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‘The community should be proud’ Oak celebrates exam success

Headteacher Stephen Clark & Year 7 student Takuma Ryono

MELKSHAM Oak Community School is celebrating another successful year after nervous students collected their GCSE and A-level results.

In what has been a challenging time for the school after a disappointing Ofsted report earlier in the year awarded the school with a ‘requires improvement’ grade, pupils have provided a much-needed boost to morale, with results that have delighted staff.

GCSE students particularly impressed, improving on last year’s performance despite what’s been described as tough changes to the grading system for subjects English and maths, which now follows a 9 to 1 number format, as opposed to the A to C letters format.

Headteacher Stephen Clark said, “At GCSE 57% of students got A*-C grades including English and maths. This represents an improvement on last year and is a tremendous achievement by our pupils and teachers in a year that has seen the introduction of tougher exams, and huge changes to English and maths courses.

“We are delighted that the hard work of our pupils and our staff, and the support of our parents, has been rewarded with these outcomes. All members of our community should be proud of these results, which in many areas challenge judgements made in our recent Ofsted inspection.

“The high achievers, who achieved A* and A grades and Grade 9s, were Macaulay Clark, Kelli Green, Elliott Helstrip, Molly Harrold, Imran Ibrahim, Rachel Sampson, Callum Smith, Leo Seus, Cliona Walker and Lauren White.

“The achievements of a number of Grade 9s in English and maths was particularly impressive, as these grades represent the top 5% of what last year would have been A* grades.”

High achiever Cliona Walker burst into tears upon opening her results. “These are happy tears, I was just so scared but now feeling really relieved,” she said.

Fellow student Imran Ibrahim said, “Really glad the hard work paid off. The plan is now to go on to sixth form and if it’s not too ambitious, eventually apply to the higher tier universities.”

Amongst the crowd of nervous Year 11s collecting their results was Year 7 student Takuma Ryono who picked up an A* in GCSE Japanese.

Takuma’s tutor Mr Barnard said, “I feel so proud of what he has achieved. He’s the youngest person in the school to have ever done a GCSE and he received an A* for it. Just incredible!”

A-level students also gave reason to celebrate.

Headteacher Stephen Clark said, “We are delighted with the performance of our A-level students, this was our largest sixth form ever and they achieved a pass rate close to 100% for the seventh year running.

“All students have secured places at their chosen universities.

“Particular praise to Lauren Rudd who achieved A*A*A; Sophie Rendell AAB; Martha Rendell A*BB; Charlotte Knowles-Lawson AAB and George Cade ABB.”

Upon receiving her results, top student Lauren Rudd said, “I’m in shock but very happy. I’m going to Cardiff University to study sociology.”

Fellow student Leah Clyde said, “I didn’t get the results I wanted but I still got into my chosen university by the skin of my teeth, so I’m feeling really lucky.”

Whilst some of the leavers looked ahead to university, others prepared to embark on life experiences of a different kind. Departing sixth-former Courtney Buchanan said, “I’ve chosen not to go university and will be working as a chalet girl in Italy instead, but I’m still feeling really pleased about my results.”