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WATCH: Pianist's impromptu performance goes viral

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A talented young pianist, who impressed shoppers at Liverpool One with an impromptu performance, has gained more than 11,000 Facebook likes and 4,000 shares in just a matter of days.

This video shows John-Paul Riley playing a cover of River Flows in You from Samuel Vallée.

Faris Khalifa filmed and uploaded the clip - he said he was sat in the shopping centre when he saw John-Paul “get on the piano in L1 and smash it”.

John-Paul later responded, saying:

"I literally can't believe how big this has gone in one day! This is just the biggest opportunity I will have at being something and doing the one thing I love and I can't thank everyone enough for the comments, likes and shares!

– John-Paul Riley


One in six children not eating enough in school holidays

It is claimed children in the North West are not getting enough food to eat during the summer holidays.

Research carried out by Kellogs reveals that families are struggling to provide for their children during the six week break.

The same research also reveals that teachers in the North West have reported some children returning from the school holidays showing signs of weight loss.

Children go hungry during school holidays

Pupils in the North West are going hungry during the school holidays according to new figures. Kellog's claim almost 20 per cent of parents struggle to feed their children three meals a day and over a quarter claim the holidays put an extra burden on their food budget.. Victoria Hale, from Manchester, said making ends meet is often difficult

Full Report: Making the Grade - the highs and lows of results day for our GCSE students.

There has been celebrations and some commiserations across the region today as thousands of pupils collected their GCSE results.

Nationally, the proportion of exams awarded at least a C grade has risen, and some schools here have achieved their highest ever pass rates.

Ralph Blunsom reports from one high school in Cheshire:


Successes in Manchester despite results dip

Students reading their results. Credit: PA

Provisional results for GCSE results in Manchester show that 51 per cent of students achieved five or more GCSE grades A*- C including English and maths.

The figures show a slight dip from last year’s overall results of 53 per cent, in line with a national drop in English grades after changes to the way the subject is taught as well as warnings about ‘volatility’ in the results following an overhaul of the exam system.

Despite this, schools across the city have achieved impressive results.

Wright Robinson Sports College in Gorton was the most improved in Manchester, with 63.1 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and maths – an increase from 44.2 per cent last year.

The results – the best in the school’s history – are above the national average, and one in four GCSEs in the school was either an A* or an A.

"We are so proud of our students who worked incredibly hard to achieve these amazing results.

"They completely committed to our work regime and spent many hours preparing for their examinations, it is so heartening that their effort has paid off.

"I would like to thank all their families who have offered us such loyal support and our wonderful staff whose dedication to the students of Wythenshawe is inspiring."

– James Eldon, principal of Manchester Enterprise Academy

Chorlton High School celebrated its best ever GCSE results, with 66.8 per cent of students achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and maths – up from 65.6 per cent last year.

A total of 39 pupils achieved eight or more grade A or A* results, and 71 per cent of girls achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths, with 202 pupils achieving at least one A or A*.

King David High School in Crumpsall was the highest achieving school in the city and also saw an increase in their results, with 95.7 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and maths – up from 88.3 per cent last year.

William Hulme’s Grammar School Academy was the second highest achieving school, with 71.8 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and maths – slightly down from last year’s figure of 74.4 per cent.

"This is the first year of results after the government made significant changes to the way in which GCSEs are examined, and so a slight change in results was always expected.

"But despite all of these changes, pupils across the city have achieved excellent results, which I think says a great deal about the dedication, commitment and talent of both the teaching staff and the young people we have here in Manchester.

"I am confident that these pupils will now feel motivated to use their GCSEs to go on and achieve even more success with A-levels, further studies, apprenticeships and employment, and to continue to make a great contribution to our city with whatever they choose to do."

– Councillor Bernard Priest, Manchester City Council’s deputy leader.

North West students get their GCSE results

Weatherhead students parade their results.

Thousands of students across the region have received their GCSE results.

Weatherhead High School in Wirral is celebrating exceptional results, with 78% of students achieving the critical 5A*-C grades including the core subjects of English and Maths. A record number of the highest grades were awarded with 661 GCSEs being at A*/A.

The school said its results are "outstanding" in all areas, and especially in the core subjects of English and Maths with 85% of students achieving A*-C grades in Maths and 85% achieving A*-C grades in English.

Headteacher, Neil Dyment, said the new challenging GCSEs and changes to the way papers are marked have not impacted on his students, as the results far exceed national performance projections, based on KS2 data.

  1. National

Schools prepare for 'variable' GCSE results

Teenagers are today waking up to their GCSE grades amid indications that some schools are seeing major changes to results. Credit: PA

Schools preparing to receive their GCSE results today have been told to expect "variable" grades.

There are particular concerns among some headteachers about English and maths grades, according to initial reports.

The potentially unpredictable results are said to be due to significant alterations to the qualifications this year.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, which represents a large proportion of secondary heads, said: "We are getting some individual reports of volatility, but we don't know about overall trends yet.

"Some schools have seen surprises. Some schools have seen results which are lower than expected."

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