Chiswick A Level Results Improve Despite Challenging Circumstances

Record number gain university places including three at Oxbridge

Harry and Mya with Director of Sixth Form Karen Emmett
Harry and Mya with Director of Sixth Form Karen Emmett

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A Level students at Chiswick School received their results this Thursday morning (13 August) and the envelopes revealed an excellent overall performance despite the challenging circumstances.

With the cancellation of exams and much discussion about predicted grades, rank orders and algorithms, sixth formers have had a uniquely difficult time in 2020.

This year’s cohort saw a significantly improved performance over 2019 overall and a record number ofstudents have gained a place at university as well as a number of students progressing to apprenticeships. Three students will be going to Oxbridge and many others to study at Russell Group universities.

Harry got A* in Physics, Maths and Further Maths which won him a place to study engineering at Cambridge University. After collecting his results he highlighted the helpfulness of the teachers, how everyone was treated as equal and how the maths department felt like family and were hugely motivating.

Deputy head girl Mya started at Chiswick School in year 7 and got all A grades to enable her to study Geography at Bristol University with a year abroad. Reflecting on her time in Sixth Form she commented on how great the teachers were in supporting her throughout her studies.

Karen Emmett, Director of Sixth Form said, “Congratulations to all our students who have done exceptionally well include those who have achieved a full suite of A* grades in all their subjects. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank staff who also worked extremely hard to support our students on this journey.”

This year’s results nationally look set to be controversial despite a increase in A* and A grades with headteachers describing some lowered grades as "unfair and unfathomable".

In England, 36% of entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted with 3% were down by two grades with 2% of grades being increased. Schools sent predictions to exam boards along with a ranking of pupils by ability.

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union said, "While there has been an overall increase in top grades, we are very concerned that this disguises a great deal of volatility among the results at school and student level," said Mr Barton.

"We have received heart-breaking feedback from school leaders about grades being pulled down in a way that they feel to be utterly unfair and unfathomable. They are extremely concerned about the detrimental impact on their students."

The Sixth Form Colleges Association has called the system for calculating A-level grades, "flawed and unreliable" after almost all colleges said grades were lower or much lower than predicted.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the BBC in an interview, "The system, for the overwhelming majority of young people, is going to deliver, you know, credible, strong results for every single one of them.

"It's a robust system, it's a fair system, it's making sure that young people get the grades that they've worked so hard towards."

He added that if students felt they hadn't got the grades they deserved, they could appeal and, if necessary, sit a public exam in the autumn.

For students hoping for university places, it is expected to be relatively easier to get places due to a sharp fall in the number of international students and UCAS say that universities are likely to be very flexible with students who have missed grades.


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August 14, 2020

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