Students are deliberating after GCSE results are released

Earls High School in Halesowen where 70 per cent of students achieved a pass grade or better in English and maths

Students across Halesowen and Sandwell were making decisions about their future after picking up their GCSE results yesterday.

For the first time, pupils have been graded from nine to one in English literature, English language and maths, rather than the traditional A* to G system, after some of the biggest changes to exams in a generation. All other subjects are still graded in the old system, causing confusion for some students, schools and even work places and further education colleges.

One of the top students across the region was Alexandra Ford from The Earls High School in Halesowen, who achieved the best possible grades in all of her subjects. getting three 9's and six A*s. Alexandra and her fellow pupils were praised for their “truly outstanding achievement” after five per cent of students achieved the new grade nine.

70 per cent of students achieved a pass grade or better in English and maths with 54 students – 23 per cent – achieving five or more A*/A grades and 18 students – eight per cent – achieving eight or more A*/As.

Windsor High School have seen 61 per cent of students achieve the new grades nine to four in English and maths. The Richmond Street school saw 41 per cent of its pupils achieve the ‘strong pass’ benchmark of grades nine to five in both subjects, which a schools spokesman said was a “tremendous achievement” in a year of “uncertainty and increased challenge”.

Cradley Heath’s Ormiston Forge Academy claim the more challenging exams in English and maths is the reason behind less than half of its students picking up a grade four (which correlates to a C grade) in the core subjects. However, more than 50 per cent of students achieved a C grade or above in all other subjects - in line with the school's previous years' results.

Pupils at Oldbury’s Bristnall Hall Academy are celebrating their GCSE achievements as 57 per cent of the cohort achieved at least a grade four in English and maths. The results – an increase of one per cent on last year – mean the school, which is part of the Academy Transformation Trust, have made an improvement for the third consecutive year.

Oldbury Academy said it is “overjoyed” that several of its students received the top grade nine, with 61 per cent of students achieving a “good pass” in English, while 57 per cent hit this mark in maths.

Headteacher Philip Shackleton said: “This year saw the introduction of tougher GCSE qualifications, which has presented our students with more rigorous challenges to overcome, so I am very pleased to see many of students doing so well in a variety of subjects.”

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