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Hereford Cathedral School students are celebrating another year of excellent GCSE results today, with almost half of all exams awarded the highest grades of 9-7, and nearly a third of all grades at 9-8 (A* equivalent).

Fourteen exceptional pupils achieved all 9-7 (A*/A) grades, with thirteen pupils boasting five or more top grade 9s.

In eleven of the school’s subject departments, over 50% of exams were awarded grade 7 and above (equivalent of grades A*/A). Results for the Maths Department were outstanding with over 85% of grades in Further Maths at the very top grades A^/A*/A.

GCSE results

Music also continues to thrive at the school with 83% of exams awarded top grades 9-7 (A*/A equivalent), including Polly T who has recently achieved her ATCL Violin Diploma, an exam usually taken in the first year of music college. The Art Department also enjoyed similar success with 22 pupils achieving grades 9-7. Many of the GCSE art students will continue to study Fine Art and Textile Art in the school’s sixth form and are hoping to go on to match the success of this year’s leavers, who last week achieved 100% A*/A at A-Level.

Will P Alfie O

The school’s top-performing GCSE pupils, Will P and Alfie O (pictured above), have achieved a staggering 23 grade 9s between them. A brilliant mathematician, Will recently scored in the top 1.5% of the UK Intermediate Mathematical Challenge and was handpicked to take part in the UKMT Maths Summer School at the University of Leeds. Will, who also came second with classmate Lara M-G out of 1000 teams in the nationwide Alan Turing Cryptography Challenge, was delighted to have achieved an A* in Maths and the top grade A^ in Further Maths: “I put in a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end. I’ve been here since Year 7 and I’ve enjoyed every second. The teachers have been really helpful in every subject.”

Alfie was most surprised by his Economics result: “I’m totally shocked by my Economics results because grade boundaries are always incredibly high, so I’m really happy to have got a 9 in that.”

He added: “It was a lot of hard work and I know lots of people say this, but there genuinely is that support there to really help you when the going gets tough.”

Despite spending up to 12 hours a week in training as a two-time Brazilian ju-jitsu world champion, Liberty M has stormed through her GCSEs. Liberty, who competes every two to three months, still managed to find the time to study, gaining 10 grade 9s and two grade 7s. An elated Liberty said: “It has been quite crazy, but the school have given me so much support that made it so much more bearable than I thought it would be.” Liberty joined the school in Year 9 from Bishops and settled in immediately: “HCS has been really welcoming so I couldn’t have asked for anything else!”

Polly S

Polly S (pictured above), who achieved an A* in her French A-Level last year aged just 15, has gone on to achieve some outstanding GCSE results. She has been awarded seven grade 9s, three grade 8s, one grade 7 and the top mark of a three in Classical Greek. Polly credits her teachers with helping her gain such excellent results: “Some of the teachers have really been amazing; Mrs Clinton offered slots before each of the exams to come and talk to her and just relax for a bit, so that was really brilliant. You felt supported.”

She continued “Mr Taylor’s dynamic teaching was brilliant as well. I started off in Set 3 for Maths in Year 7, and I’ve just got an A* in Further Maths, and that was mostly down to him.

“For A-Levels, I’m going to be doing Spanish, Maths, Latin and English Literature. I’d like to go to Cambridge to study Latin.” 

Along with Polly, Laszlo B (pictured below) has his sights set on Cambridge after achieving a remarkable set of results. Laszlo has been awarded five grade 9s and is looking forward to studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry in Hereford Cathedral School Sixth Form: “I would hopefully like to go to Cambridge to do Theoretical Physics and then physics research as a career.”


Four Year 12 pupils sat a GCSE in Russian as part of a two-year fast-track programme. All of them achieved a grade 5, this is on the foundation paper where 5 is the ceiling. Three of the four (Sophie L, Flora G and Helena T) now have GCSEs in three modern foreign languages (Spanish, French and Russian).

Headmaster Paul Smith is thrilled with the students’ results: “I am delighted to see so many pupils achieve or exceed their target grades. Congratulations to those academic high-flyers, each of whom have achieved a large number of the very top grade 9. However, I also applaud those pupils who might not have reached these dizzy heights of academic achievement, but who nonetheless have excelled in their GCSE exams.

“As ever, I am extremely grateful to the teaching staff who have been so supportive of the pupils. We now look forward to welcoming pupils back into the Sixth Form for the next academic year.”