South's students to receive GCSE results

Thousands of teenagers in the South will be receiving their GCSE results today.

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Dyslexic GCSE student celebrates A* in English

A student whose dyslexia is so severe she did not learn to read or write until she was 10-years-old has achieved an A* in her English literature GCSE.

Holly Sayer also gained an A in English language in her results which totalled 10 GCSEs including two A*s, three As, two Bs and two Cs.

Holly Sayer, 16, who is dyslexic, celebrates after receiving an A* in English Literature at the ARK Charter Academy in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Credit: PA

The 16-year-old, who studied at the Ark Charter Academy in Portsmouth, Hampshire, said: "There was a lot of stress involved and now I am really happy."

"Personally, I'm quite heavily dyslexic and yet my favourite subject is English. "The only way I could get round it was through the extra-curricular help that I was given."

She added: "I feel just a little bit chuffed, I think the hard work has most certainly paid off."

Sayer, who hopes to one day become a film director now hopes to complete her A-levels and go to Cambridge University or an Ivy League college.

Large swings in pupils' results after exam reforms

More students than ever across the south are achieving high GCSEs, but national figures also show large swings in English and maths results.

Head teachers said some schools were seeing "volatility" in results, warning that for some students, this could put their chances of a place at a top university such as Oxford or Cambridge, or their opportunity to go on to sixth-form college, at risk.

Results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed a sharp drop in English grades, with 61.7% of entries scoring A*-C, down 1.9 percentage points from last summer.

Exam chiefs suggested that the changes in results were down to recent education reforms, including removing speaking and listening from final English grades, a decision that in England, making only a teenager's first attempt at an exam count.

Pupils glimpsing their results at St John Fisher School in Chatham

In recent years there had been a growing trend towards schools entering pupils for exams early, or multiple times, but the new rule has changed this, and figures published earlier this year showed around a 40% drop in early entry across all subjects.

"What I think is really of note is the change in the 15-year-old results overall," Mr Hall said. "What is driving that is the 'first result counts'. Only the students who are really strong in the school's judgment are being entered at 15, whereas before they were being entered to see how they get on."

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Kent pupils celebrate after GCSE results

Pupils at St John Fisher School in Chatham, Kent Credit: ITV Meridian

Students from St John Fisher School in Kent are opening their GCSE results today to a mix of tears of joy and disappointment.

The biggest impact on this year's GCSE results have stemmed from changes that mean students did not sit exams early - compared to previous years when pupils could take their exams several times.

Ofqual says there is likely to be "variability" in grades at a school level this summer due to the significant changes Credit: PA

Students open GCSE results across the south

It's the day of reckoning for thousands of pupils across the Meridian region as they receive their long-awaited GCSE results today.

Pupils at King Alfred's academy in Wantage open their results Credit: ITV Meridian
Pupils anxiously opening their GCSE results Credit: ITV Meridian
Parents, teachers and pupils gather at the school to see this year's set of results Credit: ITV Meridian

Aspiring F1 star celebrates GCSE results in Oxford

James Lay picking up his results at Our Lady’s Abingdon school in Oxford Credit: Our Lady’s Abingdon

James Lay studied for his GCSEs at the same time as developing his Karting career, following in the footsteps of international F1 stars like Lewis Hamilton.

He managed to successfully balance his academic and Karting pursuits, achieving 11 GCSEs, including two A*s and four As.

James said: “My Karting has taken up quite a lot of time at weekends and a few school days over the course of the year as well, so I’ve had to make the most of my study periods and lunchtimes in school. The school has been very supportive, and the teachers are always happy to help if I have any questions.”

Pupils and staff at Our Lady’s Abingdon Senior School have today been celebrating their GCSE results Credit: Our Lady’s Abingdon

The GCSE results at the school have seen 100% passes at grades A*-C.

“My congratulations go to all our pupils on another strong set of GCSE results. Their hard work over the last two years has certainly paid off, providing an excellent foundation for A-level study and beyond. We have seen many impressive performances, and I would like to thank all OLA staff for their energy and determination over the last year. Well done to everyone.”

– School Principal, Mr Stephen Oliver
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