Bristol pupils rise to GCSE challenge

September 28 2018
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IN the first year of a challenging set of reformed GCSE exams, 16 year olds in north Bristol have risen to the challenge.

This is the first year that all subjects have been graded 9-1 rather than A-G, with 9 representing the top mark and higher than the previous A* level. The curriculum has also got harder, with more content for students to learn and tougher questions designed to identity the very top achievers. 

Over 3,000 students took the exams in Bristol this year.  Provisional results show that 61.8per cent of pupils have reached grade 9 - 4 the Government’s agreed ‘pass’ rate.  This is an improvement on last year where 59 per cent of pupils in Bristol achieved the ‘pass’ rate. 

 Students from Redland Green School (RGS) have once again achieved an outstanding set of Key Stage 4 results. A few pupils achieved the new grade 9 level in all subjects. 

The provisional headlines figures show that 82.3 per cent of students achieved a level 4+ pass in English and Maths (known as the Basics). 64.1 per cent  of pupils achieved the Basics (English & Maths) at level 5+ and 22.9 per cent achieved levels 9-7 in English and Maths.

 More than a third of all students (36.5 per cent) achieved the EBacc with a Standard Pass (English, Mathematics, History or Geography, the sciences and a language). 

Louise Blundell, Head of School said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside our students over the last five years. They have worked so effectively as individuals but also as a team to support each other through a challenging set of new GCSEs. Their achievements are a testament to their hard work, effort, resilience and determination to succeed.”

 Colston’s Girls’ School is celebrating excellent GCSE results and many exceptional individual performances. The grades achieved 

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Rising standards for pupils at GCSE illustrate that students can be very successful at CGS whatever their starting point when they arrive at the school.

88.1 per cent of students achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths (83.5 per cent in 2017) and the school is expecting to achieve a significantly improved Progress 8 score, which would mean the students are achieving over a half a grade above expected progress.

 The new grade 9 across all subjects is intended to identify students who are performing at a high academic standard. In this context CGS is very proud of the achievements of Salma Hashim, who achieved seven grade 9s; Elle Radford, Nimmy Joseph and Nour Tazaoui, who all achieved  six grade 9s and Maya Dejaegher, Abi Ndosi and Hester Penny, who each achieved five grade 9s.

Jana Ali, Martina Tancock, Kirsty Brocklebank, Lucy Britton and Tegan Rickwood all made outstanding progress between Year 7 and their GCSE results, achieving on average two grades above expectation.

Principal John Whitehead said: “These superb results are a just reward for all the hard work and dedication of students. They also reflect the efforts the teachers have put in to making sure that lessons are personalised and of a consistently high standard.”

 At Cotham School 74.2 per cent of students achieved a Grade 4 or above in both English and Mathematics, with 39.4 per cent of students achieving the Standard Pass English Baccalaureate qualification.

Thirty one students achieved eight or more grades 7/8/9 and 54 students achieved 5 or more grades 7/8/9.

Commenting on the results, headteacher Jo Butler said: “The reform to GCSEs brought more challenging content and assessment criteria and we are incredibly proud of the way in which our students prepared themselves for their exams.

“We also want to thank our staff, parents and carers for their continuous commitment and support during a year which saw an unprecedented level of curriculum change in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.”

Fairfield High School has again seen some strong results, with 58.7% of students achieving a grade 4 or above in English and maths. The proportion reaching grade 5 or higher - classed by the Government as a strong pass - is up on 2017 at 43.8%.

In the first year of the new linear courses in most other subjects, the school is delighted that 100% of students who sat Biology, Chemistry, Polish and Urdu achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) and Physics was close behind at 92.6 per cent. Sports Science doubled its pass rate to 86.7 per cent. The Progress 8 measure - designed to show how far students have moved on from their starting point at secondary school - is also positive. 

The school saw some exceptional individual performances, including Emmanuel Leach, who notched up seven grade 9s, one 8, two 7s (all these grades are the equivalent of the old A*/A) as well as a grade B.

Grade 9 is awarded only to the very highest-achieving students, so FHS is also especially proud of Ben Lloyd, who got five 9s; and Beulah Bennett and Joshua Omolegan, who each gained four.

Nick Lewis, Principal of Fairfield High School, said: “Maintaining great results at a time of vast exam change is a testament to the hard work of students and staff at Fairfield High School.”

Jon Angell, chair of Bristol's secondary heads association and Principal at City Academy, said: “Congratulations to all the students collecting GCSE results. Given the huge changes to the exam system this year, this is a credit to the teachers, the schools and the students.”