Many students at High Tunstall College of Science received a string of top grades on Thursday morning after an ‘unprecedented’ year and a half of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic which saw lockdowns and pupils having to do home schooling.
Exams were cancelled for a second year meaning grades were assessed by teachers based on a combination of coursework, mock exams, and shorter exams sat in class.
Headteacher Mark Tilling said: “The last 18 months in education have been unprecedented and we applaud the resilience, dedication and hard work that all students in the class of 2021 have shown in stepping up and meeting all challenges head on.”
Head girl Lucy Reed, 16, was overjoyed on getting six grade 9 (equivalent to a double A*), three 8s, and one 7.
She thanked her teachers saying: “I’m really grateful for all the help they have given me. It’s been a really hard year so I’m really happy.
"I think it’s nice my results are reflective of the hard work I have put in not of a global pandemic.”
Daniel Hill, 16, found it less stressful without final exams.
He said: “Instead of having two-hour exams in the hall it was a lot easier.”
Daniel, who hopes to become a civil engineer, got three grade 8, three 7s, two 6s and a distinction star.
Max Haughian, 16, got five top grade 9, two 8s, two 7s and one 5.
"I’m quite surprised how well I’ve done to be honest,” he said.
Reflecting on the impact of the pandemic, he said: “The first lockdown was hard because it was thrown upon us and the school wasn’t able to prepare anything.
"For the second we had online lessons which worked a lot better.”
Other high achievers celebrating at High Tunstall included Safiya Khan who passed everything with two top 9s, two 8s, one 7, and three 6s.
She said: “I’m over the moon because it’s exactly what I wanted to help my future career.”
Friend Anaesha Rasul got one 9, three 8s, three 7s and two 6s.
"It’s more than I was expecting,” she said. “All the hard work paid off.”