GCSE Results 2021

Students at Trinity Academy describe huge growth in resilience and independence as they reflect back on a year like no other.

Year 11 students at Trinity Academy are celebrating their GCSE and vocational results as they look back at a year of challenges, disruption and hard graft. As they consider the last eighteen months, many are able to see how they have grown into mature learners and, in turn, better equipped for the future.

Blake Harhoff who achieved an incredible nine grade 9s and two grade 8s talks about how the year took him “out of my comfort zone. I just had to get on and do it.” He recognises that dealing with uncertainty, particularly in the assessments, has developed his character. Lily Dowse, celebrating a fantastic ten grades at grade 8 or above said she is “very happy,” with her results. She recognises that the last year has “taught me to develop resilience.” Mandy Smyth, AVP for Teaching & Learning and English teacher praised Blake, Lily and their classmates saying, “I’m so proud of their resilience and their ability to adapt to whatever challenges they faced. They have come out with amazing grades that they worked really hard for.”

Several students described how the periods of lockdown and remote learning really helped them to develop as independent learners. Joshua Wilson, who achieved four grade 9s, four grade 8s, one grade 7 and one distinction*, highlighted how, “Working at home made me an independent learner. This has helped prepare me for further study at university”. Mrs Wilson, Joshua’s mother, described the live lessons that Joshua had received as “extraordinary,” thanking the teachers for all their preparation and sharing that without this support, Joshua would not have got the grades that he did. Mark Furniss, the Head of Business and Computing who oversaw the delivery of four qualifications, praised students on their “huge resilience. It is hard to do a lot of independent research and it is no easy task completing coursework at home.” 

At the heart of the success this year has been what the Head of Year, Marcus Stones, described as a “real team effort.” Assistant Head of Year, Claire Morris was greatly impressed by the positive attitude that students showed throughout the year, particularly on the return to school in March. She expressed particular gratitude to parents, describing their support as “phenomenal.” Nicola Stockey, Head of Art echoed these words, praising her Art students in the way that they had attended “every single twilight session offered,” to ensure their coursework was of the highest possible standard. Relationships have been fundamental to this team effort. Billy Astill (six grade 9s, two grade 8s and two grade 7s) appreciated the, “More personal relationships with the teachers because of lockdown.” Jeremy Pike, the first student at Trinity Academy to achieve straight grade 9s across all (ten) of his subjects, said that the last year had helped him realise that “friends are really important, they help you get through things.”

Summarising the last 12 months, Head of School, Victoria Gibson said, “In a year that has been like no other, today has been a day of celebration for every one of our GCSE students. We are so proud of their resilience, dedication and camaraderie as a year group. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, our pupils have worked exceptionally hard and have continued to succeed, benefitting from the excellent support and advice of Academy staff. 

We are thrilled that the majority of Year 11 will be joining our thriving sixth form. We wish all our pupils every success in life!