A Levels: St Philip Howard students have 'triumphed in a year of continued adversity and challenge'
"We are proud of every single one of our students, not just for the results they have achieved but for the people they have become."
That was the message from David Carter, headteacher at St Philip Howard Catholic Sixth Form in Barnham, as students found out their A Level results today (Tuesday, August 10).
The school said students are celebrating 'not just the wonderful results they’ve picked up' but also how they have 'triumphed in a year of continued adversity and challenge'.
Among the nervous students waiting to collect their results at St Philip Howard this morning was Matthew Murray-Brooks.
"The heart is racing," he said. "It's the normal response I felt at GCSEs.
"There was less input from exams and more from what we've done over the school years. I'm okay with that."
Matthew was 'really happy' to receive grades BAB in History, Geography and Politics, earning him a place at the University of Kent.
He has aspirations of following in his father's footsteps in working with the Ministry of Defence.
Lucy Owen said she was 'thrilled' to be offered a place at the prestigious Oxford University, after her outstanding grades (four A*s) in History, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths.
Lucy, who will go on to study History and Economics, said: "I am very happy.
"It's definitely been challenging [learning at home online during the pandemic]. It's not been a normal year.
"We've been very lucky in the grand scheme of things. Online lessons have been an interesting experience and it's not necessarily something that is going to be gone straight away."
Lauren Flanagan said she was 'very excited' to be going to Bournemouth University, where she will be studying Psychology, after achieving two As and a C in A Level Psychology, Sociology and History.
She said: "It's been pretty challenging but my teachers have been amazing."
Headline data is not being published for schools this year but individual successes were recognised by the school.
Those with straight A’s included; Lisa Elliot (A*A*A*A*A), who will be studying Law at Toulouse University; Mollie Finniear (A*A*A*A*), who will study English Literature and History at Durham University and Lucy Owen (A*A*A*A*), who will study History and Economics at Oxford University.
Ben Lewis, who achieved three A*s and one A, plans to study Computer Science and Cyber Security at Southampton University. Anna Buckle (A*A*A) will study Modern Languages and International Relations at Leeds University. Eleanor Fiske (A*A*A) will study Management with Industrial/Professional experience at Manchester University. Millie Folkes (A*A*A) will study Fashion Design at Bath Spa University and Ellisse Heller (A*A*A B) will study Media and Communications at Cardiff University.
William Johnstone (A*A*A) will study Modern History and Politics at Southampton University and Taylor Jones (A*A*A) will study Sport and Exercise Science at Chichester University. Keighley Horstead (A*A*A) and Nia Edwards (A*A*A*) also came away with a full set of top grades.
Mr Carter said: "We're thrilled. Not just with the results but also the resilience the students have shown in a really challenging year.
"We're really proud of them. They have really stuck together as a great school community. They've worked hard and we couldn't have asked for more of them.
"Regardless of what the results were, they have left like no stone has been left overturned and they're ready for the world of work and university places.
"We've been like a great family rallying round each other and making sure they leave with, not just good grades, but as well-rounded individuals who are kind, caring and capable to go out into the big, wide world and feel confident in their own abilities and will make a positive difference to other people."
The headteacher said that, in times of challenge, 'we are reminded that education is so much more than just examinations'.
He added: "I'd like to pay a particular tribute the team around every student; their parents at home who have always offered us such fantastic support and the staff at school who never fail to amaze me with the commitment, care and hard work they put in.
"These results are thoroughly deserved and we wish all of our students every success”.
Head of Sixth Form, Nesta McNeil, said: “I am so thrilled to witness the successes of this very special cohort of students who have demonstrated high levels of tenacity and resilience over these last two years.
"I am so excited about the new ventures which await them; whether that is in the world of work and apprenticeships or at university. We wish them luck and look forward to charting their successes in the future.”
The Sixth Form at St Philip Howard is open to all students in the local area, regardless of whether they have previously studied at the school or not.