He said: “It was my last task in the role of Headteacher of St Thomas More to witness the magnificent, near-normal scenes of our wonderful year 11s collecting their GCSE grades today: what an honour it was. Even the sun came out!
“This year group has been through a lot, as of course we all have. But to end 11 years of education without the chance to sit the exams, without the celebration of a prom, it was great to have the opportunity to support them in their moment, recognising the hard work they have put in through the years.
“It is important to note that, in spite of what some might say, the majority of schools carried out extremely rigorous processes to enable them to submit grades to the exam board and St Thomas More was no exception. Exam boards actually increased grades in quite a few cases.
“There were inevitably some who were disappointed and they will need support and guidance over the coming months but, overall, I know that the vast majority of students were extremely pleased with their achievements.”
Some notable successes included Eleanor Chaplin who was awarded 6 grade 9s and 4 grade 8s; Jessica Redman with 6 grade 9s, 3 8s and 1 7; Jarred Lilly with 6 grade 9s, 3 8s and 1 grade 6; Reuben Kirkham with 5 grade 9s, 4 8s and 1 grade 7; Natasha Kawalek with 4 grade 9s, 2 8s and 4 7s; Victor Kamara with 3 9s, 5 8s and 2 7s and many more individual success stories.
"Never let it be said that these students didn’t deserve these grades,” Mr Hickey added.
"Possibly more than ever, these grades were rightly achieved and well earned. We need to celebrate these achievements with these young people.
"I feel so proud of the way all our students, their parents and families and the staff of St Thomas More have worked during this extraordinary period in their lives. I wish them and all of the wider community the very best for the future.”