AFTER MONTHS of revision and exams, it's been a nervous wait for pupils and teachers over the summer.
Hundreds of teenagers across Powys were waking up to find out their GCSE results today.
For some it will be a day of joy as the months of hard work will have paid off with stellar success.
This year’s 16-year-olds are also the first to complete courses in six reformed GCSE examinations.
And there are also vast differences in the grading systems between Wales and England.
Welsh pupils are still graded A* to G, but students in England now receive new numerical grades for some subjects going from one to nine, with nine being the equivalent of an A*
In Wales pupils sat new Welsh-specific GCSE exams in Welsh language, English language, Welsh literature and English literature for the first time this summer.
Two new maths exams have also been introduced – Mathematics: Numeracy and Mathematics.
In Powys, pupils outperformed their classmates throughout Wales across the range, including nearly six per cent in the A* to C range.
Powys saw 19.4 per cent of pupils received A* to A grades compared with 17.8 per cent nationally.
For the A* to B range 41.9 per cent of pupils from received these grades compared with 37.6 per cent nationally.
For the A* to C grades was achieved by 68.1 per cent of Powys pupils compared with 62.8 per cent nationally.
For A* to G grades, 98.1 per cent of Powys pupils passed a GCSE compared with 96.9 per cent nationally.
Cllr. Myfanwy Alexander, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Our warm congratulations go to all pupils for achieving such excellent results which demonstrate their great commitment and hard work.
This is made possible by the support they receive from dedicated teaching and support staff in all our schools and also from their families.”
Brecon and Radnor AM, and Welsh Government Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams congratulated pupils on their results.
She said: “These reformed qualifications are aimed at providing pupils with the right skills for the modern world.
“We can be proud of the way our pupils and teachers have handled the introduction of these new qualifications that are playing a vital role in raising standards.
“Our radical overhaul of our education system is about raising standards and the aspirations of our learners.
“As well as reforming GCSEs, we are introducing a new curriculum and new professional teaching and leadership standards to make sure our pupils have the skills they need to succeed in life.”
Ysgol Uwchradd Llanfyllin High School
Acting headteacher, Llŷr Thomas, said: “Following excellent A-Level results last week our students have once again achieved very pleasing GCSE results that represent a great start to the new examinations.
“We are very proud of the achievements of our students, which reflect how hard they have worked.
“Results are outstanding in a number of subject areas, for example 100 per cent of students achieved grades A*to C in Biology and Chemistry, Art, Design Technology and Photography. 92 per cent of students achieved an A*to C grade in Science with 30 per cent achieving A*to A grades.
“There were a number of individual students who achieved exceptional results, with a strong number achieving all A* to A grades.
“Many students completed vocational courses across a range of subjects and their levels of achievement are equally impressive with a 100 per cent pass rate in BTEC qualifications,
“These results not only reflect the excellent effort and attitude of the students but also the hard work and diligence shown by our highly committed teachers, supported and encouraged by parents and governors.”
Ysgol Uwchradd Bro Hyddgen – Machynlleth
The school saw 82 per cent of pupils achieve five A*s to C grades, with 65 per cent achieving five A* to C grades including the core subjects of Maths, English and Welsh. Bro Hyddgen also had 16.3 per cent of pupils receiving at least five A* or A grades.
Headteacher Dafydd Jones, said: “We are again celebrating this week with an outstanding set of GCSE results.
“Students who have combined vocational qualifications with their GCSEs have also achieved to a very high standard, with a 100% pass rate.
“All departments have achieved overall significant successes, and this is a reflection of the hard work of all the teaching staff.
Builth Wells High School
At Builth Wells High School 66 per cent of pupils gained at least five passes at grades A* to C, including maths, English and Welsh, maintaining last year’s performance.
Headteacher, Ionwen Spowage, said: “i welcome the results, particularly in the light of the changes to the examinations.”
“These are very pleasing results. This year group has worked extremely hard and their excellent progress reflects the dedication of students, governors, parents and staff.
“We would like to congratulate all of our Year 11 students and look forward to welcoming many of them back into the Sixth Form”.
Newtown High School
The school reported good results in mathematics and English in Newtown and Presteigne alongside a wide range of other subjects.
Headteacher Graeme Harkness said “We are very proud of the achievements of our students, These results represent a great start to the new GCSEs; we know there is more to do, but we will build on these results.
“The results are the first ones in a new era of examinations, and we look forward to the summer of 2018 when we will be able to extract some meaningful comparative data”
Chair of Governors Peter Hough said: “This really is a tremendous set of results for a large numbers of students.
“They and the whole staff team have worked incredibly hard to achieve them.
“Our congratulations and best wishes for the future go to each and every student, many of whom are returning to join us in our sixth form to continue their studies.”
Welshpool High School
Headteacher Jim Toal said: “Following a very successful Estyn inspection this year, when the school was judged “Good” in all areas, we are pleased that our students, in a year of significant change to GCSE qualifications, have continued to achieve at the highest grades well above the national averages.
“The most notable individual performances were Francesca Harding, 11A*s and one A; Zoe Kuipers nine A*s,and four As; Serena Phillips nine A*s and three As, Robert Crosby six A*s, three As and two Bs; and Ethan Patterson, five A*s, six As and one B.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to the pupils on their results, and to thank all the teachers and support staff for their hard work enabling the pupils to achieve success.
Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion High School
Headteacher, Iona Dsavies, said: “At Caereinion there was much cause for celebration as the GCSE results, with a very promising trend in the results.
“There was a significant increase in the number of A*/A grades awarded, with over 60 per cent of pupils securing at least one A*/A grade. Nearly 30 per cent of pupils gained five grades at A*/A, with some pupils achieving as many as 11 A*.
“There was also a consolidation and an improvement in A*-C grades in all core subjects.
“The results continue a promising trend of GCSE results, having been delivered in a challenging year for the school - with pupils attaining very pleasing results.
“Staff, governors and parents also merit recognition for supporting our talented and deserving young people.”
Llandrindod High School
Headteacher, Gillian Crook, said: “We proud to congratulate students on the achievement of this year’s GCSEs.
“I feel so incredibly honoured and proud to be the headteacher of such a talented group of high achieving students, who have demonstrated a wealth of talent and proven academic ability.
At the school 100% achieved one or more recognised qualification, 74.2 per cent achieved A* to C in English language, 68.5 per cent achieved A* to C in Maths/Maths Numeracy, 82.0 per cent achieved A* to C in Science and 18.0% achieved five or more A*/ A GCSE grades.
Mrs Crook added: “These excellent results are a tribute to the incredible hard work and dedication of the students, staff and parents and carers.”
Exceptional results were achieved by Toby Lloyd with 11A*s, Esme Doherty with nine A*s and three As,.Rachel Duggan with eight A*s and three As, and Huw Hughes with eight A*s and two As..
Llanidloes High School
Headteacher, Jane Harries, said: “I am proud to announce another set of excellent GCSE examination results.
“Particularly pleasing was the 27.4 per cent of pupils who achieved 5 or more A* to A grades which continues our improving trend from previous years.
“English results, showed a significant improvement with 83.2 per cent achieving A*to C grades and 67.4 percent (received) at least five A* to C including English and Math..
“Worthy of particular note are Zach Evans and Aled Pal both of whom achieved eight A*to A grades and 11 A* to C grades and Olivia Robins and Eric Mills with nine A to A grades and 11.5 A*to C.
“I must congratulate the pupils who, supported by staff and parents, have put in tremendous effort to achieve results that they should be very proud of.
“I look forward to welcoming many back to our very successful sixth form and wish others every success in their future.
“My thanks must go to the staff, parents, governors and the community who continue to support the school in continuing to provide excellent teaching and learning.”
See full story in the County Times