Students and staff at Bluecoat Aspley Academy, part of Archway Learning Trust, are celebrating on GCSE results day.
Head Teacher, Mr Turton, said: “As a school which prides itself on inclusion and striving for excellence for each and every student, I would like to commend all of our young people on behalf of myself, all of the staff at Bluecoat Aspley and right across Archway Learning Trust on their hard work and perseverance in achieving their well-deserved results.
“In the last few years, schools and their pupils and families have had unprecedented challenges, and we at Bluecoat Aspley have always prioritised our exam year groups over these periods of uncertainty to ensure that they can maximise their potential and unlock doors for the future.
“Working across diverse communities in Nottingham city we have a number of individuals who have achieved the very best grades, including students with multiple grade 9 and 8s through to those achieving Entry Level qualifications.”
Santosh has worked hard and has achieved the highest progress for a boy in his year group, today receiving seven grade 9s and three grade 8s. He said that lockdown had been a challenge, especially online learning, but through his hard work and help from teachers he felt confident sitting his GCSEs. Santosh wants to go into engineering as a career.
James has a diagnosis of autism and struggled at times lower down the school, finding the return to school after lockdown as a shock to the system. James and his mum value the support provided by his key worker who made a real difference to his education and classroom experience, highlighting what can be achieved when students are supported properly. Next year James is planning on going to Brackenhurst to achieve his dream of becoming a zookeeper. Both James and his mum put this down to the support he received from staff who showed him what courses are available and what can be achieved when you have the confidence to believe in yourself.
Whilst studying for her GCSEs, Freya was also heavily involved in enrichment activities with gymnastics training on three times a week and working as a young leader at Rainbows, Brownies and Guides twice a week. She said fitting in GCSE revision was hard and she recommends that students take every opportunity given to them by teachers to support with revision as it will all help. From September, Freya will build upon her Level 1 Coaching Award as she starts her Apprenticeship and Level 2 Coaching qualification, as well as preparing for the Eurogym festival in Norway next year.
Kylah identified the challenges this cohort faced due to lockdown and Covid. Schooling paused in the 2nd term of Year 8 until they returned to a very different school in the September of Year 9. This year group were the first to experience online learning which Kylah describes as being difficult as she was stuck at home and it was a real challenge to stay on top of work and learning. Returning to school was a real shock and highlighted the gaps in knowledge due to lockdown. However, teachers were supportive in filling in these gaps. Kylah found the exams difficult due to the impact of Covid on classroom time. Next year, Kylah hopes to stay on at Bluecoat Sixth Form and study Maths, Physics and Biology.
Mr Turton continued: “As students reflect on their results and consider their next steps, we look forward to welcoming a significant number of our own students, as well as students from right across the city, into our Bluecoat Sixth Form.
“Students will benefit this September from our new and improved curriculum offer, with access to a full range of course choices from A Levels to Vocational Level 3 and Level 2 options. We are also excited to offer our new Level 2 Sport course has been developed in a new partnership with Nottingham Forest Community Trust, two brand-new T Level qualifications in Health and Early Years and we are also offering Level 3 Criminology for the first time this year.”
Sian Hampton, CEO of Archway Learning Trust, added: “‘Given the massive disruption to the lives of all our students during the critical build up to these first national examinations being judged at pre-pandemic levels, we are delighted that the hard work and dedication of both our students and staff have paid off with some wonderful results.
“I would like to congratulate all of our students for their resilience and tenacity in the face of extremely challenging circumstances.”