Exam joy is heightened for Bedminster boy who pulled put of a coma

August 24 2018
Celebration at schools despite exams getting tougher

Alex is one of many South Bristol pupils to achieve the top Grade 9 in this year's tougher GCSEs

Pictured: Alex Davis is captured by media photographers as he opens his exam results

ALEX Davis suffered a life-changing accident which almost meant he didn't even sit his GCSEs.

With an apprenticeship place at Cheltenham Town Football Club Alex was an aspiring goalkeeper as well as a high-performing student but on November 18, 2017 his life changed direction following a kick to his head during a match. 

Alex suffered a bleed on the brain, skull fracture and a smashed eye socket and was treated at the Bristol Children’s Hospital where he spent one week in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in an induced coma and two further weeks recovering. He was released from hospital on December 8.

Alex’s parents and healthcare professionals didn’t know how well he would recover and if he would be able to walk, let alone return to school.

But with support from school lead practitioner Claire Hobbs, Alex was able to return to school for an hour a day in February this year building up to taking his mocks at Easter. During the school day he was under constant supervision in case of seizures.

Yet in the GCSE results released on August 23, he won a Grade 9 in both English and maths.

With a new outlook for the future Alex and his father Ian will be running the Bristol Half-Marathon on Sunday September 23 to raise funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Alex’s Just Giving page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexdavis2018


Meanwhile, at other South Bristol schools ...

IMPROVED results in GCSE exams show that South Bristol’s troubled Bridge Learning Campus is on the road to recovery, according to its boss.

The Hartcliffe school was judged inadequate by Ofsted in June, but in August 55 per cent of GCSE entrants achieved Grade 4 (standard pass) or better in English and Maths, up from 36 per cent in 2017.

Mark Davies, chief executive of Trust in Learning Academies, said: “It has been widely publicised the difficulties that the Bridge Learning Campus has had over recent months, but this year’s GCSE results demonstrate that actually what we have done last year to turn the campus around is having an impact.”

Both GCSEs and A-levels have been changed in recent years to make them more challenging.

Meanwhile at Bedminster Down school, GCSE grade 4s or higher in English and maths leapt from 57 to 65 per cent. 

 Fourteen students achieved the top grade 9 result, only expected for a small percentage of pupils across the country.

 Bedminster Down headteacher Gary Schlick said part of the improvement was down to a new system this year called Assess, Plan, Teach, which puts emphasis on live feedback rather than traditional marking. 

At St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, 82 per cent gained at least one GCSE Grade 4 and above, and 34 per cent Grade 7 or higher. 

Seventeen students gained six or more Grade 9s. 

Headteacher Elisabeth Gilpin said: “These are one of our best ever sets of results.”

Oasis Academy Brislington secured its best results with 61 per cent attaining a grade 4 or above in English and Maths.

In English, 70 per cent gained Grade 4 or above. In art, 100 per cent of students achieved a C grade equivalent or better. 

Merchants Academy acclaimed its best English and Maths GCSE results in five years, with 50 per cent achieving grade 4 or above, an improvement of 16 percentage points on 2017.

A total of eight subjects saw an improvement in results, including a grade 4 or above achieved by 83 per cent of pupils in Sports Science; 80 per cent in Construction; 77 per cent in Health and Social Care; and 67 per cent in Core Science.

Principal Samantha Williamson said: These results, especially in English and Maths, show significant improvement on last year and all the pupils and staff should feel very proud of what they have achieved.”

At A-level, Merchants’ Academy celebrated its best ever results: 75 per cent of students passed, with 30 per cent gaining A-B grades and 38 per cent A-C.

Students from the academy excelled in Health and Social Care with all achieving distinctions and in Sociology, 50 per cent achieved A-B grades. There were also improvements on 2017’s A-level results in a number of subjects including Biology, Business Studies and Sports Studies.

Some students have done so well that they are now looking to upgrade to better universities.  

Principal Samantha Williamson said: “These results demonstrate significant progress and are in line with projections which show we are on track to improve our future Ofsted gradings.”

Ashton Park School said almost all its sixth form students secured their first choice university places, not only via academic routes but also through vocational programmes in IT, sport, and health and social care.

Results were not available for all schools.