NERVES, tension, anxiety – just three of the words that could best describe pupils of Saddleworth School before they found out their GCSE results.
Once they opened their envelopes, two others would have fitted – joy and celebration.
Naturally, the high achievers attracted praise but the progress of others warranted as much adulation.
Emily Morgan-Jackson achieved a full set of Grade Nines, which she admitted was, ‘not what I was expecting.’
As she heads off to Ashton Sixth Form College, where she will study for four A-levels, she also hopes to make a difference in later life.
She said: “’I’m very passionate about helping people. I feel like that’s my purpose and meaning in life.
“I would like to go into the medical field to look at pharmacology, toxicology, neurology, pathology but I also love working with people.”
Some pupils had prepared for all eventualities, just like Miranda Lowe, who said after learning she gained five Grade Nines, three Grade Eights and one Seven: “It was a lot better than I expected.
“I made bad predictions and good predictions and it was better than my good predictions. I’ll be going to Oldham Sixth Form to do A-levels in Philosophy, English, History and Drama.”
Harry Bates, of Delph, was also pleasantly surprised as he achieved several Eights and Nines, as well as one Grade Six.
He said: “They were better than what I expected. I’m now going to do physics, maths, further maths and PE at Greenhead College in Huddersfield.
“Beyond college I’d like to go into Engineering.”
Martha King, of Diggle, showed what hard work can do as she added: “I’ve done a lot better than I expected especially in Maths.
“Throughout school, I was only put in top set in year 11. I was always predicted Grade Four or FIve, so this year I’ve worked really hard to push that grade up to a Seven.
“I never expected to do it. I’m really happy with that. I’m going to Ashton Sixth Form to study media, graphics and English language and literature combined.
“I’d like to get a degree apprenticeship in digital marketing. “
Cerys Shaw, also from Diggle, could not stop smiling as she beamed after scoring Eights and Nines: “I’m really proud. I did better than I thought I would.
“I’m going to Ashton Sixth Form College to study Maths, Biology, Further Maths and Computer Science.
“I’m really excited for it. Since the age of three I’ve always wanted to be a Maths teacher but I was so nervous before coming in.”
Helen Taylor, from Oldham, summed up her three Nines in her set of results by simply saying: “I did pretty good.”
Jude Hindson summed up what the class of 2023 had been through as it coped with the COvid-19 pandemic, saying: “Everything has felt sudden because of lockdowns two years of school were wiped out. “
Many of the teenagers had no firm career plans but that cannot be said of Charlie Evans, who has his sights set away from Saddleworth on an American Football pitch.
He said after getting what he expected: “I’m going into college but unlike everybody else here I’m going to Bristol to pursue my American Football dreams and try and get state side or a pro contract in Europe.
“I wanted good grades in case that didn’t pan out, so I can go to university in Bristol. I’d love to get a scholarship to study in America or get a professional contract in Europe.”