Celebrating exam success – great crop of GCSE results for local schools

Teenagers across east Sussex are celebrating a great set of GCSE results.

Across the county average grades were up on 2018 in the full range of subject areas and there was a particularly strong performance in English and Maths where the proportion of students getting higher grades (9-4) rose from 62 per cent last year to 64 per cent this year.

Councillor Bob Standley, Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability, at East Sussex County Council said: “It’s wonderful to see achievement rising in East Sussex and it’s a huge credit to the hard work of students and their teachers as well as reflecting the support of their parents and carers.”

In Hastings Students from Ark Helenswood and Ark William Parker are celebrating a strong and significantly improved set of GCSE results.

Ark William Parker Academy’s GCSE results have shown a marked improvement with a 12 per cent increase taking them to 59 per cent for 4+ English and Maths (the national benchmark).

Similarly, they achieved a ten per cent increase in students accomplishing the higher grades.

Ark Helenswood Academy, already the highest performing school in Hastings, achieved another great year of results sustaining 67 per cent, with 49 per cent of students achieving the higher grades.

These are the best ever results for the Ark Secondary schools in Hastings and are a strong foundation on which to build the future of the new co-educational school opening in September, Ark Alexandra Academy.

Stephanie Newman, Principal of Ark William Parker said: “I’m so proud – the students have reaped the rewards of all their hard work. These are the best results yet for Ark William Parker as they continue on an upward trajectory. The results show the unwavering commitment of the staff to ensure that every student achieves their very best and can pursue a career of their choice or go to university.”

Ark William Parker Academy some of the strongest performers in this year’s GCSEs were:

Riyadh Ul-Hoque who achieved three level 9s in History, Sociology and RE; five level 8s in Maths, English Language, Biology, Physics and Spanish and two level 7s in English Literature and Chemistry, said: “I feel amazing. It’s unbelievable. Just work hard and be ambitious. It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you put the effort in you can achieve anything.”

Riyadh’s father added: “The teachers at Ark William Parker have played a fantastic role over the last five years and I’m very grateful to them. This wouldn’t have happened without their help.”

Milo Moody achieved three level 9s in English Literature, English Language and Spanish; five level 8s in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History and RE; two level 7s in Maths and Sociology and one level 5 in Music. On receiving his results Milo said: “I was worried. My hands were shaking. Now it’s all over I’m happy and proud.”

Milo is set to stay on at Ark Sixth Form to study A-Levels in English Literature, Politics, Spanish and History. When talking about his future, it is clear Milo has high aspirations.

“At university I would like to read History and Politics, preferably at Cambridge but that’s an aim. Then I would like to be a history teacher, but I will also consider being a barrister or even a politician,” he said.

Milo has been inspired by his teachers and when speaking of his time at school, he speaks fondly; “We had lots of support from our teachers and our classes, all the pupils are so supportive. It really is a community at William Parker.”

Sam Tomlin achieved three level 9s in Maths, Chemistry and Physics; three level 7s in English Language, Biology and Geography; one level 6 in RE; one level 5 in English Literature and one level 4 in Spanish. 

Sam told us: “I’m shocked and confused, I got better than I hoped.” He will also be continuing his studies at the highly successful Ark 6th Form.

Among Ark Helenswood’s top performers in this year’s GCSEs were:

Malina Jitaru, who joined the school from Romania just three years ago, achieved two level 9s in History and Spanish, three level 8s in English Literature, Physics and Geography, four level 7s in English Language, Maths, Biology and Photography and one level 6 in Chemistry. She said: “I feel proud I wasn’t expecting this. I want to thank my teachers who have helped me a lot. They have always made the time for me.”

Head girl, Lilli Amor achieved one level 9 in History; two level 8s in English Literature and Spanish; four level 7s in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Geography and three level 6s in English Language, Biology and Drama.  After university she would like to pursue her dream job of becoming a lawyer. She praised Ark Helenswood and her teachers for giving her lots of opportunities.

Hannah Barnicoat-Hill, a Year 10 student, who took Maths GCSE a year early and achieved the top grade level 9, said: “I feel really good, I’m really happy. It was worth all the hard work.”

Li Qian Qian arrived in this country two years ago and didn’t speak a word of English – her achievements are exceptional. She achieved one level 9 in Chinese, one level 8 in Maths, two level 7s in combined science, one level 5 in Art and Design, two level 4s in English Literature and Drama. “I’m so excited. It’s like a dream – I can’t believe it.” She said.

“I want to thank my teachers because they helped me get these results. If you work hard you will get what you want.”

Yvonne Powell, Executive Principal of Ark Helenswood and Ark William Parker said: “It’s excellent to see another set of strong results from both schools today, particularly with William Parker demonstrating exceptional improvement.  I’m exceedingly proud of my staff and their dedication to our students – they always go above and beyond. Congratulations to our staff and our students.”.

At Buckswood students were also celebrating another positive set of GCSE results, the schools best GCSE results to date beating 65 per cent last year!.


More than 68 per cent of papers sat at the school are level 4 or above, with over 80 per cent of students passing English and 69 per cent earning at least a grade 4 in mathematics. Seventy seven per cent of students earned a 4 or above in History and 100 per cent of students passed their Spanish GCSE.

There were some exceptional individual results including Millie who scored a level 8 in Spanish and maths and a level 9 in combined science. Diego who scored a level 8 in Spanish, Anais also achieved a level 8 in Spanish and a 9 in mathematics, Bislan achieved four level 7s, Zoe who scored a level 8 in Spanish, Leah who scored a level 8 in history and Kyna and Riko also scored level 8 in mathematics.

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