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Sterling GCSE performance for UK academies

Pupils celebrate GCSE results as industry considers reform

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 21, 2015 | School life

In Bristol, Cabot Learning Federation is celebrating after students received their grades. 

Seventy-one percent of students at John Cabot Academy have achieved five good GCSEs with English and Maths, a four percent increase on last year, and one of the highest performances in the area.  

The overall success is underpinned by excellent results in the core subjects, 82% of pupils achieved a C or above in English and 78% achieved a C or above in Maths, whilst the average pass rate across all our Science courses was 94%. 

Interim Principal Kate Willis said: “We are delighted for all our students. They thoroughly deserve these excellent results as they have worked hard throughout their time at John Cabot. However they could not do it without the support of their parents, carers and staff who have gone the extra mile to support our students. Thank you for all your efforts.' 

Students at Bristol Metropolitan Academy have once again made good progress in their GCSE examinations. Since opening in 2009, Bristol Met has improved year on year, with students at all levels of ability performing better than their peers across the country.
Widely recognised as an inclusive school, 99% of students attending Bristol Met in 2015 gained a GCSE pass, with 37% of the cohort claiming at least one A* or A grade. Boys and girls performed equally well on the very highest grades, bucking the national trend of male underachievement; similarly, students from a range of ethnicities and starting points shared the top results. 

Principal Sally Apps said: “We are delighted for our students who have yet again proved that with hard work you can achieve excellence, no matter what your starting point. We have seen some exceptional individual performances from students and their teachers, and must congratulate them on their successes. GCSEs truly are a team effort and we are grateful to our community and our families for the support they have offered throughout their children’s school careers. I wish our students every success as they move on to further study, and look forward to seeing a number of them within the Cabot Learning Federation Post-16 provision next year.” 

This year 53% of Hanham Woods Academy students achieved five A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths. Impressively the year on year improvements have been achieved across all the key performance indicators in attainment and progress; students achievements include five A*-C GCSEs at 62%, English A*-C 63%, Maths A*-C 71%, there was also very strong performance in Humanities, Health and Social Care, PE and the Creative Arts. 

Phil Bevan, Principal, said: “Hanham Woods is a fully comprehensive academy and we are very proud of the fact that 98% of all students accomplished a GCSE grade in English and Maths. This year’s success has been built upon the continuous hard work and dedication of students over the last two years. Particularly impressive has been the resilience of students to never give up, their growth mindset and the willingness to rise to the challenge. Thank you to staff and parents for being an inspiration for our students and supporting them on this successful journey. I wish our students every success as they move on either to further study or apprenticeships. I very much look forward to seeing a large number of them with us at HWA in the Cabot Learning Federation Post 16 next year.”


Hanham Woods Academy student Ebony Kenington

Following their best-ever A level results last week, Bristol Brunel Academy has continued this success with their GCSE results achieving 46% five A*-C including English and maths. Bristol Brunel also performed exceptionally well in the best eight value-added measure. 

Through a traditional curriculum, students achieve strong outcomes in the most academic subjects. In particular students have achieved exceptionally well in computer science this year with 77% achieving A*-C and 22% achieving A*-A grades. 

Principal Jon Jones said: “The national picture is showing that many schools have seen a decrease in performance measures due to the recent changes to the examination system. In the face of these challenges we are pleased to have held firm in all measures and improved considerably in others. Brunel staff work exceptionally hard to achieve the very best results for every student, I am very proud that students are achieving success across the ability range and unlocking the doors to their own future pathways. Brunel is now consistently oversubscribed, this means that parents are selecting us as their educator of choice in the city and these results again reinforce parents confidence in the academy. I look forward to enrolling many of our students into the Cabot Learning Federation Post 16 provision this week.” 

Students at Hans Price Academy have once again made good progress in their GCSE examinations. The value-added measure shows that student progress at Hans Price has rapidly improved, with further improvements forecast for next year. Hans Price is recognized as being an inclusive school and this year 98.4% of students in year 11 at Hans Price have gained a GCSE pass, with 85% achieving five passes at GCSE.  Also pleasing was that 37% of the cohort have achieved at least one A* or A grade.  Boys and girls performed equally well on the very highest grades, bucking the national trend of male underachievement. 

Principal Tony Searle said: “We are delighted for our students who have worked hard to produce some excellent results, demonstrating that with consistent effort and application you can achieve great things, regardless of start-point. Of course their success is in no small part attributable to the support and nurture of their families and broader support network and the tireless efforts of the staff who support and teach them at Hans Price.”

King’s Oak Academy is oversubscribed in year seven and will be opening a primary phase with 60 reception places in September. The academy’s outgoing principal, Ian Frost said: “There have been some excellent achievements by year 11 students this year who have worked incredibly hard and deserve their success.  Well done to them, the staff who have worked with them and the parents, who have provided massive support for their children. The academy is now entering an exciting new phase as it becomes an all-through school.’

The United Learning trust has announced a number of positive results in their schools’ GCSEs. 

At the Hurlingham Academy, 50% of students achieved five or more A* to C grade GCSEs – an increase of eight percentage points on last summer’s results.

Ben Parnell, executive principal, said: “Since the school joined United Learning in January this year, we have put in place a series of initiatives to drive improvement and raise standards.  This summer’s increase in the number of students achieving five or more A* to C grades is proof that we are on the right track.  With our new senior leadership team in post from September, I look forward to seeing The Hurlingham Academy go from strength to strength and build on the successes of this year.”

The Regis School is celebrating having matched its best ever results of the previous year. The percentage of students who achieved at least five A*-C grades including English and maths remained steady at 46% although the school expects this to rise further following appeals on a number of students who were within two marks of a C grade in core subjects. 

The percentage of A*-G grades rose for the third year running, to 97%, as did the percentage of students achieving a C grade or above in English which has seen a 13% rise over the last three years. The gap between boys and girls narrowed significantly on the five A*-C, including English and maths measure to five percent, an improvement of 24% on the previous year - which was one of the school’s key priorities.

Students open their grades at Regis School

At John Smeaton Academy, 48% of students achieved five or more A* to C grades – a rise of seven percentage points on last summer’s results. Julian Snape, headteacher of the academy, said: “We are all delighted with these GCSE results, which represent a significant improvement on last year’s figures and demonstrate the continued progress we are making at John Smeaton Academy.”

For even more United Learning results, visit their website.

Commenting on the GCSE results, Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT said: “We congratulate those students receiving their GCSE results today, and commend the year-round hard work of teachers and school leaders to help deliver them. 

“We welcome the increase in the number of students getting A* to C grades, which is testament to the hard work of both students and teachers. However, the 18 per cent increase in 17 year olds taking GCSEs does point to an increase in the number of students resitting exams. The government needs to make sure that school leaders are supported to address this trend, ensuring that resourcing is appropriate to offer the courses needed. 

“There are still unanswered questions about the impact that the increase in entries for IGCSE English have had on the overall picture. This highlights the problems caused by the exclusion of IGCSE results from the overall figures. 

“Much has been written this week about whether GCSEs are the right method of assessment now that the school leaving age is 18. What's important is that the debate doesn't overshadow the achievements of so many young people today.

'The secondary sector is crying out for some vision from government. Instead, obsessive tinkering over many years has short-changed students and created unnecessary pressure on education professionals.

'Secondary education is where a child's preparation for real life gets serious. For the students heading into A Level study next week, the future is uncertain. The government is coasting on this issue. These young people deserve better.'     

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