Wellington School’s Headmaster, Martin Reader, congratulated his GCSE and IGCSE pupils for their “excellent performance”. 20 Year 11 pupils gained 9 or more A* and A grades and 48% of the total entry scored A* or A grades.
Mr Reader was particularly pleased with the pupils’ success in classical languages, a subject specialism which is increasingly popular at the school. 41% of those taking Latin scored A*s and 75% of students taking Greek – a subject offered outside the timetable for pleasure – scored A*s. The Maths department’s success at A level is repeated at GSCE level. One third of students were awarded A* grades and of the 19 students who took Additional Maths, 17 scored top grades.
Martin Reader commented “This year group was extremely committed to all they did at school with significant success in sport, music, drama and the CCF. Many of them have been at the school since Year 6 and we are very proud of their contributions.”
This year the overall GCSE pass rate – those scoring grades between A* and C – has fallen for the first time in the exam’s 24 year history. More students have failed to achieve C grades and results nationally have been lower than teachers expected. The borderline between C and D grades seems to have been a particular problem with papers marked more harshly than previously with, on average, 10 more marks being needed for pupils to achieve the pass standard of C grades. The demanding standards introduced this year in both exam specifications and marking have also been reflected in a fall in the top grades being awarded.
The examination system as a whole is approaching a period of considerable change with new courses being introduced in 2014. GCSE’s will be reformed and made harder, in line with the old ‘O’ standards, and A level syllabuses will be controlled by universities instead of examination boards. Through Ofqual, the government will monitor standards. The first of the new exams will be taken in 2016.
A-level results news
For Wellington School’s A-level students and their parents the long wait is over. Results for this year’s leavers have broken records with 46% of the Sixth Formers being awarded A* and A grades. One third of this year’s entrants gained top grades in three, four or five subjects.
Headmaster Martin Reader especially pleased with results in those subjects considered most attractive to universities and employers which the government regards as ‘strategic and vulnerable’. Maths results were particularly impressive with 71% of all candidates achieving A* or A grades. Of those taking Further Maths 89% gained A*s.
This success comes at the same time as results nationally show a fall in the number of A* and A grades being achieved. Grades have risen for 20 years in succession and exam boards have had to address the issue of “grade inflation”.
Students in the town and across the country will be relieved that government reform of university entrance of all but the most selective institutions ensures that more of them will be offered a place at their chosen university.
Universities can now recruit unlimited numbers of those achieving AAB grades rather than being restricted in the number of places they can offer. As a result, many of Wellington School’s pupils will get into their first choice degree course, as Russell Group universities such as Bristol and Exeter expand to accommodate more entrants.
As Wellington School’s successful students now prepare for entry to higher education, Martin Reader paid tribute to both their academic achievement and their involvement in the wider school community: ‘The students in this year group have contributed to school life in so many ways and they will be much missed.’