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.