South Devon High School students celebrate another year of brilliant GCSE results

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It’s with huge pride and excitement that at long last South Devon High School was able to welcome many excited pupils through its doors to collect their GCSE results today.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, South Devon High School pupils have continued the trend of high performance and students are rightly celebrating an excellent set of results that will launch their progression onto the next stage of their education.

84% of pupils received pass grades 4-9 in maths and also in science, while 85% of pupils achieved grades between 5 and 9 in English. In addition, the High School has seen record numbers of the highest grade 9s in EBACC subjects English, maths, science, history and geography, and the highest number of A* or Distinction* grades in technical qualifications animal care, childcare, sports science, photography, and business studies.

As a result of their excellent achievements, over 85% of High School pupils this year are expected to progress on to study level 3 qualifications with an even split between traditional A Levels and Level 3 Technical Qualifications. A number of pupils have also secured an apprenticeship.

Zak Mitchell from Torquay gained eight GCSEs including hi-tech electronics and computer science. He chose South Devon High School because the range of courses on offer allowed him to pursue his interests in engineering and technology. Zak said, “All the tutors are friendly, kind, encouraging and relaxed. I’m looking forward to continuing with the College to study marine engineering at Noss Marina.”

Molly Royce-Dexter achieved excellent grade 6-7 results in photography, art and design, English literature and language and childcare. She chose the High School as she needed a supportive environment to build her confidence and was attracted to the range of courses. She enjoyed the “hands-on” approach to teaching and the facilities. Molly is now progressing to level 3 childcare, with the future aim of becoming a teacher.

Ellie Dixon is celebrating very high grades in her eight GCSEs, including a grade 9 in English literature and English language and an 8 in History. She enjoyed studying at South Devon High School because “the teachers were friendly and always wanted to help.”

Cherie Desanta from Paignton achieved fantastic grades in all of her subjects, including an 8 in science. She also achieved high grades in photography, English, history, maths and geography. She enjoyed being taught by passionate teachers and plans to stay at South Devon College to complete A Levels in chemistry, biology and photography.

Gemma Evans from Paignton achieved exceptionally high grades in all of her subjects, including a 9 in English literature and a 9 in English language. Gemma also achieved remarkable grades in geography, history, photography, maths and combined science. She said “I chose to study at South Devon High School because I liked the smaller class sizes, which meant that it was more personal”. Her next steps are A Levels at South Devon College.

Frankie O’Keeffe from Torquay said he enjoyed the practical element of the courses, achieving a 9 in science, 9 in English literature and a 9 in English language. He also achieved high grades in art and design and history. Speaking about his next steps he said “I want to stay at South Devon College and study sport science and eventually become a sport journalist.” Frankie’s advice to students starting GCSEs is “embrace the experience!”

Abbie Quartley from Paignton chose South Devon High School as “the courses looked interesting and stood out amongst other places.” Abbie achieved excellent grades in art, photography, geography and digital media and liked that she could use the wider College facilities to support her in her studies.

Ollie Toms from Paignton achieved fantastic grades in geography, maths, art and design, science, computing and English. Ollie moved to South Devon High School as he said the atmosphere at the College is brilliant, and he enjoyed using the facilities not only in the High School, but in the wider College environment. When asked about advice he would give to current students, he said “it’s not as scary as you think! I really enjoyed my time here.”

Matt Burrows, Head of South Devon High School said, “I am delighted that the pupils’ achievements have been fully recognised given the unique challenges faced this year. Our pupils are rightly proud of their results and the positive progress they have made. We offer a really innovative and exciting curriculum, combined with fantastic pupil support. It has been wonderful to see pupils thrive and succeed within the School. The results are an excellent reward for all the pupils’ hard work and it is a testament to the outstanding support and guidance provided by their teachers. Pupils can now look forward to their exciting next steps, with many progressing to A Levels, apprenticeships or technical and professional courses at South Devon College.”

South Devon High School combines academic and technical qualifications with great opportunity for progression into further and higher education. With a strong focus on careers and employability alongside learning, young people have the opportunity to develop the skills that employers need now, more than ever, to find new and innovative ways of working on the road to economic recovery.

Pupils will work with state of the art, industry standard, equipment and resources which include access to the new South Devon College Sports Centre and Hi Tech & Digital Centre. The College is home to University Centre South Devon (UCSD) which has strong links with the University of Plymouth and with a wide range of local and regional employers, meaning your entire education journey can be done locally.

If you’re interested in studying further or higher education, there’s still time to apply. The College’s expert team are in place to assist with progression to a variety of different pathways that your new qualifications will make possible, simply call 08000 380 123 or email them at [email protected]. Alternatively, book an appointment to come and meet with a member of the curriculum team at our Information Week, from 14th September. For more information and to book, visit and start your future today.