GibYOUTH – GCSE results almost 100% pass rate

Diexter Thomas

Yesterday saw students getting their GCSE results from Bayside, Westside and the College. A very stressful day for many if not all students after weeks of anticipation after their many exams. Countless happy smiles as many students got what they wanted, got better than they expected or passed in the grades that they wanted to pass.

This is the third year since English and Maths have gotten harder with the new GCSE specification, requiring students to study more in depth and to study more topics. The new gradings under the new specification are from 9, to 1 instead of the typical A* to G. This is the second year for the majority of the subjects and the first year for some other subjects under the new specification.

A total of 124 grade 9’s were achieved from both Bayside (54) and Westside (70).
‘1747 grades 9-1 obtained by students out of a maximum of 1754 representing a 9-1 pass rate of 99.6%. This good performance has extended to the subjects which are still graded using the old letter grading system with an overall A*- G pass rate of 90.6% being obtained.’

Every grade in the new 9 – 1 grading system is considered a pass, with a grade 4 being designated in the UK as a ‘Good’ pass. Grade 4 is the benchmark that students would need to get if they wanted to continue their education with AS and A Levels, with some of the subjects having specific entry criteria. Those who did not get a Grade 4 shouldn’t at all feel disheartened, as their efforts have not been in vain.

It is important that students, parents, future employers and members of the public know and recognise that every grade is important and valuable in the context of the student’s education. Every grade achieved from their examinations represents a learning journey, and it is also important that we celebrate the success of our students as they enter the next stage of their lives.

When asked what he thought of this year’s GCSE results, Bayside Headteacher, Michael Tavares told PANORAMA, “Very happy as always. As expected, We’ve done as well as we expected to do and there are also many success stories in terms of the higher bracket, many students getting high grades, but I like to focus on those who are maybe borderline cases between a three and a four; a four is a good pass. We have a considerable number of our students obtaining a 4 grade, and these were borderline cases between a 3 and a 4. We have managed to push them up to a 4, and that to me is the most important success story today.”

Daniel Brink, a student from Bayside expressed his satisfaction with what he got, saying, “Very confident about my results. I did good in the areas that I really wanted to pass in, I passed all 9 GCSEs. For A Level I’m going to do Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Sociology.”

Gibraltar College Principal, Leon Abecasis told PANORAMA, “I’m generally really happy with the results like most years. Subjects like maths is up from last year and there is this consensus on teachers that it has gotten a lot tougher and students do find it difficult. Either getting a pass or improving on their previous grade is very very important. A lot of students join us in September who may not have got the grade they wanted, and often we arrange to turn them around in the span of 9 months and get them to improve on their grades which is very important, particularly with English and Math because it does not just open doors for them in the world of employment, but if they want to progress to A Levels, a normal subject will require a 4 in Maths and English, so it is very important to secure those good grades so they can progress further. We provide people with a second chance in regards to education.”

Minister for Education, John Cortes said, ‘Once again those of us who work in education are very pleased indeed at the levels achieved, and more importantly, the commitment that this reflects from students and teachers. I want to add my own congratulations to all the students, teachers, and families, who also suffer the stress of exams. My thoughts today also go to those young people of that year group who did not get results, not having sat exams or perhaps did less well than they expected or than they would have liked. I would encourage them to also look at the future with confidence. The changes we are bringing about in Education will greatly increase the opportunities available to young people, as we will see when the new schools kick into action this year.’

Those currently in Year 10 will continue their education in the new school(s) located at Waterport on the 11th of September. Westside is expected to be demolished to make room for the new Chatham Views and the current Bayside premises is to be used by Governor’s Meadow. Gibraltar College students will also be starting on the 11th. Teachers will be starting on Friday the 30th of August, which is when Bayside and Westside will start to move in to their new premises.

Other schools will be starting on the 2nd of September.

When asked what she thought of the new school premises, Westside Headteacher Michelle Barabich told PANORAMA, “I’m very excited about the new school because the new school offers us state of the art facilities, it is brilliant. This is home territory, you have to leave that, and you will have to adapt to the new school. The excitement for us is the fact that the new school offers us so many challenges and opportunities, we are looking forward to that.”