Rossall School in Fleetwood celebrated almost all subjects, including English, Maths and Science, being passed at grade seven or above on GCSE Results Day.
Over 55 per cent of all entries awarded were a grade 7 or above at the school in Broadway, Fleetwood, with a fifth of all grades achieving the top grade nine.
Pupils studying Art, Latin and enrichment subjects including Ancient Greek, Business Studies and Mandarin all achieved 100 per cent of their grades being 7 – 9.
Headteacher Jeremy Quartermain said “During this most difficult of years, Rossallians have excelled in every regard. These outstanding results are attributable to the indomitable spirit of our pupils and their teachers.
Rossall School celebrates top grades for GCSE Results Day 2021. Pic: Rossall School
“World-class teaching and the high aspirations and strong work ethic of our pupils serve to set Rossall apart as a unique community in this part of the UK.
“A burgeoning pupil, top-class academic results and sporting success on a national and international stage means that we will remain the obvious choice for families who want excellence within a compassionate and warm community.”
A significant proportion of the cohort achieved nothing less than a grade 7 this summer and with such a strong set of grades, backed up by excellent performance in rigorous examinations, pupils are looking forward to the start of their courses at Rossall Sixth Form.
Alice Christy achieved nine grade nines, a grade 8 and an A* in her Higher Project Qualification which was a detailed study of gender identity.
She said, “I am staying at Rossall to do my A Levels in chemistry, Biology, Maths and Psychology. I then hope to go on to study Medicine at university and ultimately train to become a doctor.”
Kai Wagner’s 12 GCSEs, all at grade 7 or above, were “a testament to his intellectual curiosity and determination to make the most of academic opportunities available on and off timetable,” Rossall staff said.
Among his grade eights and nines, Kai was most proud of his grade seven in Astronomy, a notoriously challenging subject offered in only a handful of UK schools that prepares pupils successfully for academically rigorous courses in theoretical physics.
He said, “I am very happy to have the opportunity to continue my education in Rossall, starting next year. I’ll be studying the IB with the subject Maths AA, Physics, Geography, History, German, and English, with the hope of studying Mathematics or Astrophysics at university.”
Sherman Wong joined Rossall school from Hong Kong at the start of Year 11.
Along with his commitment to football through the Rossall Football programme throughout the year, he also achieved a strong set of GCSE grades in nine subjects.
Sherman will be taking up BTEC Sport at Rossall in combination with Businesa s Studies A-level and the EPQ qualification.
Fleetwood High School pupils received their GCSE results today – but as well as their academic achievements, the school’s headteacher commended their kindness and compassion.
Richard Barnes, headteacher at the school, in Broadway, said: “While we are celebrating so many students securing so many impressive sets of results, I think it is important that we look past the outcomes. These students have had to show tremendous resilience and determination. A lot has been asked of them, and we are delighted that so many of them are celebrating today.”
Pupils Tegan Hood, Aleks Bogdeva, Ben Darwin and Viktoria Byutulyuneva all performed “exceptionally well,” staff said, and have secured the grades that they need to follow their chosen destinations at college.
Tegan will take Psychology and Law, Aleks will take Maths, Psychology and Law and Ben will be taking Engineering.
Fleetwood High School Year 11s celebrate their GCSE results. Pic: JPI Media
Viktoria was delighted to get both her English and her Maths, allowing her to move towards a career in teaching, teachers said.
Mr Barnes continued: “All our students have been so impressive. They have achieved as individuals, but what I take the most pride in is that they have worked together as a group to support one another. They have shown real kindness and compassion – and for that alone they deserve every accolade that we can bestow upon them.
“They are an extraordinary group of young people, who have been through an extraordinary experience. I would also like to thank and acknowledge my colleagues. All of the staff, from the teachers through to our brilliant cleaners, have played a role in helping today be one that will live in the memory.
“It has been a collective effort where everyone has done more than has been asked of them. While today is rightly about our pupils, every member of community should look at the smiles we are seeing and take a huge amount of satisfaction from that
Victoria Byutyuneva was shocked with her results… in a good way! Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media
Two Blackpool photographers joined forces to present resort children with opportunities to express their creativity during photography workshops.
Jill Reidy and Claire Griffiths have run Whipper Snappers photography workshops for the past seven years, and were overjoyed to have been able to bring photography back into little ones’ lives after lockdown.
Working with Blackpool libraries, the women were able to teach youngsters how to bring out their creativity through a camera lens, with sessions at Anchorsholme, Layton and Central libraries.
Whipper Snappers aims to equip children with the knowledge and passion to capture moments in new ways.
Claire said: “For me, and I think Jill would agree, taking photographs is a creative act so to be able to inspire young folks to take images in a new way feels really powerful.
“With a camera you can be brave, tell your own story and have an adventure. It is a visual language so sharing our love of photography with young folks in the town is amazing.
“Blackpool can be photographed in a disparaging way, so seeing the world through a child’s eyes is refreshing and somehow tells a different story.
“It was wonderful to see how excited the children were when we handed them DSLR cameras. Photography can be expensive so the chance to use a “real” camera can be really different to phone photography or use of iPads.”
An image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper Snappers
Jill added: “We let the children experiment a bit, but we also set them certain activities. We asked them to find things beginning with different letters, taking portraits of people in different ways, and using different perspectives to capture things.
“It was really good fun, the kids enjoyed it. We’re arranging for different exhibitions for their photos at each library too.”
And both photographers also have their own exhibitions on show in the resort at the moment – capturing life at the seaside.
Jill has her exhibition, When the chairs went up, at Cafe No 5 in Cedar Square, which portrays myriad reflections on lockdown in Blackpool.
An image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper Snappers
Claire’s work is also being showcased in the Seaside: Photographed exhibition in the forecourt of the Grundy Art Gallery in Queen Street, a national exhibition looking at the relationship between photography and the British seaside from the 1850s to the present.
Sixth-formers in the resort are celebrating their A-level results in the wake of a turbulent year of Covid lockdowns and home learning.
At The Blackpool Sixth Form College in Blackpool Old Road, students on 59 courses achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with the college’s overall pass rate standing at 99.6 per cent.
The percentage of students achieving the highest grade possible also increased for the third consecutive year, despite the disruptions to learning Covid has brought over the last 18 months.
Jill Gray, Blackpool Sixth Principal, said: “We are delighted with these wonderful results and are extremely proud of our students. We cannot underestimate the significant effort that they have shown in achieving these exceptional outcomes.
Students jump for joy as they celebrate outstanding A-level results. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
“The results truly reflect the hard work, adaptability,resilience and determination that students have shown during such an unsettling time in their education. We are also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support and understanding of our parents and carers.
“Of course, none of this would have been possible without the passion, dedication and professionalism of our amazing staff, who continually give their all and inspire our students to thrive and succeed.
“We wish our students every success and happiness as they move onto the next stage of their education or career.”
Across the UK the proportion of top grades handed out to students increased to 45 per cent this year.
Blackpook Sixth students and principal Jill Gray celebrate their grades and overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
The record-breaking results saw 37 per cent of all A-level students in England get three As or better – which is more than double the 17.9 per cent in 2019, the last year exams were held.
Students and staff faced myriad challenges while adapting to home learning during the pandemic, but their determination and dedication cemented thousands of university places nationwide.
Formal exams were cancelled this year for the second year running, after education settings were closed in January due to Covid.
Grades were set by teachers this year instead, which were then quality-assured by exam boards via an evidence-checking process – but fewer than one per cent of grades were amended.
Maisie Green will choose an apprenticeship with her grades, to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
Bruno Eaves, 18, from Wrea Green, came to Blackpool Sixth from AKS Lytham and achieved four A*s in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
Bruno is heading to University College London to study for a maths degree, which he hoped would open doors to a variety of potential careers.
He said: “I haven’t really decided what career path I want to go down yet, but I really enjoy maths so I chose to study that at university as a more general subject.
“There are so many things I could do with maths such as teaching or accounting, and I’m hoping to do drama in my spare time as well.
Bruno Eaves is heading to UCL to study maths. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
Maisie Green, 18, from Hambleton, achieved two A*s in economics and geography and an A in business studies.
Instead of going to university, Maisie has chosen to undertake an apprenticeship in a bid to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking.
And she already has three apprenticeship options to choose from – with offers from Ernst and Young, J.P Morgan and RSM.
Maisie, who came to Blackpool Sixth from St Aidan’s High School, said: “To be honest, the lockdown was absolutely fine. We felt like we were with our teachers anyway while we working at home, and that got us through it.”
Lewis Melville, 18, achieved three distinction stars for BTECs in travel and tourism and musical theatre.
Lewis hoped his grades – which he will be taking to Manchester Metropolitan University to study international tourism management – will allow him to jet-set around the world with his sights set on America first.
Andrew Speight is going to work for Blackpool Council after achieving three A*s in modern history, psychology and sociology. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media
He said: “I’m really excited about moving to Manchester, I really love it there. I’m hoping to do a placement overseas and of course America is the first place in mind, but I’d be happy anywhere.”
Hannah Doyle, 18, from Staining, collected her results with her Nan Heather Perkins, who said she was “extremely proud” of her granddaughter’s success.
Hannah achieved two A grades for music and music technology and a B in photography, which has secured her place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to study sound technology.
Hannah, a former Hodgson Academy pupil, said: “I did BTEC music first and on our course there was only four of us, so when I was in lower sixth we had to join up with upper sixth. I think there are fewer people taking music at A-Level because there aren’t as many taking it at GCSE anymore.
“I’m hoping to go into either live sound or studio recording in the future.”
Andrew Speight, 18, from South Shore, is pursuing a different path in life after sixth form – and has secured a new role as a youth advisor for Blackpool Council.
Andrew said he is passionate about encouraging young people to stay in the resort to build their careers, and will be advising the council on their strategy for youngsters who are not in education, training or employment.
He said: “I’m serving at the moment as member of youth parliament and the chairman of Blackpool youth council. So I have experience in the voices of young people already and I gave a speech in the House of Commons in 2019.
“I didn’t want to go to university, so I’ve had experience of job-hunting myself, and I’ve realised how hard it actually is of not having experience when all the jobs are asking for it.
“So I want to work on making sure there are opportunities for young people in the town, and help to create employment for young people, so they don’t need to move out of the area.”
A further set of school buddy road signs are to be installed at Blackpool school in a bid to encourage parents and motorists to drive and park safely around pupils.
Thames Primary Academy and Nursery on Severn Road in South Shore is the latest school in the resort to be given a set of the six signs.
The signs, which match the schools’ uniforms, will hopefully help tackle the issues of inconsiderate and dangerous parking as well as speeding motorists..
The school buddies, inset, have been donated to the academy Coun Derek Robertson, who represents the Waterloo ward.
School buddy signs will soon be installed at Thames Primary Academy and Nursery
He requested £892.23 as part of his annual ward councillor funding.
Coun Robertson said: “They are something that is needed at our school to protect our pupils, parents and teachers. It is a great idea that I have seen at other school and Thames Academy approached me about it and I was happy to donate the funds.”
Gateway Academy and Unity Academy received signs back in May and they were paid for by the West Lancashire Freemasons Charity.
Westcliff Primary Academy was also given six signs in March following a ward grant donation from councillors Don Clapham and Paul Wilshaw.
A Blackpool teacher has welcomed the education secretary’s plans to reintroduce Latin into some secondary schools, and hoped resort pupils will be among those who will benefit from the scheme.
Blackpool Sixth teacher Peter Wright regularly works with charity Classics For All to deliver Latin in Fylde coast schools, including St John’s Primary School in Poulton (pictured).
Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced over the weekend that the £4 million Department for Education Latin Excellence scheme will be rolled out to 40 secondary schools across England.
The scheme will be rolled out to 11 to 16-year-old pupils from September 2022.
It was hoped, the Government said, that by introducing Latin back into state schools, the subject would shed its “elitist” stereotype.
Blackpool Sixth teacher Peter Wright said teaching youngsters Latin would also benefit their English and modern foreign language learning.
Currently, only around 3 per cent of state schools in England teach Latin on the curriculum, in comparison to just below half of all independent schools.
Mr Williamson said: “We know Latin has a reputation as an elitist subject which is only reserved for the privileged few. But the subject can bring so many benefits to young people, so I want to put an end to that divide.”
The Latin Excellence programme will also give pupils the opportunity to visit Roman Heritage sites to broaden classics knowledge further, the Department added.
National charity Classics For All, which already works with schools nationwide to provide Latin learning to youngsters, said the scheme was a “good start.”
Jimmy Mulville, chairman of the charity, said: “Any move by government to re-establish the teaching of any of the classical subjects in state schools is most welcome so this initiative focusing on Latin is a good start to that ultimate goal.”
Blackpool Sixth teacher Peter Wright, who teaches A-Level Ancient History and works with Classics For All to deliver classics subjects to Fylde coast pupils, also welcomed the announcement.
The Blackpool Sixth Form College wins national award for promoting Latin and Cla…
However, Mr Wright said he was “cautiously excited” amid uncertainties of which areas in England would benefit, but hoped Blackpool would be chosen for funding to teach Latin.
He said: “It’s very good news, I’m cautiously excited though as there are only 40 schools being piloted and £4 million isn’t a huge amount of money in education.
“But it’s definitely a good start for education to finally realise there is value in it. It’s not a case of learning Latin for the sake of it, that’s a very outdated idea.
“If you look at any language and the academic languages used in the classroom, it contains a higher degree of Latin words. If we’re teaching kids even very basic Latin, we’re giving them the gift of etymology to further their understanding of those languages.”
Mr Wright has worked with Classics For All for the past four years, and regularly teams up with teachers across the Fylde coast to deliver lessons in classics to their pupils.
He said working with the charity gives schools the chance to introduce fully-funded classics subjects such as Latin and Greek with minimal training required for teachers.
He continued: “We conducted a research policy with two Year Six cohorts at Norbreck Academy, and the results were phenomenal, especially when it came to boys.
“Boys showed a 74 per cent significant improvement in their literacy skills after learning Latin, so it really is a game changer. There were such huge improvements, and particularly amongst pupil premium pupils.
“Introducing Latin has such a profound effect on language learning, not only for English but for modern foreign languages and oracy, the public speaking and debate side of things as well.”
Teachers who are interested in introducing Latin to their pupils before the Government scheme is launched can email Peter to discuss further.
The future might seem uncertain, but that shouldn’t stop youngsters making important decisions about their studies.
These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold
These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold.
Even though Year 11 students have now finished school, there is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth college.
For younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the future.
For younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the future
Choose to succeed
Jon McLeod, Head of Admissions at Blackpool Sixth, said year nine or year ten is a good time for youngsters to start thinking about which college best suits them and what subjects they might take.
“If you have a career in mind already, then build that into the subjects you choose to study in sixth form and beyond,” he says.
“Also, pick subjects you enjoy. That often gets missed by parents who want to guide children towards subjects they think will lead to a good job. If a student isn’t interested, they are unlikely to succeed and will probably change their mind at some point.”
There is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth college
Know your type
How do you learn? Do you prefer to put pen to paper in an exam setting, or build up grades as you go through practical work? A Levels suit students who enjoy an academic approach with lots of theory to learn, while BTEC or vocational-style courses suit others who like to put the theory they are learning into practice in a context related to particular jobs.
Blackpool Sixth offers a choice of ways to learn. Students can opt to focus on A Levels or BTEC qualifications, or a combination of both.
“Our combined programme means students might pursue a health and social care BTEC but also an A Level in sociology,” adds Mr McLeod. “It’s a good way to group together courses to create an individual package of learning.”
Keep an open mind
Students should always consider subjects they might not have experienced before. Blackpool Sixth, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, offers more than 50 different courses including subjects like A Level psychology, electronics and textiles, BTEC Level 3 sport and exercise science and travel and tourism. All topics which students might not have explored in school.
“It can be good to keep options open and choose courses that could lead in a number of directions,” added Mr McLeod. “For example, students might combine art, media studies and English language, giving them the chance to go to art school if they want or switch direction and study English or journalism instead.”
Plan to succeed
University and the world of work might seem far off but look around now at what is offer so you can plot your course properly. Check university websites, UCAS and apprenticeship programmes to see what qualifications they are looking for.
If you’re planning to start sixth form college in September, chat now with college staff to discuss your options.
Why choose Blackpool Sixth?
Blackpool Sixth Form College offers a diverse range of courses and a flexible approach to learning for 16 to 19-year-olds. Because it is strictly for that age group, the college can focus on helping students achieve their aims for the next stage in their lives, whether they choose a vocational route, A Levels or a combination.
With a 100% pass success rate across 50 subjects, and 99% of leavers going on to positive destinations, it has a proven track record in helping young people on the path to success. While its BTEC College of the Year award is proof of its strong vocational programme, approach to learning and links with employers.
Enrolment for next term takes place online on Thursday 12th, Friday 13th, and Monday 16th August – contact email@example.com to apply if you are a school leaver and haven’t applied to the college yet.
Blackpool Sixth will be holding an open day on Saturday, 2nd October, and another on Saturday, 13th November.
Layton library held virtual assemblies for resort primary school children in a bid to get them reading more during the summer holidays.
Youngsters in Years Two and Five at Devonshire Primary Academy in Devonshire Road and Year Five at Layton Primary School in Meyler Avenue took part in the library’s first virtual assemblies.
They were given books paid for by Layton ward grant funding by councillors Kath Benson and Martin Mitchell, in a bid to encourage a love of reading and improvement in literacy skills.
Coun Benson and Layton library manager Jane Berry spoke to the youngsters about the library, in hopes it would spark a keen interest in delving deeper into the world of storytelling.
Year Five at Layton Primary School with their gifted books. Pic: Blackpool Council
Coun Benson said: “It was tremendous and an absolute pleasure to virtually visit the children. We were asked some amazing questions about the number and types of books that the library has, most popular authors, when the library was built and so much more. It was fantastic to see their curiosity and I hope that it will inspire them to read more.”
Coun Mitchell added: “It was terrific to be part of this project and to encourage the gift of reading amongst the new generation. Of course when a child opens a book it reveals a pathway to a hitherto unseen world, a world where imagination and the senses can triumph.”
The project is part of a wider initiative among all Blackpool libraries – the summer reading challenge “Wild World Heroes,” which encourages children to keep up with their reading over the holidays.
Layton library will continue working with Layton and Devonshire schools, to encourage pupils to become members and nurture a love of reading.
Jane Berry, library manager, said: “It was lovely to be asked by a child about when I had joined a library myself. It was a joy to share my memory that I had joined at the age of around seven and used to visit the library on Saturday mornings on my bike with my dad once a fortnight.”
Natalie Dean, a teacher at Devonshire Primary Academy, added: “In 2020 we set ourselves a reading goal to ensure that all of our pupils had a chance to not only visit Layton library, but also become lifelong members, so they could access the wonderful opportunities that the library brings.
“Before Covid temporarily closed the library, we had managed to bring several year groups on a trip to see the library and it was amazing to watch the children in awe and wonder, marvelling at the limitless choices on the bookshelves. For some pupils, it was their first time inside a library outside of our school library.
“We are thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the local literacy campaign being led by our local councillors and we have been lucky enough to be visited ‘virtually’ for story time. We look forward to being able to continue our work with the library.”
Blackpool Sixth is celebrating recognition for teaching classics subjects to youngsters at Fylde coast schools, and four of its students have been given special bursaries to study classics at university.
The college won acclaim from London-based charity Classics for All, which has a mission to increase the study of Latin and Ancient Greek, plus other aspects of the classical world.
Staff and students across the country were recognised by the charity in celebration of its 10th birthday, and Blackpool Sixth A-level Ancient History teacher Peter Wright was among the recipients of a teaching award.
Mr Wright, who is also the coordinator of the Fylde Coast Classics Network, received the award for the work he has spearheaded not only within the college, but also in nine Fylde coast primary and secondary schools.
A Latin assembly at St. John’s Catholic Primary School in Poulton, part of the Fylde Coast Classics network. Pic: Blackpool Sixth
He has trained six local primary schools to teach Latin bringing the language to over 400 primary pupils in the resort, and introduced classics to three secondary schools and a Pupil Referral Unit.
Mr Wright has worked with Classics for All to train teachers to deliver Latin lessons as an additional part of the curriculum, and the work with schools has had a major impact on literacy scores for pupils.
“The results have been really impressive,” he said.
“73 per cent of the boys involved in the project improved their literacy scores, around 65 per cent of the girls and 55 per cent of children from low income households.”
Mr Wright was also informed that the charity would be providing a £2,000 bursary to four of the college’s students who will be studying classics at university level.
Students Callum Jones, Kane Barnish, Thomas Owen and Matt Mitchell were the lucky recipients of the bursaries.
Matt, who has.a conditional offer from York University to study archaeology, said, “My passion for history, classics and archaeology was furthered by my time at Blackpool Sixth where I have been able to study ancient history at A-level which would not be an option at many other colleges.
“This has been further supported by the passion for the subject from the tutors that I have witnessed over my two years there which has again furthered my interest in the subject.”
Fellow ancient history student Kane Barnish said: “It was a really enjoyable course with interesting and unique modules which covered a wide time period and
themes. It was also taught in a very dynamic and fun way, keeping the course fresh over the two years.”
Kane, who plans to go to Swansea University to study Egyptology and ancient history, added: “The bursary will help me as it will help cover living costs and make the first year at university less stressful, allowing me to focus on my studies.”
Mr Wright added: “It is wonderful to lead the partnership between Blackpool Sixth and Classics for All. I’m incredibly proud that our work in Blackpool has been recognised nationally. The enthusiasm of teachers and teaching assistants in the schools involved has been inspiring. It is fantastic to see Latin being used effectively to boost English vocabulary, aid literacy, improve oracy and public speaking, and promote language learning.
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