LiveGwent pupils get their GCSE results

First published in News
Last updated
South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

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Summary

  • Welsh pass rate down but top grades are up
  • GCSE English results emerge after January exam furore
  • Our reporters are out and about tweeting using hashtag #gwentgcses
  • Tweet us your results @southwalesargus

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At Lliswerry High School in Newport, they too got their best ever results with maths pass rates up 10 per cent and up nine per cent in English, meaning that the overall rate of pupils getting five A*-C grades or more, including English and maths, is up to 40 per cent.

The figure matches the school's birthday this year.

The proportion of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades in any subject was at 73 per cent, said head teacher Alyson Mills.

Pictured is Mohima Islam with her results and celebratory mug for the school's 40th birthday.

South Wales Argus: Mohima Islam

Other top pupils include:

Lauren Griffiths 3A*, 7A, 2B

Oliver Jones 3A*,4A, 4B, 1C

Lewis White 4A*, 6A, 2B, 1C

Jack Devonshire 3A*, 4A, 4B, 1C

Mohima Islam 3A*, 3A, 7B

Paige Giles 4A*, 4A, 4B

Nicole Johnston 3A*, 5A, 1B, 3C

Sean Fitzgerald 4A*, 2A, 6B, 2C

3:42pm

Meanwhile in Chepstow, Charlotte Tregaskes, Merrick Stanley, Emma Ford, Clara Zorab and Jenni Hughes-Davies celebrate their results.

South Wales Argus: Charlotte Tregaskes, Merrick Stanley, Emma Ford, Clara Zorab and Jenni Hughes-Davies

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The number of pupils in Newport achieving GCSE A*- A grades was 21.7 per cent, 2.3 per cent above the Wales average, while 65.3 per cent of entries got grades A*-C.

Overall, 97.6 per cent of WJEC entries in the city passed (grades A*-G) and in both English and maths, Newport students performed better than the national average.

2:55pm

Just in - Newbridge School also got its best ever results this year - 90 per cent of pupils got at least five A*-C grades while 95 per cent of pupils passed with at least five A*-G grades.

In total pupils racked up 460 A* and A grades this year.

Top performers include Bethan Phillips with 11.5 A* and A's; Danny Ashford with 10 A*'s and A's; Ellie Jones with nine and a half A*'s and A's; Victoria Challenger with nine and a half A*'s and A's; and Sam Cross with nine A* and A's.

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Across Caerphilly county borough, provisional results show that the percentage of pupils achieving five GCSE passes at A*-C or vocational equivalent has increased to 73.2 per cent, up from 68.5 per cent in 2013.

Early indications also show the pass rate has increased to 92.8 per cent, up from 92.5 per cent in 2013.

Those getting five good GCSEs including either Welsh or English and maths has also increased to 49.4 per cent, up from 45.9 per cent in 2013.
 

Cllr Rhianon Passmore, cabinet member for education said the exam results were "commendable" and were the result of a "huge" amount of commitment, hard work and dedication from students and teaching staff.

1:35pm

Monmouth Comprehensive School pupils celebrating their GCSE results this year:

South Wales Argus: Monmouth Comprehensive pupils celebrating

1:17pm

Leila Thomas at Abersychan School:

South Wales Argus: Leila Thomas at Abersychan School

1:02pm

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has congratulated Welsh pupils on their GCSE and Welsh Bacc exam results. 

A spokesman said stable results demonstrate the "hard work that has gone in to adapt to education changes" across England and Wales.

"While some trends do leave room for improvement, the focus in Wales is now firmly on improving the quality of learning and teaching in the classroom," he said.

"Regional educational consortia, and a number of wider initiatives have already been launched to achieve this and, while these measures will take some time to ‘bed-in’, we expect to achieve even further and system wide improvement over the coming years."

1:00pm

Students at Wyedean School in Sedbury on the Monmouthshire border have achieved the school’s best ever set of GCSE results with nearly 70 per cent of Year 11 students getting at least five A*- C grades, including English and Maths, up more than 15 per cent on last year’s figures. 

In total Wyedean students racked up a record number of 374 A* and A grades.

Headteacher Clive Pemberton said the school has been under a lot of pressure in the last 12 months, and every member of staff has shown "fantastic commitment" to ensure students fulfil their potential.

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Trevor Brown, head teacher at St Joseph's RC High School in Newport said he's delighted for the success of pupils at GCSE this year.

The school kept up its best ever performance in terms of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades at 88 per cent.

"We are immensely proud of our pupils who have worked so hard to achieve these excellent results and which provide them with an excellent academic foundation upon which they can build their futures," he said.

12:40pm

Duffryn pupil Abigail Carver has achieved 13 A* grades in her GCSEs this year including English literature and language; maths; biology; chemistry; physics; history; French; music; RE; Welsh (short and full course); and a Distinction in Health and Social Care BTEC - and she's still just 15 years old.

The A*-student is now looking to study biology, chemistry, maths and music at A-level at Duffryn with a view to later reading medicine or biochemistry at Oxford University where her brother went.

"I was predicted A*'s in most things but not everything so this is definitely a pleasant surprise," she said.

"English literature was my most difficult subject so I had to work really hard for that. Miss Hocken really helped me and the whole science department as well, and Miss Humphries in music.

"I'm volunteering this afternoon but there is some champagne in the fridge for later, I'm quietly celebrating."

12:31pm

Chris Parry, head teacher at Lewis School Pengam, said he was thrilled with students' performance.

"For the third year in a row we have achieved record results with over almost 90 per cent of pupils achieving five GCSE passes or better, and over half the pupils attending school passing five GCSEs at grade A*-C including English and Maths.

"Once again these outstanding results can be attributed to the outstanding effort and commitment of students, staff and parents. We are all very proud of our students, our school and our community."

12:25pm

Some Rougemont School high achievers this year:

South Wales Argus: Parinita, Huw, Balneeshe and Shalome

Parinita Swarnkar - 11 A* + Distinction in Additional Maths

Gwyn Edwards (not pictured) - 11 A*

Shalome Kurian - 9 A* 1 A + Distinction in Additional Maths

Shruthi Mankal (not pictured) – 9 A* 1 A + Distinction in Additional Maths

Huw Morris - 8 A* & 2 A

Balneeshe Surdhar - 8 A* 1 A + Distinction in Additional Maths

12:18pm

John Griffiths AM for Newport East has congratulated the pupils in his constituency who have received their GCSE results.

Mr Griffiths said: "These results follow the excellent A Level and Welsh Bacc results we saw last week, and like those results are a credit to the hard work and commitment of all pupils, as well as the support provided by teachers and parents.

"I wish all pupils – however they did – all the best for their future.”

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Mrs Thomas head teacher at Bassaleg School says she is very pleased that so many students have done so well and as a school they're pleased with their results, which have not yet been released as they are still being analysed.

12:01pm

Monmouthshire council reporting 87 per cent of county pupils achieve at least five GCSEs grades A*-C.

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Some high achieving Brynmawr pupils (L-R) Alex Jacob-Lewis, Toby Thompson, Ieuan Greaves, Connor Flook and Jack Cullinane

South Wales Argus: Alex Jacob-Lewis, Toby Thompson, Ieuan Greaves, Connor Flook and Jack Cullinane

And the girls - (L-R) Abbie Maggs, Georgia Gullick, Beth Prisk, Ashleigh Regan, Rebecca Robins and Gemma Aubrey

South Wales Argus: Abbie Maggs, Georgia Gullick, Beth Prisk, Ashleigh Regan, Rebecca Robins and Gemma Aubrey

11:43am

This summer was the first test of the new specification for GCSE English Language in Wales.

The weight given to the external exam has risen from 40 to 60 per cent, placing greater emphasis on accuracy (spelling, grammar, punctuation), reading and writing tasks and making comparisons between two texts in the section.

"Despite these changes, results for 16-year-olds have remained stable from 2013 to 2014," said the WJEC.

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Unions and politicians are today commenting on dramatic dips in the number of students in Wales taking up foreign languages.

Compared to 2013, there was a fall in entries for French (15.2 per cent), German (3.6 per cent) and Spanish (5.1 per cent) in Wales.

The proportion of those getting grades A*-C in those subjects also fell by two per cent for French, two per cent for German and 3.8 per cent for Spanish. 

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Today the WJEC said it has seen a "significant increase" in A*-C achievement in English Literature this year.

The proportion of those achieving A*-C has increased by 5.5 per cent, from 68.8 per cent last year to 74.3 per cent this year, one of the largest A*-C shifts for GCSE this year.

For those 16-year-olds who entered both English Language and English Literature, the percentage gaining A*- C is slightly higher in English Literature (74.4 per cent compared with 72.9 per cent for English Language), but over half the candidates got the same grade in both subjects.

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Dr Steven Connors, head teacher at Haberdashers' Monmouth School, said their decision to switch to IGCSE in history has been "vindicated" with 27 boys achieving A*'s and 26 achieving A grades in the subject.

At HMSG, 81.4 per cent of girls were awarded A* or A's in maths, 90 per cent achieved A* or A's in biology, 82.5 per cent were awarded A* or A's in chemistry and 87.2 per cent received A* or A's in physics.

Caroline Pascoe, head teacher at the School for Girls, said: "They have shattered the stereotype that girls do not shine in maths and the sciences."

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Haberdashers’ Monmouth School achieved its best A*-C rate in four years with 97.5 per cent, while the School for Girls’ pass rate was 97.9 per cent.

Among the girls 42.6 per cent were awarded A*s and more than half of all candidates (57 per cent) achieved nine or more A* or A grades.

Out of 88 boys at Monmouth School, 24 achieved a clean sweep of A*/A grades, and three pupils – Rory Booth, Zachariah Raouf and Samuel White – were awarded 11 A*s.

South Wales Argus: Rory Booth, Zachariah Raouf and Samuel White

Rory said: “It’s a relief to achieve these grades. It’s important when you put so much effort in. Eleven A*'s was always the aim."

And for Zachariah, 11 A*s means he is on course to achieving his dream of becoming a surgeon one day.

At HMSG, Noa Chapman got 11 A*'s including one in Japanese, while Pippa England, who rowed for Wales this year and Great Britain in 2013, achieved nine A*s and one A grade.

South Wales Argus: Pippa England and Noa Chapman

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Pontllanfraith are also celebrating their best ever GCSE results today. 

Pictured are two top achievers, Adam Trott and Kate Mainwaring, who have achieved 28 A* and A grades between them. 

South Wales Argus: Adam Trott and Kate Mainwaring

Head teacher Tim Williams told the Argus that the percentage of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths, has jumped 10 per cent and will put the school in the top 25 per cent of similar schools in Wales. 


"These excellent results are testimony to our pupils’ and staff members’ hard work and commitment," he said.

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At Duffryn High School in Newport, the proportion of pupils who achieved A*-C grades at GCSE was 75 per cent this year and one student, Abigail Carver, achieved 13 A*s.

Pictured are Nazia Hussain, Emily Lovell, Harry Lynbeck, Ffion Bushell, and Emma Williams with their results.

South Wales Argus: Nazia Hussain, Emily Lovell, Harry Lynbeck, Ffion Bushell and Emma Williams

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Commenting on this year’s GCSEs, Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru said youngsters have done better than ever before in their GCSEs, but described the drop in students taking modern languages as "relentless" and "worrying" and said the drop in maths results was "disturbing".

"It is good to see the improvements in the science subjects," he said.

"There will also be a sigh of relief that the fiasco with GCSE English in January does not seem to have impacted too negatively, though some schools and candidates will still be concerned about their final outcomes.

"However, although overall results are improving calm and careful analysis is needed to learn the full lessons of today’s results. 

"If early entry is not benefitting our pupils then we need to think that through again.

"We now need to examine Welsh Government policies, especially those that relate to school accountability such as banding."

10:52am

At Brynmawr Foundation School, head teacher James Retallick congratulated the pupils and staff on their hard work, dedication and commitment this morning.

The school's English pass rate is up more than 10 per cent on last year while overall the grades are the best the school has ever seen.

74 per cent of pupils achieved at least five GCSEs grades A*-C, with more than half of students getting five or more GCSEs grades A*-C including maths and English.

Robert Bradley, newly appointed assistant head said staff and students have worked together after school and weekends to achieve these results.

"We have provided revision classes into the evening and on weekends so that all students are supported to achieve their very best," he said.

Chair of governors, Lyn Elias praised the performance saying: "The results again this year are an excellent achievement for the school, the students, staff and parents. 

"We wish all our year 11 students the best of luck for their future studies wherever they may be," he said.

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Top Chepstow performers included:

Merrick Stanley - 8A*, 4A

Eleri Williams - 3A*, 9A

Emma Ford - 6A*, 4A, 1B

Ian Jeffrey - 4A*, 5A, 2B

Charlotte Tregaskes - 3A*, 7A, 1B

Clara Zorab - 2A*, 4A, 5B

James Wooster - 4A*, 4A, 3B

Callum McGregor - 1A*, 5A, 5B

Jenny Hughes Davies - 8A, 2B

10:44am

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Record breaking GCSE results are also being celebrated at Chepstow School under the headship of Claire Price. 

70 per cent of students have achieved five or more A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, up 10 per cent on last year, while 89 per cent of students achieved at least five GCSEs grades A*-C. 

English pass grades increased by 15 per cent to 78 per cent and maths increased to 77 per cent.  All students left with a qualification.

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Tredegar's top performers include:

Megan Thomas -  3A*, 7A (Head Girl)

Millie Bethel – 6A*, 3A, 1B

Lewis Davies – 3A*, 7A, 1B (Deputy Head Boy)

Rhys Phillips – 4A*, 5A, 1B

Ashton Owen – 4A*, 6A, 1B

Lewys Cruickshank 4A*, 2A, 6B, 1C (Head Boy)

Claire Yandle – 2A*, 4A, 2B, 2C

Kyarna Weed – 2A*, 3A, 7B  

Ben Watkins – 4A*, 1A, 5B, 3C

Sophie Jones – 1 A*, 2A, 6B, 1C (Deputy Head Girl)

Shay Caniff – 1 A*, 5A, 4B, 1C

Megan Cross – 6A, 4B

Kloe O’Connor – 4A*, 2A, 6B, 1C

Leah Francis – 4A*, 2A, 4B, 2C

10:40am

GCSE pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Tredegar Comprehensive School have again produced the school's best ever set of exam results.

More than 84 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A*- C grades and no pupil left the school without achieving a qualification.

"We are delighted that again this year the school has seen an increase in all main headline results," the school said in a statement.

"These excellent results are down to the commitment and hard work of the pupils, the support of their families and the dedication and high expectations of teaching staff.

"These young people need to be congratulated for their tremendous achievements. We are delighted with our pupils’ success and wish them well for the future."

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NUT Wales policy officer Owen Hathway said this morning that while it is becoming "increasingly difficult to make valid comparisons between Wales and England, and will be even more so in future, it is positive that the gap between the A*-C grades has narrowed."

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Bedwas' GCSE English pass rate was 56 per cent, the best result in last five years and up 19 per cent on last year.

The maths pass rate was 52 per cent, also the highest ever result and up 10 per cent.

Mr Ward said: "Overall we are delighted with this set of results which break all school records for GCSE.


"The results are the outcome of an outstanding effort by all the staff at Bedwas High School and an outstanding effort by a talented and motivated Year 11."

10:23am

Head teacher at Bedwas High School, Peter Ward said the school's rate for pupils achieving at least five GCSEs grades A*-C, including English and maths, is its "highest ever" result at 44 per cent, up 14 per cent on last year.

For those getting at least five GCSEs grades A*-C, the figure was also the highest ever at Bedwas at 69 per cent, up 17 per cent on last year.

Their top performer was Rhiannon Watkins with 5A*, 5A, 1B.

Around 20 students got two or more A*/A grades and nine per cent of all exams were graded A*/A.

South Wales Argus: Rhiannon Watkins

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The Argus has just spoken to the thrilled head teacher of Abersychan School, Mike Conway, as the proportion of pupils getting at least five A*-C grades including English and maths jumps up to 49 per cent - up 15 per cent on last year.

Almost 70 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A*-C grades while 90 per cent got at least five A*-G grades.

Top performers include Leila Thomas and Chloe Bright who each got 10 A* grades.

Mr Conway, who's been in post for nine years said: "The results are fabulous, we're absolutely thrilled. This is all through absolute hard graft and we were hoping we could get above 40 per cent, so to get 49 per cent almost puts us in dreamland."

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The NAHT union has congratulated young people and "the school workforce" in Wales this morning.

"An increase of almost 1% overall is significant but the nearly 2% increase in higher grades for 16 year olds is something to celebrate," they said in a statement.

"It's pleasing to see that the hard work of schools and their 16 year old pupils has paid off in respect of English Language GCSE where results are comparable with last year despite the shameful confusion surrounding the January modules. 

"This year’s students have not been unfairly treated just because they were born in the wrong year. That is the least that we could expect."

This year's earlier GCSE English furore will 

"inevitably produce serious questioning of schools, the WJEC and the Minister", said the union.

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Overall, 55.8 per cent of candidates in GCSE Science achieved grades A*-C, up from 51.2 per cent in 2013. 

For Biology, Chemistry and Physics there has been an increase in the number of candidates compared with 2013, and what the WJEC describe as "a modest improvement" in results at A*-C.

Entries for the three separate sciences have increased by 42.5 per cent since 2009.

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Fairwater High School governor Rose Seaborne has just emailed the Argus to say: "We are so very proud of the efforts and outstanding results another year of improvements. I hope the banner is up! Congratulations all round, I never had any doubt we could do it again and that we will again in 2015.

"Well done!"

9:55am

In maths, the proportion of students getting A*-C grades dropped slightly to 55 per cent this year, down 0.2 per cent on last year. 

Top A* and A*-A grades were also down, by 0.7 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

The WJEC says this is largely explained by the increase of 4,000 in entries from 15 year olds; of this age group, only 44 per cent gained grades A*-C, a drop from 2013.

9:52am

In GCSE Welsh (First Language), more A*-C grades were awarded this year, up to 72.7 per cent from 71.6 per cent last year, while the proportion of top A* grades went up 0.3 per cent, from 3.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent.

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Gareth Pierce, chief executive of the WJEC exam board congratulated today's students.

“Stable results have shown the extent of the hard work carried out by dedicated teachers across the country in adapting to the various changes that have been made to GCSEs in England and Wales," he said.

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The minister went on to say his department is looking carefully at maths results as "changes in entry patterns have had a negative impact on summer outcomes". 

Compared to last summer, grades A*-C were down by 0.2 per cent.

“We are striving to improve and already have measures in place to raise our game in maths, such as the Literacy and Numeracy Framework which will improve performance in years to come," he said. 

"We are also introducing new maths GCSEs from September 2015."

9:42am

Education minister Huw Lewis breathes a sign of relief this morning as the final results from January's troubled English exams come in.

He said: "English Language outcomes are especially pleasing following the January unit outcomes. I said in March, when those outcomes were published, that it was important to see what the full qualification outcomes would bring."

9:37am

Top Risca achievers include Rae Ansell with 3 A*, 6A; Lauren Bateman 1A*, 5A; Megan Edwards 3A*, 4A; Amy Hart 2A*, 3A; Ffion Hatherall 3A*, 2A; George McQuaid 1A*, 5A;  Jennifer Parfitt 3A*, 6A; and Sophie Wallington 4A*, 1A.

Mr Kendall said: “All of us at the school are proud of your success, and I would like to thank the staff who have played their part in ensuring these excellent results have been realised.”

9:36am

Risca Community Comprehensive has achieved its best results for the third successive year, says head teacher John Kendall.

Provisional figures show a jump of seven per cent for the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C, up to 80 per cent, while those getting five A*-C grades including English and maths has gone up two per cent to 45 per cent.

Nearly 97 per cent of pupils got at least five GCSEs grades A*-G and again this year nobody leaves the school without qualifications.

9:35am

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Welsh Baccalaureate, Intermediate and Foundation Diploma results are out today.

At Intermediate level 13,748 pupils completed the Welsh Bacc programme; 12,597 achieved the Core certificate; and 11,784 achieved both the Core certificate and the Options requirements and have been awarded the full Welsh Bacc Intermediate Diploma.

At Foundation level more than 2,109 pupils finished the programme; 1,827 achieved the Core certificate; and 1,757 achieved both the Core certificate and the Options requirement and have been awarded the full Welsh Bacc Foundation Diploma.

9:31am

The overall GCSE pass rate is down across both Wales and the rest of the UK by half a per cent, to 98.5 per cent.

The number of entries for exams was also down by 2.6 per cent in Wales to 276,626, and down across the UK by 4.2 per cent to 5,217,573.

However in Wales all top grades were up.

The proportion of pupils achieving A*-C grades was 66.6 per cent, up 0.9 per cent on last year.

19.4 per cent achieved A*-A, up 0.2 per cent, and 6.2 per cent got A* grades up 0.1 per cent.

This compares to the rest of the UK where 68.8 per cent achieved A*-C grades, up 0.7 per cent on last year; 21.3 per cent achieved A*-A, no change from last year; and 6.7 per cent achieved A* grades, a figure which was down slightly by 0.1 per cent.

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We're reliably informed by the chief executive of Monmouthshire council that some good results are on the way...

9:07am

Next in is Rougemont School in Newport who approximately half of all exam entries achieving A*/A grades compared to a national average 23 per cent. 

92 per cent achieved at least five A*-C including English and maths, compared to a national average of 52 per cent.

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Fairwater head teacher Helen Coulson said: "These results put Fairwater High School as one of the highest achieving schools in Torfaen, as well as the most improved. 

"I look forward to improving these results again next year and working closely with Llantarnam High School to plan and prepare for the opening of 'Cwmbran High School' in September 2015."

8:52am

First results of the morning are in from Fairwater High School in Cwmbran and their results are up across the board.

56 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A*-C grade GCSEs including English and maths, up three per cent on 2013 and up 24 per cent on 2012.

For those achieveing at least five A*-C grades overall, the figure jumped from a steady 70 per cent in 2012 and 2013 up to 94 per cent this year, while their overall rate of at least five pass grade GCSEs (A*-G) has gone up five per cent, from 93 per cent last year to 98 per cent this year.

5:54pm

The Exam Results Helpline is open from 8am tomorrow to provide advice and support to students (and their parents) picking up GCSE results.

Careers advisers are ready to provide impartial guidance to students who are unsure what to do next.

Call 0808 100 8000.

5:02pm

Tell us your good news tomorrow - tweet @southwalesargus and use #gwentgcses

5:01pm

A TEACHING union chief has praised staff and students ahead of the GCSE results tomorrow, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Tomorrow’s GCSE results will be a reflection of the hard work put in by pupils and teachers who have been forced to cope with a totally unnecessary upheaval in the GCSE qualification system.

“No doubt some commentators will be rushing to applaud the reintroduction of ‘rigour’ into the GCSE qualification, despite the fact that there was never any evidence to support the false claims perpetuated by the Coalition Government that GCSEs had been dumbed-down and were of diminishing value in the outside world.

“The reality is that the Coalition Government’s interference with, and calculated denigration of the GCSE qualification has caused uncertainty and anxiety. For pupils, parents, teachers and the public it triggered a period of upheaval because changes were introduced in a recklessly short time period and without any consultation with teachers, school leaders or qualification specialists.

 “Adapting to the changes has already put pupils and teachers under considerable stress and pressure. It is testament to their dedication and commitment that they have been able to cope with this and focus on teaching and learning, particularly following four years of relentless assaults on the teaching profession.”

 

Comments (1)

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6:15pm Thu 21 Aug 14

mrleebob says...

Well done all of them. They've obviously worked hard and they have been rewarded. I hope we don't get the usual folk saying how easy exams are these days.
Well done all of them. They've obviously worked hard and they have been rewarded. I hope we don't get the usual folk saying how easy exams are these days. mrleebob
  • Score: 4

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