The ecstatic head of Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough has told students getting their A-level results today – you are simply brilliant.
Elated Dan Cleary was all smiles as many of his 128 sixth-form pupils celebrated picking up high-flying marks at the 1,000-strong school on Burnmill Road today (Tuesday).
Speaking to the Harborough Mail by the school’s front entrance as the sun shone down, Dan said: “Everyone is buzzing here today – it’s just been overwhelming.
“So many of our wonderful students have done so well and attained A and A* grades.
“A lot of them will soon be going off to the elite Russell Group of universities and they all need the best grades to go to them.
“All of our students deserve the highest praise,” said Dan.
“They have had to deal with the Covid pandemic, lockdowns, not seeing their friends and not being able to come in to school for long periods.
“They have had to deal with the toughest time ever for students, we’ve all had to battle through an unprecedented 18 months in education.
“But our kids here picked up the bat and went right in to swing.
“They didn’t think twice, they went straight in to battle.
“The attendance rate in this year group has been phenomenally high.
“They have been so positive, so determined, and these amazing results will change their lives for ever.
“The world is their oyster now, the sky’s the limit.
“I can’t speak highly enough of our pupils.
“But I also want to say a special word or two about our staff here at Robert Smyth.
“They are brilliant too.
“They’ve been giving Zoom lessons, they’ve been counselling the kids, they’ve gone above and beyond.
“There has been a huge synergy between the kids fulfilling their dreams – and our teachers and staff helping them to do that every step of the way.
“We do what we do to see the broad smiles and grins on the faces of both the kids and their mums and dads here today.
“It means the world to us.
“And it’s on electric days like today when you know for sure that you’re doing the best job in the world,” said Dan.
Almost half of all A-level students in England received A* or A from their teachers today - a new all-time record – as grades were assessed by teachers after exams were cancelled.
Asked about the dangers of “grade inflation”, Dan replied: “Our teachers have not inflated any of our students’ grades.
“Our kids have been awarded what they deserved – their grades are all totally justified.
“It would be superficial and hollow to accuse our teachers of inflating grades.
“They have carried out this whole process with total integrity and our students have all earned the grades they’ve got.
“And we are all so proud of them,” insisted Dan.
He spoke as ecstatic students hugged their mates and cuddled their parents as they got their A-level results on Tuesday morning after two years of relentless study throughout the shattering coronavirus outbreak.
Excited Mari, 18, of Market Harborough, told the Mail: “I’ve done biology, chemistry and maths – and I’ve got an A* and two As.
“I needed three As to go to Imperial College in London to do biology and chemistry so I’m very happy.”
Wills, 18, is packing his bags for University College London to study natural sciences after storming to A*s in maths, chemistry, physics and biology.
“I was very nervous when I got up today, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.
“This is the biggest day of my life so I’m just so excited and relieved.
“All of our ambitions and aspirations rely on this one day so I am so pleased,” added Wills, of Market Harborough, as he targets carrying out scientific research in future.
Sinead, 18, said: “I’ve been awarded three As and a B in biology, psychology, business and maths so I’m thrilled.
“I wasn’t expecting to do this well.
“It’s been a tough year or so for all of us.
“But my teachers here have all been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough,” said Sinead.
“I’m going to Nottingham University now to do psychology and neuroscience and I can’t wait.”
Star student Lauren, 18, is heading to Oxford University after scoring straight A*s in history, music, German and an Extended Project Qualification.
“It’s just fantastic to do so brilliantly.
“I was actually more worried about doing my Oxford University interview and entrance exam.
“But everything went well,” smiled Lauren, of Market Harborough.
“It speaks volumes for the students here that so many of are coming out with such high grades.
“I’d also like to thank all of the staff and teachers here at Robert Smyth, they’ve been amazingly supportive.
“I’ll be studying German for four years at Oxford and I can’t wait to get started, it’s going to be great!”