Students at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School are rightly celebrating their GCSE results today. It is becoming a cliche, but this group of students have dealt with a range of challenges not experienced by previous cohorts as a result of the pandemic. They deserve particular recognition for dealing with that experience and leading the way as we return to a more familiar system of assessment. Used right, this life experience will stand them in good stead for their futures, whatever that might be. GCSE grades are a valuable measure of a student’s progress and a chance to acknowledge what they have achieved in the first part of their education. This year’s results are coloured by the impact of the pandemic and cannot be compared with any other cohorts’ results. The headline numbers are that 86% of our students gained at least 5 grade 7 or better, while 77% of all qualifications taken were graded 7 or better.

Headteacher David Atkinson said: “These grades are testimony to a good deal of hard work by students, teachers and families. We’re always very proud of the way our students rise to the challenge of public assessment, and are particularly proud of this cohort who have done so while dealing with the great uncertainties of the last two years. They deserve qualifications which they have earned through their own work and progress. I would like to thank, as well, all the teaching and support staff who have worked tirelessly to adapt to those uncertainties in a way which has prioritised the progress of our students. We wish all our students the very best in their next steps.”