Students received their GCSE/Level 2 results today at Bayside and Westside Schools and at the Gibraltar College. Like the A Level/Level 3 results issued last Thursday, the results were issued electronically.
Despite the challenges that our students and teachers have faced the last two plus academic years, and the return to public examinations after the more recent centre and teacher assessed grades, the results evidence the resilience, determination and sheer hard work of our young people and our schools, as well as their ability to complete courses successfully. Students and staff have once again risen to the occasion with a remarkable total of 226 grades at level 9 (the top grade attainable at GCSE) being obtained, 80 at Bayside and 146 at Westside. Whilst this figure is lower than the last two cycles which did not feature public examinations, this figure sees a significant increase in the number of top grades being awarded to students in our 2 secondary schools when compared to the last cycle of public examinations.
Equally impressive are the 2570 grades 9-1 (and A*-G) obtained by students at Bayside and Westside Schools out of a maximum of 2602 grades awarded, representing a 9-1 (and A*-G) pass rate of 98.8%.
Also important to highlight is the fact that this year, for the first time, a cohort of students have obtained a qualification in a vocational Level 2 Digital Technologies course delivered in our secondary schools. The vocational Level 2 Hair and Beauty course introduced previously has continued to be successful.
Additionally, recognition is due for the achievements of those students who have attended the Gibraltar College and the dedicated staff who work to support these young people. Year on year, the Gibraltar College offers students an opportunity to build on their educational experiences and to add value to their academic portfolio after leaving our secondary schools. This year, students at the Gibraltar College have received 98 pass grades out of a possible 104, representing a 94.2% 9-1 (and A*-G) pass rate. Additionally, a total of 43 pass grades out of a possible 63 were achieved by students following vocational or vocationally assessed courses.
We are extremely proud of the achievements of all students across our 3 secondary educational settings. These GCSE/Level 2 students’ learning and progress through their examination courses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the interruptions to in-school learning that the GCSE/Level 2 students contended with as they began their courses, they also found themselves managing the uncertainties of which components from the different specifications they would be examined on. As always, our teachers worked diligently, firstly to establish confidence in the students that it was possible to make up the gaps in their learning, and subsequently to help students understand the changes and prepare to do their best.
We take this opportunity to point out that the Department of Education feels it is important to report on the 9-1 (and A* to G) pass rates as opposed to the traditional A*-C (or 9-4) benchmark. It is important for students, parents, prospective employers and members of the public to recognise that every grade is valuable in the context of each student’s education. Every grade attained by our students during their examinations represents a milestone in their learning journey and it is important that we celebrate the successes of all of our students and their grades.
Reflecting on these results, the Director of Education Keri Scott said, “There is much cause for celebration today. Each and every pass grade counts and is indicative of a young person’s successful completion of a course, and there are some tremendous successes. At individual student level, at subject department level and across cohorts. The results speak for themselves. But I must stress, even more importantly than the grades are the young people themselves, who are certainly more than just their grades. I would encourage them to celebrate getting through their exams and the last few difficult years, and to be proud of reaching this stage of their journey. I also take this opportunity to thank our dedicated teams of professionals who have supported the learners throughout the changing landscape and will continue to support them as they move onto the next stage of their journey, whatever that may be”.
Minister for Education, the Hon Prof John Cortes, who was delighted with the results, said: ‘Congratulations to everyone receiving their results today. I must also take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the teachers who have gone above and beyond, and who share in today’s success. These last few years have been an unprecedented time for young people in education, and especially for those studying towards sitting exams. Our students have demonstrated a resilience, determination and character that cannot be captured by their results alone. All of these young people have something to celebrate today and as they look to the bright futures ahead of them’.