A school in Epping has said it is “beyond proud” of its student’s GCSE grades.

Year 11 students at Epping St John’s Church of England School were among youngsters across the country who have been given results determined by their teachers today, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.

The school says that through the challenges of lockdown and remote learning, pupils received more top grades across more subjects than ever before.

Headteacher Mike Yerosimou said: “We are beyond proud of this group of students. We’ve rarely seen a year group pull together in the face of adversity in the way that this Year 11 did.

“When we returned in March, there was lots of uncertainty around the way students would respond to the fact exams had been ‘cancelled’. Would they simply down tools? Would they lose focus? Would they not even bother coming in!? We needn’t have worried.

“We communicated with parents, carers and students constantly and among ever-changing guidance, we worked together to get through the most challenging year. Students worked hard, revised and prepared, at short notice, for a wide range of assessments across all subject areas. It certainly did not feel like exams were ‘cancelled’ for Epping St John’s Year 11s.

“Nobody will ever be able to discredit or take these grades away from them because they earned them in unprecedented circumstances through sheer grit and determination.

"The fact they have done so well and that we are welcoming so many of them back through the doors of Epping St John’s Sixth Form makes it all the sweeter.”