5+A*-C Grades 65% 5+A*-C Grades inc English and Maths 56%
A*-C in 2 Sciences 78% 5+ A*-G 97%
Today, we braced ourselves for the impact of examination and assessment changes announced by examination boards and in the press earlier this year. The outcome of this has meant that, overall, we have experienced a 10% drop in our key GCSE measures as a result of the changes to marking and grade boundaries. This follows a pattern and trend seen across the country today, as students rip open their examination results envelopes. For the first time this summer, GCSE students were required to sit their exams through an end-of-course exam, with only their first result counting in school league tables.
Overall, 65% of Year 11 students at Sidmouth College gained 5 or more A*- C grades, with 56% of students gained 5 or more A* - C grades including English and Mathematics. This year we saw 97% of our students achieving 5 or more A*-G grades.
15% of our students achieved 5 or more A* to A grades, including English and Mathematics, and 4 students achieved all A* and A grades. This was 5% up on our result in 2013 and reinforces how well Sidmouth College caters for able students.
This year’s results included outstanding performances by the following:
Safeen Kay 9 A*, 1 A grade Charlie Ough 4 A*, 3 A, 4 B grades
Ben Cutting 4 A*, 3 A grades Katie Lockhart 1 A*, 7 A, 3 B grades
Elenya Madeley 3 A*, 9 A grades Adam Loker 1 A*, 4 A, 4 B grades
Olivia Drew 2 A*, 8 A grades Evie Morgan 3 A*, 4 A, 3 B grades
James Pearse 3 A*, 7 A, 2B grades Aaron Bagwell 9 A grades, 2 B grades
Lyris Richards 4 A*, 6 A, 2 B grades Adam Bartlett 5 A grades, 7 B grades
Poppy Snowling 5 A*, 7 A, 1 B grade Tara Jones 6 A grades, 5 B grades
Individual subject successes at GCSE include:
Biology 92% Computer Science 86%
Chemistry 94% German 85%
Physics 92% French 77%
Art & Design 75% Religious Studies 87%
Performing Arts 89% English Literature 77%
Textiles 83% Physical Education 85%
Commenting on the results, Mr Duncan said, "Both Mathematics (74% A* - C) and English Language (71% A* - C) performed consistently overall, compared to 2013. And within Science, we have experienced the highest pass rates for many years with all three sciences getting in excess of 90% A*-C, a set of highly satisfying outcomes.
The greatest impact for us has been in English Language, with those students around the C-D boundary being the hardest hit. Nationally, pass rates for students sitting GCSE English have fallen for the first time in 20 years, after the removal of the “Speaking and Listening” element of the exam. Some able students have achieved well in Mathematics, the Sciences, Humanities and Creative subjects yet failed to achieve a comparable grade within English. This highlights a national issue for schools as a result of poorly conceived piecemeal changes to GCSEs.
Other subjects have seen grade boundaries for the highest grades narrow to an extent where it is almost impossible for a child to achieve an A or A*. It is now incredibly difficult for any school to forecast what grades students might expect to achieve or, indeed, to compare the school's results with previous years.
Last year saw a similar attempt by the government to improve challenge and rigor within the system in an attempt to make GCSE and A Level exams more difficult to pass. Ironically, this has simply resulted in many Universities accepting students onto degree courses with lower grades through Clearing, and, I am sure, resulted in students progressing on to A Levels despite getting grades that, on face value, would previously have excluded them from this option.
Ultimately, we must remember that behind these statistics are young people who depend on these results to secure their futures. I would hate to see a system evolve that unfairly disadvantages specific groups of students, including those with special educational needs or those from backgrounds of economic disadvantage."