Montpelier High School (MHS) has maintained its record of academic excellence with an exceptional set of GCSE results. An outstanding 85% of students achieved at least a grade 4 in English and Maths, with more than two thirds (68%) gaining a grade 5 or above. Academic attainment overall was in line with, or above, 2019 pre-Covid outcomes.
The school saw some outstanding individual performances, such as Alys Wood and Maja Piwarska, who each earned eight grade 9s. Among other high achievers were Emily Soar, Maeva Page Cotton and Iris Jordan who all achieved seven 9s and 8s in other subjects; Anna Raju and Iris Jordan achieved six 9s and 8s in other subjects; Chloe McGregor achieved seven 9s, one 8 and one 7; Isabella Bassett achieved six 9s, two 8s and one 7; and Brooke Logan and Bethan Walker both achieved five 9s and the rest 8s.
Brooke said: “I’m very happy with my grades and am looking forward to joining V6 to study A-levels in French, Psychology, English Literature and History. I’m thinking of maybe going into Law. My teachers have been so supportive. They have always tried to make sure that everyone feels happy and safe at school as well as doing well academically. I have been part of the School Parliament and there has been a focus on listening to what students want and acting on it.”
A number of students exceeded their target grades, including Esha Bibi, who was predicted grade 4s and went on to achieve one 8, three 7s, four 6s and two 5s, while Sally Naser achieved four 9s, two 8s, two 7s and one 6.
Esha Bibi with her parents Mehaz Bibi and Asif Muhummed, and former MHS Acting Head Brendan Hesketh.
Esha, from Fishponds, is the eldest of four children. She was thrilled with her grades, especially in the science subjects, as she plans to study Maths, Biology and Chemistry at V6 and intends to join the armed services before university. “My parents have worked so hard to put food on the table. My mum wanted me to have the chances she didn’t have and I wanted to do well for my family – they were so happy and quite emotional when I opened my results.” Esha was also keen to praise the staff members who have supported her: “My teachers were always there for me. I was offered support when I was younger but I didn’t really take it. But once I did, and I put the effort in, it really boosted my grades.”
Anastasija Sobol from Lockleaze, had Covid in January 2022 and began experiencing long Covid symptoms a couple of months afterwards and throughout Year 11, including during the examination period. “In January this year I had a chest infection, which led to problems with my blood pressure and heart rate. I was diagnosed with orthostatic postural hypotension and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and ended up missing a lot of school coming up to the exams.”
Although Anastasija’s illness led to her missing some papers, she was able to take enough of the exams to be given special consideration by the exam board who estimated the papers she missed based on those she had sat. “It was really tough, on some days I was fainting in the mornings before exams, which was very unpleasant. But I managed to sit at least one paper in every subject and all papers in some subjects, which I was very proud about.” After so many challenges, Anastasija was thrilled to receive her grades today: two 9s, two 6s, one 5 and three 4s. “I am really happy with the grades I got,” she said.
Anastasija has now been discharged from the long Covid clinic and is making a steady recovery and looking forward to joining V6 to study for A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Computer Science.
Headteacher Ben Spence said: “Congratulations to all our students. Their hard work has laid the foundations towards achieving their future goals. I’m delighted that a large proportion of our Year 11s have chosen to remain with us and join our co-educational sixth form, V6.”
Brendan Hesketh, Director of Education at Venturers Trust, who led the school for most of last year, said: “I am incredibly proud of everything that the class of 2023 has accomplished, both in these exam results and their contribution more widely. They are without doubt a fantastic group of young people. Thank you and well done to our wonderful students for everything you have given to Montpelier High School. You are amazing.”
Joint Heads of Year 11 Gemma Denning and Katie Baggaley said: “We are so impressed with the results of the Year 11s and hope they feel that their hard work and determination has paid off. Their school journey was extremely fractured until Year 11 but they faced their exams with great resilience. We are so proud to have been heads of such an incredible group of students; it has been a privilege. We wish them every success with their future endeavours and look forward to many of them returning to study at V6 in September.”
Chair of Governors, Tracey Killen, added: “The commitment and resilience of this group of young people has been rewarded with outstanding results. Congratulations to all of them. I am confident that they are set for the bright futures they deserve and I wish them every success.”
Main photo caption: Chloe McGregor, Anastasija Sobol, Faith Challis, Maja Piwarska and Sally Naser.