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Tears of joy flowed freely as students celebrated some outstanding performances when the 2014 GCSE results were revealed today (Thursday 21 August).
A record total of 136 students sat GCSEs at Trent College this year and Trent has once again maintained a very strong A*-C GCSE pass rate of 92%. Students excelled in Maths with a 98% A*-C pass rate and a 100% A*-C pass rate for Further Maths, while at 92% the school's number of A*-C grades in English was well above the national 61.7% rate.
The majority of students will now continue their academic studies here at Trent College Sixth Form.
A shell-shocked Charlotte Gale was Trent College’s top performing student, scoring 9A*s 2As. Talented Charlotte is a member of the school’s first XI hockey team and represents the school in netball and tennis as well as being a Prefect and a member of the school’s Swing Band, playing piano and trumpet. She plans to stay at Trent College Sixth Form for A-levels.
“I started crying straight away,” she admits. “I couldn’t believe it and I've achieved beyond my own expectations. Hours and hours of work went in to it both in school and out. I didn’t expect to be the top performing student at all."
Earlier this year, rising England Under 16 hockey star, Sam Apoola captained Trent College to the 2014 National Under 16 Boys' Hockey title as well as helping Beeston Men's 1st XI became national champions for the second year running. Today he was celebrating results of 4A*s, 2As and 5Bs, and will study Maths, Chemistry, Physics and DT in Trent College Sixth Form.
Sam said: “Around the exam period I made sure I didn’t do as much hockey and focussed on my exams; you have to get the balance of it right and know when to play hockey and when to revise. It would be brilliant to be able to structure it all but you can’t! You just have to fit everything in when you can. The school always lets me go to training camps and helps me catch up with any work I’ve missed."
GB international kayaker, Zyggy Chmiel, scored 6A*s and 4Bs, a result made even more impressive by the fact he won the junior Marathon at the Marathon World Cup 2014 in Bohinj, Slovenia in the middle of his exams.
Both Emily Thomson, Head of Hanbury House, and Irteza Ishraq secured 8A*s and 1A while Daniel Tong scored 8A*s 2As and 2Bs. Talented all-rounder Laura Fessey also excelled with 7A*s and 2As, while Jacob Bashir and Rachael Degnan both got 6A*s and 5As apiece.
Emily said: “I didn’t expect this! I’m just pleased to get the results for the work I put in. I was particularly pleased by my result in Chemistry. A few weeks before the exam I was doing past papers and getting a D and I’ve come out with an A* so I’m pretty chuffed with that! It showed if you really put your mind to it you can change things."
She added: “As Head of House I have responsibilities like getting people to sign up for events, helping out the other prefects, charity days, and other meetings and assemblies, but I really enjoyed it and had fun doing it, so as long as you schedule everything well it’s all manageable."
Irteza said: “I’m so happy, I had so much fear I was going to fail a few, you never know what’s going to happen! There are so many activities to choose from outside of your studies at Trent, it’s great to be able to do so many different things. I play bass and I’ve spent a lot of time in the music studios over the past few years. The facilities are crazy, there’s nothing else like it."
Much has been made nationally about the fall in the number of A*-C grades in English, in particular, after changes to the examination process.
At the end of Year 10, as part of governmental exam reform, Trent College students discovered the exam weighting in the subject would be increasing from 40% to 60%, having already spent a fifth of the year on the speaking and listening part of the assessment, which it was believed would contribute to 20% of their final result.
English teacher, Julie Gleeson, admits she was proud of the way the students responded to the challenges they faced and that the school's 92% A*-C pass rate is testament to their determination.
She said: “The students were so disappointed at the end of Year 10 to discover all their hard work had been for nothing, but to have responded in the way they have is fantastic. They’ve coped with both the disappointment and the extra work extremely well.
"As a department we’ve supported them through with a lot of TLC, and we put on lots of extra classes for them in lunchtime and after school, which were very well attended. But the students have been so highly motivated themselves they deserve the results for the attitude and effort they have shown in Year 11.”
Bill Penty takes over as Head of Trent College in September. He believes the Year 11 students have given themselves an excellent platform to excel in the next phase of their education.
He said: “In the face of much volatility in public examination reforms, we are delighted Trent College students have maintained such strong GCSE performances. As the incoming Head, I’m very encouraged by them and confident that these achievements will have prepared them well for the rigours of their Sixth Form studies.
"I’m really looking forward to working with all of the students, and watching them continue their development into well-rounded, confident young people prepared to embrace the future challenges of higher education and their chosen careers."