Grade 8 musician celebrates joining elite band of star pupils

Grade 8 musician celebrates joining elite band of star pupils

21st August 2014


SAXOPHONIST Tom Joashi’s school days reached a crescendo after he achieved 10A*s and As.

The Grade 8 musician celebrated with friends at Barnard Castle School joining an elite band of star pupils.

Tom, 16, of Hudswell, Richmond, dreams of one day playing in a big band alongside the likes of Michael Buble.

His inspiration at school has been music teacher Mick Donnelly, a professional saxophonist who backs some of the biggest names in the industry.

“It has been amazing jamming with Mr Donnelly, then turning on the television and there he is backing Lisa Stansfield,” he said.

Tom said his mum was thrilled with his results and he felt his late father, who loved to play the drums, would be proud of his achievements.

Also performing exceptionally well in the results was budding actor Kerin Borer, 16, of Romaldkirk, in Teesdale, who achieved 10A*s and an A in advanced maths. 

A member of the Turrets drama group she plans to pursue her interest in drama throughout the Sixth Form and at university.

For Jack Ellis, 16, of Fir Tree, near Crook, his results of three A*s seven As and an A in advanced maths will set him on the right course to a possible career in medicine.

Sam Adamson, 16, of Hunwick, Bishop Auckland, secured eight A*s and an A and now has one eye on a career in engineering or banking.

Overall, girls at Barnard Castle School rewrote the record books by beating the boys for the first time in maths and science.

In maths and three separate sciences, the traditional preserve of the boys, the girls squeezed ahead with over one in three grades qualifying for an A or A*.

verall, in all their subjects, the girls did even better with every other grade being an A or A*, while boys secured one in three.

Headmaster Alan Stevens was delighted that an historic milestone had been achieved.

He said: “It is good to see girls achieving outstanding grades in traditionally male-dominated subjects. They are also thriving in sciences and maths at A level.”

Overall the school saw a 99 per cent pass rate including maths and English.

One of the top performing girls was Kerin Borer who achieved A*s in all her ten subjects and now plans to take maths and chemistry at A level, as well as English literature and French.

Mr Stevens said: “This is exactly what we want to see in a school which offers a broad but demanding curriculum and urges pupils to achieve in really worthwhile subjects which have credibility with employers and universities.”

While half of all maths grades were A* and A, the top-performing History Department also saw over 80% of its candidates achieve an A or an A*.

Mr Stevens again said: “As an historian myself, it’s wonderful to see results like this, especially in a year when the history of the Great War is so high in the national consciousness.

“The school is mindful of the boys and teachers who lost their lives in both world wars and subsequent conflicts. I am proud that children here honour their memory both in understanding the past and in achieving the very best they can as they make their own history.”

News in August