There was a real sense of eager anticipation at Sir James Smith’s School in Camelford on Thursday morning as Year 11 pupils arrived to collect their GCSE results having sat the first public exams to be held in two years.

As the envelopes were opened the atmosphere turned to one of excitement and relief as students of all abilities saw that they had achieved what they needed for their post 16 choices. Staff from the school and from local colleges were on hand to help explain what the results meant and to celebrate some remarkable achievements with 70% of the year group achieving good GCSE passes in English and in Maths.

Headteacher, Kristien Carrington, said: “After what this year group have been through over the last few years it’s lovely to see the reaction of parents and students as they see the outcomes that their efforts and resilience deserve and realise that all of that hard work has paid off. The grades those pupils are looking at now are important and they are right to be pleased with what they have accomplished but those grades alone won’t determine their future.

“At SJS we’re keen on making sure that all of our students understand where their own strengths lay and how important it is to have ambitions and goals to work towards. We’re really proud of the fact that more of our Year 11 pupils than ever before, very nearly three quarters of them, will be starting Level 3 courses and apprenticeships in September that will stretch them and keep all educational doors open to them in the future.

“We take great pride in all our students regardless of whether they’ve achieved a hatful of 7s, 8s and 9s like Poppy, Maisie, Kian and Charlie, or a clean sweep of 1’s and 2’s. Behind every set of results is a story of effort on the part of students, parents and teachers and I’m so proud of the work done here by everybody. We have plenty of students who will now be able to go on to face exciting new challenges having overcome incredible hardships to get to this point. That doesn’t happen without the dedication of some incredible colleagues or the drive and support of the students and parents themselves.”