Decision pays off for Downend pupils

Published on: 30 Jan 2014

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MANY students at Downend School are ahead of the game after the school went ahead and entered them for key GCSE exams in November.

Across the country, a lot of secondary schools decided against letting pupils sit their English and maths papers early after the Government belatedly changed the rules on which results would count in league tables.

But Downend decided that the November exams were in the best interests of the students  and should continue.

And it paid off, with 63 per cent achieving grade C or higher in Maths and 56 per cent grade C or above in English.

Head teacher William Roberts said: “This is a fantastic achievement at this stage of the year.

“These results put both the students and the school in a very strong position, and I would like to thank staff in English and maths in particular for the enormous effort that went in to preparing students so successfully for these exams. I would also like to thank the students for all their hard work in preparing for these exams and all the parents/carers for supporting their children in this very important stage of their school career.”

Almost every student in Year 11 already has a GCSE in English and maths. Most have already achieved their target grade and now want to take the exam again to see if they can achieve a grade higher in the summer.

Mr Roberts added: “Some students did not achieve their target grade, but are now very focused on using the next few months to fill the gaps in their knowledge ready for the summer exams.

“Students are telling us that they now feel much more confident about their summer exams in other subjects.”

He said the school had taken the decision to go ahead with the exams because it did not think its young people should be disadvantaged by last-minute changes beyond their control.

“We are not in favour of students entering all their exams repeatedly, but for English and maths, which are key subjects for almost all courses and jobs that students will apply for in the future, we think it is right to give students every opportunity to get the best grade,” he said. 

Special mention goes to the following students:

Natasha Burden - A (English), A (Maths)

Callum Cook - A (English), A (Maths) 

Toby Cook - A (English), A* (Maths)

Lewis Jones - A (English), A* (Maths)

James Nuttall - A (English), A* (Maths)

Magalie Plissonneau - A (English), A (Maths)

Daniel Smith - A (English), A (Maths)

Ewan Cassidy - A* (Maths) 

Nayeem Hussain – A* (Maths)

Gabriel Nikolov - A* (Maths)

A large number of students also gained a grade A in either their English or Maths GCSE.


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