IT is the end of an era at two Sheffield schools, which are celebrating their final GCSE results before they merge to create Forge Valley School next week.
Teachers and pupils at Myers Grove and Wisewood gathered for the last time to rejoice in great individual triumphs, as the schools smashed their targets for the year.
Next Thursday staff at the two schools will move into the new Forge Valley buildings on Wood Lane, Stannington and pupils will walk through the doors for the first time a few days later, from Monday, September 6.
Myers Grove marked the occasion with its best ever GCSE results, with 52 per cent getting at least five A*-C grades including Maths and English.
The results confirm the school’s remarkable progress since inspectors handed it an official notice to improve three years ago.
Headteacher Andy Ireland, who was brought in to turn around Myers Grove in September 2008, said: “We have managed to finish with the best results in our 50-year history.
“To get 52 per cent A*-Cs with maths and English is very pleasing, especially considering that in 2009 that figure was 32 per cent.”
Wisewood also beat its targets for the year, with 47 per cent getting five A*-Cs with maths and English and 72 per cent achieving five above C grade in any subject.
Pupils and teachers shared hugs and tears as youngsters opened their results envelopes.
Myers Grove pupil Martin Barber, aged 16, from Robin Hood Chase, Stannington, got six GCSEs and is going to Hillsborough College to do a foundation studies course in September.
“I’m very sad to be leaving and that the school is closing,” he said.
“This school has been like a father to me.”
His pal Paul Meeds, of Wood Lane, who will be on the same course at Hillsborough College, said: “I’m happy with my results. I’ve got seven GCSEs and they are fine.
“I’m happy it’s all over. It’s a great relief.”
The top results at Myers Grove were achieved by nine-A* prodigy Jack Sheldon-Smith, from Stannington.
Jack was on holiday with his parents, but his gran Jenny Mulgrew picked up his results.
She said: “I thought he would do well but I didn’t know he would be top of the school!
“He’s got a scholarship to go to Birkdale School next year, so he’ll be thrilled.”
Jack’s English teacher, deputy head Alison Inkson added: “Jack thoroughly deserves this. He is one of the nicest, most unassuming pupils you will ever meet.”
One of many pupils heading to the new Forge Valley Sixth Form for A-levels is Abbie Moga, of Stannington Road: “I’ve done really well in my results – I’m really pleased. I got a mixture of As, A*s and a couple of Cs.
“I honestly had no idea I would do so well, I was so nervous last night but my A*s in particular were a really pleasant surprise!”
At Wisewood School Karyna Trull, of Owlings Road, Hillsborough, was celebrating exceptional results – enough to get her a place at Tapton Sixth Form.
“I’ve got A*s in all three of my sciences, some As and a B – I can’t believe that the B was my lowest grade!
“The past year has just been insane. After Christmas I barely did anything except revise, my head was spinning with all the different subjects.
“When August came around I started counting down to my results, it’s been on my mind every day of the summer.”
Also celebrating were Oliver Snowden, with three A*s, six As, three Bs and one C, and Thomas Barnes, with two A*s, five As, four Bs and a C.
Oliver said: “I’m sad Wisewood is closing but Forge Valley is going to be good. I’m pleased with the results.
“I’m going to do maths, further maths, chemistry and biology at A-level and then I want to go to university and be a maths teacher.”
Inevitably, there were tears as some teenagers missed out on the results they wanted.
Wisewood pupil Michael Parker said: “I did the best I could. I put 100 per cent in but I am disappointed as I only came away with Ds and Es.
“It’s been a tough slog, but I’d just say to everyone going through exams like this you have to do your best and work your hardest.
“Luckily I’ve got enough with these results.’’