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  • Lucy Atherton

GCSE & A Levels 2021 Schools Round Up

Updated: Aug 16

Academy schools in Somerset and Devon are celebrating after another year of strong A Level and GCSE results. Despite an extremely challenging 18 months, the results show a continued upward trend in outcomes at colleges in the Richard Huish Group and the West Country Schools Trust.


South Dartmoor Community College and Atrium maintains its position as one of the highest performing schools in Devon. After a challenging 18 months, many students have still managed to attain top grades (A*) in one or more subject. More than 75% are on track to secure their first choice place at the top universities. Almost three quarters of the grades students were awarded were A* - B and provisional projections suggest at least 50% of those applying to higher education will progress to a Russell Group university. There was also significant achievement in BTEC and CTEC studies, with 100% of students achieving distinction* or distinction.




Many GCSE students gained top grades in one or more subjects: 34 shared a total of 71 grade 9s, an increase on last year.Kitty Coulson-Byng scored 11 grade 9s and Ben Glenton was not far behind with seven grade 9s, one A*, two grade 8s, one grade 7 and one grade 6. Teachers were particularly proud of Toby Beasley, who suffered the loss of his home due to a house fire during lockdown one. They noted that his determination in the face of adversity was “inspirational”.


Executive Head Teacher, Jen Veal, said: “I am so proud of all the students. They have worked hard under difficult circumstances to achieve the grades they needed to progress to their chosen higher education destinations. The students responded really well to the blended approach of remote teaching and face to face lessons, finding different ways to learn and succeed. I am delighted that they have fulfilled their potential in spite of the pandemic and I wish them every success in the world."




Students at The Taunton Academy also had another very strong set of GCSE results. Once again there were some outstanding individual success stories. Shannon Bradner achieved nine grade 9s, Ella Gould gained seven grade 9s and two grade 8s and Olivia Snow was awarded four grade 9s and four grade 8s.

Head Teacher John Eddy said: “The last 18 months for these students has been incredibly challenging. There has been the uncertainty of lockdown in Year 10, the restrictions imposed on everyday life, forced periods of self-isolation, remote learning and then the cancellation of the final exams. It is difficult to overestimate just how hard this has been for the students to process and to adjust to and yet they have done it with remarkable grace and good humour. There are so many success stories at every level."