Norwich schools hail GCSE high-flyers despite year of Covid

Hellesdon High pupil Ruby Morgan, pictured with her mother

Hellesdon High pupil Ruby Morgan, pictured with her mother, was especially delighted to receive a grade 8 in chemistry. - Credit: Wensum Trust

A normal year would see nerve-wrecking GCSE uncertainties, but the pandemic disruption and lack of exams increased the apprehension in the build up to Norwich students opening their results envelope.

Months of hard work paid off for Hellesdon High pupils Chris Myer and Ethan Metcalf who both achieved grade 9s across the board.

Chris Myer and Ethan Metcalf who both achieved grade 9s across the board.

Chris Myer and Ethan Metcalf who both achieved grade 9s across the board. - Credit: Hellesdon High School

Ethan said: "I think the remote learning that we had to do will make us better prepared for sixth form. It's a more independent way of learning, so it will be good practice for when we have to do things ourselves."

Ruby Morgan, who wants to study law at Cambridge, was especially delighted to receive a grade 8 in chemistry, adding: "I feel like I had to do a lot of extra work because of the year we had. Especially in chemistry because I didn't do particularly well in my mock exam, so I put a huge effort in to make sure I got the grade that I wanted...and I'm very happy I managed to achieve that."

Hewett Academy pupil Josepha Nguele achieved nine GCSEs.  

Hewett Academy pupil Josepha Nguele achieved nine GCSEs. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

The Hewett Academy was marking some notable successes by young people who have made Norwich their home. 


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Josepha Nguele, who joined the school in year 10 after moving to Norwich from Cameroon, achieved nine GCSEs including English and maths.  

She said: "Believe in yourself and don't let anyone bring you down. I worked hard and never gave up and I couldn't have done it without my family and teachers."

Hewett Academy pupils Ahtisham Hyder, Harvey Macphee and Solomon Hyder

Hewett Academy pupils Ahtisham Hyder, Harvey Macphee and Solomon Hyder (Ahtisham’s twin brother) collect their GCSE results. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

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Ahtisham Hyder, for whom English is an additional language, got eight GCSEs between grades 9-5 including English and Maths.

He said: "I am very happy with my results. I’m going onto study STEM and this has set me up really well. Thanks to the support from my family, friends and teachers."

Others celebrating included Olivia Kerner who passed eight GCSEs. "Lockdown was really difficult but I worked really hard and had support through the schools,” she said. 

Ruby Sweetman, who got seven 9s and two grade 8s at Jane Austen College.

Ruby Sweetman, who got seven 9s and two grade 8s at Jane Austen College. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

Elizabeth Nichols, who obtained eight GCSEs including three grade 9s, added: "It was very hard during lockdown but I worked hard and am very happy with the results I got. Thank you to all my teachers who've helped me a lot."

Sweeping the board at Jane Austen College with 10 straight grade 9s was Grace Tuma. ‘’I’m really happy with myself, I'm really proud of it,” she said.

While Ruby Sweetman, who got seven 9s and two grade 8s, added: “Luckily my hard work paid off, so I'm very happy.”

Jane Austen College student Grace Tuma

Jane Austen College student Grace Tuma got 10 grades 9 GCSEs. ‘’I’m really happy with myself, I'm really proud of it," she said. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

Stand-out performers at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey were Louis May, Chole Sale and Isla Sistern. 

Principal Naomi Palmer said: “We are thrilled to celebrate another great set of results - at a distance - with our students today – the current challenges must not detract from the excellent work of these children throughout their five years.”

GCSE success at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey.

GCSE success at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey. - Credit: Ormiston Academies Trust

City of Norwich School students Mabel Lea achieved ten grade 9s, Jacob Pierce gained eight grade 9s and a grade 8, and Sam Toll was delighted with eight grade 9s and a grade 7.

At Taverham High School Kiril Kovachev was celebrating nine grade 9s and equally delighted were Francesca Taylor, nine grades 5-8, Tamzin Catchpole nine 5-8, Molly Gant nine 7-9, Ella Reid eight grade 9s and an 8 and Mia Williamson nine grade 9s.

Taverham High pupils

Taverham High pupils Francesca Taylor 9 GCSEs 5-8 Tamzin Catchpole 9 GCSEs 5-8 , Molly Gant 9 GCSEs 7-9 Ella Reid 8 grade 9s and 1 grade 8 Mia Williamson 9 GCSEs grade 9. - Credit: Taverham High School

The Norwich School marked another outstanding set of results. Headmaster Steffan Griffiths said: "In challenging circumstances, there was a genuine feeling during the year of pupils looking out for each other and we have no doubt that this pulling together has helped to produce the many excellent results we see today.”

Norwich School pupils celebrate at GCSE success.

Norwich School pupils celebrate at GCSE success. - Credit: Norwich School

Tom Pinnington, head of school at Notre Dame High School, added: “Today is a special day for our GCSE students, they have achieved the grades that they fully deserve. Their positivity, and commitment to their studies throughout the pandemic, especially in the run up to and during their assessment opportunities, has been second to none.”

Norwich School pupils celebrate at GCSE success.

Norwich School pupils celebrate at GCSE success. - Credit: Norwich School

GCSE success at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey.

GCSE success at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey. - Credit: Ormiston Academies Trust


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