Hard work rewarded with excellent GCSE results

Pocklington School pupils celebrate GCSE resultsGCSE students at Pocklington School are celebrating a superb set of results which reflect our focus on inspiring every child to aim high and perform to the best of their ability.

The headline results are:

  • 40.1% of all grades awarded were the top 9, 8 or 7 (compared with a national average of 20.8%)
  • 23.4% of all grades awarded were 9 or 8
  • 92.4% of all grades awarded were grade 4 or above (the equivalent of A* to C), compared with a national average of 67.3%
  • More than a fifth of students achieved at least eight grade 9-7s
  • 30% of students achieved at least seven grade 9-7s 

Headmaster Toby Seth said: “I am tremendously proud of the hard work and effort our students have put into these GCSE results. What makes them all the more worthy of celebration is the knowledge that a typical Pocklingtonian will, at the same time as studying, be heavily involved in at least one aspect of our co-curricular programme. This is true for all our candidates this year and seeing them achieve these outcomes alongside their many other activities accurately reflects our holistic approach to education at Pocklington School.”

Fifth Year pupil looking at GCSE results with a teacher at Pocklington School“Furthermore, the support, encouragement and careful guidance afforded to them by their teachers and pastoral staff from the Prep School onwards has played an important role in helping them achieve these outcomes. I congratulate both groups on all their achievements.”

Five subjects - Chemistry; English Language; English Literature; French and Latin – saw over half of their students achieve 9-7 grades (the equivalent of the old A*/A), with nearly three quarters of Latin students achieving at this level. English Language, often seen as a key indicator of future academic and career success, proved to be a strength again this year, with almost two thirds of students achieving 9-7 grades, compared with a national average of 17.4%.

The much sought-after grade 9 was introduced to identify those students who are performing at the very highest level; 31% of our students achieved at least one grade 9, with almost two thirds achieving at least one grade 8. A grade 7 (equivalent to the old A grade) was awarded to 80% of our students.

As always, there have been some outstanding individual performances. Six of our students were awarded at least nine grade 9s and 8s, showing an exceptional achievement across all academic areas.

Fifth Year pupils look at GCSE results with Headmaster of Pocklington School, Toby SethHenry Kay, who achieved a superb nine grade 9s and one grade 8, and already has a GCSE in Portuguese, is a talented cricketer, playing for East Yorkshire, and has spent the summer coaching tennis to younger players at Pocklington Tennis Club and volunteering at the Yorkshire Air Museum.

He said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to all my teachers, who not only helped me to achieve but who also encouraged me to keep improving and working towards getting the highest grades I could. Their passion for their subjects has been an inspiration to me leading into these exams. Also, the enjoyment I have had in sport and other activities has been a great balance to the academic work and now I can't wait to start Sixth Form here."

Lukas Bradshaw, who achieved eight grade 9 and two grade 8 GCSEs, is also a highly talented athlete on our Strength and Conditioning Programme. He represents the school in both rugby and athletics and finished first overall at the 2019 ESAA North East Schools Combined Events Championships. In addition, he has represented Yorkshire and Humberside Athletics for the past two years. He said: “I am very happy with my results. I didn’t think I’d done that well!”

Other athletes with outstanding academic success this year include Imogen Croston (six grade 9s, three 8s, one 7), who has trained as part of the Humberside Performance Centre programme for hockey as well as benefitting from our school Athletic Development Programme.

Kobby Fofie (four grade 9s, three 8s, one 7) progressed onto the Junior Development Squad at Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Club last year. He represented the Yorkshire Carnegie U16 squad at the prestigious Wellington Festival, where he also found the time to win its talent contest! His dramatic flair came to the fore in our school production of Seussical the Musical when, as the Cat in the Hat, his impeccable comedic timing helped unify the show.

As he opened his results, Kobby, who hopes to be a neurosurgeon, said: “I think they’ve gone pretty well! I did really well in the sciences and I’m planning to do Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Maths at A level. We’re going out for dinner to celebrate!”

Lucas Duncan, who has performed in numerous school theatrical and musical productions in addition to being an accomplished skier, gained seven grade 9s, two 8s and one 7 at GCSE. Academically talented across the board, he is planning on studying diverse subjects in the Sixth Form: Chemistry, English Language, Maths and Photography.

Other individual successes this year include Grace Gledden, who gained seven GCSEs at grade 9, two at grade 8 and one at grade 7 and Charlotte Dick with five GCSEs at grade 9, four at grade 8 and one at grade 7.

More comments from students opening their results today:

“I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so nervous but I was actually really happy with my results! They were so much better than I thought they were going to be – by miles!” – Isabelle Prescott.

 “These results weren’t the same as they were 6 months ago so I feel like all the extra stuff in the boarding house and all the extra help from the teachers has really got me to where I want to be. I was only able to get these results because of [French teacher and Housemaster at Fenwick-Smith House] Mr Dare and I‘ve exceeded my expectations by a country mile so I’m more than happy!” – Max Lee.

“I’m ecstatic! I tried my hardest, I did the best I could and I got the grades I wanted so yes I’m happy!” - Amelia Addinall

“Boarding really helped me with my GCSEs… there’s lots of support and it helped me stay on track with my revision because if I was at home there would be a lot of distractions. The support from Mr Loten [Resident Boarding House Tutor at Fenwick-Smith] with Maths and Mr Dare with Spanish really helped and I did better than I thought I would. I’m really pleased that I am able to stay on at Pocklington.” – Henry Johnson

Fifthe Year pupils celebrate GCSE results with family, friends and teachers at Pocklington SchoolGareth Hughes, Head of Middle School, said: “It has been a genuine pleasure to work with this year group for the last five years.  Having first met them as wide-eyed, enthusiastic, nervous (but excited) Year 6 students, it is a very special moment to share the joy of today with them and their families. Today we see the happiness, the tears, the hugs but we should also remember the journey to get here: years of work; thousands of hours of lessons taught by our dedicated staff; the crucial support from family at home and the resilience to keep going when challenges are plenty. 

“I want to thank everybody: the students themselves of course but everybody else who has helped guide these young Pocklingtonians to today. I look forward to seeing this talented group thrive in the years ahead.”