‘Happy tears’ after a ‘tough year’ as students pick up GCSE results in Hartlepool

It was an emotional morning in Hartlepool, as teenagers across the town picked up their long-awaited GCSE results.

For the second year in a row, formal exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead grades have been teacher-assessed.

Year 11 students were seen congratulating one another, thanking teachers, comparing grades and soaking up the positive atmosphere after what has been a “difficult year”.

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High Tunstall College of Science students were handed their results from the school’s tennis courts this morning.

Head Girl Lucy Reed was reluctant to open her envelope at first, but she had nothing to worry about having achieved 6 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s, and 1 grade 7.

Soon she was seen crying “happy tears”, and said: “I’m really grateful for all the help my teachers gave me, and I’m happy that my grades are reflective of the hard work I put in through this difficult year.

High Tunstall Head Girl Lucy Reed with her stellar set of GCSE results
High Tunstall Head Girl Lucy Reed with her stellar set of GCSE results

“I’m off to the local sixth form, but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I hoped my grades would make things easier to choose, but they actually make it harder.”

One of Lucy’s peers, Millie Ramsay was “feeling good” after opening her grade sheet.

The 16-year-old explained: “I was expected 5s, and I got some 6s and a 7 and 8.

“I’m glad we did teacher assessed grades – I think I did better this way. I’ll be off to college to do childcare now.”

Her friend Millie Beding, 16, was also feeling elated after receiving “higher grades that predicted”, including a 9 in PE and psychology.

Friends Millie Ramsay and Millie Beding from High Tunstall, looking very pleased with their GCSE results
Friends Millie Ramsay and Millie Beding from High Tunstall, looking very pleased with their GCSE results

The head of Year 11 at High Tunstall, Jonathan Turner, said the girls form part of a “wonderful year group, who deserve everything they’ve achieved.”

“They’ve shown incredible resilience through the pandemic, all the way up to the mini test series,” he said.

“It’s a very emotional day because they are honestly the best set of kids I’ve taught in the last 15 years.”

One of his pupils, George Ward, was observed breaking into a dance after opening his results.

The 16-year-old said: “I’m happy overall, I failed a few, but I’m not bothered about those. I’ll be celebrating with friends later and then I’m off to sixth form in September”.

Student Daniel Hill was feeling “considerably less stressed” after opening his set of result, because it means he can continue on his “chosen path, which is civil engineering”.

He is off to sixth form after achieving three 8s, three 7s and two 6s, and added: “English was the one I was worried about- but I passed- so I’ll be celebrating with a round of golf.”

Josh Bearby from High Tunstall decided he wasn't opening GCSE his results until he got home
Josh Bearby from High Tunstall decided he wasn’t opening GCSE his results until he got home

Josh Bearby played it differently to the majority of his year, deciding he wasn’t opening his results until he got home.

He said: “I want to be sat in my living room and get a live reaction from the whole family.

“I’ve done the best I could in a difficult situation over lockdown, so I’m hoping for positive outcomes. But we’ll see!”

Max Haughian, 16, was pleasantly surprised with his results, with five 9s, including in further maths.

He said: “When the lockdown was thrown upon us it was up to us to make learning work.

“I made sure I did all the learning that was set, and sometimes extra to stave off the boredom. And luckily it’s paid off.”

He’s off to college to do maths, further maths and geography.

Max Haughian, 16, is happy his hard worked paid off
Max Haughian, 16, is happy his hard worked paid off

Over at Manor Community Academy in Hartlepool, Will Marram and Max Bartholomew, both 16, said they were “overwhelmed” by their results.

Will said: “I’m a bit shocked and relieved – I thought I’d do worse. I got no sleep last night, but I’ll be partying after my 7 in history.”

Max added: “I got 7s and 8s in the subjects I’m doing at college, which is great. It’s really nice to see everyone happy with their results.”

Will Marram and Max Bartholomew, both 16, from Manor Community Academy
Will Marram and Max Bartholomew, both 16, from Manor Community Academy

Fellow student Jasmine Samra was also “very proud” of herself, after getting good grades, including a 7 in geography and an 8 in English Lit.

Her friend Elly Buglass did “OK” but “not as well” as she’d hoped. However, she scored a 9 in history and will be “carrying it on at sixth form.”

Another student, Grace Boddy, was celebrating with her friends and had tears streaming down her face.

“Don’t worry they are happy tears,” she said. “I achieved higher than I expected, including 2 9s in English Literature and Language”.

She also got 2 8s and 3 6s, and was seen giving one of her teachers a huge hug and thanking him for “all of his support”.

Errin Whitton, Elly Buglass and Jasmine Samra
Errin Whitton, Elly Buglass and Jasmine Samra

Principal of the academy, Lee Kirtley said: “It’s been a lovely morning with lots of happy tears and hugs.

“Our students have done very well, through a very tough year. Staff and students have both worked very hard.”

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