves a wonderful range of choices and opportunities by achieving as highly as they have done, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing them go on to even greater things at A level.’
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