GCSE results: UK independents make the grade

We round up some of the day’s stories as pupils collect GCSE results across the country

Tony Little, BSA Honorary President and ex headmaster of Eton College, gave this statement for all students nervously opening those envelopes: “Good luck to all students receiving GCSE results today. Whatever your grades, my advice is to make the most of the next step in your educational career. Grades are one thing but the right attitude, a readiness to work and an open mind will set you on a course for success.” 

At Wellington College, year 11 pupils have achieved the highest-ever results in the school’s history in their GCSE and International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) exams, with 57.9% receiving A* or grade seven. 

Over 88 per cent of grades were at A*/A or seven/six and over half the year group attained A* or A grades in all their GCSE exams.   

These outstanding results come as Sir Anthony Seldon steps down to take up the post of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Buckingham. Sir Anthony said: “I’m so pleased that we’ve had the best ever results as I leave the College and I wish these wonderful students and Julian Thomas all the best for the future.”

Julian Thomas, the new Master, praised students for their hard work and thanked staff for all they have done to make 2015 an historic year academically: ‘I’m delighted for our students; having such outstanding results gives them an excellent foundation for the next exciting stage of their education.” 

Kings Monkton school celebrated a 100% pass rate with 86 separate exam entries. 73% cent of the passes were grades A*-B, showing a 10% increase on 2014’s results. 

The number of pupils achieving five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths was an outstanding 100%. Triple Science results were 100% A* grades and languages also did exceptionally well, with 100% pass rate in Mandarin and Welsh achieving 100% A* grades, Arabic achieving 100% A grades and French achieving 100% A*- B. 

Principal, Paul Norton said: ‘Our pupils have received fantastic results today and we are delighted. We have a truly outstanding team of dedicated staff who are passionate about supporting our young people throughout their education, and, thanks to our smaller class sizes and bespoke learning environment, we’ve been able to help each and every pupil achieve their full potential and today’s results are the outcome of a great deal of hard work from both our pupils and staff.” 

King’s Monkton student Mariam Hassoun completed GCSE Arabic two years early

Loretto School pupils have also excelled in this year’s GCSE examinations. The percentage of A* – C was 91.6% with 49.7% at A* or A, their highest percentage in seven years. 

Two-thirds of pupils passed every examination at A*-C and 11 pupils achieved all results at A*-A. One particularly noteworthy achievement was that of 9 year old James Griffith from Musselburgh who sat his GCSE Mathematics six years early and was awarded an A*.

Headmaster, Dr Graham Hawley, said: “I am delighted that, once again, our pupils have done very well indeed in their GCSE exams. My warmest congratulations go to all our pupils who have got such good results, and also to their teachers who have supported them”. 

The Mount School also celebrated, with a flush of straight A*s. Over a third of the students have been awarded at least eight A*s or As and with nearly two thirds of the overall grades being an A or above. These are our best results for three years. 

Principal, Julie Lodrick said: “This is another great set of results and we now look forward to seeing the girls back in September as they make the move up to studying for their A Levels. We’re glad that a lot of the girls will be staying with us as continuity in their education really does make such a difference to what they’re able to achieve. For those girls leaving us this year we wish them well with their future studies and remind them that we are always here should they need us.” 

The Mount School student Esme Weeks with Principal Julie Lodrick and Deputy Principal Jo Hayward

Plymouth College saw a nine percent increase of grades at A*/A, up 19% in the last two years to 49%.  A third of students have achieved seven or more A*/A grades with 12% gaining ten or more. 

“Well done to all our students receiving their results today,” said Headmaster Jonathan Standen. “I am delighted to see the year-on-year increase in top grades.  The hard work and commitment of both students and teachers is clear to see in such a strong set of results, particularly as we are a non-selective school with a number of students for whom English is not their first language.” 

At St George’s in Ascot, 51% of all exams were graded A* and A, 80% were A*, A and B and 95% were graded A*-C.  In addition, the school has added 7.2 grades per pupil in terms of value added since last year (2014) and on average St George’s adds 6.2 grades above their predictions. 

Commenting on the results, St George’s School Headmistress, Rachel Owens said:  “We are fortunate here at St George’s that we have some inspirational staff who excite intellectual curiosity and provide a stimulating and happy environment which is ideal for learning.  Coupled with small class sizes and attention for individual needs, it is not surprising that students here are able to achieve some pretty impressive results and can take advantage of the exceptional range of co-curricular activities on offer. 

St George’s student Mimo Sandford with head Rachel Owens

Moreton Hall celebrated a vintage year for GCSE results, with nearly 40% of pupils achieving straight As and A*s. Computer Studies, Spanish, Latin and Chinese were amongst the subjects achieving 100% A* – A. 

Jonathan Forster, Principal of Moreton Hall commented: ‘These are outstanding results that reflect exceptional students, excellent teaching and Moreton’s commitment to rigorous academic standards’.

As Farlington students opened their results, Ms Louise Higson, headmistress, commented: “Another superb set of GCSE results for the girls at Farlington!  We are very proud of their individual achievements and, with an overall 95% A* to C pass rate, there is much to celebrate.  These excellent results are part of the personalised, all-round education on offer at Farlington; not only do the girls achieve academic success, but they also take full advantage of the wide range of extra-curricular activities and opportunities on offer.

Farlington students celebrate

Malvern St James Girls’ School celebrated record GCSE performances, with 35% A* grades awarded and the number of girls achieving at least one A*-A grade increasing to 60%. This year has also seen a rise in the number of girls achieving five or more A*-C grades to 99% (including IGCSE) and 77% gained five or more A*-C grades including Maths, English Language, Science and a Modern Foreign Language. 

The school’s continued success in STEM subjects was also showcased by 82% A*-B grades in those subjects. 

Patricia Woodhouse, headmistress, commented: “We wish these young women ongoing success as they continue into our Sixth Form, following in the footsteps of this year’s Upper Sixth leavers and, before they know it, on to their own spectacular University destinations.” 

It was another strong year for Wellington School pupils as nearly three quarters of GCSE grades scored A*-B this year, with 43% at A*-A. 

Headmaster, Henry Price, commented: ‘We had well over a hundred pupils sitting GCSE examinations this year and I am delighted by so many individual success stories contained in these statistics. 

“The Sciences and Mathematics as well as Latin (and Greek) were the best performing departments in terms of the A* grade with percentages between 37-50%, but there has been a great deal of hard work by staff across all departments in helping pupils achieve and often exceed their expectations. 

“The Heads of Department are looking at any results that do not match our expectations and I am sure that some remarks will bring further improvement.”

Wellington School students

At Oundle School, 53.3% of grades were A*, beating their previous year’s performance by 0.1%.  It is the fifth year in a row that the A* percentage has topped 50.  84.5% of grades were A* or A. 

Performance was strong across all subjects with Mandarin (94%), Greek (90%), Chemistry (70%), Physics (64%), Latin and German (both 61%) and Mathematics (60%) all scoring at least 60% A* grades. 

New head Sarah Kerr-Dineen said: “The pupils deserve to feel proud of what they have achieved and can now embark on sixth form study with justified ambition.” 

A number of girls at St Swithun’s School were awarded the top grade in a range of subjects at GCSE this year. Eighty-three percent of girls achieved an A* in further maths, with 71% achieving the top grade in Spanish, 70% in German, 69% in Latin, 67% in religious studies and music, 63% in English language, 61% in English literature and 60% in Greek. In addition, 50% or more girls studying French, biology and design and technology were also awarded the top grade. 

Headmistress Jane Gandee said: “St Swithun’s is an unashamedly academic school, but it is the manner of our success, achieved in a supportive and unpressured environment, that is so important to us. The fact that our GCSE students contribute so much to school life outside the classroom is a testament to this.” 

A pupil at St Peter’s School in York, who is also a member of the U18 England football squad, secured ten GCSEs, eight of them at grades A and B, despite sitting several of his exams whilst playing in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Bulgaria. 

“I sat all sciences, French and both English exams over there,” explained Will Huffer. “There were a couple of times we had to rearrange exams because of matches – and after we beat Spain I had to sit my Physics exam the morning after, which was pretty demanding!” 

At Dame Allan’s Schools, 36 students at the Newcastle schools received all A and A* grades in their compulsory subjects. The Girls’ School achieved its best ever results, with eight out of 10 of the papers sat being awarded A or A*.

The Boys’ School went against the trend of falling maths grades, with seven boys achieving a distinction grade in the optional Further Maths examination.

Dr John Hind, Principal at Dame Allan’s Schools, said: “Once again our students have done the schools and themselves proud with outstanding GCSE results. The Girls’ School results are the best in its history and both schools maintain fantastic results year on year. We are proud of all of our pupils who have worked extremely hard to achieve impressive grades for the Schools as a whole and for themselves as individuals.” 

Dame Allan’s Schools students

Students at King Edward’s Witley are set up for further study at A level or the International Baccalaureate as almost all pupils (95.5%) at the mixed ability day and boarding school achieved five A*-C grades.  

Commenting on the results, the Headmaster, John Attwater, says: “It is really gratifying once again to see pupils of a range of abilities and talents fulfilling their potential and in many cases exceeding expectations, thanks to a lot of hard work and excellent teaching. Naturally, exams are not the only measure of a good education, but they are important indicators of progress and our students can certainly be very proud of what they have achieved.” 

Hard work paid off for year 11 girls at St. Dominic’s Brewood, with 91% of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C grade including English and Maths, and 42% of all the grades were at A* to A. 

Mr Harvey Trump and Mr Peter McNabb, new Head of School, commented that all the school staff and governors would like to wish the girls the very best of luck in moving forward with their careers and further education.

Send an Invite...

Would you like to share this event with your friends and colleagues?

Would you like to share this report with your friends and colleagues?

You may enter up to three email addresses below to share this report