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Birchwood High School GCSEs: 'Students' resilience, perseverance and character are a credit to themselves, their parents and to the school'

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The principal of Birchwood High School has paid tribute to the achievements of every student at the Bishop’s Stortford secondary who collected their GCSE results on Thursday morning (August 12).

In all, 230 teenagers learned their results and record numbers achieved top grades across the board to earn a place to study A-levels in the sixth form at the Parsonage Lane campus.

Dr Chris Ingate said: “If you had told me two years ago that these students would have to cope with the pressures of a global pandemic, lockdowns and remote learning I would have not believed you. However, here we are today celebrating a fantastic set of results meaning that every 16-year-old should be able to successfully move on to their chosen next step, whether this is the sixth form or further education college.

GCSE success for Birchwood High School students (50152478)
GCSE success for Birchwood High School students (50152478)

“It is often said that adversity brings out the best in people and I have certainly witnessed this. From a total commitment from their teachers to do their very best to ensure their classes performed well, through to absolute resilience and determination from these students to do their best.

"They have been remarkable, putting up with uncertainty, Government U-turns and the ebb and flow of a pernicious virus, always with a willingness to do the extraordinary – something that will put them in good stead with whatever life has to offer in the future.

“They should all feel a great sense of satisfaction today because that hard work has paid off.

Dr Chris Ingate
Dr Chris Ingate

"Their GCSEs were carefully calculated from internal exams and controlled assignments as well as teacher assessments. It was no surprise that our submissions and samples sent off to the exam boards for scrutiny checks were not changed or amended.”

Sam Stopps, deputy principal, added: “Every member of Birchwood’s class of 2021 should be very proud of their achievements as one chapter of their life closes and another one opens.

"As well as congratulating the students, we would like to thank all of our parents and carers who have offered plenty of their own grit, determination and resilience in supporting their children to make the most of their education in what have been uniquely trying circumstances. It has been a real team effort and both the Year 11 students and their teachers owe our parents and carers a debt of gratitude.

"In overcoming adversity in the way they have, I have no doubt that the class of 2021 will go on to be decent, thoughtful and successful adults in their future adventures. We wish them well.”

The final words go to Michael Phillips, head of year: “I'm so very proud of our Year 11 students. They've come up against tremendous challenges and not been found wanting. Their resilience, perseverance and character are a credit to themselves, their parents and to Birchwood.”

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