Welcome to the new school year. It has been a pleasure to welcome all our students into school; we have over 1,600 with us this year. Our new Year 7s have arrived, full of enthusiasm, hurrying around the school site studying their maps. Our older students are looking after them very well and it won’t be long before they know exactly where everything is. They all seem to have grown about a foot each over the summer and have come in ready to learn and determined to do well.
This summer saw the first GCSEs graded in the new 9-1 system. English Language, English Literature and Maths were the first three subjects graded this way and I am pleased to say last year’s Year 11s have done well in this new qualification. The proportion gaining grade 5 or above in English and Maths was far above the national average. The proportion gaining grade 7, 8 or 9 is also very high, with grade 7 being equal to an A grade, 8 being a mixture of A and A* and grade 9 being a much coveted elite grade awarded to only 3% or so nationally.
My message to our students is clear. Secure knowledge will get you to grade 4 (a low C grade in the old measures). To gain a grade 5 or higher, the knowledge must be applied to problems and scenarios, and used for analysis and to support conclusions. If your child is likely to do the minimum in the belief that they can work harder at the end of the course and make up any lost ground, they will likely gain a grade 4 at best – their knowledge will be secure but they will struggle to apply it. To gain the higher grades, it is about having a full understanding of the subject but also the ability to apply it to whichever scenario, problem, abstract notion or analysis is posed in the exam papers. Every minute counts.Click here to return to the current newsletter