A new term and a new academic year. It is a time for target setting, starting afresh and being positive. Pupils are fully equipped (there is a wonderful array of colourful new pencil cases on show this year), smartly dressed in stiff looking blazers and blank new-smelling exercise books have been opened by both pupil and teacher with expectation and determination. In our first school assemblies Mr Allen talked to us all about the importance of commitment, focus and achieving goals and teachers gave presentations about the clubs they would be running throughout the term. Dr Barrett even came to assembly to sell his ‘Bee Keeping Club’ dressed head to toe in a white bee suit and veil. (Although I think secretly he was just protecting his newly purchased pink trousers!) The air was, and still is, positive and hopeful, with a whiff of, dare I say it excitement. The sun helps of course. But no, even as I type looking out of the staff room window at some very ominous looking clouds, I still can smell it in the air. Hopefulness, enthusiasm and expectation. The trick is of course, to keep it up.
Last year’s exam results suggest that our pupils and staff did just that.
In a year where many other excellent schools struggled to maintain their grades in the face of a new, and demanding English and Maths curriculum, our pupils excelled. 92% of our pupils (71% national average*) achieved a pass grade of 4 and above in Maths and English (equivalent to a C grade), with 38% achieving above a 7 (A/A*). Combining all of our GCSE subjects, our grades were still impressive. 77% of our pupils achieved above a grade 4 (C grade) trouncing the national average of 66.3%.
Our A Level results also reflected some of our pupils hard work and committed attitude. Filip led the way achieving 4 A* grades and 1 A grade which resulted in an offer of a place from Cambridge University to study medicine. We were all very proud of Ross Archer’s achievements too: 1 A*1A 1B resulting in an offer from Loughborough to study Mechanical Engineering. 49% of our pupils achieved A*- B – an impressive percentage for a school that is non selective and welcomes International pupils to study our rigorous A Levels.
This year’s cohort of enthusiastic exam classes have a lot to do this year. But their predecessors have proven that with hard work, a positive attitude and a committed approach success is possible.