It is amazing what a difference a week makes. The Government have now decided to scrap its standardisation of grades based on Ofqual’s algorithm. This algorithm prioritised historical outcomes and standards rather than specific individual young people in the Cohort of 2020. We now have a set of grades that better match what our students deserve at both GCSE and A Level. Nothing can replace, exactly like for like, a set of final exams but the system now has a personalised structure to it that wasn’t there before.

Our GCSE Cohort of 2020 has been through much even before they reached their final year. They were the oldest of three year groups that arrived with us all at the same time from our closing Middle Schools in September 2017 to an unfinished building with many mobile classrooms. In September 2018 we had to get used to a newly completed building and this year they have faced potentially the biggest challenge of them all…ending their year in March, missing their exams and perhaps most importantly missing that ‘rights of passage’ of leaving officially and all that that involves in terms of formally saying goodbye to pre16 education, the prom, the hoodies etc.

What I can say is that we are incredibly proud of the grades they have achieved. These are predominantly teacher assessed using a variety of evidence and have gone through a tough internal moderation process. This year group, 246 of them, had a similar Key Stage Two profile to the national average. Although we are still waiting for a small number of results the present overview shows 25% of our grades at Grades 7 to 9, and over 80% at Grades 4 to 9. Approximately 230 grades were graded 8 or 9 (equivalent to the old A*) with three of our students achieving nine or more Grade 9’s. We are genuinely proud of the progress that every student has made during their time with us and look forward to seeing many of them back with us in our Sixth Form. For those not coming back we wish them all the luck in the world!

In terms of our A Level cohort who received their grades last week. Following the decision to re-issue grades we have seen 120 results upgraded. For a number of our students this has meant the ability to go back to their first choice university and course. Fingers crossed for all of them!. It has also seen our results increase to 15% of our cohort receiving 3 or more A/A*’s and 25% receiving 2 or more A/A*’s, with many others seeing improvements.

It is up to all of us to value our students and their results at this unique time. In comparison to previous years they certainly need extra support to feel special!

Maurice Hall