WEAVERHAM pupils were praised for ‘rising to the challenge’ in the face of a major GCSE shake-up.

David Charlton, Weaverham High School headteacher, praised the achievements of former pupils during the school's presentation evening on Thursday, October 26.

Helen Pidd, the Guardian Newspaper’s north of England editor, was the guest speaker on night, and presented GCSE certificates and prizes to former pupils.

Speaking on the night, Mr Charlton said: “Ladies and Gentlemen I am delighted to inform you that Weaverham high school pupils have risen to the challenge of the new GCSEs and have risen to the challenge of whatever the government decided to throw at them.

“Over three quarters of our pupils achieved passes in both of the new GCSEs in English and maths.

“62 per cent of pupils achieved the new strong pass in both English and mathematics and demonstrated that Weaverham pupils are not merely scraping through GCSE exams but continue to do well when longer exams and harder questions are put in front of them.”

Mr Charlton particularly singled out Kathryn Edmonson and Madison Richardson who both achieved all three of the new GCSEs at Grade 9 and A* grade in all of their other GCSEs.

He said: “Let me put their achievement into context. Nationally less than 2000 pupils achieve three grade 9s this summer. There are over 4000 secondary schools. Yes parents, you can do the Maths.

“We should have had half a pupil achieving three grade 9s. To have two pupils was exceptional and meant three other schools had no one.”

Mr Charlton also highlighted a large number of sporting successes in the last school year.

He praised the achievements of the year 11 rugby team, which won the Cheshire Cup.

He highlighted the achievements of George Hyde, the reigning British Indoor champion, the English National Schools Athletics champion, GB schools athletics and the UK Schools Games champion in the Shot Put in his age group, and Hannah Hateley who was selected to represent England at the World Orienteering championships in Sicily.

The evening closed with a speech of thanks by current pupils Hattie Clark from Norley and George Philippakos from Kingsmead.