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Bury St Edmunds County Upper School GCSE students 'relieved' at Government u-turn as they collect results





Students at a Bury St Edmunds school have spoken of their 'relief' at the Government's exams u-turn as they collected their GCSE results.

County Upper School, in Beeton's Way, welcomed back GCSE students today amid uncertainty in recent weeks about results.

This week the Government announced grades would be based on teacher assessments or the exam board's moderated grade if it is higher, rather than a controversial algorithm, after 36 per cent of A-level results in England were downgraded.

County Upper School students. Picture by Mecha Morton
County Upper School students. Picture by Mecha Morton

Among those celebrating their results was Anna Mavroghenis, 16, who received top nine and eight grades in all her subjects. She also achieved an A in additional maths.

She will study biology, maths and chemistry at A-level.

Anna said: "I'm very relieved. It was very tense waiting for six months since everything happened.

"The Scottish exams came up first and there was a lot of outcry about that - that was very stressful and we had a lot of support from our teachers. The u-turn was very relieving because we had no idea what to expect due to the algorithm."

She was also named school sportswoman of the year.

Stella Wilkinson, 15, achieved a seven, three eights and nines in her other subjects and will be studying maths, further maths, chemistry and physics at A-level.

She said: "I'm really happy but at the same time I had prepared myself to not be happy.

County Upper School students Felicity Ellis (10 grade 9's, 1 grade 8 and A in additional maths) and Peter Millstone (6 grade 9's, 2 grade 8's, 2grade 7s and A in additional maths). Picture by Mecha Morton
County Upper School students Felicity Ellis (10 grade 9's, 1 grade 8 and A in additional maths) and Peter Millstone (6 grade 9's, 2 grade 8's, 2grade 7s and A in additional maths). Picture by Mecha Morton

"I wanted to be prepared for all eventualities. I'm really glad I got the results I did and I'm really grateful for my teachers giving me support and giving me such good grades.

"I think the Government has made the best out of a bad decision and I'm just grateful I got my results."

Headteacher Vicky Neale said: "Today we are celebrating the year 11 of 2020.

County Upper School student Anna Mavroghenis. Picture by Mecha Morton
County Upper School student Anna Mavroghenis. Picture by Mecha Morton

"We're delighted that we can welcome them safely and, following on from their virtual leavers' day in June, every student is able to receive their Record of Achievement in person.

"These summarise their all-round achievements and reflect a year group that has embraced the County ethos of giving their best, getting involved in a wide range of extra activities and demonstrating the qualities and values that make them an asset to their community.

"This morning we also celebrate the success at GCSE for which they and their teachers worked so hard and which allows them to look forward to the next stage of their education.

County Upper School student Stella Wilkinson. Picture by Mecha Morton
County Upper School student Stella Wilkinson. Picture by Mecha Morton

"For the majority that will be here in our sixth form and they were already certain of their place.

"In this exceptional year, we took the decision to give an unconditional offer to all who had applied to study in our sixth form.

"We know our students very well and were confident of their suitability, so we wanted to give them that assurance.

"It also meant that they spent last term working with their teachers online and so have a head start on their chosen courses.

"I am confident that those leaving us today will have also done well enough to progress to their chosen destination. We wish them well and thank them for their contribution to County Upper."

GCSEs 2020: Live updates as Suffolk students receive their results

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