Sunderland pupils celebrate results in first year of new GCSE grades

Pupils celebrating exam results

Pupils from across Sunderland are celebrating their GCSE results today (Thursday 24th August) in the first year of a new national grading system for the core subjects of English Literature and Language as well as Maths.

For the first time, instead of being graded by letter, GCSE results for the three subjects will move to a numerical scale of nine to one.

According to the Department for Education, a grade four is aligned to what was previously a standard pass grade C, with grade five the equivalent of a strong pass grade C.

  • 55% of pupils achieved grade 4 and above across English Literature, Language and Maths in Sunderland
  • Boys narrowed the gap on girls this year in Sunderland, with 52% of boys and 57% of girls achieving grade 4 and above in English Literature, Language and Maths
  • 2,698 sat GCSEs in 19 schools in the city.

As well as changes to the grading system, most exams are now taken at the end of the two-year course rather than on completion of modules as has been the case in previous years. There are also more essay-style questions in the exams themselves, with exams themselves designed to be more challenging.

New style GCSEs in other subjects will follow over the next two years.

Simon Marshall, Director for Education at Together for Children, said: “I’d like to congratulate all our GCSE pupils, their teachers and support staff for the results they achieved this year. It is always a challenge to be the first to sit exams under a new system and I’m proud of our young people and schools alike for all of the hard work they have put in to achieve the results we have seen today.

“When examination grading systems change it can be difficult to accurately compare our results to those of previous years, but it is testament to pupils’ and teachers’ determination to succeed that we have seen success stories in schools across the city.”

Councillor Louise Farthing, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “Congratulations and well done to all of our GCSE students this year and all of their teachers and support staff. There is much to be proud of in the city, all of which is paving the way for future success.

“Last week we saw a rise in our top grade A level results, and there is an ongoing longer-term trend of improvements in our primary schools, which has seen them singled out for praise at a national level.”


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