Principal of Sandy Secondary School proud of students on results day ‘like no other’

The principal of Sandy Secondary School has stated how proud she is of students’ A-level results after a year that has been “like no other”. 

By Jo Gravett
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 5:27 pm

Karen Hayward, executive principal, told the Chronicle that the staff were “really pleased” with the pass rate, with the percentage of A* to B and A* to C grades having “improved considerably” from last year.

However, she claimed that teacher assessments had “not always been considered” and that grade changes had been both positive and negative. 

Describing the occasion, Miss Hayward said: “Today (Thursday) our students came to get their A-level results and although the majority were very pleasing with some exceptional grades, this was a results day like no other I have ever known in the 25 years I have been in education.  

Caitlin Thomas

“We have not seen the Year 13 students since March and although we were setting work online and making welfare calls, it is still not the same as working with them in person.

“It should be a day for celebration and congratulation, but instead it is a day leaving many unanswered questions and some helplessness, as we cannot fully justify or explain how grades have been awarded.  

“It is hard enough for us to get our heads around how the examination boards have come to their decision on how to award grades, let alone the students, who may not have got the grades they would have wished for, or even gained had they sat the examination.”  

She added: “This year group have worked extremely hard throughout the two years and were in a position to sit their examination as normal in the summer of this year, but due to Covid-19 this could not occur and their teachers had to give their assessment grades to the examination boards, which were then put through their assessment system.  

Holly Leigh

“Unfortunately we were not consulted about how this system would operate and the impact this could have on individual students’ grades.  

“We have had some grades change both positively and negatively, and from many different sources across the education community we have found that our grades have been changed less than other institutions.

“I know that no grade system would be perfect, but I do despair at the fact that our students have not been treated as individuals, and teacher assessments which were very fair and honest have not always been considered.  

“Overall, we are really pleased with our pass rate and the percentage of A* to B and A* to C, which have improved considerably from last year.

Rhianna Walsingham

“We are very proud of our students and it was lovely to see them in very small groups today, when they picked up their results.

“We also posted their individual results to their Edulink accounts.”

The school’s staff would especially like to congratulate the following students, who did exceptionally well:

Holly Szasz A*, A*, A*, A. Holly Leigh A*, A, A, B. Petra Easton A, A, A. Callum Williams A, A, B. Robyn Lunt A, B, B. Rhianna Walsingham A, B, B. Caitlin Thomas A, A. Melissa Gay A, Distinction, Merit.

Tegan Lewinton and Shannon Lewinton

Staff would also like to congratulate Tegan and Shannon Lewington on gaining an A* in dance.  

Miss Hayward said: “We have seen them grow and develop since Year 9 into exceptional dancers and it has been fantastic to see them gain the recognition they deserve.  

“We could identify many more students for their hard work, dedication and positive attitude throughout the two years.

“It has been brilliant to see the students this morning and all went away with smiles on their faces.”  

Adding his congratulations, Mr Levesley, head of sixth form, said: “How pleased and very proud I am of the Year 13 students, in the way they have conducted themselves throughout the two years and the results they achieved due to their hard work.

“I also wish them every success in the future and I know they will become valuable members of the community.”

Miss Hayward concluded: “Having worked with these exceptional young people, I am so very proud of them and even more so this year, given the difficulties they have faced.  

“Their positive attitude and determination is everything we would expect of such a lovely group of young people and I wish them every success, as I know they can achieve 
everything they set their minds on.”