STUDENTS and teachers at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School are celebrating outstanding success in this year’s GCSE examinations.

Executive headteacher Denis Oliver said: “This is an outstanding and well-deserved set of results for everyone associated with the school.

“I would like to thank all of the staff, parents, governors and, most importantly, the students, for the role they play in making our school the magnificently successful learning environment it is.

“Across the board, results were excellent, not just in terms of those recording the highest grades, but also those students who achieved far more than they themselves imagined.

“As we celebrate the fantastic achievements of all our students we are reminded of the terrible events of two years ago when Nell Jones, then aged 14, lost her life in the Manchester Arena attack.

Knutsford Guardian:

Freya Lewis celebrates her results

“This was Nell’s year group, and we know only too well how hard it was for everyone, especially her friends, to deal with the loss.

“These students have done so well. We are very proud of their achievements and the outstanding young people they have become.”

Initial analysis shows a six per cent improvement in the number of students achieving five strong passes (grade 5) or above, including English and maths in comparison with GCSE results last year and 73 per cent of students gaining 5 GCSEs including English and maths at grade 4 or above.

At the top end of grades, students recorded 103 or nine per cent of grades at the top score of 9, with 30 per cent of all grades scoring in the range of grades 9 to 7.

80 per cent of students achieved good passes at grade 4 or above in both English and maths.

Knutsford Guardian:

Jess Page and Ruby Thirlwell

English was a particular strength, with 85 per cent of students achieving grades 9-4, the benchmark that compares with the previous A* to C grades.

In Maths the figure for those students achieving the same benchmark was 83 per cent.

Across the GCSE curriculum the overall pass rate at grades 9 to 4 was 84 per cent. In addition to their success in maths and English, students enjoyed impressive results in many other subjects.

The science subjects scored strongly in the 9 to 4 grade range with Biology 99 per cent, Chemistry 91 per cent and Physics 92 per cent. However, the success doesn’t stop there with achievement continuing in Drama 93 per cent, Spanish 92 per cent, German 88 per cent, History 83 per cent, Geography 94 per cent, RE 93 per cent, Drama 95 per cent, Dance 92 per cent, Art 86 per cent, PE 85 per cent and Dance 100 per cent.

Knutsford Guardian:

Ollie Henderson and Luke Warburton

Mr Oliver added: “These results clearly demonstrate outstanding success across a broad-based curriculum and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the students and their teachers.

“It is important that we also recognise the support of the parents/guardians of our students, as the support they give to their children is outstanding.

“One student receiving their results today deserves special mention. Freya Lewis was with Nell on that tragic night in May 2017 and has battled back through serious injury to complete her GSCEs on schedule with the rest of her year group.

“Freya is inspirational, and her examination results are a testament to her hard work and resilience, which has been tested to the extreme.

“It is important to remember that for most students today is about putting the plans in place for their next steps in terms of academic or vocational training.

“Most of the students celebrating today will, of course, continue their studies at our Sixth Form College and staff have been on hand all day to assist with the enrolment process. They will also help those students who will continue their education and/or training elsewhere.”

Nigel Bielby, Head of School, said this was the largest year group ever to graduate from the school.

Knutsford Guardian:

Millie Bennett with assistant headteacher Phil Redford

He said: “We knew five years ago when these students joined our school community that there were around 30 students more than usual in the year group, which set us some extra challenges in ensuring that we maintain the very highest standards of teaching and learning.

“We have been rigorous in maintaining optimum class sizes and offering a very broad, balanced curriculum.

“Progress made by students has been excellent at all ability levels and across all faculty areas. The success across the entire cohort and such a wide range of subject areas clearly demonstrates the advantage of our student-centred curriculum.”

Mr Oliver added: “My heartfelt congratulations go to our students who never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm, ambition and drive together with a real thirst for learning.

“From here, we now move on with our plans to continue the development of our school.

“Over the summer break, we have invested over £500,000 to improve our facilities and to ensure that every student at our school has the opportunity to be the very best that they can be.

“As we work with the Local Authority to ensure that there are sufficient places at our school to meet the needs of the growing community that we serve, this set of results clearly indicates the new limits we have set on both year groups and class sizes are sustainable going forward.”