Students across the Diverse Academies Trust are celebrating an exciting milestone today after collecting their GCSE results. For many, this was an emotional return to their academies for the first time since they were closed in March, marking an end to this academic year.

Overall, the number of students across the Trust achieving grades of 5+ increased and almost a fifth of all grades awarded were in the top 7-9 bracket.

Dave Cotton, CEO of Diverse Academies Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students’ achievements across the Trust. For any young person, collecting their GCSE results is an already nerve-wracking occasion, and this year they have had to handle an increased level of apprehension following the changes to grade assessments – but their positivity and resilience has shone through.

“Whilst the debate over the process for awarding grades continues, it is vital that we acknowledge that this remains a hugely exciting milestone in a young person’s life and our students deserve to celebrate their success. I look forward to seeing many of them progress onto sixth form with us, and for those who are leaving us, I wish them the very best for their futures. I am confident that our students are well-equipped to move onto the next stage in their academic career, whatever their chosen pathway.

“I would also like to thank our staff across the Trust who have worked tirelessly to ensure our children have continued to access their education in circumstances that none of us could ever have foreseen. Their dedication over the last twelve months is also reflected in today’s results and I know they share my pride in our students’ success.”

Amongst the many individual success stories of the day was Samuel Barr from Tuxford Academy, who gained two grade 9s, five grade 8s and three grade 7s. Samuel will take up his place at Tuxford Academy’s sixth form to study maths, chemistry, biology and Spanish. On receiving his results, Samuel said: “It was hard work, but it was worth it.” Continuing the success, Georgina Ward achieved three grade 9s, four grade 8s and three grade 7s. Georgina, who “put a lot of effort in” to her studies will be continuing her education at Tuxford, where she will study maths, physics and biology.

Also celebrating her results today was Hayley Mowlam from Walton Academy. She achieved grade 9s in maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, biology, French and history. She also achieved 8s in English language and literature. On receiving her results, Hayley said: “I am very pleased and happy with these results and would like to thank all of my teachers. I feel that a lot of my success is down to the support of Walton teachers.” Another top performer was Ed Warren who achieved 9s in maths, physics, chemistry, biology, history and philosophy, and 8s in English and English literature. Ed said: “This year has been really eventful and personally challenging, but I am so pleased that the hard work has paid off.”

Students at Retford Oaks have reason to celebrate after another great year of exam results, including Joe Stickley who achieved five grade 9s, four grade 8s and two grade 7s. On receiving his well-deserved results, Joe said: “Unbelievable – I can’t believe it!” Other notable successes included Pepe Anthony who gained eight grade 8s, one grade 7 and one grade 6. Pepe commented he was “really pleased” with his results and went on to thank everyone for their support.

Among those with impressive results at East Leake Academy is Evie Kendall. With 10 grade 9s in all her subjects (art, English language, English literature, French, geography, history, maths, biology, physics and chemistry), Evie can now continue her post 16 studies at the academy’s Sixth Form Centre. She said: “I am extremely delighted with my results and I am so happy to be able to go on to study further maths, maths and science at ELA.” Ryan Evans also received fantastic results, with four grade 9s, three grade 8s, a grade 7 and two grade 6s. Ryan commented: “I am so happy and am looking forward to studying A Levels.”

At The Holgate Academy, Lucy Bannister, is celebrating following a strong set of results including five 9s, three 8s, and a grade 6. These impressive grades mean she will now go on to study English literature, film studies and sociology. Other excited students picking up their results included Harry Hemsley who achieved two 9 grades, four 8s, two 7s and a 6, and Kieran Martin who scored three 9 grades, two 8s, a 7 and two 6s. Harry said of his achievement: “I’m very happy with my results. I am now looking forward to starting at Hucknall Sixth Form Centre and studying physics, maths, photography and finance.”

And finally, at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Shannon Jackson has achieved above her target grade in nearly all her subjects with five grade 7s in psychology, biology, chemistry, English language and health and social care, as well as a grade 8 in English literature. She commented: “I am celebrating later! Thank you to all of my teachers.” Among the many students who have improved this year is Leoni Skye Anderson Booth. Thanks to her hard work after school and at home, she has achieved above target grades in many subjects. Leoni said: “Wow! I’ve loved my time at QEA – I’m so pleased!” Hard work and determination also paid off for Murhaf Leed, a Syrian refugee who joined the school in year 9. He has met all his targets, including achieving an A Level in Arabic. Murhaf said: “I am so happy!”