Students achieve excellent GCSE results after tough new exams

A TEENAGER who achieved 11 top grade 9s plus a rare A^ ‘hat’ is among those celebrating another set of outstanding GCSE results for Ripon Grammar School.

Molly Cushing’s clean sweep of 12 top grades was one of a number of exceptionally high individual performances amid an excellent set of overall results, despite the tough new number graded exam system.

An impressive 92.7% of all grades awarded were 9-5s (the equivalent of A*-Bs) with 61.6% of all grades achieved being 9-7(A*-A)s.

The added challenge proved no barrier to success as students from the 133-strong cohort gained a total of 544 top 9/8(A*) grades, with nine students gaining a rare A^ ‘hat’, higher than an A*, in further maths, which is still letter graded.

Molly, 16, from Wath, said she was shocked when she saw her results: “I couldn’t believe it, I am so happy.”

She started revising early and did a little every day: “Drop-in sessions with teachers at lunchtimes and outside lessons really helped. They were so willing to go the extra mile to support us. They deserve a huge thank you.”

The teenager is taking A-levels in history, English literature, French and classics and hopes to study history at university: “There are lots of happy faces this morning, my friends have all done well. We’re all keen to get on with our A-levels now,” she said.

Among the other top performers is talented musician and sportsman Ben Rickard, 16, from Ripon, who achieved eight 9s, two 8s, one 7 and an A^ ‘hat’ to sit alongside his grades 6 and 5 in piano and tuba.

Ben, who plays for Ripon Rugby and Studley Cricket clubs, as well as for his school teams, alongside performing with RGS’s Big Band and brass ensemble, said: “I am really happy, I put in a lot of effort and it’s paid off.”

Another sporting star, 16-year-old Mena Scatchard from Hutton Conyers, who has been ranked one of the fastest young middle-distance runners in the UK, was also celebrating a clean sweep of top grades.

Mena, who has been crowned Yorkshire Champion three years in a row, achieved seven 9s, three 8s and an A* in further maths.

Boarding student Amy Goodwin, of Potto, near Stokesley, is a step further to pursuing a career as a doctor after achieving four 9s, three 8s, three 7s and an A* in further maths and will now take A-levels in biology, chemistry, maths and physics.

“I am so happy with my results, and relieved,” she said. “Being a boarder has helped as we do group studies and we all bounce off each other.”

Amy, who is also an accomplished pianist and dancer, currently studying for a Royal Schools of Music performing diploma on piano having gained her grade 8 Royal Academy of Dance ballet exam this term, said: “Our entire family are medics, so I have always been interested in it as a career. It runs in the family.”

More than 79% of RGS students gained top 9-7(A*/A) grades in maths, with more than 42% achieving the same in English language.

In religious studies, 11 out of 16 students (69%) achieved grade 9s and in chemistry, more than 46% of students gained the top grade, followed by art, Latin and maths, with 40%, 33% and 31% respectively.

Students achieved across the board in all subjects, with more than 99% gaining at least five 9-4(A*-C) including English and maths and 96.9% of all grades being a 4(C) or better.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb said: “We are delighted, once again, with an impressive set of GCSE results, producing more than 60% 9-7(A*-A)s for the eighth year in a row. The students deserve every credit for their hard work and determination.

“Well done to each and every one of them, their results provide a strong platform for future academic success.”

The GCSE results follow a successful set of A-level results last week at Ripon Grammar School, one of only 35 state boarding schools and one of only five grammar schools in the country to offer boarding.