STUDENTS in the Forest finally saw the fruits of their years of hard work in unprecedented circumstances when they discovered their GCSE results this week.

Year 11 pupils from all of the area’s schools celebrated their successes with their friends and family after learning their grades on Thursday (August 25).

Headteachers were unanimous in praising the commitment that pupils and staff have shown in the last two years following what has been an especially turbulent time for all students, not least those studying for their GCSEs.

Five Acres High School achieved “phenomenal” results with students “outperforming” against national averages across all abilities and needs, putting them inside “the top five per cent or better” of schools nationally.

The school’s top performer was Ben Thomas, with seven Grade 9s, or A*s, amongst his “impressive haul”, and more students than ever achieved an A*-C in both Maths and English.

Headteacher at Five Acres High, Simon Phelps, said: “Once again our students have proven themselves to be determined and ambitious.

“We are excited that their efforts have paid off and that they now have so many choices open to them going forwards.

“Our recent Good OFSTED grading, our World Class Schools Quality Mark and another amazing set of results show that local education is a match for anything within the country.

“Our teaching staff deserve so much credit for their dedication and sacrifice in helping students to achieve in this way.

“I would also like to thank parents and carers who continue to support their children by working in partnership with the school.

“We wish all of our students well in their chosen pathways post 16”.

Headteacher of The Dean Academy in Lydney, Richard Brand, praised the “resilience” of his students in overcoming significant challenges, with more of them achieving top grades than ever before.

Mr Brand said: “We are incredibly proud of how hard this cohort of Year 11 students have worked and this is reflected in an excellent set of GCSE results.

“We’re thrilled to see more students attaining top grades than ever before. 

“The resilience, determination and maturity that these young people have shown over the past few difficult years has been nothing short of remarkable.

“In spite of all the challenges of recent times, it has been a positive year for The Dean Academy and we are delighted that these GCSE results reinforce what was recognised in the Ofsted “Good” rating earlier in the year.”

The Dean Academy’s highest achiever Tommy Davey, who never missed a day of school in five years
The Dean Academy’s highest achiever Tommy Davey, who never missed a day of school in five years (The Dean Academy)

He added: “In agreement with colleagues in other schools locally and nationally, we believe it is not appropriate to compare these results to previous years due to the nature of the grading arrangements used by the exam boards in this first post pandemic set of examination results.

“It is also not appropriate to compare the results of one school to another due to the uneven impact of COVID related staff and student absences in different schools.

“We would like to thank all members of our school community, none more so than our dedicated and hard working staff, for their support and we look forward to hearing about this cohort and their successes as they go on to further study.”