GCSEs 2019: Records broken at Reading Blue Coat School


A Reading Blue Coat School pupil saw one of his GCSE grades shoot up from 4 in his mock exam to 9 in the real thing – the highest possible score. 

Ted Aplin’s achievement in history was one of many stellar results that saw him achieve the equivalent of 10 A*s in subjects including drama, chemistry and biology. 

And it was part of an impressive collection of results that saw 98% of Reading Blue Coat School pupils achieve grades A*-C in the annual GCSE exams. 

The school said that a record-breaking 41% of passes were A* grades, two-thirds were A* or A, and 85%  A*-B. 

And all of its pupils sitting geology, biology, chemistry and drama received either A* or A grades. 

Ted is just one of the many success stories. 

The Henley-on-Thames-based student said of his grades: “I’m a bit shocked really! I was not expecting this at all. I got a 4 in my History mock exam, but I got a 9 in the real thing.

Ted’s mother, Lucy Aplin, added: “I’m completely overwhelmed. This is unbelievable.

“I’m so proud of him, he did it all for himself and it really paid off.”

Reading Blue Coat School
Michael Wilkinson

One pupil who achieved the equivalent of nine A* grades is Michael Wilkinson of Woodley. 

At this year’s annual prizegiving ceremony, the teenager was awarded the Jeffries Cup, which is awarded to the Year 11 pupil who has shown most academic progress in their time at Blue Coat. 

He is also a keen member of the School’s Combined Cadet Force, and has spent the summer undertaking his Nation Citizen Service. 

“I just can’t believe I did so well,” he said. “I thought I’d do okay, but this is a lot better than I expected. I would say that Computer Science was quite hard and I was quite worried about it, but even in that I did well.”

Those boys achieving at least eight A*s or equivalent will be granted an honorary Academic Scholarship at the School, which is an impressive addition to their CV that will aid in UCAS and future job applications; 20 boys achieved eight A*s or equivalent this year, qualifying for this honour.

Although today’s focus is the Year 11 pupils, pupils at Reading Blue Coat sit their final GCSE Religious Studies examination in Year 10. 

This year, 80% of Year 10 pupils are celebrating A*-A grades, which is another school record by a significant margin. 

Reading Blue Coat School
James Dunning celebrates

Scott Yates, director of the middle school, said: “I’m so proud that these boys achieved such brilliant results while maintaining a good sense of humour through exam season. It was a testing time for the boys but it was particularly heartening to see the support they offered each other.”

This was echoed by Reading Blue Coat headteacher Jesse Elzinga, who said: “I’m tremendously proud of these superb GCSE results. 

“This year group has worked extremely well in their time at Blue Coat, and the fact that nearly 70% of all grades were A*/A (or 9-7 in the new scale) is exceptional. 

“My congratulations go to the staff and pupils for these remarkable results, and of course many thanks to the supportive families at home. 

“There are a number of individual success stories as well, and once again this year we promote any pupil with the equivalent of eight A*s to the title of Academic Scholar. 

“Well done, everyone, and I look forward to supporting these pupils in their Sixth Form studies at Blue Coat, where they will be joined by over 40 new pupils who also achieved extremely good GCSE results.”

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