STUDENTS from Dene Magna School picked up their A-Level results on Tuesday – the first group ever to do so at the Mitcheldean School.

Dean Magna were given the go-ahead to run A-Level courses from September 2019 and headteacher Steve Brady said he was delighted with the results, particularly in the light of the challenges caused by lockdown and isolation.

Students from Hartpury College, Newent School and Wyedean School in Sedbury also received their results which were based on teacher assessments.

Mr Brady said: “Brady, said: “Massive congratulations to the first cohort of students to complete their A Levels at Dene Magna and to the staff who supported them during these unprecedented times.

“These results are incredibly important for the aspirations and hopes of many people in the Forest of Dean and they fully justify the opening of our sixth form in 2019.

As a new institution it was vital that we undertook a rigorous process to ensure that our grades are secure and so, despite national headlines about grade inflation, we know that our students thoroughly deserve their qualifications.

“They and their teachers worked extremely hard and should be proud of their achievements.

“They set a great precedent for students in the Forest of Dean and beyond and prove that there is no need to travel outside of the area in order to get a first-class education.”

Acting principal of Newent School, Mr Rhys Phillips, said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.

“We have a consistent message to our students that hard work always pays off, and this is truly reflected in the results of our students this year.

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.

“I would like to thank all members of our school community for their continued support.”

Wyedean principal Ms Gwennan Jeremiah said: “We are delighted to report that our wonderful students studying A-level and BTECs have once again weathered the pandemic storm and achieved excellent results.”

Mr Lane added: ““The year has been challenging for so many reasons but the most significant obstacle for the students to battle through has been uncertainty – not knowing the nature of assessments they’d face or how grades would be generated.

“This Year 13 cohort has coped amazingly well with adversity and have excelled.

“They finish this academic year taking with them new reserves of resilience, independence, determination, and now fantastic grades, which will give them a great platform for the future.”

For the third consecutive year, 100% of Hartpury A-level students achieved their qualifications, compared to a national average of 99.5 per cent with 92.9 per cent gaining grades A* - C, compared to an 88.5% national average.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma students achieved 78.7 per cent achieving distinction or distinction star grades with 56.7 per cent being triple stars, the highest grade possible.

Hartpury College Vice-Principal Claire Whitworth said: “I would like to congratulate all the students and staff on their hard work and dedication over the last two years in support of this year’s results - a fantastic achievement, especially considering the global challenges everyone has faced over the last two years! Thank you also to the parents and carers who provided fantastic support, as ever.”

At Dene Magna, James Bailey who achieved two A* and two A grades and is off to study aeronautics and astronautics at Southampton University, Jess Hardy will study fashion at Bath with an A*, two As and a B; Lara Foot achieved two A* and an A and to study Maths at Leeds and Macey Potter will study modern languages at Swansea with two A* and an A.