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Trent College’s Year 11 students have bucked the national trend of another overall fall in the number of top GCSE grades awarded as the school saw a 6% increase in grades scored at A* or A on 2014.
No fewer than 14 students, from Trent College’s 116 candidates, achieved all results at the highest grades with the top performing pupil, Emma Hinnells, scoring a fantastic set of 10 A*s and an A. Almost 46% of all grades achieved by Trent College students are in the top A*-A band, with a further 8% rise on 2014 in A* grades, to 22.5%.
Academic scholar Matthew Jackson started at Trent College’s junior school, The Elms, in the nursery. Today, after some 14 years at the schools, he scored an A power in Further Maths - the highest possible grade in this subject – plus 9A*s and 1A.
Asked if he slept last night, his response was resounding...“Nooooooooo, noooooo, no! I tried but there were more nerves than excitement. I wanted to call my teachers as I knew they’d know my results! The past couple of days have been pretty intense, but’s it’s been worth it.”
He added: “The support from school we’ve had has been great; clubs have been offered at lunchtime on specific subjects and exam technique, which in GCSEs is so important. Knowledge you can just learn, so how you sit an exam is key, as is learning that work goes beyond the classroom. You learn how to study effectively.”
Nine of the school’s 20 Further Maths candidates scored A power grades with another nine getting A*s. Three of these A power students, Joseph Sissons, Sam Unsworth and Alasdair McCulloch, were also amongst Trent’s top overall performers with Sam adding 8A*s and an A and both Joseph and Alasdair 7A*s and 3As each.
Other stand out results included top England hockey prospect Josh Pavis, 16, who celebrated a shock call up to the national U21s team, four years under age, with 5 A*s and 4As. He will stay at Trent to do A-Levels in Chemistry, Geography, PE, Maths.
Beeston HC’s Josh now heads to Bisham Abbey to team up with his England teammates to prepare for next week’s encounter with Germany. He said: “At Easter I was playing for England U16s and towards the end of this year I’ve been playing for the U18s but I thought the U21s was a bit further on the horizon so with these results today it’s definitely been a good week!
“I sat down with Mr Wadsley (Trent College Head of Boys Hockey) to make sure I got the right balance between sport and work. I’ve missed quite a few lessons being away through hockey so the school has been very good in helping me catch up with the work I’ve missed and I’ve had to be pretty organised. I’m really pleased.”
Musician Pia Rose Scattergood, winner of a 2012 Derbyshire Young Achiever Award in recognition of her talents, sat her Music GCSE two years early in Year 9, scoring an A*. Today she added a further 8A*s and 2As to her GCSE haul, and will stay at Trent to study A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and Music as well as preparing to audition for the National Youth Orchestra in the flute and piccolo.
Pia admits Trent College’s extra-curricular variety has played a pivotal role in her academic success.
She said: “The greatest thing about Trent College is it’s so all-round, it’s not just academic or sporty or musical, it’s everything, and that’s definitely helped me. I definitely think it’s important to have had music and sport to release steam and take the pressure off a little bit. It’s key to success in exams because you need something to take your mind off it and you need an alternative activity.”
Other pupils scoring 8 A*s were Finley Willits and Daniel Cawsey-Rosher.
In the face of national fears around a fall in the number of pupils achieving top Maths grades, this subject was actually one of Trent College’s strongest with 61% of all grades at A* or A. Other particularly notable subject A*/A outcomes were achieved in History (60%) and German (62%).
One student who was amongst those excelling in all three of those subjects was Phoebe Badcock whose 6A*s and 5As were especially hard-fought after illness saw her miss six weeks of school before Christmas.
Phoebe, an accomplished bassoon player and a member of a number of school musical groups, paid tribute to the Trent staff that enabled her to bounce back to achieve academic success without having to drop any of her GCSE subjects.
She said: “I’m really, really, really happy, it’s more relief as well that all the revision I did and hard work I put in over the past six months has paid off. The school found me so much time to do coursework and I’m just so grateful they helped me get back from an illness that took me out for such a long time. They said focus on the academic as that was most important this year, and helped me get my head down and revise.”
The majority of students will now continue their academic studies in Trent College Sixth Form from September.
Mr Bill Penty, Head at Trent College, added: “Naturally I am delighted that there are so many outstanding performances in a year in which we also achieved such exceedingly high standards at A-level. So many of our pupils at Trent College also do extra ordinary things outside of the classroom as these stories testify. I am very proud of all of them and we are really looking forward to welcoming so many of them back into our Sixth Form here at Trent College.”