Blatchington Mill head shares his pride in his pupils’ GCSE results

Posted On 22 Aug 2019 at 11:16 am

Blatchington Mill head Ashley Harrold has spoken of his pride in the GCSE results achieved by students at his school.

Mr Harrold praised pupils for a set of “superb exam results … with higher pass rates and more top grades achieved by all students”.

The school said: “Blatch students have once again outperformed the national expectations for both attainment and progress.

“In all measures the school is reporting improved outcomes, building on the already high attainment of the past five years.

“The ‘attainment 8’ score, which measures achievement across all subjects, rose from 48 to 52.5 in 2019, an indication of the level of success across all subject areas.”

Last year the highest “attainment 8” score in state schools in a local education area was 58 while the lowest was 35.2.

About 300 students sat their GCSEs at Blatch this year and were expected to have shown more improvement during their time at the school.

Last year the school’s “progress 8” measure was 0.02 – just above the national average.

The measure compares pupils’ achievement at the end of secondary school with the end of primary school.

The estimate from the latest results is a rise to 0.2 although the measure is not formally due to be published until October.

At Blatch, students were celebrating a strong performance in English and maths, with 87 per cent achieving a pass or better in English and 82 per cent doing the same in maths.

The school said: “Both these results represent an increase of 8 percentage points from the previous year.

“On top of this, an impressive 143 students in English achieved the challenging top grades 7 to 9.

“In maths, 73 students received a grade 7 to 9, underlining the high academic standards across the core subjects.”

Under the new grading system, 9 is the highest and 1 is the lowest, with 4 considered a “standard pass” and 5 a “strong pass”.

The school said that students’ performance in the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) subjects – English, maths, sciences, languages and the humanities – showed their strength across a broad and balanced curriculum.

Most students took the EBacc and 39 per cent achieved a standard pass, up 8 percentage points, while 30 per cent achieved a strong pass – a grade 5 or higher in all subjects.

The results were “led by improvements to outcomes in history and geography”.

Ashley Harrold

The school said: “Achievement in languages is also up, with the pass rate rising to 83 per cent, a testament to our leadership as a modern foreign language hub school.

“There were excellent outcomes across art, design and performing arts, with music standing out with a 100 per cent pass rate – and 50 per cent of students achieving the very top grade possible, grade 9.

“What makes these results doubly impressive is that all GCSE courses at our comprehensive school are open to all students, with no selection criteria.”

Blatch said that the results showed the school’s academic excellence. It said: “An outstanding 353 grades 8 and 9 were awarded to Blatch students, an increase of 56 from 2018.

“A significant number or students – 47 – achieved grades 7 to 9 in six or more subjects.

“There were 25 grade 9s achieved in English, 19 in maths, 34 in science and 16 in languages.

“Usually around 4 per cent of all grades nationally are issued at grade 9 so it is incredibly pleasing that so many were achieved by students at Blatch.”

Mr Harrold said: “These results are the fruit of five years of really hard work by students, teachers, and parents and carers.

“I’m so proud of these amazing academic outcomes, with so many grade 9/8/7s awarded to Blatch students.

“On the new more challenging GCSEs, our students have shown their depth of knowledge and ability to thrive across a broad range of subjects – in English, maths, science, languages, the arts, design and the humanities they have absolutely aced it.

“I’m also deeply impressed and full of respect for those students who made excellent progress at school even when they found learning more challenging – the effort and endeavour some students have shown is remarkable.

“Many students, through sheer hard work and determination, combined with excellent teaching and support from parents and carers, have achieved 2, 3, 4 or even 5 grades higher in all subjects than the expectations set nationally from their starting point in Year 7.

“We believe in the potential of every young person and at Blatch we work daily to inspire, enthuse and motivate the students.

“These students are now ready for the next stage of their education and of their wider lives.

“They have all doors open to them with these results and we are confident in their future success.

“Equally importantly we are proud of their confidence, their kindness and their willingness to participate in their community and the wider world.

“We will miss working with them and wish them all every success in their next steps.”

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