SCHOOL leavers on north Essex’s coast were jumping for joy after picking up their GCSE results yesterday.

Pupils anxiously awaited their grades after a year of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It all paid off, however, with GCSE results flying to an all-time high despite exam cancellations.

Given the circumstances, the Government decided students’ results would be determined by teachers this year.

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Each school considered carefully what a fair grade is for each student, based on what they have been able to learn and achieve during the past two years.

These grades were submitted to the exam boards together with supporting evidence, and then quality assured by the exam boards.

In the eyes of Harwich and Dovercourt High School headteacher Kate Finch, students have suffered the most “challenging circumstances,” yet have shown “resilience, determination and grit”.

She added: “The achievements are remarkable and the students are now very well placed to take their next steps into A-levels and other post-16 courses.

“Here in Harwich we can feel confident that the next generation of young people to go on to lead our community are hard-working, kind, resolute and empathetic as shown by the way they have carried themselves through this year and their fantastic achievements at the end of it.”

She named Ellie-May Rands, Sian Baker and Leah Snell as remarkable achievers.

Ellie-May achieved eight grade 9s, Sian Baker got three grade 8s and a grade 9 and Leah Snell was awarded two grade 8s and 7 grade 9s.

At Manningtree High School, 35 per cent of the grades awarded were 7, 8, 9 or Level 2 Distinctions.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Manningtree High School studentsManningtree High School students

Headteacher Sally Morris said: “We are immensely proud of the 2021 cohort who kept working hard throughout two lockdowns and despite the exam series cancellation.

“I have every confidence they will impress the schools, colleges and employers they are now moving on to as much as they have impressed us.”

Remarkable success was also seen at Clacton Coastal Academy where Keevy Fitzpatrick achieved top grades in every subject.

Students collected their grades in person at the school, having faced months away from the building as a result of national lockdowns and Covid restrictions.

Keevy achieved 9s in English Language, English Literature, History, Maths and Science, as well as a Level 2 Distinction in Btec Health and Social care, Hospitality and Sport. She also achieved an A* in Child Care and Development.

Bethany Hughes, Eleanor Felgate, Lucy Barrett and Dylan Khima were also listed as high-flyers on a successful day for the school.

Meanwhile, at Tendring Technology College, Alexander Woodcock was delighted to realise he had achieved top grades in all his subjects Macy Rouse, Anita Tein, Sophie O’Connor, Willow Jessup and Lotti Talbot were also labelled as top achievers.

David Lees, executive head of Clacton Coastal Academy and Tendring Technology College said he was “delighted” for all Year 11 students.

“They have worked so hard, both this year and last year, despite all of the challenges and disruption that Covid brought,” he added.

“They deserve these grades and I am incredibly proud of what each and every one of them has achieved. Whether they are going on to study A-Levels, vocational qualifications, or going into employment or training, they have a bright future ahead.”