August 13, 2020

Year 13 results’ day 2020

A message from the Headmaster

Following the publication of A level and other results today, my main message is one of congratulations.  Congratulations to all of those at Newcastle School for Boys who have received results today.  And congratulations to those boys’ families and school staff who have supported them in their achievements.

Today is usually a day when our school buildings are alive with the sound of animated students, teachers and parents sharing and celebrating results and future plans.

Aside from our team of dedicated staff on hand in school from 7am to help those students who needed guidance and support, this year’s results have been issued remotely against a quieter backdrop.

The noisy clanking and grinding of the Government’s and OFQUAL’s handling of this year’s arrangements, amplified further by the media, threatens to mute students’ achievements still further.

But that should be for another day.  None of what has occurred since March is the fault of the young people who received their results today so let’s not spoil it any further by undermining or detracting from their achievements. 

There may be those who were pleased they didn’t have to sit exams this summer.  I don’t blame them.  Equally, there were many who were, and remain, disappointed not to have had the opportunity to test and demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Whilst A level and other exams sat in sixth form mark the end of those courses, they also represent the culmination of a whole school career of 13 years or more.  For a number of our boys, that entire career has been spent at Newcastle School for Boys.  That is what we are celebrating today.  And, in all the clamour around this year’s processes, let’s not forget that the system of examinations it has replaced is also flawed in its own ways.

So, congratulations to all of our boys on their results – academic and vocational.  They were amongst the best the School has achieved.  From a largely non-selective intake, the proportion of our A level grades awarded A* was nearly twice the national average.

Over half of all of our A level grades were either A* or A.  Three quarters of all of our A level results were B grades or above.  Over 90% of our boys will progress to their chosen universities with record numbers securing places at medical schools.

Of course, there are disappointments for some, as there are every results day.  But the small number of boys who are disappointed or have missed offers have been, and are, receiving excellent guidance and support to help them move forward.

Let’s make sure that for now the noise is about our boys and their achievements.

David Tickner