GCSE Results 2021

August 12th, 2021 | Posted by Rebecca Walker in Headteacher Blog | News | Results - (0 Comments)

Children getting their GCSE results in 2021 have faced prolonged challenges to the continuity of their education greater than any school cohort since the second world war. They have faced lockdown, online and remote learning and have coped with changes that their predecessors simply could not have imagined.

In the face of a global pandemic, their resilience and mental health have been tested as never before and to see such excellent GCSE results nationally based on teacher assessed grades is quite remarkable. At St Joseph’s, Launceston, pupils really showed how well they could face up to these challenges: every child achieved the benchmark of at least 5 GCSEs at Level 4 or above including Maths and English, while 45% of grades were awarded at Level 7 or above.

St Joseph’s is entirely non-selective and welcomes pupils of all ability levels and staff were delighted that pupils of all abilities performed so well, with 100% of grades at 4 or above.

Headteacher Mr Oliver Scott said “teachers, pupils and all involved in education across the country deserve huge credit for all they have achieved this year. The pressure on everyone involved in education has been huge, and the children who gained these grades not only faced the pressure of their GCSE results, but of knowing they were only ever one positive Covid test away from isolation and remote learning. They have gained their grades through lockdowns, lessons online, nasal swabs, one-way systems, bubbles, masks, hand sanitising, desk swabbing and endless risk assessing.

These children deserve so much credit for their achievements in a world that has been turned upside down through their crucial GCSE years. They have provided the firm evidence for their grades through assessments and rigorous internal moderation processes where teachers across the country have worked tirelessly to ensure they have met every requirement of the exam boards, and have done so with the best interests of the children at the forefront of their thinking.

Year 11 maintained excellent attendance at the full online timetable we offered during the January to March lockdown, attending 6 live lessons a day as well as participating in House activities and assemblies. Our brilliant Head Pupils even sent motivational poems and quotations to all Senior School pupils every day via our secure email system. To have them back, and to say a proper goodbye, at our summer Prize Giving was a very special moment.

Every year we take great pride in the young people who leave us for pastures new, but this year, more than perhaps ever before, that pride is overwhelming for all of us who have seen the journey Year 11 have taken. Every set of results matters, and for every child success takes its own shape. I would also like to say a big thank you to every parent for their support of the children through this time. This is so important in allowing children to succeed – and the parents we have here at school are key to all we do.

This year, every Year 11, in every school, should just be very proud of all they have done to get to results day. Well done Year 11 – you are amazing for all you have achieved.”

Congratulations to the class of 2021 and best wishes for the next step on your journey.

Pictured here are some of the Year 11 students collecting their results today.

The first year of secondary education is a crucial time in any child’s development. It is when new friendships are formed, when study habits mature, when lifelong attitudes to academic work are forged, and when confidence can be fostered.

Without a sure start to Year 7, children can fall behind and much of the hard work of primary years can be wasted. Here at St Joseph’s, we know just how important this transition to the Senior School is. Children in Year 7 benefit from with small class sizes, a focus on the individual child and our proven ability as a school to cherish the talents of every member of Year 7 for who they are, and who they will grow to become.

Year groups in St Joseph’s Senior School have a capacity of 30, and with two form entry that means no tutor group will have more than 15 children, and class sizes are often smaller. As children move into their GCSE classes in Year 9, having made their options choices in Year 8, class sizes are generally smaller still.

Children coming into our Senior School want to learn: classes take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and the manners and behaviour the children display throughout the school day are excellent.

Pupils are known by their teachers, and pupils appreciate the lessons they participate in. Excellent relationships underpin life at St Joseph’s, and for Year 7 this means close relationships with their tutors and the pastoral team who work together to ensure every pupil is settled and supported through the first year of their St Joseph’s journey.

Care, compassion and community are central to our ethos, and this is quickly instilled into pupils as they join Year 7. While to Covid-19 pandemic means some changes have been inevitable, we have normalised the school experience for the children in our care, and made sure that Year 7 is still filled with fun and laughter, along with learning and growth.

The excellent online provision of the summer term is ready and waiting in the event of any further need to move to remote learning, and every pupil in Year 7 has a school provided iPad that will enable them to access the full 6 lesson timetable that will be provided in the event of closure.

High quality resources will be made available via Teams, the Pupil Portal and the school’s YouTube channel, along with a mix of live lessons and consistent teacher contact. Assemblies, tutor time and much more are available when the school is online, and all parents are aware of just how this will work across both Junior and Senior sides of the school.

At such a crucial time in the life of Year 7 pupils, we welcome parent of current Year 7s to come and see St Joseph’s for themselves. Socially distant tours of the school are welcome, though we do require all visitors to the school to work with the Covid guidelines we have in place to keep our school community safe.

We are confident that a visit to the school will transform the question ‘why St Joseph’s’ into ‘why not St Joseph’s?’ There are many reasons that we can be the best setting to ensure your child gains a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. Together, we can build the Firm Foundation for Life that will underpin your child’s time in education and throughout their life beyond St Joseph’s.

Year 7 at St Joseph’s: an opportunity today for a brighter tomorrow.

If you are interested in finding out more about Year 7 entry at St Joseph’s please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Oliver Scott –      headteacher@stjosephscornwall.co.uk

Rebecca Walker – registrar@stjosephscornwall.co.uk




In a GCSE year like no other, one thing has remained constant at St Joseph’s School in Launceston and that has been the hard work of pupils and staff in what have been very trying times. Everyone involved with the school was delighted to see this hard work rewarded with another year of excellent GCSE results, results that showed just how hard the children had worked.

Every child achieved the benchmark of at least 5 GCSEs at Level 4 or above including Maths and English, while 44% of grades were awarded at Level 7 or above compared to a national average of 25.9%. St Joseph’s is entirely non-selective and welcomes pupils of all ability levels and staff were delighted that pupils of all abilities performed so well, with 99% of grades at 4 or above where nationally this was 76%.

As at every school across the country, the work of ensuring evidence for every teacher assessed level has been exhaustive and based on the in depth knowledge of the children that the staff are able to develop. With 6 of the Year 11 leavers having been at St Joseph’s since Nursery, there were many remarkable individual tales across this talented cohort.

One of these pupils, Deputy Head Girl Isobel Thorns, said “What a crazy year it has been, I have been at St Joseph’s for over 13 years and I never thought my school journey would end like this. Today I have collected my GCSE results and I am so happy to see the smiles on everyone’s faces as my friends and classmates receive their fantastic results. It’s been a stressful year, however knowing all the hard work and effort we put in was worth it. I am ready for my next chapter of education and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our year group. Well done to Year 11 2020.”

Headteacher Mr Oliver Scott said “No school or child should be reduced to a data set or an algorithm: every school is made up of a collection of individual stories that are the lives, challenges and hard work of the children for whom they care. I have followed the stories of so many of these children over the 9 years I have been at St Joseph’s, and cannot tell you how proud I am of them all.

Many have overcome so much to be where they are today, and they, like Year 11s across the country, have missed out on so much with the cancellation of exams and all of the rites-of-passage moments that occur over the summer term. While they may not have had their prom, their leavers’ assembly, their last day of exams and much else besides, they have now all received GCSE results they should take real pride in.

It is testament to the hard work of pupils and staff across many years that these young people have achieved all they have. I would like to thank everyone involved – parents, pupils, all staff and our governing body who all work so hard to create a culture of care and support around the children in order that they have the opportunity to succeed. While one child may have a near clean sweep of grade 9s, for another a 4 represents, for them, an equal level of success. St Jo’s has again shown it is a school for all abilities. Well done to our class of 2020 – and to every child in every school who has endured such a difficult GCSE year.”

Congratulations to the class of 2020 and best wishes for the next step on your journey.

What a term we have just completed, and well done to all involved. On the surface it was unlike any in St Joseph’s history, but looking more deeply, it was very much true to the St Jo’s ethos of care, compassion and community and so fits well into the 105 year history of the school. It has been a time when we have been tested as never before, but one where our outstanding distance learning provision was recognisable as being the work of a ‘team of professional teachers who share their subjects with enthusiasm and drive and foster in pupils a love of learning.’ These words, taken from our whole school aims, have seldom been truer. Through Teams, the Pupil Portal, the St Joseph’s YouTube channel and so much more staff have maintained that love of learning in the children of St Joseph’s and have shown the school to be an outstanding community of learners. I have often said that teachers must themselves be learners, and teaching through Covid 19 has shown just how quickly our teachers can learn all manner of new skills. I am excited to see what the future brings for all at St Jo’s, and cannot wait to welcome everyone back in September.

Mr Scott.


Virtual tour!

If you would like a quick look around our wonderful school please click on the below video link where Mr Scott will show you around!

We are set in Launceston, Cornwall and have access to fantastic outdoor spaces.

You can book an appointment to speak with a member of the team by visiting https://www.stjosephscornwall.co.uk/admissions/appointment-booking/