The results come two years after the biggest shake-up in the exams’ history, where grades changed from A*-G to numbers 1-9, reflecting GCSE reforms that included more demanding content and the elimination of coursework.
Despite the change, some schools in the area saw a record-breaking pass rate, and dozens of pupils across both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge joined around 800 teenagers in England and Wales by getting a clean sweep of the highest grades in all
Nationally, around 700,000 pupils got their results last Thursday [August 22]. The pass rate was up 0.4 per cent to 67.3 per cent, and the percentage of papers given a top grade rose by 0.3 per cent to 20.8 per cent from last year.
At Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School [TWGGS], three pupils gained 11, 9 and A* grades, while The Judd School in Tonbridge saw more than half of entries graded A*, 8 or 9 for the fourth successive year.
Boys at Tonbridge School managed to achieve a 100 per cent pass rate in their GCSEs this year.
Kent College, Pembury said they celebrated their best results, with a quarter of girls achieving an average of level 8 across all subjects.
A THIRD of all results (34 per cent) at Benenden School were awarded level 9, up from 30 per cent last year, and 60 per cent of all grades were at levels 9 and 8 – equivalent to an A* on the previous system.
Headmistress Samantha Price said: “What a wonderful set of results! The girls should be immensely proud that all their enormous hard work and dedication has paid off so incredibly.”
One pupil from the independent School near Cranbrook took 11 grades at level 9.
Bee McDougall, 15, also took home an A* with Distinction – the highest grade possible – in her 12th GCSE, Further Maths, which is graded under the old system.
“I thought it was an accident! I kept thinking I’m going to refresh the page and they’re going to go down,” said Bee, after getting her results online.
GCSE pass rates for sciences and mathematics were exceptionally strong at Church of England school Bennett Memorial.
Headteacher Jon Sparke said large numbers of students achieved the top grades 8 and 9 in science and maths subjects, which he hopes they will continue to study at A level and beyond.
At Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys [TWGSB], Headteacher Amanda Simpson said they had many Year 11 pupils scoring top marks in their GCSEs in another ‘exceptional’ year for the boys’ school.
She told the Times: “We are exceptionally proud of all of our students and the effort and enthusiasm they have put into their GCSE studies for the past two years, and commend them for their resilience during an intense exam period. “There have been some exceptional results, with many students celebrating the full complement of the top grades of 9s and 8s. “We look forward to welcoming those students returning to us for the Sixth Form, and wish all of them the very best in their future endeavours.”
AROUND 150 pupils at Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School [TWGGS] sat exams this year, with 44.4 per cent achieving grades 9 and 8, and a staggering 99.2 per cent received passes with their grades between 9 and 4.
The top performers were three pupils who gained 11, 9 and A*, while 19 pupils had all marks between 9 and 7, or A* and A.
A school spokesman said: “We are incredibly pleased with our GCSE results this year.
“Our girls have attained some really superb sets of grades, and their results show that they have also made exceptional progress during their time at TWGGS, which is particularly pleasing.
“We would like to thank both the girls and staff for their dedication and hard work in achieving a really tremendous set of results.”
More than 70 per cent of students at St Gregory’s Catholic School achieved standard passes (grade 4 or above) in their GCSEs, and several students gained the new top grade, 9, across a range of subjects.
Principal Sean McQuillan said: “This is just the second year of the new GCSEs and I’m delighted to see that our students have fared so well.”
YEAR 11 students and staff at The Skinners’ Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells were celebrating record-breaking success on Thursday when the GCSE results were announced.
Executive Principal Dr Hilary Macaulay said: “I am incredibly proud of the achievements of all our students and the progress they have made this year.
“Highlights across the Academy this year include a record-breaking 27 Grade 9s, 80 Grade 8s and 123 Grade 7s.”
In East Sussex, one in five girls at Mayfield School were awarded all A*/A equivalent grades in ten or more subjects, and at Claremont School every student passed Biology, Physics and Chemistry with grades 9-4.