Tougher, new style GCSEs did not deter several Burnley schools who scored record results this year.
It had been a nervous wait for the hundreds of Year 11 pupils who collected their results on Thursday morning, as a switch to a new numerical grading system and more challenging exams ensured the pressure was on for children and teachers.
Despite this, all of Burnley’s secondary schools achieved excellent results.
Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College celebrated as a significant number of its pupils achieved the top grades of A*s and 9s.
Six pupils achieved the new ‘super grade’ of 9 in either English or maths – with one student celebrating a double ‘9’.
There were A*s and As in a host of other subjects as the school continued its strong academic tradition.
Headteacher Phil Thompson said: “At Blessed Trinity we are very proud of the achievements of our pupils.
“In the new maths and English GCSEs, where candidates achieved a Grade 1-9, our pupils have continued to perform well, with a number achieving the new super grade of 9.
“We are delighted that many pupils have also hit the top A* and A grades in other subjects as well.
“Our students will go on to study A-Levels, BTEC’s as well as apprenticeships while we have several sporting students who have won special scholarships. We are proud of all of them.”
Unity College also saw its pupils collect a fantastic set of GCSE results.
Headteacher Sally Cryer described it as “a monumental achievement” with the school achieving excellent results in maths, English language, English literature, physics, chemistry, biology, science, additional science, French, German, Spanish, geography, history, business studies, PE, dance, drama, music, food technology, art and textiles.
She congratulated the students on their determination to be “the best that they can be”.
Mrs Cryer added: “This is a fantastic day for everyone at Unity College. There is a relentless drive to achieve the best possible GCSE results for all the students and praise must go to the outstanding teaching and support staff at Unity College who go the extra mile for the students every day.
“These results are down to sheer hard work from the students and staff and the continuous support from the governors of the college.
“Special thanks must go to our parents, who have worked with us every step of the way with these fantastic young people over their five years at Unity College.
“Today, everyone should be very proud of what the students have achieved. All the students should be congratulated for their GCSE results, they have worked incredibly hard and they can now enjoy their well deserved rewards.
“Particular recognition goes to the following students for their achievement in their GCSEs:
Jake Blakey, Thomas Bradley, Kieron Brierley, Matthew Brooks-Silcock, Rowan Dobney, Marcie Ewens, Michelle Lam, Alicia Longbottom, Mia Rutherford, Billy Smith and Artiom Zuromskij.”
Shuttleworth College celebrated its best ever GCSE results with further improvement across a range of subjects, especially in English and mathematics.
Nearly 20% of Shuttleworth students achieved the highest grades (7-9) in maths.
“This is a fantastic achievement particularly considering the challenges of the new examinations,” said headteacher Ruth England.
“We are so proud of our students and staff. We have had some exceptional individual results and our best ever overall results for Shuttleworth College as we continue to go from strength to strength.”
Sir John Thursby Community College headteacher David Burton said he was delighted to announce the school’s best ever GCSE results again with a 4% increase on last year.
The results come on top of a good Ofsted report last summer. Mr Burton said: “We had the best progress in the area last year and expect to continue that this year with even better results.
“With the new grading and harder GCSEs, we are thrilled that the hard work of students and staff has been rewarded so that our students continue to excel. Four students achieved the new highest A** grade in maths and one student also achieved 9A*.”
A spokesman for Marsden Heights Community College in Nelson said: “Although it is impossible to compare last year’s results with this year, we are really delighted with the significant improvements we have made this year. These results reflect the hard work of students and staff and the support of our parents.
"This is such an exciting time for our school and we look forward to continuing to drive our improvements”.