Backwell School is celebrating another year of fantastic GCSE results with students achieving higher grades and making more progress than ever before.

The changes to the GCSE examinations have presented challenges for staff and students teaching and learning new material without past papers and previous experience on the new specifications. GCSE exams now contain more difficult content and are mostly marked on final exams, after two years of study, rather than coursework. However all at Backwell have fully embraced the changes which can be seen in the results today.

83% of students achieved a standard pass (Grade 4 or above) in both English and Maths, while 63% received a Grade 5 or higher in both subjects. Overall 79% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths. 52% of students achieved the very challenging combination of higher passes which earns them the ‘English Baccalaureate’. 17 Backwell school students achieved five or more Grade 9s. On the new number grading system a Grade 9 is higher than the previous A* and is only awarded to approximately 3% of entries.

Josie Newland and Lucia Clark achieved nine Grade 9s in their GCSE results as well as an A* A^ (higher than an A*) respectively on their Further Maths GCSE (which is still graded using the old letter system). Josie was delighted with her results; “I worked as hard as I could and would advise others not to take your educational opportunities for granted. Hard work does pay off” and will be returning to Backwell School in September to study A levels in History, Maths, Drama and Chemistry

Dominic Jarvis and Jemma Jeffrey achieved seven Grades 9s and A*s in their Further Maths GCSES. Again both will be staying at Backwell to study for their A levels. Dominic is pleased that his early revision paid off and his results were higher than what he was expecting. Jemma confirmed that changes to GCSEs did make preparing for exams a challenge “the lack of past papers meant that it was hard to work out what level you were currently at whilst revising and sitting mock exams. It is a long slog but it is worth it in the end.”

Headteacher Jon Nunes said “I am incredibly proud of our Year 11 students and their hard work and dedication has certainly been rewarded. They have all made fantastic progress over their five years with us, great examples being Alex St John-Crees and Joshua Howells with Thomas Lewis achieving the highest progress in the year group. I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work and skill of the teachers who have supported our students.”

Key statistics

83% of students achieved Grade 4 (standard Pass) in English and Maths

63% of students achieved Grade 5 (strong Pass) in English and Maths

52% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate

79% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths (at Grade 4 or above)



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The sixth formers have also been celebrating having produced another brilliant set of A Level results. Well over half of all exam entries were graded A* to B, with an overall pass rate of 97.7%. No fewer than 24 students achieving grades equivalent to AAA or higher.

Head student Huw Evans achieved 3 A* grades and is off to Balliol College, Oxford to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Huw was delighted with his results and advises others to “aim high and go for it. Hard work certainly pays off and you may surprise yourself”. As well as Huw five other students (Esther Leong, Jasmin Knapman, Luke Barratt, Matt Roberts and Sophie Ettle) gained at least three A* grades with a number of them heading to either Oxford or Cambridge.

Students are now looking forward to their future plans and increasingly they are looking for alternatives to university with a number taking up apprenticeships with national employers.  Millie Duerden (grades A, A, B) will be doing a degree apprenticeship at Unilever in Project Management. Will O'Malley (grades A, B, Distinction*) will be undertaking a Higher Apprenticeship in Finance at KPMG and Herbie Dyer (grades A, B, B)  will be completing a legal apprenticeship with Bevan Brittan.

Headteacher Jon Nunes said “The reforms to A Levels over the past two years means that these are the most challenging exams these students will have sat in their education so far. I am very proud of all of our students who have studied incredibly hard – they have not only achieved academic success, but also grown into well rounded, thoughtful and good humoured young people. These results contain many stories of individual students succeeding against adversity and they should all be very proud of what they have achieved. We wish them all the very best for the future”.

A Level Results









Pass rate


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You can view our school progress and results data on the Department for Education's schools' performance tables, which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

School Performance Tables