These Liskeard School and Community College students were among many others celebrating across South East Cornwall today as GCSE students have received another set of record grades, in the second year of COVID disruption to exams.

A spokesperson for the school said: “We are thrilled that our students have been awarded the grades that they have worked so hard for and thoroughly deserve. What has been a tremendously hard and anxious time for them has finally ended with just reward. We’d like to congratulate all our students for showing great resilience and character during their school years, especially over the last eighteen months.”

Its headteacher Alex Lingard added: “I’d like to thank all our teachers for the detailed work that went into generating the Centre Assessed Grades. It was a long and thorough process, but it was what was required to ensure the students got what they deserved."

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Saltash Community College, describing this year’s Year 11 students as “phenomenal”, highlighted some of the challenges they had needed to overcome: “The disruption caused by the pandemic meant that they had to adapt to online learning, wear masks in their classrooms for months on end, and were not able to undertake the same range of practical activities as in previous years. However, they were not deterred! They showed incredible resilience and adaptability along with a real desire to perform well across the range of assessments used to calculate their final grades. This cohort showed incredible maturity and tenacity and it has certainly paid off.”

At Callington Community College, a spokesperson said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results awarded to our 2021 cohort. They are an absolute testament to the dedication and unrelenting efforts of our student body and staff. These last two years have been extraordinary and you simply cannot afford to underestimate the impacts of two lockdown periods; The motivation and resilience required to still attend lessons focussed and alert and to complete assessments in those conditions is hugely significant.”

Nationally, top grades (7/As and above) rose to 28.9% from 26.2% last year, while grades 4/Cs and above - seen as passes - rose to 77.1% up from 76.3%.

This is a smaller rise than last year, the first time exams were cancelled and that teacher assessed grades were used.

Across the UK teachers submitted grades for the more than half a million pupils on GCSE courses this year, using evidence such as mock exams, course work and tests.

Exams regulators have insisted the process has been fair and thorough. However, the Labour Party has highlighted inequalities, as In England independent schools had biggest increase in top grades with 61.2% of results at grade 7/A, compared with 26.1% in comprehensives and 28.1% in academies. Labour has also highlighted the fact that pupils eligible for free school meals had slipped slightly further behind.

Meanwhile the National Careers Service has highlighted where help is available for any students needing to consider their future options. A spokesperson for the service said: “Whatever your results, if you want to find out more and get help to explore your choices visit:

“You can also speak to a professional careers adviser for free and impartial information and advice via the webchat, or by calling the National Careers Service exam results helpline on 0800 100 900, open weekdays 8am-8pm Sat 10am-5pm.”For more on the GCSE results from schools around East Cornwall, see next week's issue of the Cornish Times, available on sale from Wednesday, August 18.