I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate every Hanley Castle student on a truly brilliant set of A level and BTEC results. The process used by teachers to award this years’ grades was carried out in a manner that was scrupulously rigorous and fair. The Government guidelines placed a great deal of pressure on students to produce their best work both in and out of the exam hall. I know that I am speaking on behalf of all members of staff at the school when I say that we are full of pride that our students have demonstrated such resilience and accomplished so much in the face of such a prolonged period of unprecedented challenge.
Parents will recall that, when the Government announced the cancellation of all exams due to take place this summer, it also announced that there would be no publication of any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2021.
However, a large proportion of our students achieved outstanding individual results, ensuring that the vast majority secured their places at Cambridge, Russell Group and other top universities.
There were a number of star performers, with Lily Xia, Evie Read, James Taylor, Sam Powell, Lizzie White, Fintan McBride and Emma Sinden leading the way.
Lily Xia was the stand-out performer with A* grades in French, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Spanish. Lily will now travel to Marseilles for a gap year as an au pair before taking up her place at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge to study Modern and Medieval Languages.
Evie Read is also celebrating an exceptional set of results. Evie gained an A* in English Literature and History, and an A grade in Politics. She is off to Durham where she will be studying English Literature. Evie wished to thank her teachers for their ‘amazing support through what has been such a difficult 18 months. Students trusted their teachers to know them well and do their best for them.’
Lizzie White received her results on holiday in Snowdonia. She achieved three A grades in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, an A* in her Extended project and will now take up her place at Bristol to study Medicine.
James Taylor and Sam Powell led the way for the school’s male students, both achieving an A* and two A grades. James is now off to Manchester to study Biochemistry, while Sam will take up his place at Bath to study for a master’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Space Science Technology. James was particularly excited about his move to Manchester: ‘It is just so different – it’s really incredible to go from our little town to a massive city.’
Head girl, Emma Sinden was delighted with her A* and A grades in Biology, Chemistry and English Literature. She will be travelling to London to study Human Science at UCL. Like James Taylor, she is looking forward to the bright lights of the big city: ‘It will be a massive change from living in Upton to living in the biggest city in the UK. I just can’t wait.’
Fintan McBride also gained a magnificent set of results, with straight A grades in German, Maths, Further Maths and his Extended Project. Inspired by a school visit to China, Fintan will be studying Modern and Ancient Chinese at the University of London’s School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). This is a four-year course with the third year spent in Beijing. Fintan commented: ‘I absolutely loved China and wanted to go again to immerse myself in its language and culture.’
Of course, we are proud of every student and every grade. We are currently making plans for our annual Celebration of Achievement. This is one of the most important events in the school calendar, acknowledging our students’ talents and efforts. It is not clear whether the traditional ‘assembly’ format in the school hall is advisable at this time, but we will, of course, ensure that students’ achievements are recognised and rewarded.
Finally, we would like to remind all our students that the sixth form team and other staff at Hanley Castle will continue to be available for any student who needs help, support, or advice in the coming months. We are hugely proud of our talented, dedicated and committed Year 13 and will miss each and every one of them very much.
10 August 2021