With 91% of pupils successful in securing a place at their university of choice, there has been much to celebrate for A Level pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar School today.

“We have been delighted to welcome our Year 13 pupils back to PGS today, to celebrate the hard work they have put into their A Level courses over the last two years,” said Dr Anne Cotton, Head of The Portsmouth Grammar School. “The outcomes achieved today are testament to the commitment, hard work and courage of our pupils as well as the dedication of our staff, in difficult circumstances. With examination grades awarded in a different way from usual in a second year, our pupils have risen brilliantly to the challenges they have faced and can be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.”

Max (left) with Matthew (right)

Amongst the pupils celebrating their results today is Max Harvey, who was awarded 4 A* grades which secured his place at the University of Cambridge to read Physical Natural Sciences. Max joined PGS in Year 9 from The Pilgrims’ School in Winchester and in his last year at PGS was a Head Prefect. “I have had an amazing 5 years at PGS,” said Max. “I have been able to try many new things and meet loads of amazing people. I’m incredibly happy with my results and I am very grateful for all the help that my teachers and the other staff have given me over my whole time at the school and look forwards to visiting PGS in the future”  Max is pictured with Matthew Hickman who also gained an impressive 4 A* grades which will take him to the University of Nottingham to study Aerospace Engineering.

Scarlett (left) with Sophie (right)

Having also gained a fantastic 4 A* grades, Scarlett Sprague is overjoyed with her results which will take her to Imperial College London to read Geophysics with a year abroad. “I am so excited about what comes next,” said Scarlett. “I’ve loved all the opportunities I’ve had at PGS, particularly the CCF and the outdoor pursuits which have been fantastic and now can’t wait to go to university in the Autumn.” Scarlett is pictured with Sophie Hamer who is now going to Bristol to study Veterinary Science.

“I was surprised but very happy with my results,” said Poppy Herbert who was awarded a superb 4 A* grades today which takes her to Cardiff to study Medicine. “ It’s a relief to know it’s all over and I am looking forward to celebrating with my friends tonight ! Thanks to all my teachers for my grades and their support throughout my a levels and my time at PGS, I’ve really enjoyed the experience. I’m excited to be going to Cardiff in September to study medicine and play lots of sport.” 

Ollie and Emily

Ollie Saint is heading to Oxford in September after being awarded 3 A* grades, he will be going on to read Spanish and Linguistics. “I’m absolutely thrilled with my results, I can finally relax again now it’s all definite,” said Ollie. “I am so thankful to my teachers and everyone at PGS who gave me the opportunities to get these results, and am excited for the new opportunities I can take full advantage of at Oxford.”  Ollie is pictured with Emily Russell who today was awarded A*AB which takes her to Bath to read Sport Science.

They will join others in their cohort who will be moving on from PGS to study at a range of universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Imperial College London, Durham, St Andrews, Exeter,  and Manchester, as well as in the United States, Canada and Italy. Pupils will be pursuing a wide range of courses, from Medicine, Engineering and Product Design to Art, Languages and Physiotherapy, to Economics and Business.

John Yu today was not only celebrating 3A* grades and an A in his A Levels, but also being awarded a grade S “Outstanding” in STEP III which is the highest possible result and a Grade 1 in STEP II – STEP stands for Sixth Term Examination Papers and are the highest level of Mathematical papers set by Cambridge. They can be used by other institutions but Cambridge consistently use them to differentiate the very best Mathematicians for courses such as Physics and Maths which require a high level of mathematical skill. John will now be goin to Cambridge to read Mathematics. “I’m relieved it’s all over!” said John. “The last 2 years have just been non stop work, and I’m glad it means I can go to the best Uni in the world to do what I love. PGS has been so supportive throughout the entire progress and I’m thankful to all my teachers for the help along the way.”

Celebrating his results in a slightly different location is Robbie McDonald who gained 3 A* grades that will take him to Cambridge to read Medicine. Robbie is currently in Greece teaching sailing for the summer, having sailed successfully at a competitive level throughout his time at PGS. “I’ve taken a couple of hours off this morning to celebrate,” said Robbie. “It is a bit surreal to be in Greece receiving my results and it’s just starting to sink in. I’ve had a great time at PGS and hope that everyone there gets to celebrate today.”

Dani Turner, who joined PGS for Sixth Form on a scholarship from Mayfield School in Portsmouth is celebrating her A*AA which takes her to the Royal Veterinary College. “A massive thank you to both my brilliant previous school Mayfield, but also the wonderful Portsmouth Grammar School that has helped me to achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a Veterinary Surgeon,” said Dani. “I am so proud of my A Level results today and am happy to say I will be spending the next 5 years studying Veterinary medicine at The Royal Veterinary College in London. This is a dream come true!!” 

Thomas Locke (pictured left) is also celebrating today after gaining 3 A* grades which take him to Durham to read History. “I’m really proud of my A-Level results,” said Thomas. “Of course, the past few years have been challenging but I’m grateful to PGS for continuing to teach the course content over lockdown – even when the means of awarding the final grades wasn’t yet determined. This made the final series of assessments that followed more manageable. I’m also grateful for the clubs and activities that continued during this period – it made things more enjoyable!”

“The academic and personal enrichment programmes we offer in the Sixth Form encourage our pupils to reflect on their engagement with their communities, to develop as young leaders, and to pursue interests beyond their principal subjects,” continues Dr Cotton. “We aim to prepare them to lead purposeful, enriching lives and to thrive in the years beyond school.”