Congratulations are due to our Year 11 pupils on achieving a fantastic set of GCSE grades this year. In a year when debate has begun about the future of this qualification, the restrictions of COVID and unprecedented levels of anxiety about the manner of assessment combined to create a feeling of uncertainty, their performance is all the more impressive.
The grades achieved this year reflect the hard work put in by year 11s over the entire GCSE course and are not simply a snapshot of ability based on one single set of exams. They can feel very proud of their achievements on an individual and year group basis. The headline statistics make impressive reading with 26.3% of grades receiving the prestigious top grade of 9, and 65% of all grades receiving a grade in the 7-9 range, the old A*-A category.
In a year when all pupils have had to give of their best in trying circumstances we congratulate Year 11 on the depth and strength of their resilience and their outstanding performance in what remains a genuine academic challenge. Our thanks also go to parents who have supported our work and to the staff whose reassuring professionalism has been a constant in a testing year.
We are looking forward to working with many of these talented young people in the Sixth Form and hope that they can enjoy their last few weeks of holiday!
Exam results days always come with a fair degree of nervousness and often a frisson of excitement. This year has been no different. In a year when pupils had to dig deep in terms of resilience as well as performing academically it is perhaps a set of results of which our pupils can feel particularly proud.
In many years we choose to highlight individual performances as being of note, this year we can be general in our praise for our Upper VIth (Year 13) pupils who have managed to record excellent results at a time when anxiety and uncertainty could all too easily have distracted them from their endeavours. There have been great individual performances but today we should recognise the achievements of all pupils. They have studied with rigour, have taken mock exams, sat mini-assessments and have worked consistently in class. For all this they deserve our congratulations. Make no mistake, the examination results gained this year have been hard won and praise is due. No-one had the luxury of a late sprint to cram in a good final performance; this year was all about working consistently, performing at a high level regularly and ensuring that effort was shared appropriately between subjects.
Alongside the constraints imposed by COVID in the classroom, our Year 13 have also had to show considerable reserves of patience in coping with lockdowns, having to isolate and not being able to engage with a full range of activities as would be the case in a more normal year. In doing so they will have developed a depth of character that is more profound than would be expected in many of their age.
The cohort achieved a 100% pass rate with 55% of the grades achieved being at A*- A level and over 75% A*-B. Whilst the academic laurels go to our pupils, thanks are also due to parents for their support of the school’s work and to our teachers who have both provided inspiration and encouragement throughout the year.
Our Year 13 now take the next step. The vast majority will go on to their first-choice university and we look forward to hearing of their future successes. As they leave the BSP they do so knowing that they can face just about any challenge that the future may pose having overcome much at this early point in their development.