Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Students celebrating exam successes
Teenagers from across Wharfedale and Aireborough scored top marks with some tremendous A-level grades. Schools reported high levels of achievement as the results were announced – including many top A and A* grades – and most students successfully gained their places of choice at university.
Ilkley Grammar School At Ilkley Grammar School 9.1 per cent of students came out with the top A* grade, 32.2 per cent achieved A*/A and 59.6 per cent A*-B making it one of the top schools nationally at A-level.
There were some outstanding individual performances, with four students attaining three or more A*s: Tom Connell, Amy Luxton, Hannah Pulford and Kieran Roebuck. Five students also achieved the required results to study Medicine: Ben Loach, Chris Oddy, Mia Prosser, Hannah Pulford and Mark Burnett.
Almost all students got their preferred place in Higher Education and these included Tom Day, who secured his place at Girton College, Cambridge to read History Head teacher Gillian James said she was delighted that such excellence was being sustained. “We expect the best and our students have delivered yet again,” she said.
“It’s not easy: they have to work hard, and set their sights high. I admire them all and remain, as always, extremely grateful to our staff and they too work hard to ensure students gain the success they deserve.”
Bradford Grammar School Georgie Henley of Ilkley, who played Lucie in the Narnia sequence of films, achieved A* in History, an A in Latin and an A in English Literature at Bradford Grammar School. Her results mean she will be able to read English at Cambridge next year.
During her sixth-form studies she has taken time out to film a new film due for release later this year.
Bradford Grammar School headmaster Kevin Riley said: “I am delighted to hear that Georgie has done so well in her exams. She has worked so hard with her studies in and among filming her latest film role. She is a credit to the school and shows what can be achieved if you are willing to work hard enough.”
Eighteen-year-old Georgie said: “I just can’t believe I’ve got in, it’s just crazy, you think the day is never going to come.
“It was really hard work – a long hard slog. I can’t wait, it’s just going to be so weird going off to Cambridge. It’s weird to think I’m done at school now.”
Her fellow Bradford Grammar School student, Hector Simpson, of Ilkley, gained four A-levels while training with the national youth sailing squad. He is taking a year out before university to further his sailing and ideally would like to sail with GB squad in future Olympics.
More than three-quarters of A-level students at St Mary’s, Menston, a Catholic Voluntary Academy, gained a place at their first-choice university.
Director of sixth form Dominic Sinnett said: “We are delighted with the A-level grades achieved by our students. With 54 per cent of grades at A* to B these results are the culmination of two years’ hard work. More than three-quarters of students have gained a place at their first-choice university.”
Guiseley School Guiseley School was awash with happy faces on results morning, with students and staff celebrating together as the school hit a new record at A-level, with A*-B grades topping 61 per cent.
This has secured students places at universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Durham alongside a range of apprenticeships and college courses within and beyond Yorkshire.
Students who achieved outstanding results include Emma Pickersgill, who is going to Cambridge to study medicine; Emily Ferris, who has secured a place at Durham University to study Physics and Astronomy; Guy Huffen, who is also going to Durham to study Law and Georgia Purnell who will study at Oxford University.
Guiseley School head teacher Paul Morrissey said the excellent results were a reflection on the hard work by both students and staff throughout the year.
“We are delighted with the examination results,” he said. “Congratulations must go to the students for what they have achieved this year. We are very proud of their grades. The results reflect the dedication and commitment of both students and staff together with the continuing support of parents, carers and governors. We wish all students every future success.”
Horsforth School Two Horsforth classmates will be setting off to Oxford University after success in their exams.
Sophie Wright and Tom Roberts, both 18 and from Horsforth School, will take up places at the elite university in October.
Sophie, who gained three A*s in History, Spanish and Maths, will read History at Mansfield College. Tom, who has A*s in Economics and History and A grades in Maths and Chemistry, will study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Jesus College.
Head teacher Dr Keith Bothamley said: “All of our Year 13 students have left with at least two A-level qualifications. This, combined with a 100 per cent pass-rate for the fourth consecutive year, has ensured that all of our students will progress successfully.
“Almost one-third of all grades were awarded at A*/A and a ‘typical’ Horsforth student left our sixth form with the equivalent of three grade Bs at A-level.
“For the third consecutive year, more than 60 per cent of grades were awarded at A*-B, and nearly 90 per cent were awarded at A*-C.
“Our staff are rightly proud of the exceptional results gained this year and our thanks go not only to them for their professionalism, but to our governors, parents and carers who have been so supportive over many years.”
Benton Park, Rawdon Rawdon’s Benton Park School’s A-level results were characterised by some brilliant individual performances. Aidan Nixon attained an astounding five grade As, three of which were A*s Both Rebecca James and Alice Smalley gained four A-levels, two of which were A*s. Chris McGowen and Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull both gained two A*s and one A grade.
Delia Martin and Steve Dixon, co-head teachers, said with more than 50 per cent of the A-levels either an A*, A or B grade, Benton Park’s results were likely, once again, to place the school in the top ten per cent, value added, in the country.
In a statement, they said: “We are very pleased with the A-level results which represent the hard work of our students throughout their time at Benton Park Sixth Form.
“It is also an illustration of the hard work and commitment of the teaching staff and parents who have supported these students to enable them to perform so highly. We wish all our students success in their life after Benton Park School.”
Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley At Otley’s Prince Henry’s Grammar School, students and teachers were celebrating the fact that 56 per cent of all grades this year were in the A* to B bracket.
Among those enjoying impressive results were Charlotte Milner, whose A* and two As will allow her to study German at Manchester University, and Will Mitchell, who will take up a place at Edinburgh University to study French and Chinese after getting one A and two Bs.
Becky Vickers was more than happy with her A* and two As, and plans to study archaeology at University College London, while Natalie Lowry, who got three Bs, will read French and Linguistics at Lancaster University A number of pupils were also delighted to have achieved results that guaranteed them a place at Oxford or Cambridge University.
They included Adithya Kale, who will study medicine at Oxford after getting three A*s, and Emrys Rosser, who will read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford after achieving an A*, two As, and two Bs.
Marcus Chavasse, meanwhile, was hoping to still get into Cambridge to study German and Russian after falling just short of what he needed, with three As, though he has a place at Sheffield University should he need it.
Others enjoying meeting up with friends on Thursday included Robert Cross, who got an A, B and C and will study architectural technology at Leeds Metropolitan University; Kieran North, whose A and two Bs have secured him a place at Northumbria University, where he will study Information Technology Management for Business; and Toby Gray, who, with a B, C and C, will take up a Football Business and Finance course at the University College of Football Business, in Burnley.
Sport-focused students John Walters and Dan Grange both got what they needed to study Sports Marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University, while friend Josh Burridge is hoping to work in sports coaching.
Head teacher Janet Sheriff said: “Our A-level results this year are once again extremely good – arguably the best ever achieved at Prince Henry’s.
“Overall, there has been a significant increase in standards. The percentage of A* to B grades has increased to 56 and the percentage of A* to C grades has also increased to 29.4 per cent.
“The average point score per student this summer is 770, significantly higher than the 737 achieved last year and the 694 achieved in 2011.
“All this is especially pleasing against the national picture, where the percentage of A to B grades has fallen slightly.
“It looks like we have nearly 80 per cent of students who have been accepted by their first choice university, and more than 88 per cent have a place at either their first or second choice.
“There have been some amazing individual successes: a number of students gained straight A grades, both at AS and A2 level.
“In Year 13, Adit Kale secured a place at Oxford University to study medicine, James Rockliff achieved four A* grades and will go to Sheffield to study maths, and Emrys Rosser secured a place at Oxford to study PPE.
“I am really proud of the continued improvement in standards at Prince Henry’s and would like to take this opportunity to thank the talented and dedicated staff that make this possible, and the hard work and commitment of our amazing students. Well done to all!”
The Grammar School at Leeds Wharfedale students at The Grammar School at Leeds notched up an impressive collection of top grades with nine achieving at least three A* and A grades.
Leonora Cherry, of Pool-in-Wharfedale, achieved a stunning three A*s and an A, together with an A* for her extended project qualification (EPQ), to secure her place at Magdalene College Cambridge to read human, social and political sciences.
This is the first year that GSAL has offered the EPQ to students, with 21 in total taking up the opportunity. An independent research project, the EPQ is the equivalent of half an A-level and is increasingly being used by universities as a ‘tie-breaker’ when making offers. Sixty-six per cent of GSAL’s EPQ candidates attained an A* compared to 14 per cent nationally, while 90 per cent received an A*-A, compared to 19 per cent nationally.
Leonora said: “The EPQ was useful and helped me in my course choice by enabling me to study a related topic in depth. It was also great preparation for higher education as it helps you to develop independent study and research skills and construct an argument in your written work.”
Celebrating excellent results as well was Wharfedale pentathlete Nuala Price, of Horsforth, who notched up three straight As, having juggled her studies with a busy training schedule. Her grades in geography, history and politics and government secured her a place at Bristol University to study geography.
Nuala has been competing in the modern pentathlon since the age of 11 and has represented Great Britain in the youth championships. This year she has taken part in the national pentathlon championships where she came up against Olympians Heather Fell and Samantha Murray.
GSAL principal Mike Gibbons said: “I am delighted that 85 per cent of grades awarded were above a B. That demonstrates real quality of achievement and is the result of dedication and sheer hard work on the part of the students.
“It’s also extremely gratifying to see the strength of our performance compared to the national average. We are continuing to improve year on year which is no mean feat.
“I offer my congratulations to all our students, staff and parents for the part they have played in these well-earned achievements.”