Shebbear College pupils celebrate an outstanding set of exam results

Laura White
Laura White
Kynan Robinson, George Balkwill-Western, Jude Hammond, Cameron Young

There have been celebrations all round for Form 5 (Year 11) pupils at Shebbear College, who have achieved an excellent set of results at GCSE. 20% achieved the highest possible Grade 9 with 42% achieving Grades 9-8 and 52% achieving Grades 9-7.

Adam Pennington, from Okehampton, found out that he had gained an impressive ten Grade 9s and one Grade 8. Meanwhile, Lola Frisby Williams, from Sheepwash, opened her envelope to discover that she had achieved nine Grade 9s and one Grade 8.

“I got 9s in everything apart from Maths which I got an 8 in. I’m really happy! Towards the end I was having doubts but this morning they all dispelled and I’m just really pleased,” said Lola, who is also an extremely talented musician, having achieved three Grade 8 Distinctions in the piano, violin and clarinet.

Fellow musician, Mitzi Irish, from Bude, gained seven Grade 9s and four Grade 8s. Mitzi has juggled school work with her singing this year, as she released her debut single, Trivial, in March – an amazing achievement! She is planning to study biology, physics, English literature and philosophy at A-level.

Other pupils to have excelled are Evie Cunningham, from Okehampton, and Charlotte Odlin, from Bradworthy who both gained seven Grade 9s and four Grade 8s. Evie was particularly pleased that she beat her older brother, Will, and phoned him immediately to let him know. “I did really well – better than I thought. I’ve been feeling pretty nervous about getting my results but it worked out alright – and I beat my brother!”

Carlota Milford from Holsworthy discovered that she had achieved five Grade 9s, five Grade 8s and a Grade 7 whilst Luke Honey from Black Torrington gained four Grade 9s, three Grade 8s and three Grade 7s and James Neath from Okehampton was celebrating two Grade 9s, six Grade 8s and three Grade 7s.

Roy Poon, from Hong Kong, was not at Shebbear to open his results, but achieved a brilliant six Grade 9s, four Grade 8s, a Grade 7 and a Grade 5.

Shebbear pupils have excelled across the board, with 100% gaining 7–9 grades in biology, chemistry, physics, Chinese and German and thirteen subjects achieving a 100% 9–5 pass rate.

“I am incredibly proud and delighted for all of our Form 5 pupils, who thoroughly deserve their excellent GCSE results obtained today,” said Caroline Kirby, Head at Shebbear College.

“They have worked so very hard having been subjected to a rigorous and new continuous assessment system this academic year.

Ollie Allin opens his results with his mum and Head Teacher Mrs Kirby

‘As a completely non-selective school it is an absolute privilege to see pupils of all abilities achieving their personal best and it was fantastic today to see so many of them celebrating with their friends, their parents and their teachers who have supported them through a challenging two years. Very well done to everyone!”

Upper Sixth pupils at Shebbear College are also celebrating an outstanding set of A-Level and BTEC results with a pass rate of 100% and the vast majority of pupils securing places at their first choice of university. 63% achieved A–A in their A-Levels with an impressive 83% gaining A–B.

Pupils are going on to study a wide range of degree courses including medicine, mechanical engineering, computer science, English and ancient history at prestigious universities including Russell Group members Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast and Southampton, with some choosing more practical courses including carpentry and others taking a gap year or going straight into the workplace.

Head Boy, Samuel Odlin, from Bradworthy in Devon achieved three A*s in biology, chemistry and geography and has secured a place at Anglia Ruskin University where he will study medicine.

“It has been a strange year, as we expected, and it’s been weird having to adjust and change how we learn every few weeks, but it’s fantastic that all the hard work has paid off and I think everyone’s really happy!” said Samuel.

Another of those to have excelled is Head Girl, Poppy Daniel from Bude, Cornwall, who also gained three A*s in economics, English literature and geography and will be reading English at the University of Bristol.

“I’m really, really happy!” said Poppy. “I think at the beginning when we didn’t really know what was happening it was a bit scary and unsettling but the teachers were so supportive, and in the end it just felt sort of ‘normal’ because we still did mock exams and our coursework so it didn’t feel too different to how I imagined.”

More success stories include George Balkwill-Western, from Chumleigh in Devon, who achieved AAA in maths, physics and drama and will be going to the University of Surrey to study physics with nuclear astrophysics; Jude Hammond who gained AAA in physics, chemistry and mathematics respectively and is studying aeronautics and astronautics/spacecraft engineering at the University of Southampton and Fin Irish, from Bude, who achieved AAA in physics, maths and history and will study acoustical engineering at the University of Southampton after taking a gap year.

“This year has had its benefits and it’s had its downsides,” said Fin. “But it’s a new way of assessing us and I think ultimately we’ve come out of this with results that aren’t too dissimilar to what we would have got if we had sat the exams, so I don’t think it’s been too detrimental.”

Across the board, Shebbear pupils have achieved highly, with A-Level subjects: history, drama, English literature, biology and Chinese all achieving 100% A* or A grades and chemistry, geography, computer science and art gaining 100% A*–B grades.

“I am absolutely delighted with this year’s academic results and incredibly proud of all the Upper Sixth pupils, who have shown such positivity and resilience in another difficult year,” said Caroline Kirby.

“Their A-level achievements this year are outstanding and I am so pleased that so many of our pupils have secured places at their first choice of university.

‘All examination year pupils have lived through such a tough time in the last 18 months and have been challenged by a totally different assessment system to the one they have been preparing for during their secondary school journey. Our excellent and supportive teachers have embraced the challenges alongside our pupils. Very well done to all.”

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