Students and staff rose to the challenge of the new linear A Level examinations to achieve a pass rate of 98.6%, with 35.8% of grades at A*/A and 61.0% at A*/B.
The results exceed many of the pupils’ predicted achievements when they arrived at Pocklington School, and buck the national trend of a reported drop in A Level grades among 18 year-old students taking the reformed examinations.
Mark Ronan, Headmaster, said: “I’m very proud of the way our students and staff responded to the uncertainty of the new examinations system, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability we prize at Pocklington School.
“Employers are increasingly recruiting on attitude and aptitude, rather than academic achievement alone, which is why we concentrate on offering a rounded education which supports each pupil as they develop individual skills and innovative thought.
“I’m delighted that this individual focus has enabled so many of our students to achieve places at their university of choice, and I am confident all they have learned here will serve them well in the future. Congratulations also to our staff, whose positivity and commitment has paid off.”
Three students (Thomas Baarda, James Laudage and Thomas Robertson) achieved places at Oxford or Cambridge University, two students (Jasmine Bunn and Toby Stephenson) will read Veterinary Medicine/Science, and two students (Oscar Cavill and Angela Watson) are going on to study Medicine.
Thomas Robertson, whose Mansfield Park prequel play staged earlier this year at Pocklington School earned him an EPQ A*, also achieved A*s in English Literature and English Language and an A in Latin.
He said: “I’m going to St Anne’s College, Oxford and I’m really excited as there are some Jane Austen specialists there. I’m particularly pleased as my grandma died in May and she really wanted me to go to Oxford and she knew that I’d got my place.“
Jasmine Bunn, who got 3As, in Biology, Chemistry and ICT, is going to Surrey University to study Veterinary Medicine. She said: “It’s completely crazy. I can’t believe it. I got up about 6.30 and I had a text from Surrey to say “Congratulations your place is confirmed!””
Olivia Gallen, who is taking up a place at Cardiff University to study Psychology, a subject she gained an A* in at A level, said: “I’m amazed… really surprised – and excited about going to Cardiff.”
Daniel Pearse, who is going to Nottingham University to study Chemistry, said: “I’m thrilled! It’s excellent and quite a relief. I’m looking forward to celebrating later.”
A total 44% of Pocklington School students are going on to one of the 24 research-intensive Russell Group universities and 50% of students will attend one of the top 30 universities identified by The Sutton Trust.
Pocklington’s A* students (in alphabetical order), and their university destinations, are:
Jonty Atkinson: Chemistry A, Mathematics A, Physical Education A* (Real Estate, University of Reading)
Tom Baarda: French A*, History A*, Latin A*, Mathematics A*, EPQ A* (Classics, University of Cambridge)
Alfie Brash: Chemistry A*, Mathematics A*, Further Mathematics A*, Physics A* and A in EPQ (Engineering, Durham University)
Angela Curtis: Biology A*, Chemistry A*, Psychology A* (Biological Sciences, Durham University)
Olivia Gallen: Biology A, History A*, Psychology A*, EPQ A* (Psychology, Cardiff University)
James Laudage: Chemistry A *, Mathematics A*, Further Mathematics A*, Physics A* EPQ B (Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge)
Tom Loten: Economics A, Geography A, Physical Education A* (Business Economics, University of Leeds)
Thomas Luo: Biology A*, Chemistry A*, Chinese A*, Mathematics A*, EPQ A* (Biomedical Sciences, University College, London)
Jimmy Quinney: French A, Mathematics A*, Further Mathematics A*, Physics A (Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield)
Thomas Robertson: English Literature A*, English Language A*, Latin A, EPQ A* (English Literature, University of Oxford)
Rob Smith: Chemistry A, Mathematics A, Physics A* (Engineering, Durham University)
Angela Watson: Art A, Biology A*, Chemistry A (Medicine, University of Leicester)
Other high achievers (in alphabetical order) were:
Jasmine Bunn: Biology A, Chemistry A , ICT A (Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey)
Elliot Burr: English lit A , English Lang A , Religious Studies A (English, University of Exeter)
Oscar Cavill: Biology A, Chemistry A, Mathematics A, EPQ A (Chemical Engineering, University of Nottingham)
Jack Garvin: Chemistry A, Mathematics A, Physics A, (Chemical Engineering, Newcastle University)
Marianna Hankin: Biology A, Chemistry A, Geography A (Geography, Durham University)
Libby Rhodes: Business Studies A, Economics A, Mathematics A (Economics, Newcastle University)
These academic results only tell a part of our success story. Pocklington School pupils are encouraged to find their own particular strengths and skills through a varied extra curricular programme, and our Sixth Formers lead by example in this. They have taken an active role in many activities, including organising our annual Charity Week, the House Drama and Music challenges, as well as taking part in various stage productions. Our U6 sportsmen and women have represented the school at national and regional level, Art and Design students have exhibited at Burton Agnes Hall, and the school has supported and encouraged many individual students’ talents and interests.
Ed Long, Head of Sixth Form, said: “This year’s A Level students have thrown themselves into academic and non-academic life, making a huge contribution to the school along the way. Such is their talent and positive attitude, I am not at all surprised that they have achieved their aims. I wish them every success in the future.”
Photos from both the A level and GSCE Results Day 2017 can be viewed here.