School Examination Results August 2021
Headteachers of secondary schools across the Chilterns have, for the first time, combined to comment on the publication of qualification results this week.
Rather than the usual highlighting of statistics from each cohort this year’s exceptional circumstances deserve a different approach. All headteachers are united in their desire to pay tribute to the students and staff at our schools for their terrific attitude to the challenges of the last 18 months. It is time to celebrate what has been achieved by our secondary educational community in the last 18 months. The qualifications awarded to our year 11 and 13 students this week are recognition of their commitment and resilience as they, like us all, have been wrestling with the challenges of the pandemic. Recognising this, Kevin Patrick, Headteacher of Chiltern Hills Academy, said “We are very proud of all the hard work that all our students have put into their studies and of their maturity, resilience and perseverance in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Alan Roe, Headteacher of Dr Challoner’s High School echoed these sentiments by saying “Our warmest congratulations to Year 13 on their superb A level results – a just reward for their abilities, perseverance and dedication in the midst of the toughest of years. We are enormously proud of them and also incredibly grateful of all staff for yet another huge team effort across the school as they pulled together to work through what was a very time-consuming process. We wish our wonderful Year 13s the very best as they embark on the exciting next chapters of their lives – we know they will fly high!”
Set against this national and global background, and an assessment system that changed at very short notice, we are all delighted that our students have risen to these challenges and secured an excellent set of outcomes that provide access to the next stages of their education or training. They have worked just as hard, or harder, than they would have done had they sat normal sets of exams, and have dealt with the uncertainty of the pandemic at the same time. Annmarie McNaney, Headteacher of Chesham Grammar School said, “I am so proud of what our students have achieved. Never before have cohorts had to contend with the disruption and uncertainty our students have faced throughout their A level and GCSE courses. Their hard work, resilience and determination, as well as the professionalism, integrity and dedication of their teachers, of whom I am also very proud, was incredibly impressive.”
These outcomes are the result of our students’ willingness to adapt to the circumstances, and their resilience, and they deserve great praise for this. This week we celebrate the young people of our communities and wish them well for their next venture, whatever that may be. Headteacher of The Amersham School, Sharon Jarrett, said “Despite an unprecedented year of lockdowns, learning via online forums and the many challenges associated with the global pandemic, our students deserve to be incredibly proud of their achievements. As always, our students have been supported by our dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly and with relentless enthusiasm. Our ethos of ‘Live, Learn and Succeed Together’ remains at the centre of everything we do and we could not be more proud of our incredible students.”
The process of delivering these qualifications was handed to the country’s teachers earlier this year. In all our schools this has been done with integrity, care and compassion. Teachers care deeply about their students’ progression, and have balanced this with the need to contribute to a system which is as fair to all students in the country - past, present and future - as it can be. Headmaster of Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, David Atkinson, said “I am very proud of all our staff, and the way they have handled the grading process this year. Their commitment to ensuring students had every opportunity to demonstrate the quality of their learning, and their delivery of a grading process that blended integrity and care for the individual, was remarkable. As a result students can progress to the next stage in their education or training knowing they are well prepared for it.”
Finally, parents and carers should be proud of their children, and their role in navigating last academic year. The ever changing requirements placed on society have made life challenging for many families, and this has been exaggerated for families with children in years 11 or 13. As school leaders we would like to thank you for your support of our schools, our staff and the young people we work with. While the qualifications awarded this week rightly belong to the students concerned, each family should be proud of the support that has helped along the way.
Sharon Jarrett, Headteacher, The Amersham School
Annmarie McNaney, Headteacher, Chesham Grammar School
Kevin Patrick, Headteacher, Chiltern Hills Academy
David Atkinson, Headmaster, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School
Alan Roe, Headteacher, Dr Challoner’s High School