Chiswick School Excels in English Despite Tougher Exams

70% of students achieve grade 5 or above under new GCSE mark scheme


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Pupils at Chiswick School have bucked the national trend by achieving an exceptional set of results in English despite the new mark scheme intending to make the exams tougher.

During a nationwide decline, the school had a pass rate of 80 per cent in English, equivalent to the A* - C grade. 70 per cent of students scored 5 or above in the exam, equivalent to a grade B and above. The Chiswick students achieved the excellent results against a backdrop of the biggest shake-up to GCSE exams in a generation.

New exams in English Language, English Literature and Maths were taken by the Year 11 students - which were graded in numbers, with nine as the highest mark and one the lowest. 21 pupils scored the top '9' grade, equivalent to A**.

Leah O'Grady, 16, from Chiswick, managed 6 A* and 4 As.

She said, "There were a few unexpected bonuses in my results, which I am really pleased with. I've been waiting to get these results so it's a relief to finally be able to open the envelope and find out how I have done.

"I am keeping an open mind at the moment. My passion is quantum mechanics which may sound strange from a 16-year-old. That is what I want to study but I will be taking a very mixed range of A Level to keep my options open.”

Sam Stevens, 16, from Chiswick, achieved the equivalent of seven A* grades and an A grade and will study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Biology. He has now set his sights on a place at either Oxford or Cambridge to study Physics.

He said, "I am really pleased to have done so well. I hit my personal target and exceeded it in English. I've always set myself high targets so it is a relief to get these results.

"The hard work has paid off thanks to plenty of revision and support from the school. They really help you to achieve your potential."

Incoming Headteacher Phil Masterson, who will take over in September, said: “We are extremely pleased to have such outstanding English results. Against a nationwide trend that has seen results dip we are proud that our staff have rose to the challenge.

“There have also been some truly remarkable individual results from students. We are very proud of their achievements and will look forward to welcoming many of them back next September to study in our sixth form.

“The school have produced good results across the board. My job when I take up my position next year is to ensure that our outstanding success in English is matched across the board."

Schools across the borough of Hounslow saw GCSE results once again exceeding national averages.

Pupils adapted well to a higher standard in the new tougher English and Maths GCSEs. In English, 84 per cent of students achieved a Grade 4 (‘a standard pass’ - broadly equivalent to grade C) or better. 70 per cent achieved the more challenging grade 5 (a ‘strong pass’) in this core subject. There was more good news in Mathematics, with 76 per cent of students gaining a GCSE Grade 4. This is a massive 16 percentage points cent better than other pupils in England (60 per cent). More than half (55 per cent) achieved the ‘strong pass’ at Grade 5.

Hounslow’s schools have also maintained a very strong position in the number of pupils gaining the English Baccalaureate [EBacc], with 31 per cent of Hounslow pupils succeeding at this measure. The EBacc shows the percentage of pupils who achieve grades 9-5 in English and Maths along with A*-C in science, a language and a humanities subject. An excellent result given that, unlike last year, this is only awarded to those who gain a ‘strong pass’ in both their English and Maths. It is six per cent better than the National EBacc average last year (25 per cent) when it was easier for students to achieve.

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services and Youth Services, Hounslow Council, said: “Congratulations to all our students who have done fantastically well in their GCSEs again this year, particularly given the more challenging exams that the government has introduced.

“It is a testament to the skill and commitment of all our teachers, support staff, governors and parents and the hard work of our young people that means they continue to outperform their peers nationally.”

Acton High School is celebrating the very strong individual achievements of Year 11 students who have performed well in what is a turbulent period of change for GCSE content and grading. Rahim Feddag and Waris Wasay got the highest grade 9 in English Literature and English Language GCSEs respectively. Rahim also achieved 3A* and 8 A or A grade equivalent (new grades 7 and 8). Amir Saeidi and Piotr Prokocki are also celebrating a strong set of GCSE grades achieving A* and A in 10 subjects. Amongst the girls Leanne Vidal attained grade 8 in both English Language and Literature, grade 7 in maths and A and B grades in her other subjects.

58% of the year group achieved what the government is calling a “good” grade in English and 60% of students achieved this grade in maths with exactly 50% of students securing passes in both. In addition in spite of the increased challenges of the new content in English and maths 20 students attained the top grades (grades 7-9) in English and 27 students attained these grades in maths

The majority of the year group are continuing their studies at AHS’s sixth form which last week saw its A Level students attain outstanding grades and which has placed the sixth form in the top 4% of nationally. Enrolment today was extremely busy with students accepting places to study a range of A Levels in sciences, Maths, Computing, English Literature, Politics, Art and MFL.

Head Teacher, Ken Mackenzie said: “We are very proud of the achievements of all our year 11 students and are delighted so many of them are continuing their studies in our sixth-form. For this group of students to have done so well in the core subjects of English and mathematics in the year when new, much more rigorous exams were introduced is testament to their hard work as well as the dedication and professionalism of their teachers. Acton High School is changing and these students will lead the change as they continue with their success in our sixth-form”.

The West London Free School’s second set of GCSE results are also very strong. In particular, pupil achievement in English, Mathematics, Science, Latin, Music and Religious Education are exceptional. 36% of all the GCSEs were graded A*/A (including 7-9 in English and Mathematics, which is equivalent to A*/A in the old system). 80% of pupils achieved a 4 or above in English and Mathematics (equivalent to a C or above). 10 pupils achieved the very highest grade. 100% of pupils who took Religious Education achieved A*-C, with 74% of these getting A*/A.

Hywel Jones, the Headteacher said, “I am very proud of our pupils. This year group has worked very hard and successfully met the challenge of the more rigorous GCSEs in Mathematics and English. The results are a testament to those efforts, our exceptional teaching staff and the support from parents and carers. They are particularly impressive, given that all our pupils have taken the most rigorous, academic GCSEs, with none doing BTECs or any other equivalents.”

This year has seen a significant improvement in GCSE results at St Benedict’s, Ealing, with an increase in the number of A /A* grades to 57.6% - up 6.4% from last year. Performance in the new style GCSEs in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics has also been strong: in the new 9-1 grading system, pupils achieved 9-7 grades in 43.3% of papers. This equates approximately to A*/A grades in the old system and represents an 8.1% improvement on last year’s results in these subjects.

Perfect marks for Cerys Edwards of St. Benedict's

A number of pupils achieved particularly impressive results: Cerys Edwards and Max Lubowiecki achieved straight A* grades with 9 in English and Maths, and 14 achieved straight A*/A grades, including 9-7 in Maths and English.

The Headmaster Andrew Johnson, said: “I am delighted to be able to congratulate our pupils warmly on these very strong results, and thank their teachers for all their hard work in support of our GCSE candidates.”

Notting Hill & Ealing High School achieved another record year of GCSE results. 66% of entries were graded at A*, equalling their all-time high, with 89% graded A*/A and 100% A*-C. 12 girls gained A*s in all their subjects and 47 girls (over half the year) gained 7 or more A*s.

Head, Matthew Shoults said, “These are excellent results, reflecting the energy and effort which the girls have put into their studies, and the staff have put into supporting them. Every single girl has worked with great determination to achieve her best and should rightly be proud of herself. Our heartfelt congratulations go to them all.”

Notting Hill and Ealing girls celebrate great results

At Latymer Upper School over half of the year group achieving at least 8 A* grades and over 70% of grades were at A* with 90% of grades at A*/A

Fencing champion and member of Team GB Josh Willcox who, having spent a busy year competing on the prestigious European Cadet Fencing Circuit now adds 10A*s to his sporting achievements. Maddie Lloyd, 10A*s, and Georgina Seal, 9A*s and 1A, have reason to celebrate in a year that has seen them both chosen for the GB rowing squad. Twins Felix and Cecile Ramin celebrate their joint success, gaining 20A*s between them – 10A*s and 1A each.

Twins at Latymer enjoy joint success

Latymer Upper Head, David Goodhew commented, "Congratulations to all our GCSE pupils who have had such fantastic results today - their hard work has really paid off. They bear the Latymer hallmark of being well-rounded individuals who, as well as achieving academically, pursue many of the co-curricular options on offer at Latymer. Having joined the School on the same day in 2012 as this talented Y11 cohort, I very much look forward to following their progress in the sixth form.”

At St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing Catholic independent day school for girls, 82% of grades were A* - B or equivalent (9 – 6). There was a clean sweep of A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, 100% passes in English Literature and Mathematics and 83% of Modern Language grades at A* or A. Over half of all pupils obtained at least 5 A* or A grades or equivalent (new grades 9/8/7) between them. 54% of the grades achieved in Mathematics, English and English Literature combined were 9, 8 or 7 (A* - A). 95% of all pupils achieved at least 1 grade A*/A or equivalent. This follows last week’s news that 100% of the Year 11 Additional Mathematics students achieved the top grade, A.

Smiles all round at St Augustine's Priory
Smiles all round at St Augustine's Priory

Interim Headteacher, Mrs Marie-Helene Collins, commented, ‘Across the full range of our curriculum, our girls have performed brilliantly and we congratulate them on their outstanding results today. Among many highlights, our excellent separate science performance and fantastic results in the new English and Mathematics courses are a particular source of confidence. Another strong year of results yet again confirms our expertise in teaching girls in our wonderful setting, supported by our dedicated staff and with a Catholic ethos’.

Pupils at La Petite École d’Ealing, a French language school based at St Augustine’s Priory achieved a clean sweep of A*s and As in their French GCSEs. St Augustine’s Priory works with La Petite École as part of a bilingual hub promoting and supporting the teaching of French in Ealing.

For those students who, having got their results, are now unsure about what to do next, the Hounslow 14-19 Connexions Team are available to provide free impartial advice and guidance on the range of options available.

Students can drop in without an appointment at the times below.

Hounslow Connexions Service
Hounslow Library
Civic Centre
Lampton Road
Monday*/ Wednesday/Thursday every week from 2pm-5pm
[Closed on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August – Open Tuesday 29 August instead]

More information is available online or by calling 020 8583 5151.


August 29, 2017

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