Congratulations to all of our Year 11 students who were celebrating yesterday as they picked up their fantastic GCSE results. Despite the increased rigour of the newly reformed GCSEs, the students performed superbly well and we are so proud of them all.
St Mary’s students took GCSE exams in 19 of the new and more challenging GCSE subjects and over 80% of all entries were graded 9-4, compared to a national average of around 66%. Over 30% of all entries were 9-7, the old A*-A, compared to the national average of 20%. Students’ achievements were excellent across all subject areas.
Achievement was also very strong in the remaining, old style GCSEs in Russian, Further Maths, Technology, ICT and Business with over 75% of all entries A*-C, with this pass rate rising to 93% in Further Maths and 100% in Russian. Equally strong were the vocational GCSEs. Close to 40% of the 81 entries were Distinctions or starred Distinctions, 70% Merits or better and there was a 100% pass rate. Well done to everyone!
Remarkably, the newly introduced grade 9, equivalent to the high end of the old A* grade, was achieved by 49 of the school’s 192 year 11 students which was exceptional. In fact, 141 grades or 8.3% of all exam entries were 9s, compared to a national figure of 4.5%.
It was reported in the press yesterday that nationally just 732 students out of more than 500,000 candidates achieved a clean sweep of all 9s, representing less than 0.2% of the national cohort. Amazingly, 3 of these students are from St Mary’s. Whilst we don’t normally single out individuals for exam success, as we are so proud of all of our students’ achievements, we do want to highlight and celebrate our 3 students who are in this very small group of 0.2% of the national cohort. HUGE congratulations, therefore, go to:-
Emilia Keavney who achieved ten 9s plus an A^ in Further Maths.
Rory Bell who achieved nine 9s plus an A* in Russian and an A* in Further Maths.
Jack Ward who achieved nine 9s plus an A* in Textiles and two starred Distinctions in Performing Arts.
A further 4 students, Lucy Hobbs, Tim Jones, Mrugaya Mulay and Abbie Rai achieved a clean sweep of 9s/8s in all their subjects, the equivalent of 10 or more A*s. Very well done to them and to 20 other students who also achieved 5+ grade 9s/8s (the equivalent to 5 or more A*s in the old system) which is also fantastic.
All of the results this year reflect the hard work and dedication of all of our students, as well as the outstanding teaching and support that students received from our exceptional staff. Thanks also go to all parents and carers for their support for their children and the school. They will be so proud of their children as we are here at St Mary’s.
We look forward to welcoming back our GCSE students into the Sixth Form in September and for those moving on to college or elsewhere, best of luck and keep in touch!
St Mary’s Sixth Form students are celebrating after picking up their fantastic A level results and setting new records for the school.
The overall pass rate for A levels was 99.5%. An amazing 43% of all A level entries were A*/A, (up from 32% last year). 68% of entries were A*/B and 90% A*/C. These are all new records for the school and well above the national and regional averages. Remarkably, 19 of St Mary’s A level students each achieved straight A*/As in their A levels, which is an outstanding achievement.
Vocational A levels were equally impressive. The pass rate was 100% and an incredible 70% of entries were Distinctions or starred Distinctions, with 96% at Merit level or higher. 22 of St Mary’s students achieved Distinctions or starred Distinctions in all of their qualifications, which is also a fantastic achievement.
Students and parents are full of praise for our outstanding teachers and support staff for the excellent teaching and guidance given over the past two years.
Most of our students will now continue their studies at universities throughout the UK and a smaller number will go into the world of work, via apprenticeships. We congratulate each one of them on their excellent results and wish them all the best for the future.
Over the last two days, students have had an incredible time visiting Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls. Yesterday, they experienced a land and river safari, where they saw elephants, crocodiles, hippos and giraffes. Today, we experienced the majestic powers of the Falls, and then students practiced their haggling skills at the local market.
Construction is coming along very well. All students have learnt how to mix cement and lay bricks. This afternoon, students enjoyed a variety of different activities, including a question and answer session with Zambian students. We also performed the Zambian National Anthem to begin the ‘Culture Show’ which was organised by the local community. We witnessed traditional Zambian dancing and music, with our students given the opportunity to try out the dancing themselves!
Construction came to an end yesterday, with students finishing off the bricklaying and signing their names into one of the bricks. The Headmistress of Kariba South Primary School explained how impressed she is with the progress which has been made and she is confident the three new classrooms will be completed by December. Students should be incredibly proud of their contributions to this community.
Our students then hosted a Sports Day for the local children, with events such as egg and spoon and relay races. The students also participated in a football and netball match against local teams.
After an early start the following morning and saying goodbye to the Project staff, students arrived in Livingstone and were greeted by elephants in the campsite river. Tomorrow, we look forward to travelling to Botswana for the Safari at Chobe National Park.
Some students have been given the opportunity to join the Kariba South Tailoring Centre, where young tailors make garments to sell to the community in order to financially support the school. Teaching continues to be a rewarding opportunity for our students in the afternoon. We have found the Zambian children to be incredibly enthusiastic and they have loved interacting with our students.
We woke to the sound of the Zambian national anthem on Monday morning as the children arrived for school. Students are making steady progress on the construction site, as well as showing their fantastic teaching abilities in the afternoons. We have been really impressed with the students’ positive attitude and adjustment to a culture and environment which is so different to their own.
We finally arrived at Kariba South Primary School after a 10 hour journey yesterday! After setting up camp, we enjoyed our first meal cooked by the locals, followed by a ‘Happy Birthday’ singalong for one of the students! Day 1 of the project today – students have started by carrying the bricks down to the project site, then the building begins! Tonight they will be planning teaching resources for English, Maths, IT, Art and PE lessons for the local children which they will begin teaching tomorrow afternoon.