It’s A-level results day, and early signs suggest that Dacorum’s students have done exceptionally well. Here’s our round-up of how everyone performed...
At the Astley Cooper School, a number of pupils were celebrating success this morning and looking forward to the next stage of their education.
Young carer Rhiannon Smith is going on to the University of Hertfordshire to study adult nursing, and says she wants to make a difference for people in her situation.
Though she initially struggled at school, Rhiannon said: “The support I got from the staff at Astley Cooper was outstanding – I owe them everything.”
Former Head Girl Sammy Barry, who got As in business studies and English and a B in economics, is going on to Nottingham University to study politics.
Sammy worked as an intern at the Department for Work and Pensions last summer, and has been offered a job there when she finishes her degree.
The budding politician, who also says wants to make a positive difference to the lives of young people, said: ‘I would love to see a school system where everyone can feel they fit in, as we do at Astley Cooper. All my success is because of the teachers here.”
Headteacher Edward Gaynor said: “This is always an emotional day for students as they receive their results .
“It was a pleasure to talk to Rhiannon and Sammy and hear their intelligent and articulate reflections on their life at school.
“We wish all our young people well as they leave us to go on to work or further education.”
In Year 13 at Longdean School, significant numbers of grades were A*-B and every single student passed all of their exams. Headteacher Graham Cunningham said: “This means that all of the students can now leave us and move onto their chosen university place or selected career path. The results are testiment to the hard work and commitment of students, staff and parents.
“We are extremely proud of all our students and wish them every success for the future.”
Just some of the shining examples were Sean Keane who achieved A*A*A*A* and a place at Cambridge University, Wil Muskett who achieved A*A*A*A and Nazira Karim who achieved A*AAC.
At Cavendish School, headteacher Sue Forde praised her pupils’ ‘fantastic’ results.
She said: “We are really pleased for all our students and their hard work, and I want to send a massive congratulations out to everybody.
“We have smashed our school record in terms of our A*, A and B grades.
“We’ve got really happy and delighted students, many of whom have got their first choices at university, so I would like to thank them for all their hard work and the staff for the work they have been doing with them over the last couple of years.”
The Hemel Hempstead School’s head Patrick Harty revealed that today’s results were the best in three years for the school.
The school achieved the highest number of students reaching high grades, the highest number getting two or more A grades and also the highest number getting their first or insurance place offer at university, without having to worry about clearing.
He said: “The students should be very happy with their grades, and the teaching staff are very proud of what they have achieved this year.”
Adeyfield School’s results had gone up for the ‘umpteenth year in a row’, according to assistant headteacher Dave Cline.
He said: “Our students have pretty much all achieved what they wanted to in order to move on to the university or their next steps.
“We have had some really good performances from individual students, and many of our subjects have gone well.
“We are absolutely delighted. We wish all our now-former students lots of success as they move on to university or employment options.”
Outstanding results were also being celebrated by many students at Ashlyns School this morning.
Early indications suggest this was a record-breaking set of results for Year 13 students in Ashlyns’ first year as a secondary school.
The vast majority of students moving on to Higher Education achieved the results needed for their first choice of university.
Eleven of them achieved a remarkable clean sweep of all grades at A or A*.
Student Ben Towler gained an A* and three grade As to study history at the London School of Economics.
He said: “I’ve had an absolutely amazing time at Ashlyns; I owe a massive thank you to all the staff.
“I’m really happy with my results today, they couldn’t have gone any better for me!”
Departing head girl Ailish Brown, who gained an A* and two A grades to read Law at Exeter University, was thrilled with her results.
She said: “I absolutely loved Ashlyns – I would recommend Ashlyns School to anyone if they want to set their goals high and achieve them.”
Year 12 student Meera Jadeja, who gained four A-graded AS-levels, was delighted to be on the path towards applying to read economics at LSE.
Headteacher James Shapland said: I would like to extend warmest congratulations to all those students who have deservedly gained such excellent results, and to thank staff and parents on their behalf for supporting them through their studies.
“This year group have shown what can be achieved at this town’s secondary school; these are confident, articulate adults who have world-class qualifications.
“Not only have they been outstanding role-models and guides to our younger students, they have also taken advantage of every opportunity that Ashlyns has provided for them to be able to embark upon the next step in their career paths of the future.
“I am especially proud, not only of the record results, but also of the range of opportunities these have opened up for our students: they are going on to read subjects as diverse as engineering at Oxford, history at LSE, medicine at Queen’s Belfast, maths and physics at Durham, law at Exeter, biomedical science at King’s College London, and many, many more.
“I am also so pleased that so many of our alumni from three years ago achieved such outstanding results in their degrees this summer, including many who graduated with first class honours: I am confident that this year’s cohort will emulate that success.”
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Charlie Bicknell, who lives in Berkhamsted High Street, celebrated his A-level results by taking a selfie photo of himself with a model goose on his head.
Writing on Facebook, he said: “Celebrating my A*AAa results by attatching a goose.”
He got an A* in biology and two A grades in chemistry and physics – and an A in AS-level geography.
On top of his studies, Charlie took part in a relay team that swum the English Channel last year.
He recently climbed Mount Blanc – highest mountain in the Alps and the EU – with a friend and has even found the time to complete an Iron Man triathlon.
Participants in ‘Iron Man’ endurance races have to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run a full 26.2-mile marathon.
He plans to study for a medicine degree after taking some time out to travel around Spain.
At Tring School, top grades have been gained with 39 students achieving A* grades and 89 students gaining A grades.
Headteacher Sue Collings said: “This is a fantastic achievement in an examination regime that is getting tougher.
“With the bar for academic standards rising as a result of government reform, we can be enormously proud of our achievements.
“Students have secured places to universities, have jobs with training or are taking a gap year to travel.
“This demonstrates, yet again, the outstanding achievements within the Tring sixth-form, which was highlighted in our recent Ofsted inspection.
“Our students have worked really hard to meet, or even exceed, their target grades whilst being fantastically supported by the staff, parents and governors.”
“Our head students did very well especially given the enormous work load they have had with their leadership roles.”
Head girl Naomi Brehm gained a remarkable four A* grades, head boy Jack Donald achieved one A and two Bs, deputy head boy Joe Baldwin achieved two As and one B, and deputy head girl Sophie Evans achieved one A* and three As.
Ms Collings said: “These students, along with the rest of the year group, have embraced every learning opportunity. “Their results are proof that Tring School is a great place for learning.
“Students, parents, staff and governors are all very proud of our A-level results and of the school’s academic reputation.
“We wish all of the students well in their future and we want them to keep us updated with their ongoing successes.
“We would also welcome them back as mentors for younger students.
See Gazette video reporter Natalee Hazelwood’s videp report of the magical moments at some Hemel Hempstead schools above.