Hard work pays off at Downend

Published on: 07 Sep 2015

Alessandro Ruggiero

ALESSANDRO Ruggiero started his secondary education at Downend School then moved to Hong Kong for two years with his parents before returning to sit his GCSEs.
But the interruption to his education obviously did not do him any harm – he secured six A* and four A grades in the exams.
Alessandro, 16, who lives in Emersons Green, said it had been easy to settle back in among his old friends when he returned to Downend School.
He was among a number of the school’s strong performers in the 2015 exams.
Executive head teacher William Roberts said he was pleased with the results and proud of the efforts and achievements of the students.
Many are staying on in the combined Downend and Mangotsfield Post-16 provision, while others are moving on to St Brendan’s Sixth Form College or further education colleges.
Student Dekland Williams bucked a national trend away from modern foreign languages by getting an A* in German as well as passing all his other subjects. He plans to continue with the subject and to take up Spanish again.
“I did loads better than I expected,” he said. “I love languages and want to work in teaching, translating or interpreting.”
Lily Roberts was also pleased with her results, especially an A in art, her best subject, while hard work paid off for Gemma Hodge, who said: “I did really well. I was epxectinmg a D in maths and I got a B. I spent hours revising.”
Sana Iqbal passed all her exams and has her sights set on a career in therapy.
John Cabot Academy in Kingswood was one of the highest performing schools in the area with 71 per cent of students gaining at least five A*-C passes including English and maths. The overall figure for South Gloucestershire is a provisional 53 per cent.
Some of the figures might change, as a record number of requests for papers to be re-marked is expected this year.
The most improved school in South Gloucestershire was Brimsham Green School in Yate with 61 per cent. The school has achieved record results with an increase of nearly 10 percentage points  on 2014.
At John Cabot Academy,   82 per cent of students achieved a C or above in English and 78 per cent  in maths,  while the average pass rate across all science courses was 94 per cent.
Some of the most able students achieved  tremendous results : James Gibson, one of Bristol’s  youth mayors,  gained nine  A*s and one A, scoring 100 per cent in many of his modules.  Kajetan Champlewski had 11 A & A* grades and Michalis Fragopulos and Anisha Kochar each had 10 A & A*.
John Cabot is also an academy n which pupils with Special Educational Needs thrive, as demonstrated by the extremely high value added score for SEN pupils.
Interim principal Kate Willis said:“We are delighted for all our students. They thoroughly deserve these excellent results as they have worked hard throughout their time at John Cabot. However they could not do it without the support of their parents, carers and staff who have gone the extra mile to support our students.”

Record A-levels

DOWNEND School’s sixth form is celebrating record A-level results.
Nearly half of all Year 13 students (47 per cent) achieved the top grades A* to B.
With a pass rate in excess of 99 per cent, and a record number of top grades, the school says its students have been able to progress to prestigious university courses and apprenticeships.
The school’s head teacher William Roberts said: “We are very proud of the success of all our students. Their achievements reflect the determination and commitment they have shown during their time at Downend.
“Downend Sixth Form has had a strong reputation in the area for a number of years, and we are  delighted to have further extended our track record of academic excellence.”

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