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Year 11 students at Academy 360, Excelsior Academy and Sedgefield Community College have celebrated success as they received their GCSE and Level 2 results after a year of uncertainty and challenges due to the pandemic. Students have dealt with multiple lockdowns and learning from home, and alongside staff, they have had to find new ways of working and learning, as well as facing changes to their assessments. Despite this, they have shown resilience and determination to succeed. 

The teacher assessed grades have been put through a robust external moderation process and accurately reflect the performance of pupils. Staff and students have both worked hard to adapt to new ways of working and learning, and our staff have been dedicated in their support, ensuring every student can achieve their goals and potential. The academy will see many of these pupils progress to A-Levels and Level 3 courses at the Sixth Form.

As students came in to collect their GCSE results at Excelsior Academy, the NHS provided a pop-up vaccination centre, enabling students aged 16-17 to receive their Covid vaccine. This followed a  successful day on 10th August when Laidlaw Schools Trust invited the NHS to run a pop-up to coincide with A-Level results day. As a community hub, Excelsior Academy also provided the opportunity for staff, families of students and anyone in the local community to drop in and receive their first or second jab. 

Laidlaw Schools Trust invited the NHS to run the pop-up centres to provide the opportunity for students to get the vaccine as they picked up their results. Students received extremely positive GCSE and level 2 vocational grades after 18 months of significant disruption to their education due to the pandemic. 

Excelsior Academy Principal, James Andriot, said: “I am relieved that Year 11 pupils, who have had so much to deal with as a result of the pandemic, will be able to come into the academy on  Thursday knowing what their progression plans will look like for the future. I admire the resilience and determination of pupils, staff and parents/carers who have shouldered so many challenges over the last year and a half. 

“I am also delighted to be welcoming the NHS back to Excelsior so that they can offer young people and the local community have the opportunity to get their vaccine and discuss it with  NHS colleagues if they are still undecided about it. For me, it is important that Excelsior is at the heart of the community here in the West End and supports the needs and aspirations of everyone in the locality”.

Academy 360 Principal, Rachel Donohue said ‘I would like to commend the excellent work of students and staff during the last year – it has been nothing short of inspirational.  Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our students have engaged well and deserve to  celebrate their success which is a testament to their hard work and determination.’

Sedgefield Community College Principal, Geoff Robinson, said ‘It has been an extremely challenging time for all of our students since the COVID-19 lockdown closed schools to most students in March 2020. Throughout this entire period, I was incredibly proud of the resilience and determination with which our Year 11 conducted themselves. In a time of  uncertainty, Year 11 showed great maturity and fortitude to continue to work incredibly hard.’

Ian Simpson, CEO of Laidlaw Schools Trust said, ‘We are incredibly proud of all of our students across the Trust, who have shown dedication and resilience over the last year, for their success today and we are looking forward to seeing many of them return in September. I’m delighted  that the NHS were keen to work with us to offer the opportunity for our students to be vaccinated and to extend this opportunity to the local community.’