THERE were noticeably quieter celebrations than usual for GCSE results day at Middlewich High School.

Students were invited into the school in two groups based on alphabetical order from 10am on Thursday and then later in the afternoon, when they could pick up their results from the sports hall.

But there were still plenty of smiling faces, proud teachers and delighted parents.

Helen Wyatt, secretary at Middlewich High School, said: "It's really different. Normally we would be cuddling the kids as they come in, but this is very different.

READ > GCSE Results Day 2020 as it happened

"People are standing round, it's very strange, but I think we have done the best we can.”

"We are dead excited for them all, we're really proud of them."

Headteacher Heidi Thurland had nothing but praise for the year group, which had succeeded in the most unprecedented circumstances.

She said: “The cohort of 2020 have demonstrated courage, resilience and determination to succeed – nothing has been ‘given’ to them it has been earned and we are incredibly proud of each and every student.

Winsford Guardian:

“I want every employer, sixth form provider or apprenticeship provider to know that when a Middlewich student presents their GCSE grades they are valid, reliable, based on hard work and accurately reflect their ability.”

Ms Thurland was particularly critical of the way the Government handled the grades for GCSEs and A-levels, with ‘contradictory statements and unclear decision making from Ofqual and the Education Secretary’.

It was decided that centre assessed grades would be permitted following a Government U-turn on Monday – with Ms Thurland insisting that the grades were ‘evidence-based’ and scored with ‘rigour and integrity’.

The situation was one that had concerned Morgan Farley before she picked up her up six GCSE results.

Winsford Guardian:

"I was so stressed out when I found out they had been lowered [last week]," she said.

"I'm only just a pass, which is good enough for me, it's my best. But when I found out they were lowered I was so worried.

"But once I knew they were going to mark it off my books and the way I am in lessons, it just made me more confident about it."

Head girl Mollie Dillon was relieved after securing the grades she needed to head to Sir John Deane’s for her A-levels – including a top mark of grade 9 in English language.

Winsford Guardian:

She said: “It was quite nerve wracking, and getting GCSE results without sitting an exam is quite strange, but it is what it is.

“I was really nervous, I couldn’t sleep very well, but after I got my results I just started crying - but I was happy.

“The algorithm made me so much more anxious than I was before, but once they changed that I felt a bit better.”