Hard work and aspiration yields successful GCSE results

The familiar squeals of success could be heard through Heathfield Community College today as students have been celebrating their GCSE results. In a challenging and changing educational climate the college has set the standard high and students attending Heathfield have excelled themselves with 77% achieving the new “pass” of 9 – 4 in both English & Maths with an overall average Attainment Grade of B-. Overall 85% of students gained 5 GCSEs grade A*- C. As this year is “Year Zero” for the new outcomes it is hard to make any national comparisons so early however, indications show that achievement at the very highest levels, including the grade 9, is extremely strong.

There are some exceptional outcomes to celebrate with 29% of grades at A/A* or equivalent and nearly a third of students gaining 5 or more A/A* or equivalent grades. 40% of students gaining an A* or equivalent in one or more subjects.

Headteacher Caroline Barlow said “Today was a really uplifting day at Heathfield. It was fantastic to see the students’ faces as they opened envelopes to see their results and realised that all their hard work has paid off. Life is not all about examination grades but there is no doubt that getting good results opens doors and provides choices for the future. Most pleasing was that students from across the whole ability range have done well, reaching and exceeding their ambitious targets.” 

5 students gained a clean sweep of grades solely at A*/A and equivalent: Louisa Dollimore (including 9A*s), Lana Gregory (including 8A*s), James Higgins (including 7A*s), Matamoana Muller (including 11A*s) and Will Tweedy (including 5A*s).

A further 11 students gained at least 10 A*/A grades and equivalent in their set of qualifications: Lucy Bigwood, Callum Caldwell (including 5A*s), Rebecca Curquejo (including 7A*s), Zoe Duffin, Abigail Epstein (including 6A*s), Max Hatfield, Harry Laddiman (including 7A*s), Cherry Lau (including 8A*s), Aengus Roberts, Emily Thompson (including 8A*s) and Nathan Tompsett.

In total 32 students gained a set of results that included at least 8 A/A*s and equivalent, further including Harry Baird, Sam Beeney, Jake Burton (including 5A*s), Jake Cummins, William Evans (including 6A*s), Samuele Fanticchio, Gemma Godding, Hannah Goble-Young, Ellis Granea, Melissa Hall (including 6A*s), George Hodges, Adam Pecover, Joe Robins, Morgan Till, Oliver Thompson and Isobel Turner.

Many other results represent exceptional achievement and progress for individual students. The outcomes overall show the college’s ability to add significant value to all pupils’ progress over their five years at Heathfield. This is a result of the powerful combination of the hard work and dedication of students to their studies, the unstinting support of parents and the focused expertise and skill of their teachers.

Paying tribute to the community that has led to this success Caroline Barlow said:

“Our students really deserve these fantastic outcomes; we set high expectations, it has been a challenging year for the students as the first cohort through a new system and they have risen to them brilliantly, showing the determination that produces excellent results. I am very proud of them and our staff for their focused hard work. It takes a great team to achieve this level of success, with students, staff, governors and parents working positively together to bring out the best in everyone.”


This academic year has been one of significant change for schools with fundamental changes being made to the way GCSEs are assessed and graded. The new grades are being phased in, starting with some of this summer’s exams. More challenging GCSE examinations have been introduced in English and mathematics. The grading for these two subjects has changed, moving from an A*-G scale to a 9-1 scale. DfE descriptions have termed Grade 4 as a Standard Pass and Grade 5 a strong pass.

Due to these changes it is impossible to know if results in English and mathematics have gone up or down so 2017 is being called a ‘Year Zero’ as we are not in the position to imply a trend in results this summer.

For most other subjects – including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, French, Spanish, Religious Education, Geography, Music and History – the new grades will be awarded from the summer of 2018.

Please click here for more information on the new GCSEs.