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Ilkley Grammar celebrates outstanding A-level results


Ilkley Grammar School is celebrating outstanding achievements by its students following today’s publication of A-level, AS and other Level 3 qualifications.


Following three national lockdowns and two extended school closures in 2020 and into 2021, this has been another very challenging year to navigate for all students taking A-levels and other level 3 qualifications this year. However, Ilkley Grammar School has a long track record of academic excellence and this year students have again surpassed expectations with the vast majority securing the grades which have enabled them to successfully progress to their chosen university, apprenticeship or employment.


With just under half of all A-level grades (48.2%) at A/A* again this year, IGS students continue to perform exceptionally well, exceeding national standards where the percentage of grades at the highest levels fell to 35.9% as national grade boundaries start to shift back towards the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Indeed, with over 74% of all A-level grades at A*-B (national 62.2%), almost 90% at A*-C (national 82.1%), alongside an overall pass rate of 99.6% (national 98.4%), the results of the class of 2022 exceed the previous IGS record examination year of 2017 and the Teacher Assessed Grades in 2021 on a number of measures.


Therefore, despite national places being even more competitive than previous years, IGS students have secured places on numerous exciting courses at a very wide range of universities and providers including: English with Film Studies at King’s College, London; Ecology and Conservation at Lancaster University; Physics with particle Physics and Cosmology at Lancaster University; International Relations at Birmingham University; Immunology at the University of Glasgow; Mathematics with Finance at the University of Liverpool; Fashion Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University; Veterinary Nursing at Middlesex University; Quantity Surveying at Northumbria University; Politics and History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Psychology and Criminology at the University of Northampton; Creative Music Technology at the University of Salford; Chemical Engineering with a year in Australasia at the University of Sheffield; Animation at the University of the Arts, London and Law at the University of York.


There were also some outstanding individual performances including 57 students who achieved 3 or 4 grades at A/A* or distinction* across their full A-Level or BTEC courses and eight students secured their offers for Oxford or Cambridge, equalling the previous record from 2021: Lily Anderson (Modern and Medieval Languages, Cambridge); Isaac Bullen (Natural Sciences, Cambridge); Ashley Leach (Natural Sciences, Cambridge); Gus Lovell (English, Cambridge); Nick Pattinson (Chemistry, Oxford); Anna Still (Modern and Medieval Languages, Cambridge); Freya Williams (PPE, Oxford) and Joseph DeSouza (Computer Science, Cambridge). In addition, 4 students secured places on courses in medicine, dentistry or for veterinary science including Ellie Brown (Medicine, Lancaster); Amelia Gibbons (Medicine, Leicester); Georgia Weston (Medicine, Bristol) and Daniel Woodthorpe (Dentistry, Birmingham). Students also secured high profile apprenticeships including Jack Ward who secured a degree apprenticeship in Business Management with Accenture.


This year, with the much-heralded return to ‘normal exams’, has of course been far from normal for this cohort who have been required to hold their nerve and sit exams this year having received Centre Assessed Grades for their GCSEs and experienced significant disruption in year 12. Students, parents and the wider public can be confident in the credibility of every grade achieved, each of which has been hard-won by students.


Carly Purnell, Headteacher stated, “This is another exceptional year where this year’s cohort have sat public examinations for the first time, following the cancellation of their GCSE exams back in 2020. They have continued to show tremendous tenacity and strength of character during this period of turbulence and should be extremely proud of everything they have achieved both academically and in terms of their personal growth. Their amazing outcomes and the quality destinations they have secured reflect their hard work, resilience and commitment, alongside the quality of specialist teaching, pastoral care and expert Next Steps guidance on which we pride ourselves at IGS.


“As a school and as a Trust, we certainly are incredibly proud of this remarkable group of young people and the success they have achieved at all levels. Whilst securing highly competitive places at some of the most prestigious universities and organisations is a tremendous achievement, we are equally proud of all of our post-16 students who have worked diligently to achieve their individual Personal Best and who will now pursue their talents and interests on a rich and diverse range of university courses and other destinations.


“In congratulating our students for their well-deserved success, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the IGS staff for their hard work and genuine willingness to go the extra mile to support our students’ wellbeing, confidence and academic development, including colleagues who continue to provide invaluable support to any student who requires additional help and advice over the next few weeks to finalise their choice of destination. I would also like to acknowledge and show appreciation for the invaluable support and encouragement provided at home by parents/carers and families, especially in the face of continued challenging and uncertain circumstances.


“Whatever our students’ next steps, we wish them all the very best for a happy and successful future and look forward to celebrating with them more formally at our Year 13 Presentation Evening in early January. Very well done!”


Jamie Gutch, Deputy Headteacher, Director of Post-16 added, “It has been an absolute privilege to work with this cohort over the past two years and to witness the incredible resilience and persistence they have all shown in the face of so much uncertainty. Every single grade achieved this year has been well-earned through hard work and dedication. I would like to thank the post-16 team, senior colleagues and the staff at IGS for their remarkable work over the past two years and for the part they have played in ensuring that students continue to believe in themselves and their capacity to achieve great things.

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