Year 11 students returned to New Mills School for the final time to collect their GCSE results in that all-important envelope on Thursday morning.
Caroline Jesson, Co-Head at the Church Lane school, said: "This is wonderful experience for staff and students alike. Last year, results were given out with social distancing in place, this year it’s wonderful to see them all gathered together in the library.
"This year’s results have been awarded by teacher assessed grades that have been robustly assured by internal and external processes. It’s been a massive amount of work for the teachers and leaders of the school but seeing everyone’s happiness and relief helps make all that feel worthwhile."
The school had lots of good news to share as students discovered the outcome of their studies.
Alison Barker, Co-head, added: “After the disruption the pandemic has caused to their education, it’s great to see the students relieved about the outcomes of their time with us and buzzing with excitement for their next steps. All the staff are so proud of them; not only for their academic achievements but also for the resourcefulness and resilience they have shown in this extremely unusual year."
The students themselves were delighted with their results and all acknowledged the hard work they had put in over the five years they had been at secondary school to achieve GCSE success.
Caroline Jesson commented: “At New Mills we focus on progress and student development, not simply attainment. Grade 8s and 9s are great, and some of our students achieve these, but we want all our students to make as much progress as they can from their starting point in Year 7. To us, that’s the most important thing we do as a school”.
The school gave some special mentions to some students for the progress they have made since starting in Year 7.
Jack Caterall achieved one Grade 9, four Grade 8s, a grade 6 and a grade 5 plus a BTEC L2 Distinction.
Lucy Jennings achieved one Grade 9, two Grade 8s, four Grade 7s, a Grade 6 plus two BTEC L2 Distinctions*.
Bridie Harwood got three Grade 9s, a Grade 8, two Grade 7s, a Grade 6 as well as two BTEC L2 Distinctions*.
Meanwhile, Sam Bennet achieved seven Grade 9s and two Grade 8s, Sam Bradley got four Grade 9s, three Grade 8s and two Grade 7s, and Louise Handford achieved three Grade 9s, five Grade 8s, two Grade 7s.
The school said it was also "very proud" of the achievements of its students in the creative and practical subjects they offer, as well as the more traditional curriculum.
This includes Alisha Drake who achieved a Grade 9 in GCSE Music, Bridie Harwood who gained a Grade 9 in GCSE Art and Hannah Gilsenan who achieved L2 Distinction* in BTEC Drama. All three students also achieved a L2 Distinction* in Media Studies.
A spokesperson for the school said: "We wish all our 2021 leavers much success in their future endeavours and hope their next challenges in education, training or work are less disrupted than their most recent school-experience.
"If they continue to embrace the school’s values of respect, reflection, resourcefulness, resilience and responsibility we are sure each and every one of them will go far."