2020 has been a year like no other with the turmoil in education, and the awarding of GCSE and A Level grades has been fraught with uncertainties.
Earlier this week, common sense and decency prevailed with the best outcomes for individual students being assured by Ofqual and the Government.
As we celebrate the success and achievements at GCSE, we are proud that Year 11 Westholme students have shown tremendous resilience responding to the cancellation of their examinations.
Principal Lynne Horner said: “The GCSE results for our students in this most unusual year are excellent and well deserved. They are a year group full of character, intellect and talent, with so much to offer. They would have loved the opportunity to shine this summer but I know that their work is fully vindicated in these superb results.
“We are so proud of the way they have handled the challenges faced during lockdown and in recent months. Their results are testament to the ability and determination of the year group, as well as the dedicated guidance and inspiration from their teachers.
“Whilst the confusion over results was being played out through the media, we have been in contact with students and parents throughout, offering them reassurance and support. Within the context of this year’s awarding process, we are delighted with the success of our Year 11 and UVI students, but we have decided it would be inappropriate to share headline figures as we have done in the past.
“The process for 2020 is so radically different, comparisons to previous years’ results, favourable as they would be, seem imbalanced. However, there is no doubt that these impressive young people deserve the accolades we give them for their success. I must also pay tribute to the commitment and expertise of our teachers for their dedication.
“We are looking forward to a full-time return to school in September and welcoming so many of our Year 11 into the Lower Sixth.
“Well done to Westholme Year 11, the next steps are yours to take!”
Grace deserves a standing ovation after achieving ten GCSEs all over grade 7, including a brilliant grade 9 in Drama.
Grace will stay at Westholme and study Psychology, Drama and English Literature. She plans to go to drama college after her sixth form studies and is currently practicing for her grade 8 verse and prose and grade 5 musical theatre LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) awards.
Grace was cast as cheerleader Patty in the Westholme 2020 production of Grease, which was unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic. She is hopeful that she will be able to play a role in next year’s production instead.
She said: “I’ve loved my time at Westholme because of the small classes and I’ve really liked the teachers. Everyone has been really supportive.”
Budding future lawyer George is thrilled with his GCSE results.
George is going on to study Maths, Economics, Politics and English Language, and said he was overjoyed with his grade 8 in his Maths GCSE.
George is longing for a law career with aspirations of gaining a law degree in the coming years.
Outside of school, George swaps the books for boots and plays football for Chipping FC.
He said: “I would say today is up there as a highlight, it’s really nice to see that all of the work that we’ve put in the last few years has been rewarded and I’m really happy with my results.”
Star-of-the-show Hannah has exceeded her own expectations after receiving amazing grades of eight grade 9’s, one grade 8 and one grade 7 including Drama, French and History.
Hannah will stay at Westholme Sixth Form and study Maths, Business, Economics and History A-Levels.
Hannah, who moved to Westholme in Year 9, has been an active member of the drama club and starred in the latest school production, Chicago, has loved her time at the school and is fond of the tight-knit community feel.
“Teachers look after you not only in making sure you’re doing well in your subjects, but with your mental health too. It’s so different from my old school. I’ve loved it.”
Ben is over the moon with his GCSE results – achieving grade 8s across the board as well as 9s in Music and Drama.
Ben said: “I’ve put a lot of work in so I’m really happy with my results. I’m looking forward to pushing myself here at Westholme School for my A-Levels and plan to study Music, Theatre Studies and English Literature.”
Ben, a huge Manchester United supporter, enjoys performing Drama outside of school with Pendle Hippodrome and the React Academy. He wants to go into Musical Theatre or become an English Literature teacher after being inspired by his teacher.
Leigh-Anna was pleased with her results which will allow her to study Psychology and Business.
Leigh-Anna has ambitions to apply for a business apprenticeship after her studies and enjoys sports outside of school including netball.
She said: “The support and people at Westholme are great. They always push you to achieve your personal best.”
Sofia is delighted with her amazing GCSE results – which includes two 9s in English Literature and Religious Studies.
Sofia will now study Sociology, English Language, Biology and History.
Outside of school, Sofia is pursuing her Grade eight LAMDA qualification in ‘Speaking Verse and Prose’.
She said, “My highlight of school overall is probably the people I’m friends with. Also, Sports Day was a great day that I’ll never forget!”
“I’m really happy with all of my results and I’m most proud of my 9 in English Literature, I really didn’t expect that so I’m very pleased!”
Hasan hopes to follow a career in neuroscience or psychology after gaining two grade 9s, seven grade 8s and two grade 7s in his GCSEs.
Hasan will study Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology.
He said: “I’m really happy with my results. I was expecting the grades I got in my mock exams – but I got even higher. I’m grateful for the opportunities it has offered and the different paths available.”
Matthew is keeping his options open after getting top grades in a number of subjects.
Matthew was particularly delighted with his Maths, Physics and Computer Science results – and plans to continue studying these subjects.
He said: “I’m really happy with my results. They’re a lot better than I expected. I’m really pleased with the grades I got in the subjects I’m going to study. I don’t know what I want to do as a career yet so I’m keeping my options open.”
Outside of school Matthew likes to play the piano and plays Sunday League football.
He said: “I have loved all the events hosted here at Westholme – including sports days and the swimming galas. The teaching staff have been great and I have learnt a lot.”
Football-fanatic Harry is over the moon with his results including a grade 9 in Business and two grade 8s in English Language and English Literature.
Harry will go on to study Business, Economics, Psychology and Sociology A-Levels.
The Preston North End fan played centre back on the Westholme football team during his school years and won a football tournament at Ewood park last July.
He said: “The teachers are very good. They push you to go the extra mile and are not afraid to tell you to step up. I’ve made some great friends too.”
Julia has achieved an incredible eight grade 9s, one grade 8 and two grade 7s.
The multi-lingual student achieved an impressive grade 9 in both Mandarin and Spanish.
Julia will study A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and Photography.
The budding photographer hopes to have a career in fashion or wildlife photography and has been an active member of numerous extra-curricular clubs including drama, netball and choir both at Westholme and Blackburn Cathedral.
She said: “My time so far at Westholme has been incredible. They provide so many opportunities. I’ve always loved photography and I’ve had experience of managing photoshoots for school events like sports day alongside Mrs Green.”
Charlotte is jumping for joy after achieving better than she expected with results of one grade 9, five grade 8s, two grade 7s and one grade 6.
Charlotte hopes to become a graphic designer. She said her experience of DT and Art and Design GCSE has allowed her to discover her artistic eye and design abilities.
During lockdown, Charlotte has started her own business, creating branding for logos, flyers, business cards and designing drawings for charities.
In addition to becoming a young entrepreneur, Charlotte is a horse enthusiast, due to sit her c-plus pony club riding test on Friday and owns her own horse, Ronnie.
She said: “Everyone treats you with respect at Westholme. You are treated like an adult, and that has really built my confidence during my time here.”
Annabel is elated after achieving nine grade 9s at GCSE!
Annabel will now study Latin, History, Biology and Chemistry and is considering a future in Medicine.
She said: “I’m really happy with my results. I’m particularly proud of the 9 in Maths because that for me was the most challenging subject. I didn’t expect to do so well in everything.”
Outside of school, Annabel enjoys singing, playing the piano and attending festivals. She said the highlight of her time at Westholme she has enjoyed the school trips.
Will is really pleased with his grade 7s in PE and Geography and is looking forward to studying an Extended Diploma in Sports.
The Burnley Academy player hopes to pursue a professional football career.
He said: “I play centre midfield at the Burnley Academy and play matches once a week and train six times a week.
“Winning the Blackburn with Darwen Schools football final at Ewood Park in Year 10, beating St Bede’s, was definitely the highlight of my time at Westholme School.
Will praised the school for supporting his passion and allowing him Tuesdays off to train with the club.
He said: “I had an education programme at the club for my core subjects. Westholme have been really supportive. I don’t think my results could have gone any better.”
Aisha is planning for a career in engineering after three 8s, six 7s and a 5.
Aisha is now hoping to study Product Design, Computing, Physics and Maths.
She said: “I’d like to go into a career in Engineering. I’m hoping to study an Engineering Degree or do an apprenticeship. “I’m really happy with my results in Design Technology because it was my favourite subject – but it was quite hard.”
Inaara is hoping to pursue a career in philosophy after achieving a grade 9 in Ethics, Philosophy and Religion (EPR).
Inaara will study A-Levels in EPR, Law and Philosophy. The teenager has also achieved a grade 7 LAMDA qualification in Speaking Verse and Prose outside of school.
She said: “I am really happy with my results. My favourite part of my time at Westholme School was Prize Giving and drama.”
Caitlin is celebrating after achieving a grade 9 in Mandarin and seven grade 8s.
Caitlin will continue her studies at Westholme Sixth Form, studying Mandarin, Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science – which she hopes will put her in good stead for a career in Cyber Security.
Caitlin discovered her love of Cyber Security after her ICT teacher entered her for a competition. She thrived at the challenge of cracking code and decided a degree apprenticeship in cyber security will be her preferred path post A-level study.
Outside of her studies, Caitlin competes in Rhythmic Gymnastics nationally for the City of Manchester Rhythmic Academy. She was inspired to join the team after seeing the sport in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She said: “The teachers and atmosphere at Westholme is great. I always look forward to every day here.”
Beth is hoping to see the inside of a courtroom – as she starts the next step of her journey to become a criminal psychologist.
Beth received her amazing three 9s, three 8s and four 7s to study Psychology, Law, English Literature and English Language.
Beth said: “I’m delighted with my results. I really wasn’t expecting to do so well in History, so I was so happy to see my grade.
“I’m really grateful for the people I have met at Westholme and the opportunities that I’ve received.”
Surf-fan Harry received his incredible GCSE results.
After exceeding his own expectations, including gaining an 8 in Maths and a 7 in his Sciences, Harry is going to study Ancient History, Sociology, Politics and English Combined.
In his spare time Harry enjoys playing the guitar and often goes surfing down in Wales.
“I feel like I’ve done myself justice as I didn’t think I’d done so well. I feel as though all of my work has led to great results.
“I am really grateful for the teachers and support staff. As I have been at Westholme since Year One, they don’t feel like teachers to me, they feel like my friends.”