THE head teacher of King Alfred School praised the “outstanding commitment” of his year 11 students who picked up their GCSE results last week, but said Government changes had made it harder for them to get top grades. 

A total of 54% of students at the school achieved five or more GCSEs at grade C or above including English and maths. 

The school lavished particular praise on some of its students who achieved well beyond their target grades, including: Evie Andrews (13 grades above target), Natalya Peach (11), Mark Gumble (ten), Luke Prior (nine), Alex Hazelton (eight), Alex Dermanis (seven), Joshua Field (seven) and David Dickson-Bell (six). 

 Seventeen students managed to achieve six or more A*, As and distinctions: Alex Dermanis, Amy Rickwood, Evie Andrews, Jessica Pelling, Sophie Daymond-Heuze, Ben O’Halloran, Gemma Dade, Thrinayani Ramakrishnan, Sam Richards, Rory Edwards, Andrew Duncan, Emily Cook, Charlie Hughes, Julia Hale, Emily Bailey, Elizabeth Clark and Rory Shadbolt. 

Andy Owen, head teacher, said: “Without any question the changes made by the Secretary of State for Education nationally to make certain GCSE subjects harder and the punitive discounting rules for early entry have significantly impacted on the school.

“However, we continue to base our entry policy on what we believe is in the best interest of our students and not league table performance. 

“We are delighted with these results which reflect the hard work and outstanding commitment of our year 11 students. 

“I’d like to thank our parents, our staff and our partner primary schools that all play such an important role in the education of our young people.”