Scenes of pride at Eckington School as delighted pupils collect their GCSE results
Following months of disruption to their studies, for pupils at Eckington School, the day was finally here to collect their GCSE results.
Grades were determined by teacher assessment this year after summer exams were scrapped for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At Eckington School, pupils completed a series of smaller but intensive exam-style assessments and those, coupled with their course work, formed the basis of pupils’ grades which were then sent to the examination boards
On Thursday, August 12, they gathered with their proud parents and the school’s staff to celebrate their achievements.
One of the first in the queue at 9am was Ellis Storey who was with his parents Kerry and Patrick.
He was shocked and thrilled as he opened his results to find out he had secured four Grade 8s, three Grade 7s, and two 6s.
“I am really happy as my results are better than I thought they’d be,” Ellis said. “I worked hard for them. With Covid-19 it’s been really difficult, that uncertainty is the worst I think.”
Ellis’ dad Patrick said: “We’re very proud of him. It has been a terrible time with Covid-19 but he worked so hard at home.
"Eckington School has really helped with any anxieties he’s had and the support has been great, especially from Mrs Holden, the Pastoral Support Assistant for Year 11.”
Ellis is now hoping to study at Sixth Form, with plans to eventually go into a career involving biology, research, or radiography.
In England, GCSE pupils now graded on a numerical system from 9 to 1, rather than from A to E – a grading system which was brought in alongside a new GCSE curriculum.
A total of 27 Year 11 students at Eckington School achieved the highest grades of 9, 8, and 7 in the majority of their subjects, equivalent to the two previous top grades of A* and A.
Stella Vollum was the top achiever of the cohort, having picked up nine Grade 9s and one Grade 8.
Her excellent results were enough to bring her to tears as she celebrated with her parents Ian Vollum and Dr Sian Davies-Vollum.
Stella, who will now go on to study at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester in hopes of eventually becoming a music producer or performer, said: “I am really surprised and really shocked but also happy.
"I am also quite scared because I am going to be moving away from home for the first time but excited to be doing music all the time, it will be amazing.”
Her parents said Stella had been in a ‘real state’ before collecting her results but that they were proud and knew she would do well.
Ian, Stella’s dad, added: “She plays piano, guitar and sings and has finished her Grade 8 in piano which is the highest grade. She has always been into music and is passionate about it.”
Many of the students at Eckington School will stay on to study at Sixth Form, while others are off to college, or into apprenticeships and work.
Principal Nick Melson said: “We cannot emphasise how proud we are of these students. Their amazing achievements reflect the incredible hard work they have put in, in some very difficult conditions.
"They have had to overcome a variety of unprecedented hurdles over the past 18 months, and have done so with resilience and commitment. They have earned their grades and we wish them every success in the next stage of their studies and careers.
"2021 was a year to remember, and our Class of 2021 are year groups we will never forget.”