The first ever students to take their GCSEs at Chichester Free School are celebrating after achieving a 76 per cent pass rate for five good GCSEs including English and maths.
Particularly proud was head of English, Louise New, who said the results were ‘absolutely stunning’ given the new, completely exam-based assessment for English, which is now rated 9 to 1 along with maths.
Among the 97 per cent of students who achieved a standard pass or higher in English (grade 4 or above), was 17-year-old Liam Gray, who also reached the top grade 9 in maths along with three As.
The 17-year-old plans to study A levels in maths, chemistry and theatre studies at Chichester College.
He said: “I passed everything, I got a 9 in maths, I’ve passed my English, I got a 4 in language and a 5 in literature, but I’m quite happy with that because I find English quite hard.
“I’m thankful to Mrs New for that, she pushed us quite hard.”
Mrs New said she was ‘very nervous but extremely happy’ on seeing the results last night.
She said: “We’ve been so worried about the new GCSE. It’s not just the grade system it’s have we got it right, have we been teaching it correctly?
“But the students excelled themselves.”
Chloe McCulloch was stunned by her passes, which will allow her to go on to study childcare and education at Chichester College so she can become a primary school teacher.
“I didn’t think I would pass,” she said, “I’m in shock, happy shock.”
Her mum Julia McCulloch said there would be cake and champagne planned to celebrate.
She said: “When Chloe came to the school, she’s not at all academic and she’s just passed nine of her GCSEs which is incredible.
“I’m so proud of her.
High flyers included Isaac Lambert who secured ten A*/A grades or their new numerical equivalents, including a 9 grade in maths, where he also achieved 100 per cent on one of his papers.
Caitlin Chequer gained four A* and A grades and said she was pleased with her 8 in maths, a grade higher than she expected.
She said she planned to study maths, physics, psychology at Bishop Luffa sixth form.
Overall, 86 per cent of pupils achieved a standard pass in both English and maths.
Principal Guy Martyn said he was especially delighted with the results given the upheaval of building a new site.
He said: “In the face of challenges students and staff have risen to meet them and that’s what’s so impressive, despite the temporary sites and the risks that parents faced in choosing us as a brand new school.”