Hove Park School says GCSE results show benefits of focusing on progress for all

Posted On 21 Aug 2014 at 6:06 am

Hove Park School said that its GCSE results showed “huge leaps forward” in pupil progress.

And disadvantaged pupils performed particularly well, with the most able students also surpassing expectations.

The proportion of students achieving five GCSEs graded A* to C, including English and maths, was 62 per cent.

This was a drop from 67 per cent last year partly resulting from significant changes to the qualifications and to the way that results are counted.

Head teacher Derek Trimmer said that he was pleased for his students and staff in what he described as “an interesting year in education”.

Derek Trimmer

Derek Trimmer

He said: “Students have improved their performance across the board at Hove Park School.

“After years of only valuing C grades, government performance measures have changed to look at the progress of all students.

“At Hove Park School, student progress has made huge leaps forward, with pupil premium and gifted and talented students the most successful.”

Last year the school gave iPads to all pupils. Mr Trimmer said that one of the main reasons was to “level the playing field for all learners”.

He said: “Giving students access to world-class technology will enable students from every background to achieve.”

And he believes that this year’s GCSE results show that this is already starting to happen.

He said: “In English and maths the number of students making three levels of progress during their time at secondary school – probably the fairest way to measure a school’s effectiveness – has risen to 12 percentage points above the national average in English and just above the national average in maths.

“The most disadvantaged students, who are eligible for extra funding through the Pupil Premium, have performed particularly well, with a gap of only 14 per cent between FSM (free school meals) and non-FSM, half the national average.

“In most schools there is a clear gap between FSM and non-FSM students. At Hove Park we have managed to reduce that gap.

“The most able students have also surpassed expectations – 23 students have achieved eight or more A* or A grades, a massive increase on 2013.

“It has been an interesting year in education. In the autumn the government stopped schools from being able to count the best entry in an exam and replaced it with the first entry.

“There will be a lot of schools this year who have two headline figures. It will be difficult for parents to understand which schools have done well and which schools have struggled.

“The government has also warned that the national average will take a dip this year and parents should expect lower grades.

“We have seen this at the C/D border and so we have not made the same leap forward with the five A*to C figure that we have in overall student progress.

“The previous system encouraged schools to concentrate on intervention with C/D students.

“This resulted in students who were able to pass exams but did not have the necessary skills for a successful future.

“Hove Park School has moved on by concentrating on progress for all.

“We are very pleased to be celebrating with all our staff and students today.

“At long last, everyone’s achievement counts – not just the most able.”

He said that the school encouraged all students to follow a traditional curriculum, with 94 per cent studying EBacc subjects – English, maths, a science, a foreign language and history or geography.

This strategy had also succeeded with 84 per cent of students gaining pass grades in English literature and 32 per cent gaining the EBacc measure, which is double the national figure.

Other subject areas to have made big improvements include drama and music which have been squeezed out of the curriculum in many schools.

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