GCSE results day 2021: Recap updates as students collected grades across Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Waterlooville

After months of waiting, students have finally collected their GCSE results across the Portsmouth area today.

Exams have once again been cancelled due to Covid pandemic – and so the grades are based on teacher assessment this year.

GCSE results day took place a week earlier than usual in 2021 and A-levels were moved forward to Tuesday instead of taking place today.

Students across the Portsmouth area will be picking up their grades in person this morning.

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Students opening their GCSE results. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said pupils collecting their GCSE and BTEC results on Thursday should be proud after they faced learning in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

He tweeted: ‘Good luck to students receiving their GCSE and BTEC results today. Young people across our country are hugely talented and should be proud of all they’ve achieved in such exceptional circumstances. Thank you to their teachers and support staff who have worked so hard this year.’

Schools minister Nick Gibb said pupils receiving their GCSEs had been through an ‘exceptional year’ because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Speaking to Sky News, Mr Gibb said: ‘This is an exceptional year, designed to make sure that despite the pandemic, despite the fact we had to cancel exams, because it wouldn’t have been fair for children, young people, to sit exams when they’ve had such different experiences of Covid – the different levels of self-isolation and so on – so a teacher-assessed system was the best alternative to make sure they can go on to the next phase of their education or careers.’

We had reporters out at schools across the area this morning, to get all the latest updates and reactions.

Recap the updates in our live blog below.

Live updates as pupils collect GCSE results in Portsmouth

Last updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2021, 11:00

  • Students are collecting GCSE results this morning
  • Grades are based on teacher assessment
  • Exams were cancelled once again in 2021

Priory School’s head boy was ‘happy’ with his results

A successful set of results at UTC Portsmouth

It was a successful results day for students at UTC Portsmouth, with 83% of them achieving five grade 4s or higher (including English and Maths).

Over 50% of students received a grade 7 or above in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with 100% of students achieving grade 4 or above in those qualifications.

James Doherty, Principal of UTC Portsmouth said: “I am very proud of the progress these students have made in their two years of study with us. The dedication they showed to their studies during the difficult last 18 months has been outstanding, with an almost seamless transition between in college and remote learning to keep their progress towards the grades they are being awarded today on track.

“Well done and good luck to everyone, whether they are continuing their studies in a new environment or studying with us for a further two years to be joined by more fantastic students from other schools across the region who share their passion for STEM.”

Teachers and staff waiting for students to arrive at Oaklands School in Waterlooville

Oaklands School

Picture: Habibur Rahman

The number of students receiving the top grades is the highest on record

A total of 28.9% of entries were awarded 7/A or above, up from 26.2% in 2020.

Some 77.1% of entries received a 4/C grade or above. This is another record high, and is up from 76.3% in 2020.

The overall rate for grades 1/G or above is 99.0%, down slightly from 99.6% in 2020.

Girls have extended their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of female entries awarded 7/A or above was 33.4%, 9.0 percentage points higher than male entries (24.4%). Last year, girls led boys by 8.0 percentage points (30.2% girls, 22.2% boys). This year’s figures are the highest on record for both girls and boys.

The gap at grade 4/C has narrowed for the fourth year in a row. A total of 80.6% of female entries were awarded 4/C or higher, compared with 73.6% for boys, a lead of 7.0 points. Last year the gap was 7.9 points.

The most popular subject this year in terms of entries was science double award, with a total of 896,138 entries, up 2.0% on 2020.

Maths remains the second most popular subject, with 811,135 entries, up 0.3% on 2020.

English was the third most popular choice this year, but also saw the biggest percentage fall in entries of any major subject, down by 2.4% from 799,473 to 780,231.

Spanish saw the biggest percentage rise in entries of any major subject, jumping by 4.7% from 109,594 to 114,795.

Overall there were 5,745,945 GCSE entries, up slightly (0.9%) on last year’s figure of 5,692,464.

Henry Cort Community College celebrates significant student success

The Henry Cort Community College was pleased to report some outstanding achievements by its students in their GCSEs and other qualifications this summer.

The school made special mention to Abigail Balsdon, Rio Bardouille, Bradley Garner, Melania Greentree, all of whom significantly outperformed their target grades despite the disruption caused to their education due to the pandemic. 

Top performers were Michael Thomas who achieved straight 9s in all subjects, William Backhouse, Dylan Bidiscombe and William Campbell all averaged grade 9s across their subjects.  Grace Park overcame significant adversity to achieve similar scores.

The top performers in Year 10 in PE and RE, both Sophie Howe and Joe Waldron significantly outperformed their targets. Sophie Howe got a 9 for RE, and distinction* for her NCFE and also separately achieve an AQA unit award of an A*.  Other top achievers include, Alex Downer, Lily Burnham, Morgan Etherington and Harmony Storey who achieved top grades in both subjects.

Principal, Claudia Cubbage, said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted couple of years. Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future and wish them well.”

‘It’s a massive relief'

UTC Portsmouth pupil Bethany Tyas being hugged by her mum, Samantha Tyas

UTC Portsmouth pupil Bethany Tyas, 15, of Havant, pictured being hugged by her mum, Samantha Tyas, as she collected her GCSE results.

Bethany, who bagged a 9 in computer science, as well as four 8s, four 7s and a level two Distinction in engineering, said: ‘It’s a massive relief - I’ve done way better than expected. It means so much, especially after going through Covid.’

Oaklands pupils are happy with their results

Oaklands School

Picture: Habibur Rahman

UTC Portsmouth student talks her GCSE journey

‘This has been the toughest two years of my life so far'

Mieszko Polak

Mieszko Polak, 16, of Cosham said he was overwhelmed by his results, which included top-mark 9s in maths, physics, computer science, chemistry and further maths, and an 8 in English.

The UTC Portsmouth pupil said: ‘This has been the toughest two years of my life so far. It’s been so difficult to keep motivated through all the lockdowns. I was struggled to do everything I needed to do for my GCSEs.

‘We never knew what to expect - we didn’t think we would have exams from January onwards. Then that all changed.

‘Over the course of 18 months we had to really speed through some topics because we didn’t have the time we needed.

‘So coming in and seeing my results today was a massive relief because there was always the worry that I’d flunked something of that the government would have introduced another algorithm that changed how we were graded.’

Can you appeal your GCSE results?

Hopefully, fingers crossed, it has been a positive results day!

But if you are wondering whether your children can appeal the grades they have received, we have put together a handy guide.

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