Trent College’s GCSE students enjoyed an outstanding year of academic success in 2018 with the school celebrating an 8% increase in the number of A*-A and 7-9 grades awarded.
With 60% of Trent College entries now graded using the new style 9-1 number system, five candidates got straight A*-As and 8-9s (A* equivalent), while 94.5% of grades were marked at A*-C and 4-9 (A*-C equivalent). An impressive 48% of all Trent College grades were scored at A*-A and 7-9 (A*-A equivalent), up 8% on last year.
Spanish boarder, Pedro Toro Freire, and Artemis Whitehead both achieved nine straight A*s and 9s, while Esmae Badcock, Laura Howard and Ella Butcher were the other students to get straight A*s or the equivalent from their 10 exams.
For Esmae, the results capped a memorable week as just two days ago she discovered her GCSE coursework had landed her a runners-up prize in the national Young Historian Awards, Modern World category.
Laura, meanwhile, revealed that a diverse breadth of extra-curricular interests were the secret to her success, as she has taken part in debating, Duke of Edinburgh, Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and also represented Trent College at both the national U16 indoor and outdoor hockey finals this year.
She said: “I think debating probably helped the most in my studies. It gives you the ability to write and think on your feet, so that helps with exams, but it also gives you life skills in general and the confidence to talk and interact better with people.
“The outdoor national hockey finals at Lee Valley were an amazing experience. They were just before the GCSEs so it was a good break from revision, while being part of a team you’re working for each other as opposed to just concentrating on yourself.”
Art was the school’s top performing GCSE subject for the second year running, with 69% of grades at 7-9, with impressive results in the iGSCEs sat across the three Sciences (Chemistry 68% A*-A, Physics 63% A*-A and Biology 60% A*-A).
Poppy Fisher was one of those who got A*-A in all three of the Sciences having won an East Midlands’ Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) prize earlier this year. Flautist Poppy achieved seven A* and equivalent from her 10 exams overall.
She said: “I was shocked, I couldn’t believe I’d done so well! The school has really helped me get these results. I play the flute in a band, and I’ve played hockey, netball, tennis and cricket for the school, while all the teachers like to check up on you to make sure you’re alright, which is good because everyone needs support.”
All-rounder Matthew Richardson admitted he was thinking the worst when he opened his envelope. He believes boarding for Year 11 made all the difference in him surpassing his expectations with five As and equivalent amongst his nine GCSEs.
Matthew said: “I don’t think I would’ve got these grades without boarding. We moved to Southwell and the journey to school was an hour there and back. I was really tired and it ate into revision time.
“When you board you’re also with your friends and you can learn from each other, and the teachers let us work with them in the evenings too. I do lots of sports and I’m a big gym fanatic as you do need to balance relaxing and working.”
Meanwhile, it was Drama that proved scholar Freddy Rhodes’ escape as he achieved eight A*s and equivalent. He added: “I was in the school production of Hound of the Baskervilles in November and have done quite a lot of things over the past couple of years. Hound of the Baskervilles was around my mocks and it was nice to have time to get away from revision and do something different.”
The vast majority of students will now continue on to Trent College Sixth Form from September.
Head of Trent College, Mr Bill Penty, said: “This is an outstanding year and our warmest congratulations go to all students. It has been a year of much publicised increased depth and difficulty in terms of the syllabus content, but our students have embraced this enhanced stretch and challenge to achieve some truly impressive results.
“They have done this while excelling in so many other areas of school life, and I am very proud of them and the excellent staff who have done such a good job to support and prepare them.”