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Norwich students ponder futures after A-level results successes

PUBLISHED: 11:57 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:21 14 August 2020

Jack Hill (right) and Jamie Hall (centre) picks up their A-level results at Hellesdon High School. Picture: Wensum Trust

Jack Hill (right) and Jamie Hall (centre) picks up their A-level results at Hellesdon High School. Picture: Wensum Trust

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For five months students had no way of knowing what their exam results would be without having sat their actual exams.

Laura Sillitoe celebrating her A-level results at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSGLaura Sillitoe celebrating her A-level results at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSG

It certainly made for a strange results day at many schools, where teenagers had to be invited to collect their results and to speak to staff about their next steps whilst observing social distancing and wearing masks.

Amid disappointment for some and angry over the downgrading of results for some, the day also saw many success stories.

MORE: Schools celebrate highfliers amid grading disputes

Norwich High School for Girls saw 85pc of its pupils gain A*-C grades and saw some outstanding successes.

Maddie Hazelden gained three A*s at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSGMaddie Hazelden gained three A*s at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSG

Anna Wasse gained an four A*s in French, maths, further mathematics and Latin

Deputy head girl Laura Sillitoe was delighted to receive three A*s in design technology, geography and textiles and will be going on to study textile design at Leeds University.

She had been instrumental in working on the school’s award-winning Inspiring Females programme since it was launched, and led the school’s 2019’s Young Enterprise team to the National Finals.

Rebecca Cook picks up her A-level results at Hellesdon High School. Picture: Wensum TrustRebecca Cook picks up her A-level results at Hellesdon High School. Picture: Wensum Trust

Another high flier, Maddie Hazelden, who was also instrumental in the success of Inspiring Females since its launch, received three A*s and will be reading modern and medieval languages at Cambridge.

Kirsty von Malaisé, headmistress, said: “We are so proud of all the girls’ individual achievements and all of the wonderful contributions they have brought to our school community. We were thrilled that nearly a quarter of all our girls received A*s and nearly 50pc received thoroughly well-deserved A*-A grades.”

MORE: ‘Disgraceful’ - teachers and students unhappy at downgraded A-levels

At Hellesdon High School the results led to changes of future plans for some students.

Anna Wasse gained four A*s at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSGAnna Wasse gained four A*s at Norwich High School for Girls. Picture: NHSG

Jack Hill, who studied business studies and engineering, had not planned to attend university but collecting his results he will be studying marketing at Leeds Beckett University.

He said: “It looks like companies are hiring less people, which limits job opportunities. Thanks to my teachers and the progress I was able to make, I’ll be going to uni in September.”

Rebecca Cook, who received an As in biology and chemistry and a B in maths, had planned to take a gap year before studying biology at the University of Nottingham in 2021.

She said: “I was going to travel and do some animal conservation work in Africa, but I doubt that will be happening now,” she said. “I’m kind of disappointed, because I’ve got to spend my gap year doing something else, but I’m still glad I stuck to my choice of deferring. At the start, I thought this is so weird – but it’s been going on for so long that I’ve just gotten used to it!”

Jamie Hall, who studied ICT, film and sociology, secured the grades to progress onto an apprenticeship to study web design and web development.

He said: “I’m still a little disappointed by the way this year has gone. But there’s not really much you can do about it. The support we’ve had from our teachers, who have been emailing us throughout the school closure, has been really good.”

Richard Tayor, director of sixth form, said: “After a very unusual year, it was great to have some ‘normality’ and to see our students pick up their results in person, before they move on to their next steps.

“The way this cohort of students has handled a very difficult few months has been exemplary. We wish them all the best for the future at either university, in apprenticeships or employment.”


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